Tag: "bankruptcy"

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!