Tag: "bankruptcy"

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

| March 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

| March 20, 2018

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Launches Live Midday Show Hosted by Pat Frisch.  Longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director and air personality Pat Frisch is debuting a new, live midday talk show to air in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Frisch’s eponymous program is being produced by Jim FreeseCumulus Media Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “Some of the largest feedback we’ve received from our listeners is that they love our local programming and they love when Pat fills in on KKOB.  This gives us the opportunity to enhance our live, local approach to radio and gives our listeners the chance to call in, be heard and hear the latest news and topics nationally and locally.”  Frisch hosted the station’s morning drive program in 2005-06.  The station now airs 11 hours of local talk in addition to the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin programs.  Frisch states, “I’m so excited to grab the reigns from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  KKOB is as New Mexican as red or green and Lobos or Aggies.  This move gives us even more opportunity to focus on serving New Mexico.”

KJR-AM, Seattle Makes Programming Changes.  Seattle sports talker KJR-AM announces a new morning drive program called “Chuck and Buck in the Morning” hosted by Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen.  The move of Powell to mornings changes the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Chuck & Puck” show to “The Jason Puckett Show.”  Also, current morning drive personality Dick Fain is moving to the new afternoon drive show with Dave “Softy” Mahler.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Seattle Rich Moore says, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR.  We just got bigger and stronger today.  We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

Broadcasting Live from Qatar.  One of the fastest-growing, independently syndicated news/talk hosts in America – and a long-time Donald Trump insider – John Fredericks is broadcasting his show live this week from Qatar where he is on a Middle East fact-finding mission.  He is pictured yesterday (3/19) with Dr. Ali bin Smaikh al Marri, chairman of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee.  Fredericks tells TALKERS, “We discussed the adverse impact the Saudi-UAE-Baharain-Egypt embargo is having on the basic human rights of Gulf citizens, students, families and migrant workers in Qatar.”  Earlier today (3/20), Fredericks is pictured with Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of @QatarFoundation.  He engaged her in a wide-ranging interview that included Qatar’s unique empowerment of women in the Gulf and the six U.S. universities in Education City.  Fredericks reports, “Her Excellency is focused on education and finding new and innovative ways to learn.  She told me, ‘Our history has not yet been written.’”  Fredericks’ show airs live each day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am ET.  For more information, please click here.

Entercom’s David Field Shares Thoughts on iHeartMedia and Cumulus Bankruptcies in Companywide Memo.  Addressing the bankruptcy proceedings of both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Entercom president and CEO David Field tells his employees that the reason the two companies are in the situation they are is because of “ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies.  Period, full stop.  The bankruptcies have nothing to do with radio.  In fact, any company in any industry that takes on too much debt will suffer a similar fate.”  He goes on to say the radio business is a healthy one that generates earnings and cash flow and he bemoans the “erroneous and misleading narrative” that challenges in the radio business are the reason for the bankruptcies.  “If radio has an issue, it isn’t the size of our audiences or the value of our product or the health of our business model.  No, our issue is that we are highly undervalued and receive far less than our fair share of total ad spending.  With Entercom’s newly enhanced scale, advocacy efforts, marketing capabilities and customer outreach, we intend to change that.  And with iHeart and Cumulus emerging from bankruptcy, the industry will be even healthier going forward and that’s good news for all of us…Let’s make sure we get the word out so that our advertisers, partners, and other key influencers understand the facts and don’t come away with any false perceptions.”

Bill Handel Health Scare.  As chronicled by LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel returned to the air yesterday (3/19) after more than a month off the station.  LARadio.com writes, “His time away from the radio went from a case of the flu to major pain to visits to the ER four times in six days.”  After his case of the flu, Handel began to experience extreme pain and made four visits to the emergency room in six days.  He was treated for a cyst on his spine and sepsis.  Read about it here.

McMahon: Four Steps to Creating Magic on the Radio.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the importance of creating “meaningful emotional experiences” for one’s listeners in order to build and hold a loyal audience.  McMahon says those experiences “make their lives more interesting, rewarding and fun” and they “challenge them to think, feel, and grow.”  Check out his column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Suburban Chicago hot AC WXLC, Waukegan adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” program for the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Haynes Johns is operations manager and program director at the Alpha Media station and he says, “We’re excited about the helpful advice she’ll be sharing with our audience every weeknight, plus the local connection with Chicagoland’s own Dr. Laura Berman!”…..In a piece published in Newsday, former WFAN, New York afternoon drive star Mike Francesa says he misses being on the radio more than he thought he would.  The Big Apple sports talk legend also says he expects to announce his plans to return to the media between April 1 and May 1.  Francesa tells Newsday’s Neil Best that he won’t be doing the 27 and ½ hours per week that he was doing on WFAN, though he expects to be doing “some traditional presentation and some new presentation.”…..Boston University‘s public news/talk station WBUR, Boston is taking ideas for a new radio program as it launches its “Next Great Show Contest.”  Submissions are being accepted now through April 20.  WBUR says it’s seeking “a creative, funny, and engaging person or group of people.  Participants are encouraged to submit an idea that no one has heard before, especially on public radio.  The only requirement is the show needs to be funny.”  Finalists will get to pitch their program to a panel of judges including WBUR producers and award-winning comedian Alonzo Bodden.  The grand prize winner will have a pilot episode produced by WBUR…..ESPN will begin presenting video simulcasts of its ESPN Radio programs “Golic and Wingo” and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPNews, beginning Monday, April 2.  Those two shows join the afternoon “Will Cain Show” on the channel.  “Golic and Wingo” has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6:00 am to 10 am ET.   “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Sports Announcers Report Card publisher David Halberstam is presenting a four-part series commemorating late sports media legend Howard Cosell on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Check it out here.

Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe, McCabe Firing/FBI Investigation Movement, Texas Package Bombings, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; President Trump’s announcement he’ll slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the first week of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago classic hits outlet WLS-FM has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Wade Linder to the position, taking over for Brian Thomas as he moves to Atlanta to program WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Linder moves there from defunct heritage rocker WLUP-FM where he was PD from June 2014 through the station’s recent LMA to Educational Media Foundation.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren states, “Having the luxury of replacing a premier program director like Brian Thomas with Wade Linder doesn’t happen often.  We are most fortunate to be able to move Wade from WLUP-FM to the program director’s role at WLS-FM.  This allows us the opportunity to continue growing upon the heritage and recent success of 94.7 and to keep one of the country’s most talented PD’s in our cluster.”…..Westwood One brings media pro Paul Joseph aboard to assume the newly created role of VP, program operations and content for its music and entertainment division.  The company says Joseph will “leverage his vast industry experience to coach, consult, and train Westwood One/Cumulus hosts and producers to better engage listenership, build their brands, and drive revenue within the company’s pop music programming arena.”  Joseph joins Westwood One from Cumulus Media, Los Angeles.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the amazing Westwood One team.  Our goal is to strengthen programming and content across the platforms by using all the tremendous assets of Westwood One and Cumulus Media, including Zach Sang, the brightest young star in radio.  Many thanks to Suzanne Grimes, Charles Steinhauer, Kirk Stirland, Susan Stephens, and, of course, Mike McVay for their confidence and support. Let’s rock!”…..Cumulus Media names “Lexi and Banks” (pictured at right) the new morning show on country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City RVP and market manager Patrick Reedy states, “With over five years of entertaining SLC under their belt we’re confident that ‘Lexi and Banks’ will hit the ground running with a fun, fast-paced, entertaining show that is sure to put a smile on listeners faces.”…..On-air pro Summer Stevens joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country KOMG, Springfield, Missouri “105.1 The Bull” to co-host morning drive with incumbent personality John Kimmons on the newly renamed “Biscuits & Gravy in the Morning” program.  She’d previously been with Scripps’ crosstown country KTTS.

Round One of February PPM Data Released. Information from the first of four rounds of Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TAKEAWAYS

1) New York City Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of five sweeps in a row without an increase, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” has lost nearly one-half (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #12 to #14. The last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). On the other hand, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (#22, 6+), halting three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS gains one-tenth and remains at #2. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM carries on at #13, registering a 2.8 (6+) for the third straight sweep. Despite the fact it is without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). Down or flat the past four ratings periods for a -.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regains half that loss with a +.2 (1.2, #23, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#24), whose last ten New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off two-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #11, 6+). It entered the January 2017 sweep within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the previous seven survey periods and notched a +1.0 to 3.4, reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 3.0. Co-owned WNYC-AM is -.1 (.7, #26, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A positive spike of one full-share by Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.0 – 6.0, fourth to second, 6+) takes “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” to its best 6+-showing since 6.1 in August. After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but “106.7 Lite FM” remains on top for the seventh straight sweep. Off by one-half share in February as well is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which drops out of the top twenty (2.1 – 1.6, #19 to #21, 6+).

2) Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – The largest plus or minus (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 move in the City of Angels is by iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640,” which returns the six-tenths it grabbed in January (3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Three other news/talkers in the country’s second-largest market combine for an overall 2.4 (6+), including KFI cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” locked on 1.0 for the sixth sweep in succession (#28, 6+); Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #31, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” (flat at .5, #37, 6+). Even though KNX “1070 News Radio” is +.1 to 3.3 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well) – the Entercom all-news outlet segues from a ninth-place tie to tenth. Right behind KNX and unchanged at #11 is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” ties KEIB at #28, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” is flat at .4 (#40, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). “K-Earth” crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Down two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” nonetheless repeats at #1. Prior to its +.6 in January, “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While Cumulus Media’s KLOS is without a loss for the fourth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” backslides from #11 to #13. Onetime all-news outlet (and later sports talk) KFWB is now a Lotus Communications-owned Spanish oldies facility “980 La Mera Mera” and is trending .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 (#35, 6+).

3) Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM elevates from fourth to second (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with its finest 6+-stat (5.3) since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well), Tribune Media news/talk WGN is -.2 to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. This marks the sixth straight up or flat ratings period for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (#23) which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR gained six-tenths in January, but is down two-tenths in February and exits the top twenty (2.7 – 2.5, #17 to #21, 6+); “670 The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Cross-town ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#25, 6+). At #22, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is down or flat for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Not only does Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP double the margin of its January +.6 (2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, 6+), “Me TV FM – Me Music” vaults from #21 all the way to #6. Making a huge leap as well is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (2.6 – 3.3, +.7, 6+), which rockets from #19 to a three-way tie at #8 and matches its September 3.3 (6+). Following a topline (6+) of 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” advances by one-half share to 3.2 (#17 to #11, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WVAZ (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, 6+) repeats at #1; “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had been on top from February through September. Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” is -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. Until about four and a half months ago (11/9/2017), Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston. Off by one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” shifts from second to third. An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” touched the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4).

4) San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to its +.5 in January (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. When Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM surrenders one-half share in February (6.2 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Off one-tenth, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO falls from #19 to #20 (2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, January 2018, and February 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Despite being flat at 2.2 (6+), KSFO climbs from #18 to a three-way logjam at #15. At the same time that KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, eighth to tenth, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths and enters the top twenty (1.7 – 2.1, #18, 6+) with its best 6+-stat (2.1) since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” ends a topline sequence of 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2 (6+) as the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet jumps from ninth to fourth. November 2017 through February 2018 (6+) trending for rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay Area’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6. In three straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” (seventh to sixth) has picked up six-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As a result of an eight-tenths loss (2.8 – 2.0, #12 to #19, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC records its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well).

5) Dallas Spoken-Word Formats –  Without a decrease for the seventh time in a row, Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (steady at #16) is a collective +.7 in that timeframe (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Even though posting its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” backslides from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Also in the news/talk format, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is flat at 1.2 (#30, 6+); Cumulus Media Group’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at .7 (#35, 6+); and North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA is up by one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, #20, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK registered a one-half share uptick in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” coughs up 60% of that increase in February (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, #11 to #12, 6+). The market’s two other sports talk outlets are down as well: Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” off one full-share in four straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, #22, 6+), and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” a collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #33, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (6+). While “Kiss” repeats at #1, it is tied for the lead with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (5.2 – 5.4, +.2, second to first, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (5.4, as well). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Consistent in registering a 3.4 six of the last seven ratings periods (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” hangs out a +.5 to 3.9 and enters the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #7). After improving by one full-share in January (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” forfeits one-half that increase (3.6, -.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11); January’s 4.1 was its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June 2017.

6) Houston Spoken-Word Formats – Back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.8 – 3.6, -.2, down from #13 in January, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1 – 3.5, +.4, up from #17 in January, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). There is no positive movement on any of the market’s three sports talk signals: Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – .8, -.1, #24, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” (flat at .7, #25, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .6, #27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Duplicating its +.5 in January (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” progresses from #15 to a three-way tie-up at #11. Before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017, “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.2 to 7.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the fourth time in a row; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Unchanged at #3, co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7 in four straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). On the heels of a +1.0 in January, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to ninth, 6+); January’s 5.1 is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Dropping by one-half share is Liberman’s KEYH “La Ranchera” (.7 – .2, #31, 6+).

7) Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 27th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM surrenders exactly one-half of January’s +1.6 (10.2 – 9.4, -.8, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Flat at 1.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” moves from a tie at #19 to a four-way logjam at #18. Three other Atlanta commercial news/talkers all check in at .1 (6+): Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer”; iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640”; and Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community.” With a December 2017 – February 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE carries on at #7, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, #25, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” sputters by -1.1 in February to 2.6 (#13 to #17, 6+). Via four successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up three-tenths and trails “The Game” by just over one-share.

Atlanta Music Formats – Within 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” busts out a +.7 to 4.2 (#14 to #12, 6+). Somewhat similarly, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV has recorded a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (5.5 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “97.1 The River” improves by six-tenths to 6.1, advancing from fourth to second. A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.0 in January and February (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot to fourth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Returning all of January’s half-share gain – and an extra one-tenth (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+) – Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” slips from #12 to #14. The market’s two mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2 #11 in January, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, 6+) are tied for tenth-place. By picking up one-tenth in January, “Q-100” ended four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); “Power” was +.5 in January.

8) Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for WIP. The flagship of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, but is -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom sports talk property repeats at #1. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Both Entercom all-news KYW as well as public news/talk WHYY improved by one full-share in January. Now, KYW is -.1 (5.2 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+), while WHYY regresses by three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+); WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Finishing at #18 and #19, respectively, after being tied at #18 (1.8, 6+) in January are Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (1.9, +.1, 6+) and – from outside the market – Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.8, flat, 6+). WPHT had been -.9 in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share, Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). This is the first time since September’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reaches the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. With its best 6+-stat since September’s 6.6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” has a positive spike of one full-share (5.3 – 6.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Owing to a +.9 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Immediately following an increase of six-tenths, urban AC cluster-mate WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” falters by -1.1 (6.6 – 5.5, 6+), sliding from third to sixth. Three-tenths behind aforementioned WIP is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-tenth to 8.4 (6+), after a January 2018 decrease of -8.7. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” had been a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

9) Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – Mirroring Atlanta’s WZGC, and Philadelphia’s WDAS-FM for largest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (see above), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” is -1.1 in the Long Island report (4.0 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #11). Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” checks in at #24. Tied with WFAN at #11 is its all-news cluster-mate WINS (down from #10 in January), which is without an increase in Long Island for the sixth time in succession for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM drops four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6, 6+), drifting from #11 to #16. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Improving for the third time in a row for an overall +.8 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #16 to #14. Following three consecutive modest losses for a -.5 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC picked up one-tenth in January and repeats its 1.2 in February (#25, 6+). At #23, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM records a 1.8 for the third straight ratings period (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share swells by +1.9, mainly fueled by a +1.4 from Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (4.0 – 5.4, 6+), which rises from a three-way tie at #6 to #2. Its +.6 in January ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). The other half-share of that +1.9 comes from iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” (5.2, flat at #3, 6+), which had been down the past four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WBZO is off three-tenths to 3.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Having slipped by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, “103.1 Max FM” answered with a +1.2 in January to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. In five straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” is +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” leaps from #20 to #14. Its January increase halted at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). There is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, which was up six-tenths in January as well, and tacks on one-half share in February (3.0 – 3.5, #11 to #9, 6+). Flat at 7.4 (6+), bouncing back from January’s -5.4, WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. The Connoisseur Media hot AC was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.7 in January and February (8.5 – 4.4 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 40th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by two-tenths, after adding four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and drops from #14 to #16 (2.6, 6+).

10) Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR returns that collective four-tenths in its entirety (.9, #13 to #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – February 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” inches up from #18 to #17.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of dialing up a January +1.8 (5.5 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA piles on a +1.1 to 8.4 and repeats at #1. January’s huge gain pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot just over two years ago with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Dusting itself off from a January -.5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” displays a +.7 (3.6 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. A no-show from July 2017 through November 2017, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 (#15 to #13, 6+) since then. Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KXSB, which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+), disappears from print. Nearly doubling its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” sputters by one-half share to 2.5 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0.

11) San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 8.5 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – repeats at #1. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. It has a 2.7-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which squanders eight-tenths in February (6.6 – 5.8, flat at #2, 6+). Up by a combined seven-tenths in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO progresses from #14 to #12. In a five-way scrum at #20 is co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Ping-ponging from 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” slips from #11 to #13. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January loses three-tenths (.6, #30 to #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains two-tenths to 1.2 (#29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – As the result of five increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9, fifth to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7. Owing to a gain of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” proceeds from eighth to sixth. After doubling its 6+-share in three successive up or flat trends from October through “Holiday” 2017 (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ relinquished one-half share in January but regains it all and another one-tenth (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+) as “93.3 La Raza” is part of that five-way tie at #20 (up from #27 in January). Returning in full the seven-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” segues from fifth to eighth (4.0, 6+).

12) Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – Although down three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Back-to-back are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.7, +.2, #22, 6+) and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #23, 6+). WOR was -.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is a cumulative +1.2 and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.9 in four successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). At #21, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+). This is the third consecutive downward move for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM for a -.6 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Conversely, all-news sibling WINS (#25) is up for the third straight time for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Although unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” posts a +1.1 5.9 (6+). A January loss of two-tenths halted three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Progressing by one-half share each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” (5.8 – 6.3, steady at #3, 6+); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (unchanged at #5, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (seventh to sixth, 6+); and co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#14 to #9, 6+). WBLS regains in its entirety the half-share it lost in January. “New York’s Greatest Hits” extends its successive string of up or flat moves to four for an overall +1.2 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), while in its fourth straight up or flat trend, “Z-100” is a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+). As the result of three positive or flat trends in succession, “Power 105.1” is a collective +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). An improvement of one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (#13 to #12) draws to a close four downward trends in a row for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2,  6+). In addition to slumping by seven-tenths (3.3 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom mainstream CHR-turned-alternative WBMP “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” exits the top ten (#10 to #15). Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” spirals by nine-tenths from 3.1 to 2.2 (#14 to #18, 6+). Declining by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary and classic rock siblings WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” (6.9, flat at #2, 6+) and WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.4 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Lite-FM” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but shifted to second in January. Its -4.1 in January ended six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

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.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

| March 6, 2018

Will Tomorrow Be the Day iHeartMedia’s Future Becomes Clearer? On Sunday, iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders entered into a Forbearance Agreement that put off iHM’s defaut on an interest payment on 14% Senior Notes until midnight tomorrow (3/7).  That gives both sides more time to work out a solution to the company’s $20 billion in debt and avoid putting the matter into the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  Analysts watching this case are taking note of the fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media purchased $400 million of iHM’s debt last week and now becomes a creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.  Just how important Liberty’s involvement as a creditor becomes remains to be seen but, remember that Liberty came to the aid of SiriusXM when it needed cash and now controls a majority interest in that company.  A lot of the consumer press stories covering the iHeartMedia debt saga that TALKERS editors have seen imply the company is on the verge of “failure.”  But the reality – borne out by its quarterly financial reports – is that the company is making money.  It’s just not making enough to cover interest payments on the massive debt.  The latest term sheet from iHeartMedia summarizes a proposed restructuring of the company that would reduce its debt (in exchange for equity) to $5.75 billion.  As part of the proposed terms, it would spin off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

And ‘The Loop’ in Chicago Goes to…Educational Media Foundation!  At first, today’s FCC filing to transfer classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago from Merlin Media to non-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million seems surprising, but EMF did recently acquire KSWD, Los Angeles from Entercom and, unlike many secular, commercial broadcasting companies, it has money in the bank.  If approved, it’s expected that EMF will install its “K-Love” Christian contemporary format on the station.  Unfortunately, the deal means the current staff – including morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – will be out of work.  The other Merlin Media station still on the block in Chicago is alternative rock WKQX.

Salem Media Group LMAs KPAM, Portland.  In a press release issued Monday (3/5), Salem Media Group acknowledges that it is operating news/talk KPAM, Portland and adult standards KKOV “Sunny 1550” – both stations in the process of being sold by Pamplin Broadcasting to Intelli LLC.  The presser is titled, “KPAM is Alive and Well” and notes that KPAM airs “live and local drive-time programs – ‘First Edition’ from 6am to 10am and ‘Afternoon Northwest’ from 3pm to 6pm – and syndicated programs such as ‘The Clark Howard Show,’ ‘The Schnitt Show,’ ‘The Michael Medved Show,’ and ‘The Joe Pags Show.’  Hourly news, weather, and sports as well as drive-time traffic are also featured.”

WRKO, Boston Adds Joe Pags Show for Evenings.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo – is joining the program lineup of iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston.  The Joe Pags show – heard in more than 100 markets across the country – airs in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says “We are thrilled to have Joe join the WRKO weekday line up.  Joe does so much more than just political talk.  He entertains, makes you think, makes you laugh, heck he even sings.  This makes him the perfect addition to the WRKO family.”  Pagliarulo states, “When you hear the call letters WRKO, you hear heritage – and a station most hosts can only dream of being on.  I’m psyched beyond words that my show is coming to this amazing station.  It’s an opportunity I cherish and simply cannot wait to talk with the great people of Boston on a daily basis.  Thank you so much to the management team for the trust and support!”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 2.3%.  During 2017, Saga Communications executed the sale of its television stations and purchased radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Those transactions resulted in net income increasing $9.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and $36.5 million for the year.  Saga reports that net revenue increased 2.3% to $31.5 million during Q4.  For the entire year, net revenue decreased 0.7% to $118.2 million.  For the fourth quarter, operating income decreased $433,000 to $5.3 million when adjusted for the $1.5 million charge for impairment of intangible assets.  Station operating expense increased 5.4% to $23.2 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) primarily due to the acquisition of the Charleston and Hilton Head radio stations.  Free cash flow was $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million last year.  Same station net revenue decreased 4.2% to $29.5 million primarily due to a decrease in gross political revenue of $1 million and same station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $21.5 million for the quarter.

Urban One Reports Q4 2017 Net Revenue Down 4%.  The silver lining in this fourth quarter 2017 financial report from Urban One is that broadcast and digital operating income increased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2016.  But overall, net revenue was approximately $109 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period in 2016.  Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $38.7 million for the quarter, compared to $30.9 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of 25.6%.  Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall, we produced a strong quarter from an Adjusted EBITDA standpoint, and as a result we were able to show full year Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite the challenging market conditions.  Our core radio revenues were up slightly for the quarter, excluding the impact of political revenues.  Our TV advertising revenues suffered from weak ratings delivery, which was somewhat offset by growth in affiliate revenues.  Our digital business benefitted from the integration of our acquisition of the Bossip, Madame Noire and Hip Hop Wired brands, and was up significantly in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA compared to prior year.  We were able to control costs, most notably at TV One and Corporate.  During the quarter, we repurchased a further $20 million of our 9.25% notes at a discount, and we remain strongly committed to reducing net leverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports giant ESPN announces James Pitaro is the company’s new chief, taking over for John Skipper, who suddenly stepped down from his position in December in order to address what was termed a long-time substance abuse issue.  Pitaro has been serving the Walt Disney company in an executive capacity in the digital realm.  Pitaro will also serve as co-chair of Disney’s television segment…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio 103.9 FM” is presenting a “Spring Back to Business” event designed to be a “networking social get-together” on March 26 at its studio operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.  Station personality Frank MacKay will introduce FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade who will take part in a Q&A with attendees.

Bill Lally Dies After Battle with Cancer.  Family, friends and the Southern California radio community are mourning the loss of Bill Lally, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.  Lally was a longtime operations manager and APD at KFI, KLAC and KTLK in Los Angeles who exited the company in 2009 during the massive round of layoffs that took place at then-Clear Channel that year.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lally had also served with WABC, New York; Westwood One; WMCA; and CBS RADIO during his career.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Financial Reforms Rollback, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Trump Tariffs/Trade War, Senate School Safety Bill, Netanyahu-Trump Meeting, the Oscars, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposes rolling back reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean officials; President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to block them; the U.S. Senate proposes a school safety bill in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting; embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his meeting with President Trump; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The morning show at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia “Power 99” adds Roxy Romeo to the cast.  She’ll join the “Rise & Grind Morning Show” featuring Mikey Dredd and Mutha Knows, effective March 12.  iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “To be able to add a talent the likes of Roxy to our staff is phenomenal.  She’s an incredible personality who has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve known her for years upon first listen. We’re excited to be able to share her voice with the city of Philadelphia, and that she’s chosen to make ‘Power 99’ her new home.”  Romeo was most recently midday jock, APD and music director at the company’s “REAL 103.9” in Las Vegas…..Nate Bell is named program director at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3” in Detroit.  EVP of urban/hip hop programming Doc Wynter says, “We are so excited to have Nate back in our urban programming brain trust.  He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.  Things are about to heat up in Detroit!”…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Brooke Morrison afternoon personality for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1.”  Station PD A.J. says, “We are very excited about what Brooke will bring to Charlotte.  Her high level of engagement, work ethic and passion for music and entertainment make her a superstar on and off the air.  I look forward to her joining the team as we build the next chapter of ‘Channel 96.1.’”

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership.  Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia.  This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy.  As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity.  The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix.  Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction.  Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted.  Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it.  Franklin is leading the senior creditors group.  One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.

Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host.  It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement.  Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program.  In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.  iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.”  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR.  He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades.  He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.”  Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman.  I loved working with him when he was guest hosting.  We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports.  Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”

The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage?  Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat?  The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience.  Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California.  Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though).  The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.

FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel.  The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.  FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me.  Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.

TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored.  WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience.  It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament.  Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments.  Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.

Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.”  Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program.  He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality.  He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.”  Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings.  Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix.  A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization.  A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany.  He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business.  Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations.  He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

Monday, October 2, 2017

| October 2, 2017

Las Vegas Concert Massacre Dominating Radio Discussions.  The day after an apparently lone gunman fired a semi-automatic gun at the crowd attending the “Route 91 Harvest Festival” concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas killing at least 50 people and wounding many more, the story is the primary topic of discussion on not just news/talk radio, but most other radio formats.  Beasley Media Group reports that country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” morning personality Mike West was at the event and shot the video you can see here (the photo of the Mandalay Hotel at left is a still from the video).Thankfully, the quality of the video prevents viewers from seeing the carnage as it happened, but the sound of the gun steadily firing is haunting, to say the least.  Beasley says that news/talk KDWN news director John Shaffer and the KCYE team have been broadcasting continuous updates as well as encouraging people to donate blood through United Blood Service.  In addition, there is a “family” update/info phone number (1-866-535-5654) and a Facebook page for people to check-in called, The Violent Incident In Las Vegas, where individuals can check in as “safe” and others can check to see if family and friends are safe.  Beasley suspended its National Cash Contest today across the entire company and will instead donate the money to an official victim’s fund.  Tomorrow, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher will originate his nationally syndicated talk show from Las Vegas with “second-day leads” from police officials, first responders, and others involved.   Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “Mike Gallagher broke major news from his past broadcasts from shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and he’s second-to-none in delivering live broadcasts that unravel senseless shootings like Sunday’s Mandalay Bay tragedy.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The non-stop barrage of monumentally consequential stories being processed by news/talk hosts in this compelling era is unprecedented in my memory.  Now, this Las Vegas tale of horror ratchets it up to yet a higher level of intensity, if such a thing is even possible.”

Report: Cumulus in Talks with Creditors Over Debt Load.  According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Cumulus Media has entered into talks with two groups of creditors.  The story by Soma Biswas says that those familiar with the talks say it could lead to a bankruptcy filing by Cumulus.  The bulk of Cumulus’ debt comes due in 2019 – not very far away in the business world.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner has reported slight improvement in the company’s overall station ratings and says the culture of the company – along with the employee turnover rate – has improved dramatically.  Read the WSJ piece here.

Jim Hayes Returns to KFNS, St. Louis.  This from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporting on Friday (9/29) that Jim “The Cat” Hayes is returning to “The Morning After” program on Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS, St. Louis.  Dan Caesar’s story notes that last week it was announced Hayes would be leaving the show he co-hosted with Tim McKernan and Doug Vaughn, ostensibly because the early wake-up, combined with his other duties for FOX Sports Midwest, were too much, although Caesar reports other sources say money was a factor.  Regardless, McKernan and Hayes had been in constant contact hoping to get Hayes back on the program and that led to Markel and Hayes working out a new deal.  Read the whole story here.

Ken Carson New Ops Manager at News/Talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois; Programming Changes Announced.  Programming pro Ken Carson is appointed to the operations manager position at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois news/talker WMAY “970-AM & 94.7-FM.”  The company says Carson, who begins his duties tomorrow (10/3) will initially be responsible for all programming and promotional functions for WMAY.  Carson has most recently been operating his own production and voice-over firm.  During his career, he’s worked for Cox Media Group, Citadel Broadcasting, and Saga Communications.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield general manager Harvey Wells comments, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and, right from the start, Ken’s qualifications rose to the top. After several conversations and a trip to the Land of Lincoln, it was an easy decision to bring Ken aboard.  At the same time, the station announces it’s bringing former morning host Greg Bishop back to the station to co-host the program with Ray Lytle.  Lytle says, “Greg and I know each other very well.  I’m totally psyched to be working with him again.”  The morning show is followed by Mike Wennmacher and Johnny Molson’s “Mike and Molson” program.  That’s being shortened to one hour as the two will take over creative production and voice duties for all four Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield radio stations.  Market pro and current sister country WUSW morning personality (as well as CMA Award winner!) Brian Pierce is launching a talk show on WMAY from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’ll continue his WUSW morning show duties.

Thom Hartmann Retires from Hosting RT America’s ‘The Big Picture’ Program – Holland Cooke Steps in as Replacement.   After seven years hosting the RT America television show “The Big Picture,” progressive talk media mainstay Thom Hartmann has announced he will be leaving the nightly program to devote more time to his mega-successful daily, three-hour radio program (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET).  His final installment was aired this past Friday (9/29).  The DC-based commentator also tells TALKERS he and his wife (and executive producer) Louise Hartmann want to be able to spend more time in Portland, Oregon closer to their children.  Hartmann’s cross-platform radio program has been on the air since 2003 and is ranked by TALKERS as the leading progressive news/talk show in the radio industry.  He tells TALKERS, “Having complete editorial control over a TV show syndicated internationally into more than 700 million homes was a great (and rare) opportunity.  We worked hard not to do ‘sports’ or ‘soap opera’ when covering politics, and instead focus on issues; we believe we accomplished a lot in that regard. We’re grateful to RT for the opportunity, and for fully honoring our contractual independence at all times.”  Replacing Hartmann as host of RT America’s “The Big Picture” brand is noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist and correspondent Holland Cooke.  Cooke is a former radio programmer and talent who came to national prominence during his tenure as PD of all-news WTOP, Washington, DC.  In recent years, he emerged as a significant presence on cable news/talk TV as a regular guest of host Ed Schultz when he was on MSNBC and came along with Schultz when he moved to RT America.  Cooke says, “Woody Allen was right: ‘80% of life is showing up.’ I showed up 20 years ago in Fargo, North Dakota to consult KFGO, where I met Ed Schultz. You’ll recall a TALKERS profile I wrote about him back then. I figured he was goin’ places. Eventually, those places included MSNBC and RT America, where Ed often used me as a ‘talking head.’  On the MSNBC ‘Ed Show,’ I was Mr. Friday, available on Friday nights when true big shots were out having a life. Ed introduced me to his boss at RT, who invited me aboard.”  Hartmann introduced Cooke to the audience during the last segment of his final show.  (To view it, click here).  Although Hartmann’s program was weeknights, the new iteration hosted by Cooke will debut on October 6 as a ½ hour weekend show to start, airing Fridays at 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm with several replays over the weekend.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is booked as a guest on the first program.  According to Cooke, “We will continue to produce ‘The Big Picture’ at RT America headquarters in Washington DC, where I’ll work on Thursdays and Fridays.  On the front half of the week, I will continue to be based out of Block Island, Rhode Island consulting a select roster of radio stations, shows, and hosts, and contributing to TALKERS and publishing my monthly newsletter.”  In addition to Schultz, RT America also features programs hosted by Larry KingJesse Ventura and others.  It is part of the larger RT Network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia.  It is a non-profit organization with studios and bureaus in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, in addition to Washington, DC.  Holland Cooke will be TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s guest on the next installment of the media-oriented PodcastOne podcast “Up Close and Far Out” scheduled to be posted tomorrow (10/3).

New Hampshire Jury Awards $274.5 Million to Plaintiffs Defamed by Talk Host.  Mortgage broker Michael Gill brokered a talk radio show on Lakes Media’s news/talk WTPL, Concord and used some of that airtime – as well as a billboard campaign – to defame three area businessmen, a jury recently decided.  Last week, the jury awarded Andy Crews, Dick Anagnost, and William Greiner $274.5 million that Gill must pay the three.  Gill used the billboards and his radio show to relentlessly accuse the three of operating a heroin distribution ring in New Hampshire, though he never indicated there was any evidence that was the case.  Read the New Hampshire Union Leader story here.

TALKERS News Notes.  News radio pro Pat Carroll is joining Bloomberg Radio to serve as the lead anchor on the company’s new Boston financial news station WRCA/W291CZ “106.1FM/1330AM.”  She will also join her new colleagues (Tom Moroney, Peter Barnes, Anne Mostue and Dan Pierce) on the “Bloomberg Bay State Business” program slated for expansion next month.  Carroll was a longtime staffer at WCBS-AM, New York where she served as morning drive anchor, co-host of the “Opening Bell Report,” and a staff reporter.  She’ll be based in NYC…..Townsquare Media closes on its purchase of Western Massachusetts radio stations from Gamma Broadcasting and Berkshire Broadcasting.  Those stations are: news/talk WBEC-AM, hot AC WBEC-FM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Kalil & Co., Inc. represented Gamma and Berkshire…..Last Saturday (9/30), 600 local children in need received brand-new beds through the 2017 “Beds for Kids” project – a joint effort of Seattle Police and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.  KIRO-FM afternoon personalities Ron & Don have been dedicated and passionate advocates for this project since its inception in 2014.  It was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after responding to a 911 call where they discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets. More than 1,100 beds will have been donated to children through Beds for Kids from 2014-2017.

NFL Anthem Protests, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketch, Puerto Rico Devastation-Trump vs San Juan Mayor, North Korea Tensions, O.J. Simpson Freed, Catalan Independence Vote, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The actions of NFL players during the national anthem at yesterday’s games; “Saturday Night Live” begins its new season with a Donald Trump sketch; the devastation of Puerto Rico and President Trump’s verbal war with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement that the U.S. and North Korea have open channels to talks; O.J. Simpson leaves prison; the weekend’s referendum for Catalonia to secede from Spain; the Major League Baseball playoff scenario; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Robby Bridges re-signs with Cumulus Media to continue serving as director of FM programming for the company’s Detroit cluster that includes: hot AC WDVD, country WDRQ, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Bridges is also on Cumulus’ hot AC and country format SWAT teams and anchors PM drive on WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit OM Mike Wheeler says, “Robby is an ideal programming partner.  He lives and breathes these radio stations and that love shows in what comes out of the speakers and in the quality of the team he’s built.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois, adult contemporary WNNS program director Chris Murphy is officially named the program director for sister country outlet WUSW, removing the “interim” from his title…..Today, urban contemporary WDAS “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is honoring local personality Tony Brown on the occasion of his 45th anniversary in radio.  The tribute will take place at 8:00 pm this evening (10/2) at Relish.  Brown says, “I never imagined my radio career would span 45 years, but then again, I love it so much that I never thought of doing anything else.”  Brown currently hosts WDAS’ evening show, “The Quiet Storm.”

 

 

Round One of September PPM Ratings Data Released.  The first of four rounds of ratings Information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – A gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, 6+) enables Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” to vault from #20 to a three-way tie at #15. Even though it is without a decrease for the eighth successive sweep and is up seven-tenths in that stretch (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” backslides from eighth to ninth. Progressing by one-half share each are CBS Radio all-news and sports talk siblings WINS (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to third, 6+) and WFAN-FM “The Fan” (ninth to seventh, 6+). By notching a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Not only is this the third straight gain for “The Fan” (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), which is a collective +1.1 since June, 4.6 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. On two prior occasions, New York Yankees flagship “The Fan” registered a 4.5 (6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits,” however, is a combined -1.1 in August and September (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+) and exits the #1 spot after just a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that netted a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. In back-to-back months, 6.1 (6+) is what is required to set the pace in New York City – only this time – it is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW hitting that mark (6.0 – 6.1, +.1, 6+), with “106.7 Lite FM” again taking over at #1. Its loss of seven-tenths in August (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Dropping from #13 to #14, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), ending at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Format rival – CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – is flat at 3.0 and remains at #12 (6+). The two hot AC competitors were tied at 2.6 in July, but “Fresh” had held the advantage over WPLJ in each of the previous seven ratings periods. Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had an increase in the last eight ratings periods (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has lost just two-tenths in that timeframe and slips from #21 to #22. Two streaks come to an end for the market’s major CHRs. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WHTZ “Z-100” drops four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to eighth, 6+), ending three up or flat months for a +.3 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), while CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 but stays at #19 (6+); “Amp” was down or flat the past four sweeps for a collective loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – Not only does iHeartMedia urban contemporary KRRL haul out an impressive +.9 (2.6 – 3.5, 6+), “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” rockets from #15 all the way to part of a three-way logjam at #6. Moreover, “Real” has its best 6+-stat since flipping from urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3” in February 2015. Without a decrease for a ninth consecutive monthly for an overall gain of one full-share in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), CBS Radio-owned alternative KROQ has its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9, yet drops from a three-way tie at #12 to #15. Similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is down or flat for the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+) and skids from #15 to #18. Off by nine-tenths in three straight declines (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” recaptures seven tenths to 2.9 (6+) and catapults from #20 to a three-way tie at #12. Its Spanish contemporary sibling KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” however, falters by seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and carries on at #6. An August gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) elevated Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC to its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.1, but “89.3 The Voice of Southern California” drops two-tenths to 1.7, sliding from #22 to #24 (6+). The “stream” though of the American Public Media Group-operated facility debuts with a one-half share to check in at #40 (.5, 6+). Even though only advancing by two-tenths, KSPN “ESPN LA 710” hasn’t had a decrease in the past five ratings periods (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Owing to an increase of three-tenths to 1.9 (#22, 6+), 93.9 Holdings regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” halts at five a skein of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Following four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” surrenders half that gain to 6.0 (-.4, 6+), but is #1 for the eighth straight ratings period. When KBIG dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends, which netted a combined full-share gain (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1.  This marks the third straight time that its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) and KOST “Coast 103” (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+) are without increases, but they remain at #4 and #5, respectively. The January through September trending for news/talk sibling KFI is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned, similarly-formatted KEIB’s March through September line is 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 (#35, 6+). While it maintains its #2 ranking for the sixth straight sweep, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” forfeits the six-tenths it gained in August and one-tenth more (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+). Between March and July, “The Wave” trended a very consistent 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps, classic hits-oldies sibling KRTH “K-Earth 101” registers a 4.8 and is unchanged at #3, (4.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). A combined -.7 via three consecutive declines, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” dips from #18 to #20 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 6+). At #28, University of Southern California’s classical KUSC is down or flat for the fourth consecutive time (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

3) Chicago – Rebounding from an August loss of seven-tenths with a September gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the eighth successive month. The -.7 in August halted four consecutive up or flat trends for a +1.1 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Finishing in the runner-up slot as it did in July and August, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” is without a loss for the fourth straight time for a collective gain of six-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” is trending 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+) and falls from a four-way logjam at #17 to #19. Three straight modest increases have netted Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM four-tenths (2.8 -3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), with “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” carrying on at #11, while CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” remains at #17 (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, 6+). Trending 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish urban WVIV “Latino Mix 93.5” loses roughly half of its 6+-stat (.7, -.5, #27, 6+), with .5 its lowest (6+ AQH) performance in the PPM-era. After recording five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.6 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WUSN surrenders four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from fourth to fifth; 4.2 in August was the best 6+-showing for “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” since October 2014’s 4.4. Steady at #21, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” – regains one-tenth of the six-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight ratings period for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WGN fades from #15 to #19. Immediately prior to this particular streak, the Tribune Media Company news/talk outlet posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Finishing at #25, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WLS-AM has lost a collective one-half share in five successive down or flat trends (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.9 (#17 to #14, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ breaks its 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+) pattern. Albeit that it is flat at 3.9 (6+), CBS Radio-owned sports talk/Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” jumps from seventh to fourth, while ESPN Radio’s WMVP adds two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), ending at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). While unchanged at #8, WSCR cluster-mate WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops three-tenths (4.1 – 3.8, 6+) and remains in fifth-place. Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, April – May – June (6+), Window to the World classical WFMT is unlisted for the third consecutive month.

4) San Francisco – Down a collective six-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” regains all but one-tenth to climb from fifth to a fourth-place tie (4.2, +.5, 6+). As a result of a +.4 to 3.6 (6+), CBS Radio-owned/similarly-formatted KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (eighth to seventh) pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for the loss of one-full-share (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM relinquishes 60% of that increase (7.3, -.3, 6+), but is on top in San Francisco for the ninth successive time. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). In each of the nine sweeps that KQED-FM has finished first, the runner-up is CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM, which adds two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), thus curtailing four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). As they did in August, adult contemporary stations finish third and fourth, but the order changes. Specifically, Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” – off for the fifth consecutive time for an overall loss of -1.2 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+) – nonetheless advances from fourth to third, while iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” squanders 75% of August’s +.4 (4.5 – 4.2, -.3, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Slumping from eighth to tenth, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a cumulative -1.2 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). At the same time, the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#25 to #26) – has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share since June in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+); May’s +.3 put an end to a 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. Regressing by six-tenths each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which plummets from #10 to #16 (2.4, 6+), and Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-programmed KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” (2.0, #16 to #19, 6+). “Que Buena” was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), while “La Raza” halts a string of four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). The three stations tied at #13 in August with a 2.7 (6+) – Entercom urban AC “102.9 The Bay’s R&B”; iHeartMedia 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7”; and Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone” – all drop one-tenth to 2.6 and are now linked at #12. A collective +.8 in June and July (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), KBLX surrendered 75% of that gain in August (-.6, 6+). Prior to July, the last time KBLX reached the three-share level was in April 2016 with a 3.0 (6+). This concludes eight straight sweeps without a loss for KSAN which was up six-tenths in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); KOSF had registered a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods. The significantly consistent October 2016 through September 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#12 to #11) is 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8. As the result of five straight (minor) decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” is down six-tenths and slides from #19 to #20. For the sixth straight month, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – In three straight down or flat trends, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO faltered by a collective nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but “Que Buena 94.1” recoups all of it – and then some – with a +1.3 to 4.9, zooming from eighth to second (6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “Que Buena” since 5.3 last November. Notching its seventh consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.4 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KDXX “Latino Mix” is steady at #11. All three of the market’s sports properties are involved in various ratings streaks. In the case of Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket,” a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#16 to #13, 6+) pulls the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -.7 (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), whereas in seven straight up or flat trends, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (#19 to #18) has nearly doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). Meanwhile, a gain of two tenths to 1.3 (#31, 6+) helps KESN “ESPN Dallas 103.3” apply the brakes to four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). Trending 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.7 (July – August – September, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” is #1 for the ninth successive time. July’s 5.6 was the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Not only is co-owned KSCS up in back-to-back months to inch up from fifth to fourth (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), “New Country 96.3” registers the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Slipping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8, second to third, 6+) and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which returns its one-half share gain in August (4.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, third to fifth, 6+). Following four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (fourth to sixth, 6+) is without an increase for the fourth successive time for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). From the first of the year through September 2017, the 6+-line for Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#17 to a three-way tie at #15) is 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, while iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #10) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+) since April. Another model of consistency (February through September) is Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, #11 to #13, 6+). Although flat at 2.2 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). It is one-tenth ahead of CBS Radio’s somewhat similarly-formatted KRLD-AM (flat at #22), whose ten (10) trends since “Holiday” 2016 have been within a high of 2.3 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

6) Houston – Hurricane Harvey began making its presence felt in southern Texas on August 25, approximately one week after the start of the September 2017 survey period. There are no significant (6+) spikes though among the market’s news/talk outlets as iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 Houston’s News, Weather, & Traffic Station” is up a modest two-tenths (3.7 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+) and co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” gains one-tenth (.2 – .3, 6+) and can be found in a six-way logjam at #30 with Dan Patrick’s KSEV “AM 700 – The Voice of Texas,” which is actually down one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+). Meanwhile in the public news/talk arena, University of Houston-owned KUHF adds one-tenth to August’s one-half share gain (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.3, #15 to #14). Without a decrease between February and July for a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK stumbled in August with a -1.1. Over and above responding in September with a +1.3 (5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to progress from third to second, “The Eagle” records the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. An improvement of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) lifts Liberman regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (#20 to #17) to its highest 6+-share since April 2016 (2.9, as well). Co-owned and similarly-programmed KEYH “La Ranchera” is up one-half share (.2 – .7, 6+) and checks in at #27, where it is tied with another station in the format – Univision Radio’s KQBU “Que Buena 93.3” – which has more than tripled its 6+-share in six straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a decrease, CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” has more than doubled its 6+-share (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, #22, 6+). While the main FM signal of iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” shows a seven-tenths increase to 4.3 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#14 to #9), its regional Mexican HD2 channel, which debuted in August at #20 with a 1.1, erodes by seven-tenths to .4 and freefalls to #29 (6+). “The Buzz” curtails at four a string of consecutive losses that produced a -.8 (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the fifth consecutive increase for Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” (#23) for a collective gain of one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+). Up one-tenth in both August and September (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. Its previous three trends were +1.4 (May); -.6 (June); and -.7 (July). Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. Displaced from the top and falling to third is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which relinquishes in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained this time last month (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). The rollercoaster ride continues for CBS Radio hot AC KHMX, as “Houston’s Mix 96-5,” was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; +.6 in August; and now -.5 in September (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Mix” lost four-tenths in May. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July and then slipping two-tenths to 4.9 (6+) in August, adult hits sibling KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is (like “Mix”) off by one-half share (4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In addition to hanging out a lofty increase of one full-share (8.9 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talker WSB-AM is #1 for the 21st straight ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). Even though runner-up, CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station,” adds one-tenth to 6.0 (6+), ending three straight down or flat trends (6.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), it trails WSB-AM by nearly four shares. January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. WSB-AM isn’t the only Atlanta station posting an August 2017 – September 2017 +1.0 though as Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” does so as well (4.3 – 5.3, 6+), propelling “The Fish” from ninth to third. When WFSH picked up four-tenths in August, it halted four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) that resulted in a combined -1.5. Trending 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+) since April, CBS Radio sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” logs a +.7 to 3.2, its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.4, and moves from #17 to #16. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range (6+) the past 12 survey periods, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” improves by one-half share and rockets into the top ten (4.2 – 4.7, #12 to #6, 6+); iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight time (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), but advances from #13 to #12. Declining by one-half share each are Radio One gospel WPZE “Praise 102.5 – Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (4.5 – 4.0, #8 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (4.3 – 3.8, #9 to #13, 6+); and Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” (3.4, #13 to #15, 6+). A +.8 in August by “Praise” pulled the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 as the result of seven successive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August. July’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in July 2016. Meanwhile, the September loss curtails five consecutive positive trends by “Star” that netted a +.9 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). In the market’s competitive urban AC battle, Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is off three-tenths for the third consecutive ratings period (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) but remains at #3, while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh (4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Segueing from fourth to fifth, Cox Media Group’s WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” is a collective -1.8 as the result of its fourth straight downward trend (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). A loss of one-tenth in June concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that generated a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps – including the last three – Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY logs a 1.8 and remains at #18 (6+).

8) Philadelphia – Just as two Atlanta stations improved month-to-month by +1.0 (see above), a pair of Philadelphia outlets are +1.1 from August. Specifically, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is 6.0 – 7.1, jumping from fourth to second (6+), while CBS Radio sports outlet WIP is 5.3 – 6.4 and remains at #5. Regarding WDAS-FM, the +1.1 applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -1.0 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its third straight up or flat trend (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0, #19 to #18, 6+). One-tenth ahead of “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-half share to advance from #3 to #1 (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). It is the first time at the top spot for “More FM” since February when it ended a seven-straight month run there and its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9. Format rival – CBS Radio-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – surrenders six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+) to slip from #16 to #17. Knocked off the top is its classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL, which sputters by eight tenths to 6.6 (6+) and drops to fourth. The 6+-shares for WOGL in its three straight months at #1 were 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.4 (6+). It returned to the top spot in June after transitioning from first to third in May. As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” is -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern (3.0 – 3.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off by six-tenths in September and dips from #18 to #19. Consistently trending between 4.1 and 4.4 (6+) in each of the past seven sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ is off three-tenths to 3.8 (6+). “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops from ninth to tenth, where it is tied with co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock,” which registers a 3.8 (6+) for the third consecutive time. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” is a collective +.9 via its third consecutive gain (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, #17 to #15, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in May and June and then on 3.7 (6+) in July and August, Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” dips three-tenths to 3.5 (#11 to #13, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 4.0 – 4.5 (6+) range since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+), leaping from fifth to second. In addition, “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” crosses the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. After being down one full-share as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” recoups half that loss with a +.1 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty (#23 to #20, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well and climbing from #14 to #12 is its hot AC sibling WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which is up or flat for the sixth straight time for a cumulative +1.0 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+); 3.2 is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since July 2016 (3.2, as well). While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” extends to nine its successive string of up or flat trends that has netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). After three consecutive gains that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrenders six-tenths in September (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Even so, “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. Down or flat for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.1 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from fifth to tenth. Off seven-tenths as well is New York City’s WABC, which has seen its 6+-share in the Long Island report cut by more than 50% in six straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+); the Cumulus Media news/talker exits the top twenty (#19 to #23). At the same time, similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned New York Mets flagship WOR regresses by one-half share (2.9 – 2.4, 6+), skidding from #12 to #16. Following six straight months of logging a 2.0 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WWPR “Power 105.1” dips to 1.9 but stays at #21 (6+). Dropping from a third-place tie to fifth, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” has a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is off one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3, 6+) and drops from #16 to #17.

10) Riverside – Honors for largest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 improvement for any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here go to the Inland Empire’s KOLA, which doubles August’s -.7 with a gain twice that margin (5.1 – 6.5, +1.4, 6+). The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet moves from #3 back to the runner-up slot it held between January and July; KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. It now trails Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (7.0 – 7.7, +.7, 6+), which is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period, by 1.2 shares (6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+); “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. Improving by one-half share each are Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” (2.1, steady at #10, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” (.7 – 1.2, #14 to #13, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 (6+) and it reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Contrasted to KOLA, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” posts the highest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 decrease in any of these 12 PPM-markets (2.6, -1.6, fifth to eighth, 6+). Moreover, it curtails at three its consecutive skein of increases that netted a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). Steady at #4, CBS Radio country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” sputters by eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Unchanged at #12, All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” is off a collective eight-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

11) San Jose – On the heels of August’s +1.1 (3.7 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” goes one-tenth better with a +1.2 to 6.0, its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. In addition, “Bay FM” cruises from fifth to third. Three straight down or flat trends caused Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM to lose exactly half of its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.5, 6+); however, “Radio Lazer 93.7” responds with a +.7 to 2.2, vaulting from #26 to a three-way tie at #18. Increasing by seven-tenths as well – but flat at #12 – is Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (2.5 – 3.2, 6+), which has its best 6+-stat since January’s 3.3. Improving by one-half share in both August and September (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from ninth to seventh. This represents the most potent 6+-stat for “Star” in San Jose in over five years (4.7, August 2012, 6+). Registering a gain of one-half share as well are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which had been trending 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.9 (6+), but is now 2.4 (#19 to #16, 6+); and CBS Radio-owned KITS, which was 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 and goes to 2.1, the first time “Live 105 – The Bay Area’s Alternative” (#21) crosses the two-share level (6+) since last October’s 2.0. Recapturing the four-tenths it lost in August, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (7.3 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is #1 for the third straight time, breaking August’s tie with CBS Radio all-news outlet KCBS-AM, which is off two-tenths (6.9 – 6.7, 6+) and takes over at #2. Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. When KCBS-AM added three-tenths in May, it ended a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after adding one full-share in August, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” forfeits all of it plus another one-tenth (3.8 – 4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from fifth to ninth, with its lowest 6+-share in San Jose since last November’s 2.9. August’s +1.0 ended at four its consecutive streak of negative or flat trends that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). It is a slightly similar situation for Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music,” which more than wipes out August’s +.6 with a -.9 in September (6.0 – 5.1, 6+) to fall from third to fourth; 6.0 in August was its highest 6+-share since March 2015 (6.0, as well). Having picked up one-half share in July, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ has followed with a -.7 in August and now a -.6 in September (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), with “98.1 The Breeze” spiraling from #10 to #15.

12) Middlesex – Without a decrease in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” inches up from fifth to fourth with its highest 6+-share since reaching 5.1 in February 2016. Progressing by one-half share in August and September (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” continues at #3 and has its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market in exactly one year (6.0, September 2016, 6+). It regressed by six-tenths in July to curtail at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). Wiping away August’s one-half share loss with September’s one-half share gain is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), which climbs from #20 to #17. A gain of one-half share enables CBS Radio sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+) to register its highest 6+-share since January 2016’s 4.5. As the result of ten (10) straight up or flat trends, Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” (#25) has more than doubled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Despite turning over two-thirds of August’s gain of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the ninth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Carrying on at #2, Emmis urban AC WBLS drops one-tenth to 6.6 (6+), thus ending three consecutive gains that netted a +1.5 – all but two-tenths coming as a result of August’s +1.3 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+). Up by a combined one-half share in July and August (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” falters by eight-tenths to 3.6, falling from sixth to tenth (6+). Picking up one half share in back-to-back ratings periods (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, June – July – August, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” returns 60% of that full-share gain (4.9, -.6, third to fifth, 6+). This marks the sixth time in the last eight sweeps that iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (#13 to #14) records a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #14 (down from #13 in August) with Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which is down or flat for the sixth successive month for a collective -.7 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Monday, August 14, 2017

| August 14, 2017

Report: iHeartMedia Creditor May Submit Plan to Avoid Bankruptcy This Week.  According to a story in the New York Post, Franklin Resources – holder of $2.3 billion of iHeartMedia’s $20 billion of debt – may propose a restructuring plan for iHM that may require controlling equity in the company and more cash guarantees.  Franklin Resources had been holding firm against any refinancing, possibly with the hope that the company would be forced into bankruptcy and Franklin could then “cash out” after the sale of iHM assets.  But the Post story indicates that Franklin adviser PJT Partners is recommending that Franklin not push iHM into bankruptcy, hence the report of a possible debt-for-equity deal.  The report also hints that current CEO Bob Pittman will remain in his position.  Read the Post story here.

Cash Infusion for TuneIn.  According to Bloomberg, digital audio aggregator TuneIn has just raised another $50 million in investment, reportedly from Marker LLC, IVP and Comcast Ventures – which led the funding – plus Sequoia Capital, Causeway Media Partners LLC and General Catalyst Partners LLCBloomberg writes that so far TuneIn has raised $140 million.  Chief executive officer John Donham says, “Two years ago we launched a premium subscription with a play by play of every game from every league, home and away, with worldwide rights for every connected device.  It turns out those deals are not cheap.  We’re excited about building a subscription base. But in the meantime, we’re paying for that content.”  Donham declined to tell Bloomberg how many paying subscribers the service has but stated that “the model under which we operate has a very clear path to profitability versus most in [the] streaming audio space.”  The 15-year-old service has yet to turn a profit.   Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Connolly New Head of Advertising Sales for SiriusXM.  Moving from ESPN where he was VP of advertising sales and affiliates sales for the ESPN Audio Network to SiriusXM is Mike Connolly.  He is the satcaster’s new head of advertising sales, taking over for Bette Rockmore who is taking a teaching position at Pace University.  A press release states that Connolly “brings broad experience working with varied on-air audio content in his three decades in media sales.”  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Mike is a proven ad industry executive and we are excited to have him lead SiriusXM’s ad sales team and continue its strong sustained growth.  Mike’s extensive experience in audio entertainment will be of crucial importance to SiriusXM as our programming depth and variety expand and the national audience of subscribers and listeners continues to rise.”

TALKERS News Notes.  All this week, David van Camp will broadcast live from Guam on theMarkley and van Camp” show based at Alpha Media’s news/talk WMBD, Peoria, and heard on KXL, Portland; KFQD, Anchorage; as well as Tyler Media’s KOKC, Oklahoma City.  Speaking about broadcasting from Guam, van Camp says, “What I’m most interested in is talking to everyday people.  What do they think about when they see all of this coverage when they see how much focus there is on their home?  And, really, just tell their story.”…..This Sunday (8/20), CBS Sports Radio will broadcast a live, special edition of “The Taz Show” from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET following the WWE Summer Slam at the Barclays Center earlier that evening.  Former pro wrestler Taz will talk about “the results of the night’s championship matches, including the winners, losers and biggest surprises.”  CBS RADIO stations carrying the program will include WFAN, New York; WSCR, Chicago; KRLD, Dallas; and more…..College football legend Steve Spurrier joins SiriusXM as a college football analyst.  Beginning August 15, Spurrier will appear three times per week on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.

Charlottesville Violence/Trump Response, Bannon’s White House Status, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, NFL Players Sit During Anthem, Taylor Swift Suit, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel Film, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-season Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The death and injuries at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally and criticism of President Trump’s response; speculation about the future of White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon and reports that Trump believes Bannon may be involved in leaks; the ongoing threats by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump’s responses; the failure to stand during the National Anthem by Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett prior to pre-season games; a judge’s decision to throw out David Mueller’s suit against Taylor Swift and the remaining aspects of the legal battle; Al Gore’s new global warming film An Inconvenient Sequel debuts; Major League Baseball action, and the weekend’s pre-season NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Longtime WBZ, Boston/CBS RADIO Personality Neil Chayet Passes.  Talk and news radio listeners across the country knew attorney Neil Chayet as host of the long-running legal feature “Looking at the Law,” that was heard on CBS RADIO’s WBZ, Boston and on CBS stations across the country.  Chayet passed away on Friday (8/11) after a nine-month battle with small cell cancer.  He was 78.  He retired from the radio program in June due to his illness.

Tubbs Exits KOA, Denver.  According to KCNC-TV, Denver, morning personality Steffan Tubbs has been let go by iHeartMedia and will “no longer be part of ‘Colorado’s Morning News on KOA.”  Tubbs was arrested on July 30 on a domestic violence charge after authorities suspected him of harassing and threatening his ex-girlfriend.  He has pleaded not guilty and will be back in court for a trial on October 18.  The station issued a memo stating, “The morning show will continue on schedule with April Zesbaugh and guest host (KCNC-TV weatherman) Ed Greene beginning the week of 8/14.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WQDR, Raleigh morning personality Mike Wheless celebrates 25 years with the Curtis Media Group country station.  “The Q Morning Crew” consists of Wheless, Janie Carothers, and Marty “The One-Man Party.”  The program has won industry awards, including the Country Music Association “Personality of the Year” and Academy of Country Music “Personality of the Year” honors.  Curtis Media Group president and COO Trip Savery comments, “Mike Wheless is a tremendous contributor to WQDR’s ongoing success.  Mike has grown from overnight jock to the foundation of the most successful morning show in the region and as he celebrates a quarter century in that role, we all acknowledge his passion, talent, and success.”…..iHeartMedia’s rock KBRQ, Waco, Texas “102.5 The Bear” names Aaron Zytle host of the “AZ in the Morning Rumble” program.  He takes over for Keith Junker, a.k.a. Fish, who exited the radio biz.  Zytle’s program will be simulcast to iHM’s Killeen active rocker KLFX “107.3 The Fox.”  Zytle was most recently with Bahakel Communications in Colorado Springs programming alternative KRXP and serving as afternoon personality…..Mark Shepperd is the new afternoon drive host at Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB, Philadelphia “Today’s 101.1 More FM.”  Shepperd assumes the daypart previously held by Logan, now with Fort Myers Broadcasting Company handling mornings at adult contemporary WINK-FM.

 

 

July PPM Takeaways. Below are TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Twelve Takeaways” based on the July PPM ratings information released by Nielsen Audio last week.  The 12 markets addressed today are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  Meanwhile, you can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Albeit the net gain is just two-tenths, this nonetheless represents the fourth successive sweep in which WPLJ “95.5 PLJ” has not had a decrease (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). As a result, the Cumulus Media hot AC climbs from #15 to #13, catching its format rival – CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – which is off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, flat at #13). “Fresh” had held the advantage over WPLJ in each of the last seven ratings periods. Steady at #8, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is without a decrease for the sixth successive sweep (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) and is up six-tenths in that stretch. Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary cluster-mate WLTW register its third straight gain for a cumulative +.7 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), “106.7 Lite FM” finishes at #1 for the third consecutive time. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). One-tenth off the top and repeating in the runner-up slot is CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits,” which posts its fourth successive up or flat trend for a combined +.7 (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). After logging three straight increases for a collective gain of eight-tenths since March (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR regresses by one-half share to 2.0 (6+), tumbling from #15 to #19. June 2017’s 2.5 was the highest 6+-stat for the New York Mets flagship in nearly seven years when it reached 2.6 (#19) in November 2010. Having gained nine-tenths in June to 3.0 (6+), WYNC-FM put an end to four straight downward trends that produced a -.6 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+); however, like WOR – the public news/talk station drops one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) and shifts from #12 to #15. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the sixth straight time yet the net loss is just two-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) and it is unchanged at #22. Following back-to-back 2.4 showings (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio all-news WCBS-AM registers a 2.7 (6+) in June and July, moving up from #13 in June to #12. Flat at #6, co-owned and similarly formatted WINS is a collective -1.1 in four straight dips (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (ninth to tenth) is -.2 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – The 12 stations ranking between #9 and #20 in July 2017 are separated by just eight-tenths of a share Within those rankers, there are ties at #11, #13, #15, and #17. Jumping from #18 to #11, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary KXOL “Mega 96.3 – LA’s #1 Party Station” cobbles together five gains in succession for a +.9 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Three straight increases by regional Mexican cluster-mate KLAX have yielded a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), with “97.9 La Raza” notching its strongest 6+-share since February 2016’s 2.9 and reentering the top twenty at #15. Down or flat in each of the past four months for a -.4 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” (unchanged at #6) busts out a July 2017 gain more than twice that margin (+.9, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since last October’s 4.5. Climbing back into the top ten (#11 to #9), Meruelo Media Holdings rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” gains a collective half-share in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Unchanged at #10, CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp” hasn’t had a decrease in the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned alternative KROQ moves from #19 to #17 and is up or flat for the seventh consecutive monthly for a +.7 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Conversely, its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a collective loss of one-half share (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #11 to #15. As a result, the 1.5-share (6+) advantage KYSR held over KROQ in December is now down to two-tenths. This is the fifth successive ratings period without erosion for Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (#14 to #13) which has generated a cumulative gain of six-tenths since January (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia hot AC “My-FM” picks up three-tenths to 6.1 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth consecutive time. When “My-FM” dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which netted a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1. Trending a very consistent 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+) March 2017 to July 2017, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” occupies the runner-up position for the fifth straight sweep. Similarly, the January 2017 through July 2017 6+-trending for iHeartMedia news/talk KFI (eighth to seventh) is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4. Owing to six straight decreases (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Taxi Productions urban AC KJLH (#25 to #24) is a collective -.9.  Not only is KNX without an increase for the fifth straight time for a loss of nine-tenths (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), the CBS Radio all-news property exits the top ten (#8 to #11).

3) Chicago – It’s a strong “Windy City” sweep for the market’s two country stations as each improve by seven-tenths. In the case of CBS Radio-owned WUSN, adds a +.7 in July to June’s half share increase as “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” zooms from ninth to fifth. In addition to notching its fourth straight up or flat trend (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+), WUSN has its best 6+-showing since the 4.1 it recorded in November 2014. Meanwhile, dating back to the first of the year, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” – was trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 (January 2017 – June 2017, 6+), but jumps to 2.8, catapulting from #22 to #14. This represents the fourth consecutive time urban AC sibling WVAZ is without a decrease for a +1.1 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Moreover, “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is #1 for the sixth successive month. In the runner-up slot from February through June, CBS Radio all-news operation WBBM-AM slips to third and is down or flat for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.9 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). Jumping over it is Hubbard hot AC WTMX “Mix,” which picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Similarly-formatted, iHeartMedia-owned WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” is -1.3 via four successive declines (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+), spiraling from #15 to #20. For the fourth successive time, its urban contemporary sibling WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” gains two-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) and advances from tenth to ninth. Unchanged at #4, Hubbard-owned WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) and is up eight-tenths since February. Following five straight (modest) increases that netted a full-share (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “105.1 Que Buena” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Tied at #18 doing various shades of adult contemporary are WRME-LP (2.9 – 2.7, down from #14 in June, 6+) and Hubbard’s WSHE, #17 in June and down or flat for the fourth straight month for a net loss of one half-share (3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9- 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Slipping from sixth to eighth, CBS Radio sports talk WSCR “The Score” notches a 3.7 for the third time in the last four sweeps. Down or flat for the fifth straight ratings period for a collective -1.4 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), after three consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.5 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN drops from #11 to #14. The 15 stations occupying rankers 9 through 23 in July 2017 are separated by 1.2 shares (2.2 – 3.4, 6+). Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, April – May – June (6+), Window to the World classical WFMT is unlisted in July.

4) San Francisco – Having registered a 2.5 (6+) in four of the previous five ratings periods, Entercom urban AC KBLX added two-tenths in June; “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” follows in July with a gain of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). The last time KBLX reached the three-share level (6+) was in April 2016 with a 3.0. Its sports talk sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” though falters by one-full share (2.1 – 1.1, 6+) as the Oakland A’s flagship disappears from the top twenty (#18 to #25). May’s +.3 by “The Game” put an end to its 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. At the same time, Entercom-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader,” off for the third time in a row (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) for a cumulative -1.0, slips from eighth to tenth. Notwithstanding that Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” remains at #14, its string of consecutive ratings periods without a decrease extends to seven (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). The October 2016 through July 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” is 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 (#11 to #12). Finishing first and second (6+) are stations in the news/talk (KQED-FM) and news genres (CBS Radio-owned KCBS-AM, down for the third straight time, 6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), while adult contemporary is at #3 and #4 with Entercom’s KOIT-FM, off for the third consecutive time, 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+ and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.1, -.2, 6+) Hot AC is represented at #5 and #6 with iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” (4.0, -.3, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.7, -.2, 6+), while contemporary hit radio occupies #7 and #8 with KMVQ and iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4, +.2, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in February and March and then on 3.2 (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio’s KMVQ slipped to 3.0 in June but “99.7 – New Hit Music Now” bounces back with a one-half share gain to 3.5 (6+), leaping from tenth to seventh. With a spike of four-tenths to 7.1 (6+), KQED-FM halts at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). Moreover, just as it has been every month this calendar year, the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility is on top in San Francisco. Slipping from seventh to tenth, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” forfeits four-tenths to 3.2 (6+), ending three straight increases that netted nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). While it remains at #21, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is without an increase for the sixth time in a row for a loss of more than one-full share (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). This is the fourth straight month that Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose (see below). The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Over and above halting three straight negative trends that yielded a loss of eight-tenths (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+) CBS Radio adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (tenth to sixth) recaptures that loss in its entirety – and two-tenths to spare- with a +1.0 to 4.1. This is the strongest 6+-performance for Dallas’ version of “Jack” since last December’s 4.2. In what we believe are the first trends in the PPM-era for The City of Dallas’ WRR, the classical facility checks in at #21 with a 2.1 (6+), which represents a one-half share increase over June’s (unlisted) 1.6 (6+). Up two-tenths to 2.3 (#20 to #18, 6+), Northwest Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA curtails at four a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). A mere two-tenths of a share separates the top three July 2017 finishers, which includes Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX, while down one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, 6+), is #1 for the seventh successive time. This, however, is the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since the “Holiday” 2016 report’s 4.7. Right on its heels and remaining at #2 and #3, respectively, are iHeartMedia CHR and classic rock siblings KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (surrendering half of June’s +.6, 5.8 – 5.5, -.3, 6+) and KZPS “Lone Star 92.5.” After four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” lost one-tenth in June and is flat in July at 5.4 (6+). On hiatus from the KHKS-originated, syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Show,” Elena Davies remains one of the Season 19 houseguests on CBS-TV’s “Big Brother,” which premiered June 28; “Kiss” was tied for the top spot with KPLX in March. Following June 2017’s +1.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 – Your Life … Inspired” relinquishes roughly one-half of it (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from fifth to eighth; June 2017’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Without an increase for the sixth time in a row for a collective -1.6 since January (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP fades from #22 to #24. Three stations are flat at 3.0 and continue to be linked at #11: Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket”; iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks”; and Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B.” Progressing from #17 to join them at #11 is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix,” which registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.1 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+). From the first of the year through July 2017, the 6+-line for Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (steady at #16) is 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7.

6) Houston – Not only does CBS Radio country KILT-FM end at four its string of down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), by posting a +.9 (to 3.9, 6+) “100.3 The Bull” rockets from #16 to a four-way tie at #10. This is the best 6+-showing for “The Bull” since last December’s 4.0. Although it remains at #3, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA picks up six-tenths to 6.4 (6+), its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). Between March 2017 and June 2017, “Sunny 99.1” had a 6+-pattern of 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8. A +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from sixth to fifth with its highest 6+-share since December 2015 (4.8, as well). One-half share away from the top is Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle,” which hasn’t had a decrease since February and is +1.2 in that timeframe (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period, Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” continues its wild ride as its last three trends have been +1.4 (May 2017); -.6 (June); and now -.7 in July (8.3 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+). Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. It is a bit of a similar scenario for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN, which is also down seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. In March, KLTN was -.5; +.7 in April; -.2 in May; -1.1 in June; and now -.7 in July. The last time KLTN fell below a five-share (6+) was March 2016 (4.9). Similarly-formatted, Liberman Broadcasting-owned KTJM “La Raza,” which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a cumulative gain of one full-share (1.3 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), is off four-tenths to 1.9 (#19 to #20, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in June (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Houston’s Mix 96-5” segues from #12 to #15. Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Mix” lost four-tenths in May.

7) Atlanta – Following four successive sweeps without an increase for a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” breaks out a gain of eight-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and zooms back into the top ten (#11 to #6). Simultaneous with Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WKHX “Kicks 101.5” improving by seven-tenths to advance from ninth to fifth, Woman’s World Broadcasting’s WTSH “Your Georgia Country” falters by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, #21 to #23, 6+). This is the third straight increase for “Kicks” for a cumulative +1.2 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s other country player – iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” – is a collective +1.9 via seven successive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+) and carries on at #7 with its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (4.6, 6+, July 2016). Continuing at #15, Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row as well and is a combined +1.6 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). With a gain of one-half share, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE (unchanged at #16) continues its up/down pattern that it began last October (3.5 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). Four consecutive positive trends by Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” (steady at #13) have produced a gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+). Returning the two-tenths it garnered in June, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is nonetheless #1 for the 19th straight ratings period (8.6 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. With a loss of one-tenth in June, co-owned WSRV concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that netted a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). Now, “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.9 (6+), slipping from second to third. The market’s (6+) urban AC share erodes by seven tenths. Specifically: Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is off three-tenths (6.2 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #3, where it is tied with classic rock sibling WSRV, while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” regresses by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), dipping from fifth to eighth. Even though Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up two-tenths (4.2 – 4.4, 6+), it drops from seventh to eighth; similarly-programmed, iHeartMedia-owned WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 4.1, but departs the top ten (#9 to #11). A combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” moves from #11 to #12.

8) Philadelphia – In the last ten ratings periods, ever-consistent WUSL “Power 99” has ranged from a low of 4.0 to a high of 4.4 (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+). The iHeartMedia urban contemporary facility though busts out a +1.2 to 5.6, the first time it crosses the five-share level (6+) in nearly three years (5.2, 6+, August 2014) and progresses from ninth to fifth. At least in terms of 6+-share, the steady upward pattern continues for Radio One’s WPHI, which registers its ninth successive sweep without a decrease that has resulted in a net gain of nine-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+); “Boom 103.9” carries on at #19. Having logged a 3.0 (6+) in March, CBS Radio’s WTDY followed with a 2.9 (6+) in April, May, and June but “Today’s 96.5” adds two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and climbs from #15 to #13. Up three-tenths (7.2 – 7.5, 6+) and repeating at #1 is classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL, which returned to the top spot in June after transitioning from first to third in May. Off by one full-share (3.1 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has its softest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (2.1, as well) and slips from #14 to #18. Locked on 3.3 (6+) in May and June, public news/talk WHYY (#13 to #15) spirals by eight-tenths to 2.5 – and like WKVP – this is WHYY’s lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 when it recorded a 2.3. A decrease of seven-tenths by Beasley Media Group’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) curtails at six a successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+). As the result of three straight downward moves, co-owned WMMR is -1.2 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+) and “93.3 Everything That Rocks” drops from fifth to seventh. A combined -.8 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” slides from third in June to fourth. This marks the fifth straight month that Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” is either down or flat (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 -.9 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

9) Long Island – It isn’t often that a station’s “stream” is the lead item in these market “Takeaways,” but such is the case with CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – and there’s an added twist. From a “no show” in June (.4 in May, 6+), the station’s “stream” bounces back with a +.5 (to .5, #32, 6+); however, the actual FM signal is off by seven-tenths to 1.7. Furthermore, “Fresh” exits the top twenty (#17 to #21, 6+) and ends at ten its successive string of being within 2.0 – 2.5 range (6+). Over and above extending to seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a +2.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” climbs from #2 to #1, which is where it was in May. It is tied there with Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5,” which after three consecutive gains that netted a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), drops one-tenth to 6.2 (6+). A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped from seventh to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. Albeit off by six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” remains at #12. Having sandwiched a 3.3 (6+) in May between 3.5 (6+) in April and another 3.5 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR erodes by nine-tenths to 2.6 as the New York Mets flagship skids from #11 to #15. Steady at #5, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” posts a 4.5 (6+) for the third time in the last four ratings periods. In five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WNSH is a combined -.9 yet “94.7 Nash FM” actually improves from #23 to #22, while CBS Radio sports talk WFAN (sixth to seventh) is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 32nd straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+), improving from #18 to #16. In three straight (modest) losses (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media classic hits oldies WBZO is down four-tenths but “103.1 Max FM” remains at #6.

10) Riverside – Following five straight up or flat trends which netted one full-share (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG forfeited 70% of that increase in June with a -.7; however, “New Country K-Frog” leaps back with a full-share gain in July (4.0 – 5.0, 6+) to progress from fifth to third. Posting an increase half that much (3.5 – 4.0, +.5, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” jumps from seventh to fifth. In the runner-up slot for the seventh successive ratings period, KOLA was a combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), but the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet repeat’s June’s -.2 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). A four-tenths loss in March ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). On the plus side regarding Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY – it is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period and leads KOLA by nine-tenths. Conversely though, “Jose” registers its sixth consecutive decrease for a net loss of nearly three full-shares (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+) and is below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. Going back to the “Holiday” 2016 report, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KRCD has been trending a very consistent 1.4 -1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+), but “Recuerado” falters by one-half share to .6, slipping from #13 to #14. The five most recent trends for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI are 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (third back to fourth, 6+), while Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 (flat at #9, 6+).

11) San Jose – Over and above recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it has lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (6.1 – 7.3, +1.2, 6+) advances from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. The +1.2 ties KQED-FM with Philadelphia’s WUSL (see above) for the largest (6+) June 2017 – July 2017 gain by any station in these particular 12 PPM-markets. Dislodged from #1 after back-to-back months there and segueing to #2 is CBS Radio all-news operation KCBS-AM (6.5 – 6.2, -.3, 6+). When KCBS-AM added three-tenths in May, it ended a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Steady in its trending since March (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom classic rock KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” dials up a +.7 to 4.3 (6+) to advance from ninth to seventh. Improving by seven-tenths as well and entering the top ten is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.9 – 3.6, #13 to #10, 6+).  Picking up one-half share each are adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ “98.1 Breeze” (3.9 – 4.4, unchanged at #6, 6+) and KGO (2.6, 6+), which not only ends at five its string of successive sweeps without an increase that generated a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talk stations jumps back into San Jose’s top twenty (#21 to #15). Steady at #14, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” picks up two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight downward or negative trends that produced a loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+). Declining for the third month in a row (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .4, 6+), Entercom sports talk and Oakland A’s flagship KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#31) is a collective -1.2 since April.

12) Middlesex – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” is back in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union top ten (#13 to #9). Without a decrease for the seventh straight sweep for a net improvement of +2.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Emmis New York City rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” carries on at #5. Picking up one half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market since January’s 5.3 and progresses from sixth to third. In its fourth consecutive increase (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media New York City hot AC WPLJ is a collective +1.4 and progresses from #14 to #12. At the same time, following three straight gains netting nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” relinquishes all but one-tenth of it (2.7, -.8, 6+) and drifts from #11 to #16. Despite ceding June’s +.3 (6.8 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A combined +.7 in back-to-back sweeps (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8), iHeartMedia news/talk and New York Mets flagship WOR surrenders nine-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). Entering the June 2017 sweep, CBS Radio-owned WBMP was down or flat the previous nine times and -1.6 since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). The CHR bounced back in June by registering a +.6, but “Amp” returns all of it in July (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, 6+), dipping from #11 to #14. Sputtering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (second to third), which curtails at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The nine-tenths lead that iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” (4.8 – 4.3, -.5, fourth to seventh, 6+) held over Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WMGQ (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #8, 6+) is down to one-tenth.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

| June 30, 2016

Greater Media Drops Sports Talk on WMGC, Detroit.  You have to give Greater Media Detroit management credit for having the chutzpah to take on CBS RADIO’s dominant sports talker WXYT-FM, but after wmgc sportslogoSmallthree years and little ratings traction, the company is ending the expensive venture and is airing the ‘Detroit Oldies’ format (also heard on WCSX-HD2) on WMGC until a new format is unveiled.  Regarding the end of “Detroit Sports 105.1,” Greater Media Detroit VP/market manager Stevechessaresteve Chessare says, “The change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past three years.  We would like to thank our dedicated listeners and the entire ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ staff for their many contributions to the station in the Motor City.  They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.”  The last three Nielsen Audio PPM survey numbers (Persons 6+) comparing WMGC to competitor WXYT-FM were indicative of the gap between the two stations: March – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 5.2; April – WMGC 0.9, WXYT-FM 6.5; May – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 7.3.

Talk Host Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo Renews with iHeartMedia.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is also heard on iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston in the afternoon drive daypart.  Thepagliarulojoe company says that under the new, multi-year deal, Pags will continue in these roles.  Pags’ program is also syndicated across the country and is heard on almost 50 additional stations.  Pags also serves as the host of the iHeartMedia program “The Weekend with Joe Pags” that is aired on iHM stations nationwide.  Pagliarulo says, “I am thrilled to continue with iHeartMedia.  I am proud to have called iHeartMedia home for more than a dozen years and knowing this fantastic relationship will continue for many more years to come is simply amazing.

NYPost: iHM Creditor Would Rather See Bankruptcy Than Take Company’s Current Offer.  Following up on Wednesday’s story about iHeartMedia’s SEC filing indicating that talks between it and a group of senior iheartmedia logo tinylenders about restructuring are far apart, the New York Post is reporting that a different lender – not involved in the negotiations referenced – says it would rather see iHeartMedia go into bankruptcy than accept the company’s current offer.  That lender believes it could get 90 cents on the dollar in bankruptcy, and that would be better than the interest rate cut and year’s extension on the term that iHM is offering.  However, that lender also told the paper he’d prefer a reasonable offer by iHM to seeing the company go into bankruptcy. Read the Post story here.

Deadly Istanbul Airport Terror Attack, the Presidential Race, ‘Brexit’ Aftermath, GOP Benghazi Report, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29).  The terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 42 and wounded hundreds; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union; the Republicans’ final report on the deadly Benghazi attacks; the myriad troubles Rio De Janeiro is facing as it prepares to host the Summer Olympics; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FCC Commissioner Pai Piles on Criticism of Wheeler’s Ownership Rules.  In a statement commenting on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision not to change the Commission’s ownership regulations – including eliminating the cross-ownership ban preventing radio and newspapers from being owed by the same companies in the same markets – FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says, “The FCC’s rules should reflect the media marketplace ofpaiajit today.  Unfortunately, Chairman Wheeler’s media ownership proposal reflects the world that existed in the 1970s.  Last month, the FCC had no problem approving not one, but two multi-billion dollar cable mergers.  Last year, it signed off on AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV.  Yet, it now gets the vapors at the prospect of a newspaper in Scranton, Pennsylvania owning a single radio station.  Whatever the motivation for the Chairman’s proposal, it has nothing to do with the evidence in the record, principled decision-making, or the law.  Indeed, given current trends, it is likely that the Commission’s newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership restrictions will outlive the print newspaper industry itself.”  Ouch!  Broadcasters for years have lamented the Commission’s unwillingness to rescind this restriction.  And now, at a time when there has never been more access to different media sources, the refusal to budge seems incomprehensible to many.

PodcastOne-Jericho Network Partnership to Launch Charles ‘Konnan’ Ashenoff Show.  This is the first show to come from PodcastOne’s partnership with podcast host Chris Jericho for production, distribution and podcastone bproduct marketing of his The Jericho Network.  Latino Lucha Libre legend Charles Ashenoff, known to wrestling fans worldwide as Konnan, is the first host to debut on the network.  Future podcasts will take full advantage of Jericho’s involvement and interest in wrestling, music, paranormal activity and pop-culture in general.   All podcasts on The Jericho Network will be available exclusively at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris’ podcasts continue to be among the most successful on PodcastOne’s lineup.  There are a lot more things that we can do together, and the Jericho network will give us the vehicle and time necessary with which to do that.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

| August 21, 2012

Gow Communications to Pay $5.17 Million for KFNC, Houston.  The sale of sports talk outlet KFNC, Houston to Gow and Educational Media Foundation that was announced in the spring is coming close to the finish line as David Gow and company should begin LMAing the station Cumulus put into bankruptcy protection as early as September 1.  The station – positioned as ESPN 97.7 – is expected to continue to broadcast ESPN programming at least for a while.  Gow also operates crosstown sports talk KGOW and Yahoo! Sports Radio and there have been some changes there with Travis Rodgers moving to the early afternoon slot on both KGOW and the national network.  KGOW is preparing to debut Adam Clanton and John Wessling in the afternoon drive slot, according to David Barron of the Houston Chronicle.  Clanton currently works for KPRC-TV but will wrap up his role with the station this weekend.  As for the Yahoo! Sports Radio network, a new PM drive show is being developed and will be announced soon.  The network’s Craig Shemon returns to weekends from the midday slot.

Heidi and Frank Return to the Terrestrial Airwaves in Los Angeles.  Cumulus Media names Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer the new morning show on KLOS, Los Angeles, taking over for Mark & Brian beginning September 4.  Brian Phelps surprised the industry last week announcing he would also be leaving the Cumulus classic rocker at the same time Mark Thompson would, although Thompson made his decision to retire public earlier this summer.  Cumulus COO John Dickey told TALKERS over the weekend that Brian Phelps was “part of a large consideration pool” of candidates for the new morning program.  In announcing “The Heidi and Frank Show,” Dickey states, “After a long and thoughtful search which overwhelmed us with great, established talent and new talent waiting to be discovered both in and out of radio, I couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of ‘The Heidi and Frank Show’ to continue on the tradition that Mark and Brian set in place with 25 years of Hall of Fame radio.”  Hamilton and Kramer have been producing an internet radio show since CBS Radio shut down hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles in a format flip.  The Frosty, Heidi and Frank program (with Frosty Stillwell) aired there successfully for years.  They also worked at KABC after the demise of KLSX.  Prior to the KLSX era Hamilton and Kramer hosted the morning show at crosstown Hot AC KYSR.   On the new gig, Heidi Hamilton states, “KLOS is rock.  KLOS is the definitive iconic rock radio station in the world.  It’s one of those stations that evokes a feel good emotion while you’re driving in your car.  I’m beyond honored that Frank Kramer and I have been invited to become a part of something so legendary!  The ‘Heidi and Frank Show’ fans are second to NONE and I know they will be with us on this long fun ride together.”  Frank Kramer comments, “If it would have been any other station than KLOS, I would have said no.  We have a huge following across the world and only a station as large and iconic as KLOS could lure us back to radio.  To be given this opportunity is an honor and a privilege.  With the continued support from my partner, Heidi Hamilton, and the fans that never left us, and the fans waiting for us to return, the next 25 years are going to be one hell of a ride.”

The Battle for Control over Sirius XM Continues and the Momentum Seems to be Shifting in Favor of John Malone’s Liberty Media.  Yes, what seemed like an odd story just a matter of months ago has developed into a high stakes big business drama.  John Malone and Liberty Media, the company that rescued the merged satellite radio company from burning up in the atmosphere back in 2009 by gobbling up 40% ownership at what has turned out to be a super good deal for them has asked the FCC for approval to take outright control of Sirius XM Radio, noting it plans to raise its stake in the satellite radio company above 50%. The request follows disclosure earlier this week that Liberty, SiriusXM’s largest shareholder, was inching up its collection of shares in Sirius from approximately 46.2% to an aggressively postured 48%.  In last week’s filing, Liberty said it will “have purchased sufficient shares of Sirius’s common stock and will convert its preferred shares such that the transfer of control will be completed within 60 days of commission consent.”  Raising its stake above 50% and being granted FCC approval to take absolute control opens the way for Liberty to replace Sirius management and spin its Sirius stake off to Liberty shareholders. But would replacing Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin be a wise move?  Probably not.  Although coldly brash and hard-nosed as they come, Karmazin is an extremely effective radio broadcast executive and business strategist who has done a world class job of getting Sirius XM to its present state of health.  Reports from inside Liberty indicate that John Malone recognizes that and is giving “Mel” wiggle room to back pedal off his earlier blurts that he wouldn’t work for anyone else.  There is a huge lesson here for wannabe broadcast industry moguls (and there sure are a lot of them out there):  When you turn to venture capitalists and outside big money investors to save your ass, they will likely wind up owning it.

In Search of the Effective Commercial.  There’s a trend away from humorous commercials in radio, according to H-and-H Communications president Al Herskovitz.  Research indicates Madison Avenue is questioning the effectiveness of funny ads and, as it applies to talk radio advertising, Herskovitz writes that the “recognizable spokesperson” – read, the talk show host – is much more effective.  But there are still problems there that need to be solved.  Read Al Herskovitz’s piece here.

Courtside Entertainment’s “Loveline” Clears Tampa Market.  Cox Media’s FM hot talker WHPT, Tampa – The Bone – adds Courtside Entertainment Group’s “Loveline” featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky, Mike Catherwood and Simone Bienne for the 1:00 am to 3:00 am slot.  “Loveline” becomes part of Cox’s young male-targeted talk outlet that features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive and Cowhead in PM drive.

Odds & Sods.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington hosts a special “school” edition of its “Ask the…” program today at 10:00 am.  Mark Seagraves serves as moderator for the commercial-free hour featuring a Q&A session with superintendents and school board officials from Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Fairfax County and the District of Columbia…..Entercom’s New England sports talk juggernaut WEEI produces the 11th Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon beginning today and running through tomorrow.  The fundraising extravaganza takes place live from Fenway Park from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight both days.  Last year the event raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute…..Nationally syndicated radio host Phil Grande of the “Phil’s Gang” program will broadcast his show live from the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week with broadcasts starting at 3:00 pm ET.  Grande will have special guests Donald Trump, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Sarasota Republican Chairman Joe Gruters plus many other guests.  In addition, he will have up to the minute news, updates and of course his own commentary.  The 2012 Republican National Convention is being held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012.

CBS Radio News Announces Convention Coverage.  Dial Global and CBS Radio News will deliver coverage from the two national conventions – the Republican National Convention in Tampa August 27 through 30 and the Democratic National Convention September 4 through 6.  Coverage plans include anchored coverage, updates, special reports, special features, and one-on-one interviews with correspondents, pundits and political experts.  CBS Radio News states it will “provide expert reporting and analysis, featuring an experienced lineup of respected and award-winning correspondents and commentators, including Howard Arenstein, Pam Coulter, Peter King, Dan Raviv, Peter Maer, Andrew Mollenbeck, Brian Montopoli and Professors Dotty Lynch and Leonard Steinhorn.


Los Angeles Radio Personality Paul Crosswhite Passes Away.
  Southern California newsman and DJ Paul Crosswhite died on August 17 after a long illness.  Crosswhite served as a news person at both KFI and KNX-FM during his career.  He also was an evening and morning drive host at KTWV, Los Angeles – The Wave – for 10 years.  According to LARadio.com’s Don Barrett, “Crosswhite did news during most of his tenure in Southern California radio and has received Golden Mike Awards for documentary, feature and best newscast.  He did news during the glory years of KNX-FM.  During the Gulf War, he won the Associated Press Award for best newscast.  When he moved to “the Wave,” he gave up news to become a DJ, originally in the evenings and, later, mornings after the female morning drive team collapsed.”

Romney-Ryan Team, Obama Medicare Cuts, Facebook Stock Plummets and Syria Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The Mitt RomneyPaul Ryan ticket hitting the campaign trail full-swing; President Obama’s cuts to Medicare; the sagging stock price of Facebook; and the ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 16, 2012

| July 16, 2012

Judge to Approve Tribune’s Exit from Bankruptcy; Oaktree Capital Plays Major Role.  The private equity firm that also backs Townsquare Media and Dial Global will be part of a group of creditors that will bring Tribune Company out of bankruptcy pending the revision of some of the reorganization plans.  Judge Kevin Carey overruled the objections of some of Tribune’s creditors in approving the deal to end the bankruptcy protection that began three-and-a-half years ago and the emergence from which is expected to take several months.  Also involved are JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Angelo Gordon & Co.  There had been speculation that the company may be broken apart, with the publishing arm separated from the broadcasting division that owns 23 television stations and its lone radio property – WGN, Chicago – but that remains speculation as there does not appear to be a plan to sell anything just yet.  The FCC must still approve the transfer of the TV and radio licenses.

Public Radio’s “The Takeaway” Ends Morning Drive Run in September.  The show that was designed to be a younger-skewing alternative to NPR’s “Morning Edition” will move out of the AM drive daypart, trim down to one hour and be heard in the mid-mornings beginning in September.  The show is a collaboration between WNYC, New York and Public Radio International.  According to The Current, the show – hosted by John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee – has 55 affiliate stations with another 15 carrying it on digital multi-cast channels.  Due to the fact that it’s live and produced in New York, the show has had a tough time getting West Coast affiliates because it doesn’t seem as fresh several hours later.  Beginning September 3, the one-hour version of the show will feed live at 9:00 am ET.

ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Debut Weekly NFL Show on ESPN.  The morning drive duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (whose radio network show is also simulcast on ESPN2) will host a weekly football show for ESPN beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 3:00 pm ET called, “Mike & Mike’s Best of the NFL.”  It’s a 30-minute program that features highlights from the previous week’s NFL games.  ESPN says the duo will “count down the top passes, runs, catches, blocks, defensive plays and other categories from around the league.  The show will offer footage that NFL fans have not seen in other highlight packages throughout the weekend.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Talk show host Joe Crummey (WABC, KFI, KABC, KFYI) sits in for Cumulus Media’s Geraldo Rivera on KABC, Los Angeles both this week and next.  He’ll do it from New York next week as he’s also filling in for the WABC, New York show (Geraldo’s heard on both stations) July 23-25…..Shawn Wheat takes an anchor/reporter post with Morris Communications’ KIBW, Topeka and the Kansas Information Network.

Former Opie & Anthony Show Executuve Producer Steve Carlisi Dies.  There are not a lot of details about the passing of Steve Carlisi, but the former executive producer of SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony show is dead, leaving behind a wife and son.  Carlisi was let go by SiriusXM from his producer role in 2010 in a round of budget cuts.  Most recently he had worked at Shamrock Communications’ WEZX, Wilkes Barre/Scranton.  He also served as a producer for the Danny Bonaduce show when it aired at WYSP, Philadelphia.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

| May 24, 2012

The Future of Tribune Company – and WGN, Chicago – Up in the Air After Bankruptcy Exit.  An article in Crain’s Chicago Business offers some speculation – based on interviews with business consultants and Tribune’s court filings – on the future of the parts of the publishing and broadcasting giant.  While its only radio property – WGN, Chicago – is not mentioned specifically in the piece, the broadcast division is and the theme of the article is that it appears the parts of Tribune are worth more than the whole and they may be sold off.  Tribune is organizing its various newspaper and TV properties into streamlined LLCs in preparation for presenting its reorganization plan to the court next month.  One expert states the synergy of print and broadcast never materialized for Tribune and he expects the parts to be sold.  Hubbard Broadcasting CEO Stanley Hubbard is quoted saying his company might be interested in the broadcasting properties if the price is right but said he has had no discussions with the company.

Martha Zoller Wraps Radio Show; Is Official Candidate for Congress in Georgia.  Georgia-based radio talk show host Martha Zoller did her last radio program for Cox Media’s WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia – talk/sports hybrid Bulldog 103.7 – and is now officially on the campaign trail.  Zoller’s last program was May 11 and her campaign announced yesterday, May 23, that she has qualified for the Republican primary for the newly created 9th Congressional District in Georgia which takes place on July 31.  She will face State Representative Doug Collins and Jackson Commission Chairman Hunter Bicknell in the open primary.  She says in a campaign statement, “For far too long, professional politicians and entrenched bureaucrats have run amuck in Washington without any adult supervision.  I am going to Congress to hold Washington accountable and end the reckless spending, borrowing, and debt that is threatening the future of our nation and the security of the American people.”  WXKT-FM has not announced a permanent replacement host for Zoller’s late morning program.

CNN Ratings Part of Larger News and TV Numbers Slump.  The New York TimesBill Carter writes an analysis of the ratings problems plaguing Time Warner’s CNN on the heels of recent record low showings.  The cable news network’s Nielsen numbers for the week of May 14 were down – averaging just 395,000 total viewers in prime time – while Piers Morgan’s May 15 program garnered just 39,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic.  Carter writes that CNN has been hurt by strong programming from the networks during the May sweeps plus a lack of major breaking news – something that has always helped CNN boost its numbers.  But Carter notes that CNN isn’t the only network affected.  Even though Fox News Channel is head and shoulders above CNN in the prime time ratings, FNC only grabbed 395,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic during that week – a four-year low for Fox.  It should be noted that ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” finale and Fox TV’s “American Idol” performance finale – two of TV’s highest-performing non-sports shows over the past few years, had dramatically lower audiences than the previous year.  While “DWTS” had 17.5 million total viewers, that was down 18% from last spring’s finale.

New Media Seminar/NYC on Verge of Quickest Sellout in Conference’s 15-Year History.  The combination of a power-packed agenda, one-day format and significantly reduced registration fee have combined to make the upcoming New York City installment of the new bi-coastal, recession-era version of the talk media industry’s annual convention an extremely hot ticket.  According to the industry-only event’s organizers at TALKERS magazine, this will be the earliest sellout in its colorful 15 year history.  Due to capacity regulations, the selling of registrations for the Thursday, June 7 event will cease at the close of business on Friday of this week.  After that, registrations will only be issued on a stand-by basis. NMS director Michael Harrison states, “We are extremely gratified by the positive response to this new ‘austerity version’ of the New Media Seminar.  The idea of compacting it into a one-day event, getting rid of the expensive frills, reducing the cost of registration by 75%, and organizing an agenda that can be described as nothing short of relentless, is striking a positive chord in the business.  Also, the fact that there will be a West Coast version of the event in Los Angeles on October 11 is an innovation that has been very well received.  That one will be a blockbuster too.”  To see the full up-to-the-minute agenda of the New York conference, click here.  For registration or sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

Two Local Sports Talk Shows to Debut on KXPS, Palm Springs.  CRC Media’s KXPS, Palm Springs (licensed to Thousand Palms, California) announces it will bring two new live and local programs to sports talker Team 1010 beginning June 4.  Julie Buehler will host “Buehler’s Day Off” daily from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and Pete Fox joins the station to co-host “On the Air with Fox and Lecair” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  MyDesert.com reports Buehler is an award-winning radio host who recently worked as part of the Indianapolis Colts broadcasting team.  Fox has served as a host and reporter at KSPN, Los Angeles.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Cox Media syndicated talk star Neal Boortz sits in the anchor chair at CNBC filling in for Larry Kudlow on the cable channel’s “The Kudlow Report” tonight at 7:00 pm ET.  Boortz will work with co-host and CNBC chief international correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera…..WNRP, Pensacola afternoon drive talk host Brandon Rathert wins two awards – a local Edward R. Murrow Award for “Investigative Reporting” and an Associated Press award for “Best Public Affairs” for the documentary he produced on the local sheriff’s office…..Clear Channel Media and Entertainment ups Matt Derrick to regional program manager for the Wilmington, Delaware and Salisbury, Maryland markets…..The actual price Clear Channel is paying for Stephen Mindich’s WFNX-FM, Boston is $14.5 million, a bit more than the $11 million we reported after the story broke.

2012 Presidential Race, Facebook IPO Investigations, Egypt Elections, and Pakistan Jails bin Laden Tracker Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The battle between Republican challenger Mitt Romney and President Obama; the complex controversy over the Facebook IPO and the lawsuits it appears to be creating; the elections in Egypt; and the jailing of the doctor who aided the U.S. in finding Osama bin Laden in Pakistan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Jeff Katz Welcomes Israeli Talk Host.  WXKS, Boston – Talk 1200 – morning drive host Jeff Katz  (l) is pictured here with Ari Abramowitz (r) – the leading English-language talk show host in Israel.  Katz tells TALKERS Abramowitz stopped by the program to say hello while visiting the United States and Katz forced him to check out the two Associated Press awards he recently won!