Tag: "Beasley Broadcast Group"

Friday, November 15, 2019

| November 15, 2019

Phil Zachary Exits DC Market Manager Role with Entercom. A surprise move at Entercom’s Washington, DC station group takes place with Phil Zachary leaving the SVP/market manager role and stepping into a “corporate role” involving “special projects.”  Zachary had been in DC for 20 months.  He moved there from Entercom’s Hartford cluster in May of 2018, five years after joining Entercom Boston from his president/COO post with Curtis Media Group in Raleigh.  Zachary took over for Steve Swenson at Entercom Washington.  The company has not named a successor for the DC market manager position.

Beasley Acquires Houston Outlaws Esports Franchise. The financial details of this deal were not released but Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. says this acquisition of the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws esports team enhances the company’s growing esports platform.  Previously, Beasley invested in Team Renegades – an esports organization consisting of five teams, based in Detroit, Michigan – and acquired CheckpointXP, a weekly syndicated esports lifestyle show. Beasley says that the Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America.  Overwatch was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment “whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years.”  The Overwatch League will begin its third season in February of 2020, with each of the league’s teams hosting matches in their home markets.  The Outlaws will remain officially based in Houston, Texas and will continue to represent the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The acquisition of the Houston Outlaws significantly expands our growing esports platform.  The Houston Outlaws represent a rare investment opportunity, as there are only 20 Overwatch League teams in the world, and the transaction partners Beasley with Blizzard Entertainment and its parent company, Activision Blizzard, a leading global developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content and services…The acquisition of the Houston Outlaws furthers our revenue and cash flow diversification strategies. We believe the power of our media footprint, including 65 highly-rated radio stations in large- and mid-sized markets, combined with our 24/7 coverage of esports news, will allow us to build the value of the Outlaws franchise through a range of revenue sources, including ticket sales, advertising, sponsorship, licensing, e-commerce, and other partnerships.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/15).  The new episode titled “The Show Biz Capitol of America!” looks back at this past week of November 11-15, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSWayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVDr. Daliah Wachs, medical doctor/talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkLisa Wexler, probate judge, Connecticut/talk show host, WICC, Bridgeport; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood One;  Dr. Dana Cheng, senior China news reporter, The Epoch TimesVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Bali Samra, human resources consultant/commentator, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA.   This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm; followed by WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.’

Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 11-15. The start of impeachment hearings against President Trump and the allegations of misconduct with Ukraine military aid was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race, the Trump tax returns court ruling, and the trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone.  Coming in at #3 was stock market activity and the economy, followed by universal health care proposals at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Rose Anderson, VP/Executive Director of the New York Festivals Radio Awards Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. New York Festivals, the prestigious, long-running international awards organization spotlighting quality in the fields of advertising, TV & film, and radio opens its acceptance of entries for the 2020 Radio Awards competition and announces information about its exciting new presentation in April. The organization’s vice president and executive director, Rose Anderson, guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Anderson, who brings years of experience as a network TV producer to her role at NYF, joins Harrison in a fascinating conversation about the renaissance of storytelling in the radio field as well as other exciting changes the industry is experiencing in the rapidly evolving digital era. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

9th Annual KFI, Los Angeles ‘PastaThon’ Scheduled for December 6. For this year’s 9th KFI PastaThon on December 6, iHeartMedia has teamed with Smart & Final stores and Barilla Pasta to raise money as well as donations of pasta and sauce to help feed local children in need.  Funds raised from the event will benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that helps feed, house and educate children in need in Orange County.  Now through December 6, Smart & Final is offering an opportunity for shoppers to donate to this event by purchasing $10 KFI PastaThon kits, generously donated by Barilla, that include the brand’s pasta and sauce as well as Smart & Final’s signature First Street line of plates, utensils and napkins. Each kit provides 24 meals and those purchasing the kit receive a chance to win a 13-day trip to Italy for two, courtesy of guided vacation company Trafalgar.  On December 6, all KFI AM 640’s on-air personalities – Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. – will participate in a live, 17-hour broadcast on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money, packaged pasta and jars of pasta sauce.  Last year’s event raised a record $517,000 and 50,000 pounds of pasta and sauce.  Since 2010, KFI listeners have helped raise over $2.3 million and 391,000 pounds of pasta and sauce for Caterina’s Club.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “This is a whole station and community effort. Everyone supports this wonderful cause from the on-air hosts to the news team, sales, digital, I.T, engineering and promotions. Everyone from every corner of the station is a part of this wonderful cause.  Not only is the KFI PastaThon about feeding children in need, it’s also about ending the cycle of poverty and we are grateful to our incredible listeners who so generously support the good work of [Caterina’s Club founder] Chef Bruno.”

TALKERS News Notes. Four new podcasts are released by PodcastOne.  Viral phenomenon Trisha Paytas expands her brand beyond YouTube with the podcast, “The Dish with Trish”; actress Daniella Monet teams up with her fiancé, Andrew Gardner, to discuss their journey into “adulting” on “Adulting Like A Mother Father”; the Ladygang Network on PodcastOne adds a fashion-forward podcast called “Brad Behavior with Brad Goreski”; and PodcastOne continues to expand its lineup of dramatic and true-crime programming with Reelz’ “Copycat Killers,” based on of the television series detailing murders that imitate Hollywood’s hit blockbuster films…..ESPN Audio says its podcasts set a new record in October (as per Podtrac) with a verified unique audience of 8.1 million.  ESPN says that figure represents an increase of 27% over October 2018.  ESPN vice president, digital strategy and marketing within ESPN Audio Tom Ricks says, “ESPN’s podcast business has certainly been building great momentum which we expect to continue with the recent launch of ‘ESPN Daily.’  We remain very bullish on the podcast space and that ESPN is best suited to capitalize on the format in the sports genre.”.…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago producer Tony Gill is leaving the Entercom sports talk station  to join NBC Sports Chicago in the role of podcast producer.  At WSCR, he’s been producing the Laurence Holmes midday show as well as a number of the station’s podcasts…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated evening radio host Delilah spoke with actress and Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth for her podcast, “Love Someone with Delilah.”  On the podcast the two talk about Chenoweth’s new album, For The Girls, a tribute to the passionate women of music as well as about her passions for creating, singing, and giving back through Kristin Chenoweth Broadway Bootcamps, and her new endeavor – building a creative arts center in her hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

WTOP, Washington Seeks Director of News and Programming. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is seeking a director of news and programming. Hubbard Radio says this person, “leads WTOP, an effective organization of over 100 people consisting of news directors, writers, anchors, reporters, editors, and staff to provide the best available local, national and international news, traffic, weather, sports and money news across all media platforms, including radio, internet and social media while serving as brand manager to maintain the imaging, marketing and overall sound.” Essential job functions for this position include: Overall responsibility for WTOP news gathering, production, news programming and presentation across multiple platforms with the utmost in quality control; provides effective leadership to a diverse workforce covered by a collective bargaining agreement that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; establishes short and long term program format objectives, strategies and plans to achieve maximum listenership of a quality product across multiple platforms; ensures that all programming is in compliance with state and federal laws and FCC Rules and Regulations; liason between company management and union. For more information and to apply, click here.

Cool Talk Radio Sales Opportunity. In New York City, Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive for radio and digital sales. Here’s the ad: Salem Media Group is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA “AM570/102.3FM The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales. Interested candidates should apply online and email cover letter and resumes to Jerry Crowley’s attention.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta country outlet WKHX rebrands as “Atlanta’s New Country 101.FIVE,” “an innovative radio outlet celebrating the great songs and sounds of Georgia’s homegrown artists.  These stars feed souls and fill hearts, stadiums and concert halls around the world.”  Cumulus Media made the change yesterday (11/14) at 3:00 pm playing “Dirt We Were Raised On” by Macon, Georgia’s Jason Aldean, followed by songs from The Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Sugarland, and Trisha Yearwood.  The station had been branded “Kicks 101.5” since 1981.  “Kincaid and Dallas” are holding down the morning shift and Lucas Phelan hosts afternoon drive…..Programming pro Brian Roberts exits adult contemporary WPEZ, Macon, Georgia “Lite Rock Z93.7” where he was morning host and PD…..After eight years in Kansas City, Brady Goodman is out at Entercom’s cluster there where he was handling imaging and on-air roles at hot AC KZPT “99-7 The Point.”

Monday, August 5, 2019

| August 5, 2019

Radio HOF Announces “Class of 2019.” The nine newest members of the Radio Hall of Fame who will be inducted at a November 8 ceremony in New York City’s Gotham Hall are: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Harry Harrison; Kevin Ryder & Gene “Bean” Baxter (“Kevin & Bean”); Joe Madison; Jim Rome; Ryan Seacrest; John Tesh; and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Radio HOF chair Kraig Kitchin remarks, “I am especially proud to welcome these individuals into the Radio Hall of Fame. Their on-air performances and audience relationships are especially remarkable. Each of our 2019 nominees [is] worthy of induction. I’m appreciative of all those who participated in our process of selecting our Class of 2019, who will join the 238 Radio Hall of Fame inductees already recognized for their great work.” Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton does afternoon drive on iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” and his “Weekly Top 30 Countdown” is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Harry Harrison (“Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years”) was a mainstay New York City morning talent on WMCA, WABC, and WCBS-FM. Kevin and Bean (“Active Local/Regional, 10+ years”) have been overseeing mornings on Entercom Los Angeles alternative KROQ. Joe Madison – “The Black Eagle” – is heard on SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel. Jim Rome (“Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years”), whose show was called a “freaking jungle” by a listener – and the term stuck – airs on CBS Sports Radio. Ryan Seacrest’s multi-platforms include mornings on iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.” John Tesh (“Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years”) hosts Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Intelligence For Your Life.” Meanwhile, “The Dr. Ruth Show” was heard on NBC Radio and she hosted “Sexually Speaking” on New York City’s WYNY. Four inductees were determined by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Another four were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, two with input from the public. The outcome of the listener vote for a music format and spoken-word format on-air personality counted as one vote among the committee votes. The Radio HOF voting process was administered by Votem and overseen by the certified public accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase LLP.

Monday Memo: “Hollywood,” Co-starring AM Radio. The Los Angeles Times calls “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” “the year’s first surefire Oscar Best Picture nominee.”  And the soundtrack — assembled after writer/director Quentin Tarantino listened to 14 hours of 1969 KHJ airchecks — may also grab a statuette.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s panel explains what made radio so “sticky” then, and what it would take to reclaim the foreground on today’s crowded audio landscape. Read his column here.

Karem’s Press Pass Suspended. The White House Correspondents Association is “closely monitoring” the White House press secretary’s decision to suspend for 30 days the pass of CNN political analyst Brian Karem. Association president Jonathan Karl states, “We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter’s hard pass. The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reports the suspension letter Karem received specifically cited the confrontation he got into with former Trump aide/Salem Radio Networks talk host Sebastian Gorka at the White House social media summit a few weeks ago. Via Twitter, Gorka writes, “From this day forth the punk @BrianKarem will be called Brian Karma.” Meanwhile, on that same social media platform, Karem notes that he intends to appeal the White House’s decision. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after that summit wrapped. That conversation is archived here on the TALKERS website (Friday, July 12, 2019).

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Net Revenue Increases 6.5%. The $4 million (6.5%) year-over-year gain (to $65.7 million) during the three months ended June 30 reflects increased revenue in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Philadelphia cluster, primarily due to the September 2018 acquisition of country WXTU, and increased revenue from its Boston stations. Net revenue for the three months ended June 30 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the company’s other clusters. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley comments, “The strategic and financial benefits of our initiatives to further expand and diversify Beasley’s broadcast and digital platform are evident in our second-quarter financial results and further highlights the progress we are making to reinforce and grow Beasley’s leadership position across all audio platforms in our markets. Record second-quarter net revenue of $65.7 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset approximately $1 million in combined political and United States Traffic Network (USTN) revenue recorded in the comparable 2018 period, which was non-recurring in 2019.” In June, Beasley Broadcast Group entered into a definitive agreement with Urban One to acquire Detroit’s WDMK and three translators used to broadcast WDMK’s HD2 signal for $13.5 million. Caroline Beasley notes, “This transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow, excluding one-time transaction costs. The acquisition of WDMK-FM and the WDMK-HD2 translators represent a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit with a strong cluster of four FM stations in the country’s thirteenth largest market.”

iHM Hikes Hyland to Region President/Washington & Baltimore. Most recently region senior vice president of sales and market president for iHeartMedia Washington D.C./Baltimore, Aaron Hyland is elevated to region president of those two markets. He succeeds Mike Preacher, who becomes president for government initiatives and partnerships for iHeartMedia Markets Group. Preacher will report to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Greg Ashlock, while Hyland will report to iHeartMedia west division president Kevin LeGrett. According to Ashlock, “With Aaron, we are fortunate to have someone so talented, experienced and knowledgeable of the area to make the natural progression to the role of region president. With Mike, we are grateful for the amazing job he has done leading our D.C./Baltimore region and excited about the incredible wealth of experience and success he brings to the table in managing our government initiatives and partnership division. This is a win-win.” Hyland, who began his radio career as local sales manager for iHeartMedia Albany (New York), comments, “The iHeartMedia Washington D.C. region has a strong presence in both Washington and Baltimore with advertisers throughout the community. I’m excited to build on our success here, giving our advertisers efficient and effective marketing solutions as well as providing our listeners the best programming and content.” Preacher notes, “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the Washington D.C. region. Aaron has been instrumental to our growth and I am highly confident that he and the team will enjoy continued success. Regarding my role moving forward, we have very high growth expectations for our government initiatives and partnerships division. I am looking forward to resourcing and spearheading the team’s efforts.” The iHM DC cluster consists of news/talk WONK, adult contemporary WASH, country WMZQ, CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5,” alternative WWDC “DC-101,” and WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock,” while its Baltimore owned-and-operated stations are CHR WZFT “Z-104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM,” WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s Country Station,” and gospel WCAO “Heaven 600.”

2020 Local Political Advertising to Top $6.5 Billion. That’s the estimate from BIA Advisory Services, which forecasts over-the-air television will earn the majority of the spending (47% or $3.08 billion). That compares to just over $312 million (4.8%) for radio. Meanwhile, online/digital outlets will receive $1.37 billion (21%), while multichannel video programming distributors are expected to rake in $919 million (14%). The balance will go to other media. BIA Advisory Services chief economist/senior vice president Mark Fratrik opines, “It is going to be a very interesting political year. Some very large markets will not see much in political advertising while some small markets will see an extraordinary amount of advertising due to competitive gubernatorial, senate and house races along with the presidential election. Campaigns will continue to rely on television as a dominant platform for advertising while supplementing with digital advertising across mobile and desktop. In some smaller markets, one thing to keep an eye on is how the huge volume of political advertising could crowd out other local advertisers during primary and general election seasons. That may have an impact on advertisers and media companies. We will certainly factor that into our forecasting as we go through the fall.” It is believed that the three top local political revenue generating markets will be Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Philadelphia. In each market, TV OTA will receive more than $130 million in advertising with online/digital ad spend getting over 25% of the total spend.

Hart Heads to Albuquerque. Former six-year Entercom Philadelphia news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart relocates to Albuquerque to become AM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM (which he will program), sports talk KNML “The Sports Animal,” and business talk KTBL. Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Jared brings the experience, skill, and vision to lead our three AM stations – including the legendary KKOB-AM – back to a position of market dominance. We are so excited for him to join our team and help guide our cluster to new heights.” Hart adds, “I’m excited by the opportunity to join the passionate and forward-thinking team at Cumulus Albuquerque. It’s hard to overstate the power and impact of KKOB-AM and ‘The Sports Animal’ across New Mexico and the potential for KTBL. I’m honored to help drive the future success of these great stations and can’t wait to jump in.” Prior to his tenure at WPHT, Hart was assistant program director for Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk siblings KGO and KSFO.

Four Staffers Added to Westwood One Podcast Network. Joining Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One Podcast Network are senior producer, core content Madena Parwana; senior producer, development Lou Pellegrino; audio mixing engineer/studio technician Rebekah Wineman; and associate producer Sarah McCrory. All four will report to executive editor John Wordock, who comments, “This latest round of hiring further demonstrates Westwood One’s commitment to quality and scale as we grow our podcast business and serve our extraordinary partners and content providers. Madena, Lou, Rebekah, and Sarah have diverse and distinctive skillsets that will greatly contribute to the success and evolution of podcasting at Westwood One.” Parwana will help manage and produce podcasts that cover news, lifestyle and entertainment, sports, and business/money. She previously was a producer in the global radio division of Bloomberg LP, where she produced Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” and “The Business of Sports” podcasts. Parwana was also senior podcast producer and co-host of “Unique Radio with Will Castro.” Pellegrino will manage and assess in-bound podcast pitches as well as help to develop pilots and shows. He formerly was executive producer of podcasts for Cadence 13 where he produced “The Woj Pod” and was involved with “Pod Save America.” In addition, Pellegrino was a producer for NBC Sports Radio and worked as a freelance producer for “The Dan Patrick Show” and MSG Networks. Wineman will support post-production, sound quality, field engineering, and studio maintenance. She previously worked as an audio engineer for The Wall Street Journal, where she mixed the “What’s News” podcast. Wineman served as a mixing and mastering engineer for NPR’s “Latino USA” and “In the Thick.” McCrory will support hosts, help edit and produce shows, and book guests. Before joining Westwood One, she worked as a production coordinator and podcast coordinator for Fox News Channel in New York City and Washington, DC, working on the podcasts “Livin’ the Bream” and “The Fox News Rundown.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Sports reporter/anchor Carol Maloney joins Cumulus Media Washington DC’s WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” for 10:00 am – 12:00 noon duty. Cumulus Washington, DC program director Bill Hess states, “I’ve admired Carol’s energy, passion, and journalism since we first worked together a dozen years ago. Her relationships with the players, coaches, reporters, and sports fans in our town are unmatched.” Maloney notes, “I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve spent most of my career in the nation’s capital passionately following and covering the sports teams in town. Luckily, I’ve made a lot of friends and contacts along the way and will be calling on all of them.” Maloney has worked for Comcast SportsNet and NBC Sports Washington. She continues as a field reporter/show host for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) on Washington Nationals telecasts. “The Carol Maloney Show” debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/6) ….. Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” rebrands as “560 The Joe.” While the Entercom sports talk outlet is the flagship of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and University of Miami Hurricanes, its weekday lineup is taking more of a national lean: SportsCenter All Night (1:00 am – 5:00 am); First & Last with Jason Fitz (5:00 am – 6:00 am); The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dan Le Batard with Stugotz (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Stephen A. Smith (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “Best of ‘560 The Joe’” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Spain & Company (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Freddie & Fitzsimmons (9:00 pm – 1:00 am). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WAXY “AM 790 The Ticket” is the key station of the NBA’s Miami Heat. Its on-air roster includes: Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); Tobin, Leroy, & The Beast (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Zaslow & Amber (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Zack Duarte (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Scott Ferrall (10:00 pm – 2:00 am).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At a time when high-profile stations such as WPLJ, New York; WRQX, Washington, DC; and WYAY, Atlanta (among others) are flipping to contemporary Christian, Tucson is losing a religious-geared outlet. Specifically, Tucson Radio LLC officially closes on its $650,000 purchase of KFLT “AM 830” & K269FV Oro Valley (Arizona) from Family Life Broadcasting and transitions it to “The Drive” (pending calls KDRI), an “original format” of music and local, live personalities. The ownership team of Arizona-based Tucson Radio, which has no other broadcast interests, is longtime Tucson businessman and community activist Fletcher McCusker (board chair); Bobby Rich (president); and Jim Arnold (general manager). McCusker is the only one without extensive radio or broadcast background. According to Arnold, who has nearly 40 years of  experience in Tucson radio and TV stations, “The Drive” will debut commercial-free as he begins hiring a sales staff this week. Today’s 6:00 am launch (Monday, 8/5) follows stunting as “The Worm,” a mix of novelty songs. With a catalogue of over 2,000 songs, “The Drive” is designed to appeal to baby boomers and originates 24/7 broadcasting from downtown Tucson. Its FM signal is heard throughout the Tucson valley, while the 830 AM signal carries from the Mexican border to Phoenix. Rich tells RadioInfo/TALKERS, “This has been developing for more than eight months; I recently realized I’ve never done a total build from scratch. I have gone back-and-forth from high anxiety to beyond thrilled of building something new, from concept to call-letters to months sorting song lists to finding talent before I could tell them what it was or what it would sound like. We didn’t buy studios or broadcast equipment – just a pair of transmitters and a tower rental agreement. Everything was kept confidential, which was extremely difficult. Some of the staff just learned the branding and what titles are in the library. We’re in empty offices working from a temporary studio while the real studios are being built across the hall. It is crazy, fun stuff.  I’m more than a little overwhelmed but so happy. It’s a dream come true for all of us – a chance to select our own music and manage content that matters to Tucson and have incredible fun while making great radio. It’s crazy to start a new radio station, but we are just crazy enough and have the passion-to make it work.” Immediately prior to his 25-year tenure as program director/morning drive host at Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix 94,” Rich was vice president/general manager/morning show talent for Seattle’s KMGI. His voluminous resume also includes programming stops in New York City (WXLO “99-X”); Los Angeles (KHTZ “K-Hits 97”); Philadelphia (WWSH); San Diego (KFMB-FM “B-100,” where he famously formulated the “Rich Brothers”); and director/programming consultation for Drake-Chenault. Rich worked on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ and KFI, as well as WMYQ, Miami. The on-air lineup for “The Drive” is comprised of Rich and Hill Bailey (morning drive); former program director of cross-town CHR KRQQ Ken Carr (mid-days); Mike Esparza (afternoon drive); and onetime Bobby Rich intern Tyler Russell (nights). Evan Carlson-headed, Arizona not-for-profit corporation Family Life owns stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction ….. While retaining its “Que Buena 92.7” identity, Univision Radio New York’s WQBU transitions from regional Mexican to Spanish AC. Core artists will include Chayanne, Juan Gabriel, Juan Luis Guerra, Enrique Iglesias, Jose Jose, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Laura Pausini, and Shakira. Univision Radio New York president and general manager Roberto Yanez comments, “We are excited to launch a format that reflects distinct tastes of the Latino community in the Tri-State area. By reformatting our audio portfolio to include the only Spanish AC station in the region, we are able to give our audience more of the music they love, whether they’re listening at home, at work, or during their commute.” Its adjusted on-air lineup now includes: Mildre Aquino (6:00 am – 10:00 am); El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Jose Luis Arcos (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Cesar Lozano (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and El Free-Guey with La Bronca (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 New York City report, WQBU ranks #34 (.3); it is #37 in Long Island (.2, 6+, June 2019) ….. One-year KVIL, Dallas “Alt 103.7” morning talent Jenn Marino exits the Entercom alternative outlet. Marino formerly co-hosted Premiere Networks’ Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx. Her other on-air credits include Baltimore outlets WHFS “Alternative 99.1”; WWMX, “Mix 106.5”; and WIYY “98 Rock,” as well as KRXO, Oklahoma City …. Launched in 2018, YEA Networks’Tino Cochino Radio” debuts next Monday morning (8/12, 6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas CHR KVGQ “Q-106.9.” Hosted by Tino Cochino, Raquel, and DJ Nicasio, the show is now heard in more than 40 markets. KVGQ program director Gabriela “Lady g.” Loredon comments, “I’m excited to welcome Tino and the TCR team to our ‘Q-106.9’ family. TCR is the perfect fit for mornings here in Vegas and can’t wait to win” ….. American Idol winner Maddie Poppe and Whitney Woerz are among those scheduled to appear at the third annual “Survive Live” concert presented by Entercom Madison hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.” The October 3rd event will raise money for breast cancer awareness ….. “I’m Roger Carroll and I play records.” For 20 years (1959 – 1979), listeners of Los Angeles’ once powerhouse KMPC heard Kolman Carroll Rutkin begin his “R.C. Get Together” that way; the 90-year-Carroll died last week in Long Beach, California. Andrew Rutkin notes that his father “lived an amazing life; was surrounded by family; and his passing was peaceful.” The son of Eastern Europe immigrants, Roger Carroll was born in Baltimore in 1928 and moved away at 15 to work as an announcer at Frederick, Maryland’s WFMD. After World War ll, he relocated to Los Angeles, and at age 18, became the youngest announcer ever on the ABC Radio Network. Carroll, who worked at Los Angeles’ KABC from 1946 – 1959, became executive producer of the “Lawrence Welk Radio Show” in 1981 and owned KWIP, Salem (Oregon), a station he sold in 1991. For many years, he was the off-camera voice for such TV shows as “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Bonanza,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” and “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” In 2017, he started a streaming internet station, Roger Carroll’s Best Sounds in Town.” Commenting about his father, Andrew Rutkin states, “We will all miss him terribly. I’ll especially miss his wealth of stories and his amazing talent for mucking up his computer.”

Charlamagne Tha Guest. A number of the 2020 presidential candidates have made Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” a must-stop on their campaign trail. Last week, the show’s Charlamagne Tha God made the media rounds himself, appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (the two are shown here) and CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett. Among other things, he talked about how the Democrats performed in the recent debates; who his favorite candidate is so far; and how he approaches interviews. Originating from iHeartMedia New York urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” the 4.5-hour “Breakfast Club” features Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball 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. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; 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.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Friday, November 2, 2018

| November 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austin

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

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

Raleigh

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

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

Indianapolis

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

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

Milwaukee

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

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

Nashville

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

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

Providence

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

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

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

Greensboro

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

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

West Palm Beach

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

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

Jacksonville

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

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

Memphis

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

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

Hartford

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

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. In Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Friday, August 3, 2018

| August 3, 2018

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Up 1%; Station Operating Income Up 3.5%. Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $61.6 million for Beasley Broadcast Group – an increase of 1% over the same period in 2017.  For the first six months of 2018, net revenue was $116.8 million – up from $114.8 million in 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s second quarter results reflect our ongoing execution of strategies to drive revenue, productivity and growth across our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms.  The 1% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues combined with essentially flat station expenses and the operating leverage related to the top-line growth resulted in a 3.5% increase in second quarter SOI.  Overall, our second quarter results again demonstrate the efficiencies we are realizing related to our expanded scale and the operating leverage in our model, which collectively led to a 28.6% increase in earnings per share.  During the second quarter, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements.  In this regard, we declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately 20% year-over-year to $3.8 million, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points.  We used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of $2 million in the second quarter and ended June 30, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $220 million.”  As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, Beasley completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby it exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM.  The results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results also reflect one month of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the three-month period, and four months of contribution in the six-month period ended June 30, 2017.  The $0.6 million, or 1.0%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion of WBZ-FM Boston, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations.

E.W. Scripps Radio Revenue Hit by Write-Down of Stations Value. The sale of its radio stations has been the focus of industry news about E.W. Scripps as it re-aligns to concentrate on its television and OTT businesses.  As a result, it has been reporting its radio segment as “discontinued operations” in recent quarterly reports.  In the second quarter of 2017, the radio segment’s income was $1.7 million.  The second quarter of 2018 has produced a loss of $2.9 million as the result of “non-cash charges of $25.9 million to write down the assets of the radio business to fair value.”  Scripps has agreed to sell its five-station Tulsa cluster to the local Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and its Milwaukee duo to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.  The company has 27 stations in six markets for which it continues to seek buyers.

Report: Cain to End Talk Show on WSB-AM, Atlanta.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is exiting his daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM 750.”  Cain – who assumed the late morning show slot after Neal Boortz’s retirement in 2013 – will continue with the station doing a daily, two-minute commentary leading up to the noon newscast.  To fill the hour, Eric Von Haessler’s program will expand to the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Spotify Pulls Some Alex Jones Podcasts For Violation of ‘Hate Policy.’ Media personality Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded that the episodes violated its hate content policy.  According to the Associated Press report, the episodes became notorious on social media, forcing the company to act.  It issued the following statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.  Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” According to the AP story, Jones said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Perry Stone Named OM for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. Programmer and air personality Perry Stone joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois four-station cluster to serve as operations manager for news/talk WMAY-AM/W234CC and rock WQLZ-FM, effective August 6.  In addition to his OM duties for both stations, Stone will host the afternoon show on WQLZ.  Stone was most recently with Saga Communications in Charlottesville, Virginia as operations manager for news/talk WINA-AM/FM and rock WWWV.  The company says Stone “has worked on-air in markets as large as New York City and San Francisco and as small as Carbondale, Illinois.  So, he not only knows Illinois, but he understands the opportunities and challenges in markets of all sizes.” Mid-West Family Springfield general manager Harvey Wells says, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and Perry’s experience both in management and on-air made the difference.  I’m looking forward to him joining our off and on-air team.”  Stone remarks, “It’s great to get back to the Midwest.  I spent time in Carbondale and in Milwaukee and have always enjoyed the people and places there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all that Central Illinois has to offer.  In addition, Mid-West Family Radio is one of the most respected companies in radio. I could not be happier.”

Wilson and Parcell New Midday Hosts on WFNZ, Charlotte ‘The Fan.’ After Chris Kroeger was named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Entercom sports talk outlet WFNZ “The Fan” conducted a search for his replacement in middays and announces that Nick Wilson (inset) and Josh Parcell (right) begin as the new midday stars on Monday (8/6).  Wilson was most recently with the company’s WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” where he hosted the evening program.  Parcell has done fill-in work on WFNZ and has served as a producer for ESPN.

Smith Promoted to VP of Engineering for Beasley Media Group. Moving up from his regional engineering director & corporate project manager position with Beasley Media Group to vice president of engineering is Lamar Smith.  He’s been with the company for the past seven years and he’ll continue to be based in Charlotte where he’ll manage large corporate projects throughout the country as well as assist in overseeing the company’s engineering staff.  Smith also currently serves as vice president of the Emergency Broadcast Association.

Mickey Moore Appointed VP of Sales at iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Media sales and marketing pro Michelle “Mickey” Moore is the new vice president of sales at iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK and sports talk KFXN “The Fan.”  iHM Minneapolis also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota.  Moore joins iHeartMedia Minneapolis from Franklin Covey, where she served as a client partner.  She previously worked at iHeartMedia as the general sales manager for KDWB-FM from 1994 to 2001.  Moore’s sales background also includes American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, where her positions included managing director of inclusion and community impact, senior director of organization development and senior director of underwriting sales.  Region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander says, “We are pleased to have such a respected, seasoned leader like Mickey join iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Her wealth of industry experience and her ability to blend creativity and sales strategy will benefit both our sales team and our clients.”

TALKERS News Notes.  It was a frightening experience for WWJ-AM, Detroit reporter Mike Campbell as an apparently disturbed man smashed the window of his station vehicle while he was filing a live report on a fatal car crash in the city.  He was unhurt in the incident and was able to successfully file his report. Numerous reporters form various outlets were on the scene when the suspect (who was subsequently tasered and subdued by police) used a metal baton to smash the windows of two station vehicles while shouting obscenities and racial slurs…..Former NFL tight-end Martellus Bennett debuts his new podcast, “Revenge of the Jocks,” on PodcastOne Sportsnet.  The company says the weekly program “goes beyond Martellus, the athlete, as the Super Bowl champion explores the infinite world of creativity.  Speaking firsthand, as an entrepreneur, musician, animator, sketch artist, children’s author and app creator himself, Bennett will be joined by fascinating friends to discuss a broad spectrum of topics, including what it means to be a creative, activist, and overall culture-shaping world-changer.”…..Entercom sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia relaunches the “Go Birds” podcast hosted by station personalities John Barchard and James Seltzer.  The radio show will continue to air on Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “SportsRadio 94WIP.” The podcast will be available on Radio.com.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Both the podcast and radio show have been Eagles fan favorites and we are excited to continue the tradition.  The name of the show might be changing, but fans can expect the same insight into their favorite football team.”…..VSiN – the network dedicated to sports gambling information – announces a partnership with sports talk KNBR, San Francisco that taps VSiN to deliver daily Bay Area-focused updates for the station. Starting Monday (8/6), KNBR will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Bay Area sports teams. VSiN will supply one report in the 9:00 am hour and another in the 5:00 pm hour each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.   KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are excited to partner with VSiN in bringing top-notch gaming updates to the KNBR airwaves.  VSiN continues to be an industry leader in this space and VSiN founder Brent Musburger has had his finger on the pulse of sports gambling for decades.”…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio announced that they have reached a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that will add per diem and temporary employees working in SAG-AFTRA covered titles to the union’s longstanding contract that currently covers more than 100 full-time workers at NYPR.  The Agreement adds more than 30 people to a larger group that has been represented by SAG-AFTRA since 2000…..Longtime Purdue University sports broadcaster Larry Clisby is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and metastic brain cancer.  The problem is Medicare doesn’t cover all of his medical bills.  Family have started a GoFundMe page to which people can donate.  Clisby became the radio voice of Purdue men’s basketball in 1984.  He also called Boilermakers football for 10 seasons.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 30 – August 3.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s immigration policy tied with the related story of the Portland mayor’s battle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, followed by the midterm races and the reports of continuing Russian election interference at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A GoFundMe page has been set up for former triple A KINK, Portland program director and air personality Sean Demery.  He is battling to recover from a brain stem stroke suffered in January of this year and his insurance has run out, causing financial struggles for him and his family. You can donate here.…..An ill-advised Facebook post has cost classic rock WKLR, Richmond morning personality his job.  Brady DeAngelo posted a picture of the back of a woman sitting at a bar and a caption that contained coarse language. You can see WTVR-TV, Richmond’s coverage, including a screen capture of the post here.  DeAngelo commented, “I made a joke that some thought was inappropriate on my personal Facebook page and it became more of an issue than I believe it should have become.”.….KLAL, Little Rock “Alice 107.7” morning show personalities Heather (left) and Poolboy (right) were honored with the Best Radio Personality award from The Arkansas Times.  This marks the fourth consecutive win in the Best Radio Personality category for the duo.  CHR KLAL was named Runner-Up Best Radio Station for 2018, a category it has won or received runner-up in each year since 2010…..iHeartMedia announces it has partnered with Super Hi-Fi to introduce “new AI capabilities” that will make the iHeartRadio digital platform sound more like a live radio show.  iHeartMedia says, “The new integration brings the best of live broadcast radio to digital streaming music by delivering flawless song transitions, including precise crossfades, volume leveling and truly gapless playback to iHeartRadio’s listeners.”

Monday, May 7, 2018

| May 7, 2018

Beasley Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Comparing the first quarter of 2018 to the same period in 2017, net revenue for Beasley Broadcast Group was $55.2 million, an increase of 2.6%.  The report notes last May’s sale of its six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster and the December asset exchange of WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million for sports station WBZ-FM and states that this report reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2018 and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “In the first quarter of 2018, we continued to execute well on our integration strategy focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership at recently acquired stations, while implementing our operating and expense management disciplines…The $1.6 million increase in station operating expenses was largely attributable to the Boston market’s sports leader, WBZ-FM, and additional one-time costs related to New England Patriots’ Super Bowl programming.  However, the ongoing success of our expense management initiatives resulted in a year-over-year reduction in operating expenses at our Tampa, Charlotte, Detroit, Fort Myers and Augusta clusters.  As a result, while Beasley’s SOI declined 1.5% year-over-year, after excluding the SOI contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville station divestitures from the comparable 2017 period, first quarter SOI would have been flat.  With our strong operating cash flows we have invested in our broadcast and technology platforms while pursuing select accretive acquisitions and station swaps. At the same time, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements. In this regard, during the first quarter, we increased our quarterly cash dividend by 11.1% and declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately $1.2 million year-over-year, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points. We also used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of approximately $3.0 million and ended March 31, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $222 million.

E.W. Scripps Q1 Conference Call May Shed Light on Sale of Radio Division.  Or it may not.  It depends on whether Scripps is in serious talks to sell its radio division and whether or not those parties want any public disclosures made at this time.  Scripps made the announcement last fall that it would be selling the radio division that it acquired in the Journal Communications deal to allow it to focus on its television segment. Because of that, Scripps is listing the radio stations as “discontinued operations” in its financial reports. Today’s press release notes, “At the end of 2017, radio operations were classified as held for sale. The radio segment results are included in discontinued operations. All periods have been adjusted to reflect this presentation. Discontinued operations include a $20 million non-cash charge to write down the assets of our radio business to fair value.”  There have been rumors that Scripps has a buyer for its largest market stations – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM in Milwaukee – and many industry watchers suspect that buyer is Entercom.  Today’s conference call is 9:00 am ET.

Cumulus’ Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors Files Proposed Finding of Facts; Challenges Stated Value of the Company. The 56-page document filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York by The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media Inc., Et Al. challenges the company’s and the senior lenders’ assessment that Cumulus Media is worth $1.67 billion, arguing that its true value is between $2.1 and $2.4 billion.  As Cumulus announced last week, the court has confirmed Cumulus’ reorganization plan based on the $1.67 billion valuation.  In Friday’s filing, the unsecured creditors try to make the point that the calculation of multiples in assessing the value of Cumulus’ stations is too low, “Cumulus should receive a premium multiple relative to comparable companies in the radio industry.”  It also argues that Cumulus’ tower portfolio’s fair market value is $134 million and should add “an additional $45 to $55 million in incremental value to the company.” Read details here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago all-newser WBBM-AM is officially recognizing its 50thanniversary as a news station (the actual 50th was Sunday).  The Entercom station is celebrating the milestone on its website with a history of the station plus photos, old ads and logos and much more.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that director of news and programming Ron Gleason told staffers in a memo, “Think about 50 years — all that’s transpired, all the chronicling of Chicago, the state, the country and the world.  You and your predecessors have covered some incredibly exceptional events, and devastating tragedies, doing so with credibility and without bias every step of the way.  I’m so lucky to be part of this, and proud to work alongside each of you on a daily basis.”…..Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee combines with sister country station WKTI to bring home 15 awards for excellence from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.  WTMJ picked up “News & Talk Station of the Year,” “News Operation of the Year,” and “Social & Digital Media Operation of the Year.”  Vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “‘WTMJ Radio’ and ‘KTI COUNTRY’ are committed to providing community service, local news, programming and multi-platform local content to serve our communities.  To be recognized by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is truly a meaningful honor.”…..Mike Calta show cast member Sandra Carmin Herrst was arrested over the weekend on domestic violence charges after she allegedly hit her boyfriend.  Herrst, who goes by Carmin on the WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning show, was arrested and released on her own recognizance…..The Westwood One nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Sterling on Sunday” announces it has inked its 50thaffiliate station with the signing of WBAP, Dallas.  The show is hosted by longtime radio executive Walter Sabo, a.k.a. Walter Sterling (pictured at left), who says, “Successful talk stations are aggressively widening their topic offerings and I’m delighted to be heard on 50 of them…and counting.  ‘Sterling on Sunday’ resonates with audiences because it’s a reflection of their real lives. We talk about life with family, life at work, life at the mall. It’s all very relatable. The power of the mirror always wins.”…..The third season of ESPN’s “30 for 30 Podcasts” launches on May 22 with five episodes covering the story of the rise and fall of Bikram yoga and how the community is still grappling with its identity in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against its founder Bikram Choudhury.  The podcast is reported and produced by ESPN’s Julia Lowrie Henderson.….Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets agree to a multi-year deal for the station to air Nets games and related programming through the 2020-21 season.  As part of the deal, in the case of conflicts, Nets games will air on sister all-news WCBS-AM.

Fifth Annual GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 5th annual GAB Radio Talent Institute returns to the campus of the University of Georgia today and Beasley Media Group VP of corporate communications Heidi Raphael was today’s opening speaker for the 10-day institute.  Forty broadcasters from Beasley, Cox Media, Urban One, Entercom, Cumulus, iHeartMedia, Salem Media Group and others – as well as the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons – are coming together to teach the students who come from UGA and seven other schools in the region.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton comments, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System, and now, with our Beasley Media Group relationship, this partnership is even stronger. Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry. I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”  Pictured above is WSB-FM, Atlanta “B 98.5” afternoon personality Madison James (at left) teaching students.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case/‘SNL’ Sketch, Iran Nuclear Deal, Facebook Helps ISIS Supporters, McCain HBO Documentary/Book, North-South Korea Talks, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; the Trump Administration’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal; allegations that Facebook’s “suggested friends” feature has been connecting those with ISIS sympathies; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the peace talks between North and South Korea; Major League Baseball action and NBA playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Is Nearing an Early Sellout. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – is on course to again be an early sellout.  Friday, May 11 at 5:00 pm ET has been set as the absolute cut-off date past which new registrations will no longer be taken – although according to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We might have to stop taking registrations before that because the number of bodies we can accommodate at this basically intimate gathering is indeed finite.” The power-packed program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as registration, hotel and sponsorship information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – which can come at any moment. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible.

Rock Radio Pioneer and Station Owner Dex Allen Dies at 74.  As reported by LARadio.com, radio pro Dex Allen has died at age 74.  Allen started his career as a DJ and rose through the ranks to work in management and sales before entering the radio ownership business.  LARadio.com writes: “Dex was best known for spearheading the ‘underground’ movement at KPRI, San Diego.  In the late 1960s, he drove to Southern California every weekend to work as a jock at KDAY, Los Angeles (1969-70).  Eventually he became general manager of several stations in San Diego.  Dex made one of those rare journeys from DJ to station owner.”  After years in management, Allen formed Commonwealth Broadcasting and acquired a number of stations.  He was most recently president/CEO of Pacific Start Communications.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York alternative WBMP “ALT 92.3” has a new programming leader as Entercom announces Mike Kaplan is named SVP of programming and PD for the station.  At the same time, the company brings Christine Malovetz aboard to serve as midday personality on the station. Kaplan was most recently PD for iHeartMedia’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7.” Malovetz was most recently host of middays and assistant program director for Entrercom’s KNOU-FM, St. Louis.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We are thrilled to welcome Mike and Christine to ‘ALT 92.3’ and are looking forward to having their talent and drive propel the brand to new heights in New York.”…..In Miami, Rick Party announces he’s left Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT “HOT 105” after he and the company could not agree to terms on a contract extension…..iHeartMedia appoints Scotty Davis afternoon drive host for country WFUS, Tampa “US103.5.”  Davis slides over from the cluster’s CHR WFLZ where he also hosted afternoons.  He says, “I’ve been eying a move over to the country format for quite some time.  This is a natural next step for my career and I’m thankful to everyone at iHeartMedia for believing in me!”…..Pictured below are hosts Bobby Bones (left) and Candace Cameron Bure (right) backstage at Saturday’s 2018 iHeartCountry Festival By AT&T at The Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’  She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people.  We are all excited to have her join this winning team.”   Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’  Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity.  I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”

New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements.  2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey.  His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017.  The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month.  Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right.  Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content.  We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”

Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease.  Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure.  Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result.  But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read.  More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana.  I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”

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

Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments.  First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital.  He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales.  Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth.  Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.”  Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.

Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).   The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar.  Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation.  Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox.  Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more.  He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists.  And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday.  The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”).  On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.  And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea.  And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart.  Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.  The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research.  Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003.  In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities.  We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show.  She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true.  Thanks for all your support.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program.  Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway.  Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station.  Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host.  Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles.  Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to cohost@thebertshow.com…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash.  The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads?  WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads.  Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms.  These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements.  AM/FM radio sees a much different story.  On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads.  Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6.  Emmis CommunicationsCharlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format.  Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.”  During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See the rest of the report here.

Friday, September 8, 2017

| September 8, 2017

NAB/RAB Radio Show Report.  Media consultant Holland Cooke files this report from Austin and the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  In Cooke’s convention notes this morning are takeaways from the “Creating Unforgettable User Experiences” panel, some thoughts from the “Advertiser Breakfast,” a bunch of handy tips for sales people in the “Selling to Car Dealers” session, and some wisdom for “Attracting and Retaining Top Sales Talent.”  Check out Cooke’s report here.

2017 Marconi Award Winners Announced.  The winners of the 2017 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters were announced at the NAB Marconi Awards Dinner & Show at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Austin last night (9/7).  Some notable winners from the spoken-word formats include: all-news WCBS-AM, New York wins Legendary Station of the Year; all-news WTOP-FM, Washington is named Major Market Station of the Year; news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando is honored with News/Talk Station of the Year; news/talk KRMG-FM, Tulsa wins Medium Market Station of the Year; and KTCK-FM, Dallas takes home the Sports Station of the Year honors.

Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead Wins Second Marconi Award.  College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York was honored with its second NAB Marconi Award for Non-Commercial Station of the Year.  WRHU won the award in the same category in 2014.    TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is a Hofstra graduate, charter inductee in the WRHU Hall of Fame, and member of the university’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication executive advisory board.  Harrison states, “I am bursting with pride at my association with this amazing institution and radio station.  Receiving the Marconi Award as best non-commercial radio station in the nation – not just once, but twice in the past three years – is a remarkable accomplishment.  It is a tribute to Dean Evan Cornog, station general manager Bruce Avery and WRHU operations director John T. Mullen, as well as the Hofstra faculty and serious-minded students that this school continually attracts.”  Pictured at the Marconi Awards last night (l-r): Hofstra alumnus Mike Leslie, Avery, and Weiss Agency executive VP (and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication executive advisory board) Heather Cohen.

NYPost: Carton Charity Reported ‘Zero’ Money Spent on Program Expenses. Things are not getting better for suspended WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton after his arrest on Wednesday (9/6) on federal fraud charges in connection with an alleged concert tickets resale Ponzi scheme.  Today, the New York Post is reporting that Carton’s charitable foundation Tic Toc Stop – set up in 2013 to “fight Tourette Syndrome” – documented in its 2015 tax filing that it spent $0 on program expenses.  Those expenses would be to fund programs designed to serve those with Tourette.  The story quotes charity watchdog group Charity Navigator saying, “We rarely ever see organizations report zero for program expenses…we occasionally see low ratios, but this is definitely far outside the norm.”  There’s no official allegation that Carton spent funds donated to the charity on gambling debts – the alleged reason for his involvement in the Ponzi scheme – but, obviously it doesn’t look good for Carton.  Read the Post story here.

St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Moving to Crosstown KFNS.  Afternoon drive talk show host Frank O. Pinion announced recently that he’s leaving CH Holdings talk station KTRS, St. Louis after 20 years there.  Now, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will join Randy Markel-owned sports talker KFNS for the afternoon drive slot.  O. Pinion doesn’t talk sports – he even confesses he knows little about sports – so he’ll do the kind of show he’s been doing in the market.  As was his deal with KTRS, O. Pinion will broker his show on KFNS.  KTRS president and GM Mark Dorsey says KMOV-TV meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt will host afternoons Monday through Thursday while they seek a full-time host.  Paul Harris continues to host the Friday show.  Get the Post-Dispatch story here.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour in Baton Rouge.  With the help of affiliate station WBRP, Baton Rouge “Talk 107.3 FM,” nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” tour to the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge .  At yesterday’s event, Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan and Anthony O’Neal walked attendees through topics like budgeting, paying off debt and saving for retirement.  Pictured above are Guaranty Media team members with Chris Hogan, all holding a copy of his latest book.  They are: Mike Benson, Trey Honore, Stephanie Morris, Ellen Diedrich, John Burke, Jessi Mapes, Leah Gaiennie, TJ Solis, Mary LeBlanc, Casey McKenzie, Blain Bech and Hogan.

Skyview Networks and NHL’s Golden Knights Partner.  Broadcast solutions firm Skyview Networks and the NHL’s newest franchise – the Vegas Golden Knights – announce their partnership for maximum distribution of Golden Knights programming broadcast on radio partner Lotus Broadcasting’s network of affiliates.  The companies say that as the season begins, Skyview will “provide the Golden Knights with their turnkey satellite distribution, as well as AdView Inventory Management and Live Read Logging software for full control of the organization’s advertising inventory.  The seamless communication between Skyview’s full menu of services will allow the highest quality of broadcast management from advertiser to on-air performance.”  Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz comments, “Skyview is an innovative leader in the broadcast technology industry.  Their expertise in this space will ensure that our network affiliates receive best-in-class broadcast quality and business services.”

Westwood One Reveals Podcast Research. It’s called The Podcast Download Fall 2017 Report and syndication and sales unit Westwood One calls it a “deep-dive into the consumption habits of podcast listeners” that brings to light some major takeaways on listeners’ tolerance for advertising within the on-demand space.  The report was created in partnership with MARU/Vision Critical to “give brands, content creators, and podcast producers a look at the consumption habits and attitudes of these coveted media junkies.”  WW1 says some of the key findings include that: Heavy podcast listeners are voracious media and tech junkies; Podcasts are under commercialized – there is an opportunity to add more commercial breaks and ad units; Heavy podcast consumers are more accepting of pre-produced ads; and “speed listening” is real – 42% of weekly podcast listeners say they have increased the speed of the podcast.  Half of heavy podcast listeners have speed-listened.  This DVR-style “ad zipping” is a reality for podcasting.   See more here.

Trump’s Deal with Democrats Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The deal President Trump struck with Democratic leaders for disaster relief, a temporary budget and a short-term debt ceiling hike was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was Hurricane Irma’s path toward Florida and the related Hurricane Harvey aftermath.  Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s nuclear threats, followed by Hillary Clinton’s latest book at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people 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.

Radio Prepares for Hurricane Irma.  With Hurricane Irma predicted to hit Florida this weekend, Beasley Media Group reports that its stations in the state have their Hurricane Action Plans in place.  The company says, “All of our stations in Tampa are doing regular updates on air with our weather partner, ABC Action News.  The jocks are giving updates on weather, shelters, sand bag stations, etc.  We’re directing everyone to the station websites /Storm (ex. 995QYK.com/Storm) for all updates.  On the Storm pages, we’re populating feeds from ABC Action News and posting information and announcements from our local governments and the state.  The pages are featured in our rotators and we have a breaking news bar across the top of the sites.   When we social any updates we direct people back to this page where all of the information is being updated.”  In the Fort Myers market, Beasley is teaming with WBBH-TV (NBC) and WZVN-TV (ABC) to co-ordinate and provide hurricane information.  In the Boca Raton market, the company is teaming with WPEC-TV (CBS).  At iHeartMedia, the company says that its five Tallahassee stations – led by news/talk WFLA-FM – are regularly tracking updates and are prepared with a full staff to broadcast wall-to-wall coverage of the storm, including up-to-date storm and traffic information as well as resources for emergency situations and community relief.  The company says if the storm comes close to the region, they will simulcast WFLA-FM across all stations with staff from each station helping with the broadcast, station operations and phones.  On the network level, ABC News Radio is providing extensive live coverage with correspondents Jim Ryan and Alex Stone reporting from Florida.  ABC will provide multiple one-minute updates each hour beginning 6:00 am ET on Saturday.  On Sunday, live coverage will be anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky from 6:00 am – 12:00 noon, ET and 7:00-8:00 pm, ET, joined by Ryan and Stone, and correspondent Karen Travers.

TALKERS News Notes. During the third annual Interactive Advertising Bureau Podcast Upfront, iHeartRadio unveils four new, original podcasts.  iHeartRadio says the announcement underscores “a year of tremendous growth from the podcast platform, which has seen a 60% increase in listenership from iHeartRadio’s more than 100 million registered users.”  The new shows are: “The Oh My Disney Podcast,” celebrating all things Disney and pop culture by Disney fans, for Disney fans; “The Fatherly Podcast,” a weekly ​podcast​ about parenting, hosted by veteran journalist and Fatherly editor-at-large Joshua David Stein; “Scrubbing In With Becca Tilley,” hosted by beloved two-time contestant of “The Bachelor,” Becca Tilley; and “Summit: Chairlift,” a weekly podcast that gives listeners a substantive look into the minds of today’s most innovative thinkers, recorded as they ride a chairlift to the summit of Powder Mountain in Utah…..Just ahead of last night’s 2017 NFL season opener between the reigning champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, CBS RADIO announced that it and the Patriots have inked a multi-year contract extension to keep Pats games on sports talk WBZ-FM, “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  CBS reports that Bob Socci and Scott Zolak will continue as play-by-play host and color analyst, respectively.  CBS RADIO has served as the flagship radio partner of the Patriots since 1994 when the games aired on all-news WBZ-AM, before transitioning to then-rock WBCN-FM in 1995…..Cox Media Group’s Atlanta stations – led by news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM750 WSB” – partnered with WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal Constitution on a bottled water drive for victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Listeners, viewers and readers came out to support the Convoy of Care in force, packing 10 trucks of clean drinking water over only two days.  At times, the line of vehicles waiting to drop off bottled water stretched nearly a half mile.  Donations came from private citizens as well as local businesses and organizations…..CBS RADIO Philadelphia radio stations KYW “Newsradio,” news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM, classic hits WOGL, AC WTDY, and country WXTU are partnering with The Travis Manion Foundation to host 9/11 Heroes Run 5K races and 1 mile Fun Runs in the Philadelphia region during the month of September.  The Travis Manion Foundation’s Houston office is currently assisting in flood recovery and aid.  At all 9/11 Heroes Run race locations around the country, CBS will run with a Texas flag that will then be sent to Houston, which hosts the largest 9/11 Heroes Run in the country each year (more than 5,000 participants).  Due to the tragic flooding, the Houston 9/11 Heroes Run has been postponed until November 11 – Veterans Day…..ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” adds the services of New York Giants safety Landon Collins to its Giants coverage with his weekly, Monday afternoon appearances on the afternoon drive Michael Kay program.  Also, New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott will be a part of WEPN’s coverage of Jets football this season.

Michael Berry Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most interesting and provocative individuals on talk radio today, Michael Berry of KTRH, Houston, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” as Texas’ largest city remains in the spotlight of our nation’s concerns.  Harrison and Berry discuss the talk show host’s personal and terrifying experience during the devastation of the storm.  He was in Louisiana on business when he got word that his wife and two young sons had to be rescued from the flood in a boat.  Berry talks about his efforts to get back to them in the chaos of closed roads and flooded routes.  Fortunately, the family was eventually safely reunited but the feelings and lessons learned will last a lifetime.  The conversation, however, does not stop there.  Berry – whose edgy satire often makes him the target of accusations of being a racist – is actually the opposite of a racist.  He is married to an Indian woman and the couple has two black, adopted sons from Ethiopia.  Berry candidly discusses his fascinating family life and personal views on matters of race and integration.  Emerging as a talk media figure to be taken quite seriously, he does two shows per day on the iHeartMedia Houston powerhouse in addition to being independently syndicated on a network of 20-plus stations.  He is a high-ranking member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  He is this past year’s recipient of iHeartMedia’s in-house Talk Show Host of the Year award.  Though he portrays himself with somewhat of a redneck persona, Berry has impressive academic legal credentials and is a long-time, well-known figure in Houston where he once served as a member of the city council and as Mayor Pro Tem. His wife, Nandita Venkateswaran Berry, is a former Texas Secretary of State.  Michael Harrison describes him as “one of the most interest people ever to appear on this podcast.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Some not-so-surprising news out of Chicago comes as Hubbard Radio announces Kathy Hart – formerly one half of the “Eric & Kathy” show on hot AC WTMX – will not return to the program she’s been away from since April.  The official memo from Hubbard Radio Chicago VP Jeff England says, “We wish her all the best as she moves on to the next phase of her career.  To our listeners and clients, rest assured that Eric [Ferguson], the morning show team, and all of us at ‘The Mix’ will continue to serve you as we enter a new era of morning radio on the station.”  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on the matter, noting that Hart’s absence was widely believed to be over her compensation for her performance on the top-rated show.  However, as she sat out and attempted via agents to restructure her deal, the show’s ratings didn’t suffer at all, hurting her case for a new contract.  Although both Ferguson and Hart are well paid, it’s believed Ferguson makes much more than Hart and that was the real issue for her.  Read Feder’s report here…..Cumulus Media is presenting a new contest to discover “the nation’s newest rock star.”  Saying that “rock is on the rise again,” the company unveils the “neXt2rock 2017” competition.  The neXt2rock 2017 contest is being announced on-air by iconic Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.  The winner of this four-month-long competition receives a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records.  Sixty-one Cumulus stations in 47 markets will conduct local, grassroots searches, with additional national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated rock shows.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, “With the renewed interest in the rock genre among Millennials and Gen Xers, Cumulus has even more opportunities for growth, providing expanded exclusive content and programming for fans, and an even larger audience for America’s newest rock star.”  The finalists in this competition will compete at a live concert event, hosted at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on December 12, where the panel of celebrity mentor judges will select the neXt2rock 2017 winner…..iHeartMedia adds a new urban AC signal to the Houston market, flipping FM translator K283CH (fed by KTBZ-HD2) and branding it “104.5 KISS FM” with the slogan “Houston’s Best R&B.”   Company urban brand coordinator Michael Saunders says, “We have a great opportunity to deliver some of the hottest names and music in the R&B industry to the diverse Houston audience combined with spoken-word entertainment from some of the biggest names in show business with Steve Harvey and Keith Sweat.”

 

 

Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of August 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2017 survey period covered July 19 – August 16. You can view 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) Portland – Six negative trends in succession deflated KXL-FM by more than two full-shares (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), but the Alpha Media news/talk facility bounces back with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.6 (#15 to #12, 6+). Wild fluctuations continue for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB, which was +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; and now +.6 in August (7.1 – 7.7, 6+). This marks the 21st straight time that news/talk KOPB occupies the runner-up position. Improving by six-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 5.4, 6+), which has its best showing since March (6.0, 6+) and jumps from eighth to fourth. Not only does an uptick of two-tenths to 4.1 (6+) by Alpha Media’s KBFF pull the plug on three consecutive (minor) downward trends that resulted in a loss of one-half share (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+), “Live 95.5” (#11 to #9) pulls ahead of iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.0 – 3.9, -.1, #10 to #11, 6+). Flat at 8.6 (6+), “Z-100” cluster-mate – adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” – is #1 for the 39th time in the last 41 ratings periods. June’s 9.1 was the highest 6+-share for “K-103” – which was down by one-half share in July – since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. Co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew Portland’s Rock Station” though is down by a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+) but carries on in ninth-place. Flat at #16, rhythmic CHR sibling KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” is a model of consistency, as it posts a 2.6 (6+) for the sixth time in the last seven survey periods. Having progressed by six-tenths in July, Entercom’s KNRK “94/7 Alternative Portland” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (3.9 – 3.4, -.5, 6+), slipping from #12 to #14; July’s 3.9 was its highest 6+-share since 4.6 in February 2014. The seven-tenths advantage Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” had in July over Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is whittled down to three-tenths as “The Wolf” (+.7 in July) is off four-tenths (5.6 – 5.2, fourth to fifth, 6+), while “The Bull” (+.5 in July) is flat at 4.9 (6+), but drops from sixth to seventh. Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps (April – May – June) for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June.

2) Charlotte – After losing two full-shares since March via four straight decreases (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” picks up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and jumps from fourth to second. “The Fox” had been #1 in five straight survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Immediately in advance of its just-concluded string of four straight declines, WRFX posted three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). Its +.8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Rocketing from #17 to #12, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM shares (6+) honors for highest July 2017 – August 2017 gain by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Thursday (2.4 – 3.8, +1.4, 6+). Moreover, this is the best 6+-performance for Charlotte’s “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” since returning in print exactly one year ago (August 2016). A gain of one-half share takes Entercom’s WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” (steady at #19) to 1.2, its best 6+-stat since February (1.2, as well). Another month means another opportunity for a country station to be #1 in “The Hornet’s Nest.” Taking its turn in August – as it did in June – is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 For New Country,” which advances from #4. Displaced at the top and falling to #5 is Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits”; WKKT gains four-tenths (5.7 – 6.1, 6+) whereas WSOC loses four-tenths (6.0 – 5.6, 6+). When WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in June, it likewise did so by jumping from fourth-place. Having logged a very consistent (6+) January 2017 through May 2017 line of 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, “The Kat” was up six-tenths in June to 6.4 (6+). Consequently, it bypassed “Country’s Hottest Hits,” which (in June) relinquished the six-tenths it gained in May (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), shifting from second to fourth. Prior to April (when it was +.8), WSOC was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In “Holiday” 2016, “The Kat” trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). In the 12 survey periods of calendar year 2015 (excluding “Holiday” 2015), WKKT was #1 six times: February, May, August, September, October, and December; WSOC was on top five times: January, March, April, June, and July. Making it a clean sweep, the two shared the penthouse in November of that year. Following July’s +1.2 to 3.4, its highest 6+-stat since reappearing in print in November 2016, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” forfeits 75% of the increase (2.5, -.9, 6+), dipping from #14 to #17. Decreasing by six-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” (5.9 – 5.3, 6+), which shifts from second to sixth, and iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). “The Lake” had been an overall +1.3 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). A collective -1.4 in five consecutive downward trends (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1” slips from #13 to #14. In March, “Channel 96.1” had its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight time, but unchanged at #18, Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” is a combined -1.7 since January (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Regressing by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+), KSTX recoups that loss in its entirety with a +1.0 in August. As a result, the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is back at 3.8, moving from #16 to #13 (6+). It had been two years since KSTX last reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+) and owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, it nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). Despite a one-tenth uptick to 3.2 (6+), thus halting six straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI backslides from #14 to #15. Prior to June, the last time WOAI fell below a four-share (6+) was September 2014 (3.7). An improvement of six-tenths by cluster-mate KRPT takes “The Bull – San Antonio’s Classic Country Station” to 1.0, the first time it has reached the one-share level (6+) since December 2013’s 1.1. While it is #1 for the seventh successive time, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is off by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6, 6+). It departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; and now August’s -.5. Having posted three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” returns one-half share to 4.7, but remains at #5 (6+). Meanwhile, after being frozen at 5.4 in May, June, and July, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” adds two-tenths to 5.6 (6+) to progress from third to second. In the runner-up slot the last two months, KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” slips to fourth-place (6.1 – 4.8, 6+). On top in the “Holiday” 2016 report with an 11.8 (6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet lost one full-share (-1.0) in February; was a collective +1.5 in March and April (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+); regressed by -1.0 in May (5.6 – 4.6, 6+); regained May’s loss in its entirety in June (5.6, +1.0, 6+); was +.5 in July; and is now -1.3 in August. At the same time, with a one-half share gain to 1.8 (6+), its regional Mexican HD3 channel erases the collective loss of four-tenths via four straight down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #20.

4) Pittsburgh – In the market’s hot AC tussle, CBS Radio’s WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” posts its third straight improvement for an overall +.9 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0 5.1, 6+) and remains at #7, while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” is without as decrease for the fourth consecutive survey period for a cumulative gain of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), climbing from #13 to #12. A collective +1.8 as the result of four successive up or flat trends between February and June (3.3 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX returned it all in July (-1.8), but “The X at 105.9” regains half of that mammoth loss (3.3 – 4.2, +.9, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #10). In July, WYEP was part of a three-way scrum at #14, but with a +.6 to 1.9 (6+), the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A has the #14 slot all to itself. Moreover, 1.9 represents the best 6+-stat in the station’s PPM-history. Despite being locked on 9.6 (6+) in June, July, and August, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” remains on top for the fifth straight month. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” erodes by a collective -2.1 in three straight decreases (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+), but carries on in fourth-place; 7.0 is its lowest 6+-share since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Trending 9.6 – 9.3 – 9.6 – 9.2 (6+) since April, rock sibling WDVE sputters by one-half share to 8.7 (6+), which is – likewise – its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (8.4); WDVE remains at #2. WWSW and WDVE were tied at #1 in June. Unchanged at #9, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” drops one-tenth to 4.5 (6+) to snap at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Off by one-tenth as well (to 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11); “Big 104.7” was a combined +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Apparently tired of posting an 8.3 (6+) three times in the last four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG explodes with a +1.4 to 9.7, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (9.9, August 2016) as “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” repeats at #1. A combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+, February – March – April), CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” recaptured all of it in May only to be a collective -1.4 in June and July (9.2 – 8.7 – 7.8, 6+). “Mix 96” dusts itself in August though with a gain of one-half share to 8.3 (6+) and continues at #2. Ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” rebounded from January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). Registering a gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ advances from eighth to fifth and has its highest 6+-showing since November’s 4.8. As a result of six consecutive survey periods without an increase, Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE lost exactly half of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+), but “104.3 Radio Jose” makes up roughly half of that -1.1 with a one-half share gain to 1.6 and cracks the top twenty (#18, 6+). Up two-tenths in both June and July (5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” sputters by six-tenths in August to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fourth-place, while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBEB “The Bull” (+.2 in July after June’s -.2) flounders by eight-tenths (3.1 – 2.3, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Even though it is off for the fourth straight time for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Entravision-owned country KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” nonetheless overtakes “The Bull” and actually improves from #15 to #14. As a result of a -.1 in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+) end at five. June’s -.2 by “The Bull” concluded three straight improvements that netted eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). By dropping one-tenth to 4.4 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits Without the Rap” halts at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+) and falls from sixth to seventh. Regressing by one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” slides from #16 to #19 and has its lowest 6+-share since December (1.4, as well).

6) Salt Lake City – Returning to the runner-up slot after skidding to fifth in July, Bonneville news/talk KSL (5.8, 6+) is locked there with Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.3 – 5.8, +.5, 6+), which was off by six-tenths in July. Ten recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); and now +.6 (August). Off by a collective -1.2 via three straight dips (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” regains just over half of that loss with a +.7 to 3.1 (6+) and inches up from #16 to #15. Frozen on 1.1 (6+) in April, May, and June before falling to .8 (6+) in July, Alpha Media regional Mexican KDUT “104.3 La Gran D” spikes by seven-tenths as well, nearly doubling July’s .8 to 1.5 (#23, 6+). Notching a 3.7 in four of the last five survey periods (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Broadway Media’s KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” hangs out a half-share increase to 4.2 (tenth to ninth), its best 6+-performance since June 2016 (4.2, as well). Rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” is within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 15th consecutive sweep (2.2 – 2.1, #18 to #17, 6+). Notwithstanding an August -.6 to 7.4, (after July’s +1.1 to 8.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” occupies the #1 slot for the fourth straight month. Following three consecutive sweeps on top, “FM 100.3” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that massive spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April 2016 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. It would be quite the understatement to note Broadway Media CHR KUDD is been on an extremely wild ride lately. To recap, “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; +1.6 in June; -.5 in July; and now a staggering -1.7 in August (5.2 – 3.5, 6+). June’s 5.7 was the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history, while the 3.5 in August is its lowest since February. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+); it fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Eroding by -1.1 each are Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” (5.1, second to fifth, 6+) and independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (6.0 – 4.9, third to eighth, 6+). “The Arrow” was a combined +1.6 as the result of four successive monthlies without a loss (4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+); July’s 6.2 was its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 6.8. A -.1 (to 6.0, 6+) in July by “Z-104” halted at four its streak of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); June’s 6.1 represents KSOP-FM’s strongest ever 6+ PPM share. Following four straight upticks that nearly doubled its 6+-share (.9 – 1.1 – 1.4 – .6 – 1.7, 6+), Alpha Media Spanish contemporary KBMG “Latino 106.3” falters by one-half share to 1.2 (#24).

7) Las Vegas – Advancing from #9 to a three-way logjam at #3, CBS Radio-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas #1 Hit Music Station” hauls out a +1.3 to 5.3, its best 6+-stat since March (5.5). A gain of six-tenths (4.7 – 5.3, 6+) takes hot AC cluster-mate KMXB to its highest 6+-share since 5.4 in March as “Mix 94.1” (fifth in July) joins KLUC at #3. Trending a repetitive 1.7 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 2.1 (6+) since April, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT busts out a +.8 to 2.9 – its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (3.7, August 2016) and “Latino Mix 99.3” rockets from #20 to #13 (6+). Notching positive spikes of one-half share each are Lotus classic rock and Spanish adult hits siblings KXPT “97.1 The Point” (4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and KWID “La Buena 101.9” (3.1 – 3.6, #13 to #10, 6+). Ironically, “The Point” and “La Buena” were both off by six-tenths in July. Four-tenths of a share separated the top two finishers in July and that’s the case again in August as Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” drops four-tenths (7.1 – 6.7, 6+) as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (6.7 – 6.3, 6+). With its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 7.2, KKLZ was +1.0 in July and it repeats at #1, while “Sunny” (-.8 in July) remains at #2. Prior to August, the five most recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top in each of the last eight ratings periods, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; and -.8 in July. Following three successive downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 successive ratings periods. A collective +.9 in June and July (1.6 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+), University of Nevada jazz/smooth AC KUNV “95.1 The Source” erodes by roughly 50%, surrendering a -1.3 to 1.2 and plummets from the top twenty (#15 to #23, 6+). Having reeled off three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE “The Coyote – We Are Country” falters by a collective two full-shares in June, July, and August (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). It is a similar story for co-owned KOAS “Old School 105.7,” which is -1.8 in three straight decreases (6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+) and falls from fifth to eighth. Off by one-half share as well are CBS Radio rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” (3.8, seventh to ninth, 6+), which returns the +.5 it gained in three straight up or flat trends (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), and Lotus-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

8) Cincinnati – Until now, the highest 6+-share that Educational Community Radio’s WOBO has reached since first appearing in print in April 2014 is November 2016’s 1.0. That changes in August though as “The Station with Something for Everyone” trots out an increase of seven-tenths, taking WOBO to 1.6 (#20 to #18, 6+). Consistent in its last four (6+) trends (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds one-half share to 3.6 ((#13 to #11, 6+), mirroring what it recorded in March. Improving by four-tenths to 2.8 (#15 to #14, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” brings to a close a successive string of five downward trends accounting for a -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). Once the perennial market leader, WLW was last in sole possession of the top spot in August 2016 and was tied for the lead in May 2017. With a gain of three-tenths (9.3 – 9.6, 6+), the iHeartMedia news/talker returns to the top after back-to-back stays in the runner-up slot. Co-owned news/talk WKRC gains three-tenths to 3.6 (#12 to #11, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three straight declines that resulted in a loss of two full-shares (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.3, 6+). Dislodged from #1 is Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR, which erodes by a full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+) and fills WLW’s vacated runner-up slot. On top between January and July, WGRR was a combined +.7 in June and July (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.7, 6+); 9.7 was the station’s best 6+-performance since last October’s 9.8. Following a -.7 in March, WGRR posted a +1.0 in April (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, it occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR progressed from second to first. After more than doubling its 6+-share in three up or flat trends (.9 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” falters by six-tenths to 1.3, skidding from #17 to #19 (6+). Returning one-half share of July’s +.8 (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” segues from sixth to seventh.

9) Orlando – Not only does WDBO-FM all but wipe out the -1.0 that resulted in three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) with a +.9 (to 4.1, 6+), the Cox Media Group news/talker enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Unchanged at #5, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOCL “Sunny 105.9” dials up a +.8 to 6.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 7.0 in November 2015. Carrying on in sixth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WJRR “Orlando’s Rock Station” extends to five its consecutive string of increases accounting for a +2.2 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+). It previously showed a (6+) December 2016 – March 2017 line of 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. Picking up six-tenths each are Cox Media Group country outlet WWKA “K-92.3” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE (3.0, #14 to #13, 6+). In four straight negative trends (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), “K-92.3 was a collective -1.6; WMFE had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range the past 34 ratings periods. Flat at 10.7 (6+) – after plummeting two full-shares in July – iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” is #1 for the eighth consecutive month. The 12.8 it registered in April was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. Co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” (flat at #4) is -2.4 in four three straight dips (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+), following a +2.7 via four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Meanwhile, as the result of six consecutive decreases, FM news/talk sibling WTKS has lost more than two full-shares of its 6+-share (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+) and drifts from #15 to #17. Trending 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 (May – June – July, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” spirals by one full-share to 3.2 and departs the top ten (#9 to #12, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is off by a collective -1.1 in back-to-back sweeps (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.0, sixth to eighth, 6+). In June, “Star” bounced back from May’s -.9 with an increase of six-tenths.

10) Cleveland – A cumulative -1.4 in three successive declines (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” reduces the deficit by roughly one-third with a gain of one-half share and enters the top ten (5.3, #11 to #10, 6+). Unchanged at #15, its alternative HD2 channel picks up one-tenth (to 1.0, 6+), thus curtailing ten straight down or flat trends that began last October and accounted for a net loss of just four-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+). It is tied at #15 with Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland” (up from #16 in July), which improves by three-tenths to 1.0 (6+), halting five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.6 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .7, 6+). In addition to “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station,” Radio One urban AC WZAK notches a gain of one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and jumps from fourth to second. A combined +1.3 via five straight up or flat trends (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” climbs from seventh to sixth. Although down three-tenths to 8.9 (6+), WMJI “Majic 105.7 Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet was +1.1 in July to progress from second to first; July’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016. WMJI occupied the top spot from January through April and in the runner-up slot May and June. Off seven-tenths in three consecutive decreases (7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+), cluster-mate WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s Country” pulls the plug with a +.2 to 6.8 and advances from seventh to fifth (6+). The last seven (6+) trends for co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” (unchanged at #3) are 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 7.6. Exploding by +1.1 in July to 7.0, its finest 6+-showing since December 2013’s 7.1, CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104” relinquishes roughly half of that increase (6.4, -.6, 6+) and falls from fifth to eighth. Prior to July, “Q-104” was trending 5.9 – 6.0 – 5.9 (6+). Owing to four negative trends in succession (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Ideastream news/talk WCPN (flat at #13) is a collective -1.3.

11) Kansas City – By registering its fifth consecutive up or flat trend, Entercom’s KCSP has nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and moreover, “610 Sports Radio” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9) with its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Improving by seven-tenths as well is country sibling WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), which catapults from #12 to #5. This is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 4.9 in April 2015. With a +.6 to 4.0 (#15 to #11, 6+), co-owned news/talk KMBZ-FM recaptures two-thirds of the collective nine-tenths it lost in the last two sweeps (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). In a similar vein, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” gains one-half share to 2.8 (steady at #17, 6+), erasing all but one-tenth of May-June-July’s -.6 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” is up or flat for the seventh straight time for an overall gain of +1.0 (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Having eroded by two full-shares as the result of six straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR adds two-tenths (to 2.1, 6+) and stays at #18. Owing to four straight (modest) increases (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” nets one-half share and carries on in third-place, while co-owned, similarly-programmed KBEQ “Q-104 #1 for New Country” (#14 to #15) is without an increase for the fourth successive sweep for a -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Notwithstanding it has the largest (6+) July 2016 – August 2017 erosion by any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here (10.3 – 8.7, -1.6, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” is #1 for the eighth consecutive time. The decrease draws to a close five straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). By reaching 10.3 in July, it marked only the fifth time a Kansas City station has registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, it recorded three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). Another positive streak ends in dramatic fashion as well with co-owned urban AC KMJK spiraling by -1.1 to 3.7, curtailing four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +1.0 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+); “Magic 107.3 Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” freefalls from #6 to #14, (6+). Despite being off six-tenths to 4.8 – its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.7 – Carter Broadcasting urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” continues in fifth-place. Likewise, Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by one-half share (5.7 – 5.2, 6+) but remains at #4.

12) Columbus – Progressing from eighth to sixth, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU-FM is up an astonishing combined +1.9 in four straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+). Rebounding from July’s loss of seven-tenths, Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM trots out a gain of nine-tenths (1.9 – 2.8, 6+) as “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” climbs from #14 to #12. “The Fan” ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by slumping -1.5 in June to 2.6 (6+). Gaining three-tenths to 3.5 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat – Columbus Real Hip-Hop and R&B” (steady at #9) manages to apply the brakes to four consecutive down or flat monthlies that accounted for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Even though it falters by nine-tenths to 11.8 (6+), country cluster-mate WCOL repeats at #1. In just two back-to-back ratings periods (June and July), WCOL produced a whopping +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; and now -.9 in August (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7 – 10.8, 6+). After back-to-back increases in June and July yielded a +1.4 (6.1 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications WLVQ “Q-96.3 – Iconic Rock” craters by that same margin (6.1, -1.4, 6+) but carries on in third-place. Regressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia news/talk and adult hits siblings WTVN, without an increase for the fifth sweep in succession for an overall -.7 (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.7, flat at #4, 6+) and WODC “93.3 The Bus” (5.1 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+).        Stuck on 2.8 (6+) in May, June, and July, Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 Columbus Best R&B” drops three-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

| August 17, 2017

Hotchkiss Named to North Ohio Region President for iHeartMedia. This promotion takes Keith Hotchkiss from his regional SVP of sales for the company’s Virginia/Carolina region back to Northern Ohio to take on the region president role.  Hotchkiss started his radio career as an intern on rock WMMS, Cleveland more than 20 years ago.  Now, he’ll oversee iHeartMedia’s Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Lima, Ashland, Mansfield, Marion and Defiance markets. iHeartMedia president Midwest/Southeast division Tom McConnell states, “Keith is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success.  His experience as a market president and as a regional senior vice president of sales in iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region, combined with his first-hand knowledge of the Northern Ohio markets makes him the perfect choice for this important role.”

KXTG, Portland Parts Ways with Dino Costa. Some two months after he made comments on his afternoon drive show on Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG, Portland “750/102.9 The Game” suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protestors who block roadways, Dino Costa has been let go by the company, according to The Oregonian.  Earlier this week, the MLS’ Portland Timbers (whose games are carried on KXTG) issued a press statement distancing itself from Costa and his comments.  This drew renewed attention to the incident.  For its part, KXTG says at the time of Costa’s remarks, it took “immediate and aggressive action” against Costa.  But, the delayed blowback apparently forced Alpha Media’s hand and it has fired Costa.

WHLM, Bloomsberg Host David Reilly Resigns.  Embattled WHLM, Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania talk show host David Reilly resigned from the Columbia Broadcasting Corporation-owned news/talk station yesterday (8/16).  Reilly – whose father Joe Reilly serves as general manager for the station – had posted a video of the “UnitetheRight” march on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville that critics say had all the trappings of a Klan rally.  When the video got attention in Bloomsberg, the station endured protests and a number of advertisers reportedly cancelled their buys.  Reilly was suspended without pay earlier this week.  Now, Reilly has tendered his resignation and his father has accepted it.  In the resignation letter, David Reilly disavows any sympathy for neo-Nazis or white supremacists.

CBS Las Vegas Has Change of Heart; Will Cover New NHL Franchise. It appears a case of sour grapes caused CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager J.B. King to memo the staff that it was to cease all coverage – including reporting scores – of the market’s new NHL franchise, the Las Vegas Knights.  Several companies bid for the rights to be radio partners with the NHL expansion club but Lotus Communications won.  CBS RADIO Las Vegas market manager Tony Perlongo told the Washington Post, “With six radio stations in Las Vegas we have always prided ourselves on informing, educating and entertaining listeners and supporting the local communities we serve. However, we missed the mark in an internal email that instructed our stations to no longer report on certain aspects of the Golden Knights, the city’s first and only major league sports team. This was an error in judgment on our part and we deeply regret it. We will of course cover the team, first and foremost on Sports Radio 1140 and on our music and news/talk stations as it makes sense for those formats and audiences. We apologize to the Golden Knights, their fans and our listeners and look forward to rooting the team on when the puck drops in a few weeks.”

Beasley Partners with SonicAi for Alexa Skills.  The goal of this partnership is to make it easier for listeners using Amazon Echo to bring Beasley Media Group content into their homes.  Beasley is partnering with SonicAi – a partnership between mobile developer jācapps and Amplifi Media – to design the skills that represent more than just a way to play the station stream, highlighting specific station features.  Beasley says they will be heard across most of its 63 stations over the upcoming months.  Beasley Media Group executive vice president of digital Steve Meyers says, “Innovation in the smart speaker device space is critical for Beasley and our industry as a whole.  I’m excited to be partnering with SonicAi to extend the reach of our brands across the company and open up new opportunities in this space.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is being honored as its “Broadcaster of the Year.”  He’ll be honored at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 19, at the Javits Center in New York City.  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “Bob Pittman is a true industry leader and perhaps the most creative, visionary and dynamic executive in broadcasting.  His views not only shape the radio industry, but the future of all media in this country.  We are deeply honored to recognize him as the “New York Broadcaster of the Year.”…..Rising from general sales manager to general manager of the Omaha cluster for Salem Media Group is Sue Garrett.  She’s been with the station group for the past seven years.  During her career, she’s been a market manager and sales manager for Cumulus Media and was a sales manager for iHeartMedia.  In Omaha, Salem operates news/talk KOTK “The Answer,” Christian teaching KCRO, and Christian contemporary KGBI-FM…..Today is the 19th annual Kicks 4 Guns event – a collaborative effort by iHeartMedia Orlando’s WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” and non-profit organization Crimeline.  The program allows anyone to anonymously trade in unwanted firearms in exchange for a gift card.  Kicks 4 Guns is the brainchild of “The Monsters” ringleader Russ Rollins who got the idea for the event after he saw a news item about a boy who was murdered for his shoes.  Rollins hoped to create a gun buyback program that offers brand-new shoes in exchange for guns.  Over the past 19 years, Kicks 4 Guns has collected more than 10,000 unwanted guns, including illegal and stolen guns, pipe bombs, grenades, and a missile launcher…..Cumulus Media inks a renewal with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for KESN-FM “ESPN 103.3 FM” to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station through the 2022-2023 season.  The ESPN O&O is operated by Cumulus.  Chuck Cooperstein continues as play-by-play voice and Mike Peasley hosts the “Dallas Mavericks Insider” pre-game show as well as the “Mavs Postgame Show.”…..PodcastOne promotes Jim Ballas to vice president, technology and operations.  Ballas now oversees network digital initiatives and sales operations, including the website, app, dynamic insertion, virtual reality and reporting metrics.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “Jim Ballas has been with PodcastOne since its earliest days and his leadership in technology and sales operations has well-earned him a place on our executive team.”…..The Weekly Standard announces the re-launch of Tuesday Morning Quarterback – the celebrated weekly NFL column by Gregg Easterbrook.  It will debut on The Weekly Standard website on August 22.  Easterbrook says, “There will be a total eclipse of the sun, and the next day the football gods will smile as Tuesday Morning Quarterback returns.  I am very excited about TMQ on TWS.”  In addition to the column, TMQ will be featured on a weekly podcast starring Easterbrook and occasional guests, hosted by TWS editor-in-chief, Steve Hayes.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Making Gains in Western Massachusetts.  Launched by Springfield radio legend Brad Shepard, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) celebrated the beginning of its third year of service by making a splashy presence at the annual Hampden County, MA Sheriff’s Picnic – the preeminent regional political/social event in Western Massachusetts (8/16).  The station’s format consists of 100% “personality-oriented public affairs programming” offering a growing menu of on-demand talk shows covering local politics, civics, education, public safety, business, health, dining, recreation, and arts & entertainment as well as live streaming remote coverage of news events, public forums and school sports.  The picnic hosted this year by the newly elected Sheriff Nick Cocchi drew several thousand local political, civic and business figures to the Elks Lodge in Springfield.  Pioneer Valley Radio provided seven hours of uninterrupted broadcast coverage from a prominent table-display at the event interviewing a parade of more than 35 public officials and figures.  Pictured, Pioneer Valley Radio GM/morning host Brad Shepard (l) interviewing recently retired Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe (r) who founded the annual picnic decades ago during his 42-year run as sheriff.

Charlottesville Aftermath, Confederate Statue Removals, Manufacturing Council Shuttered, Google Firing Protests Canceled, Sessions Addresses Sanctuary Cities, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16).  The criticism of President Trump’s Charlottesville analysis and the conservative media’s suggestion the “alt-left” is to blame for the violence; the movement to take down monuments celebrating Confederate leaders; President Trump disbands the American Manufacturing Council after numerous CEOs quit; the cancelling of planned protests at Google offices over the firing of an engineer who questioned the company’s diversity policy; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ address in Chicago criticizing sanctuary city policies; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity 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. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder – morning radio personality Kathy Hart has broken her four-month silence about her absence from WTMX’s highly ratedEric & Kathy” program.  Hart wasn’t forthcoming about why she’s been gone and why she’s been silent, but she did say in a statement to the media, in part, “It has been challenging, mentally and physically, to be away for this long, especially on days like Friday for the live broadcast from Lurie Children’s for “Eric & Kathy’s Kids.”…I have always considered the ‘Mix’ and our listeners as family, and want to express my infinite gratitude to everyone who has reached out to me personally and supported me publicly. Please stay tuned as I fully intend to be back on the air!”  Read Feder’s piece here…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Danni Bruns to the operations manager post at its four-station Memphis cluster.  Bruns has been serving as program director and afternoon personality for rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”  Now, she’ll also handle operations for sister stations country WGKX “KIX 106,” rhythmic oldies WRBO, and hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe.”…..YEA Networks brings Scott Kerr aboard as director of affiliate sales and content.  He’s responsible for servicing and growing affiliates for “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” “The Bert Show,” “The Hollywood 5,” “Love Letters with Kellie & Matthew” and the socially connected Simple Booth…..SiriusXM is bringing two shows from its streaming platform to the satellite radio service. Turbo showcases hard rock from the 1990s and early 2000s from artists such as Linkin Park, Korn, Papa Roach, Godsmack, System Of A Down, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit and Disturbed.  PopRocks presents pop rock from the ’90s and 2000s, including The Killers, Coldplay, Sheryl Crow, Goo Goo Dolls, Train, No Doubt and Matchbox 20.

 

 

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: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  You can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – As a result of making up in totality the seven-tenths it lost via four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Emmis-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” elevates from #12 to a three-way tie at #8 (4.3, +.7, 6+). In the process, it happens to leapfrog co-owned KLBJ-AM, which extends to seven its string of consecutive up or flat trends that has accounted for a cumulative +1.1 (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); the news/talk property, however, drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Another player in that three-way logjam at #8 is Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7 – Today’s Best Mix,” which regains all but two-tenths of the -.7 it squandered this time last month (4.3, +.5, (up from #11, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “Mix” consistently registered a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.6 in each of the previous 11 sweeps but fell to 3.8 (6+). Up a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” climbs from #14 to #12. In addition to “Mix” and “Que Buena,” iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” picks up one-half share as well (4.5 – 5.0, eighth to sixth, 6+). Following three straight 4.6-showings (6+), KASE dropped one-tenth in June. On top for the sixth successive month, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” adds two-tenths to June’s +1.1 (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 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. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Its regional Mexican cluster-mate KLZT “107.1 La Z” though forfeits all of June’s half-share increase and three-tenths more (5.4 – 4.6, -.8, 6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. Faltering by seven-tenths each are co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin,” which falls out of the top ten with its third straight decrease (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, #10 to #14, 6+) and The University of Texas-owned KUT (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Locked on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT followed with a 5.8 (April, 6+); 6.2 (May, 6+); and improved by six-tenths in June to 6.8 (6+). Flat at #16, Emmis triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 17th time in a row (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

2) Raleigh – Granted, it might be a bit of a technicality, but the entry making the largest 6+ June 2017 – July 2017 increase in all 48 PPM-markets is the stream of Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music,” which debuts at #14 with a 2.4 (6+). The actual FM signal of “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registers its third successive increase for an overall gain of two full-shares and inches up from sixth to fifth (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of six-tenths in May halted three consecutive (modest) downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Down a collective eight-tenths in three straight dips (8.0 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), co-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” recaptures more than half that loss with a +.5 to 7.7 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row. In addition to repeating as the market’s pacesetter, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is +1.4 in four straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+) and matches the 8.2 (6+) it posted last October. Following six straight gains that netted a +2.1 (2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “The Pulse” surrenders nine-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #12). At the same time, a loss of seven-tenths takes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fifth to sixth) to 6.2, its lowest 6+-share in exactly two years (6.2, as well, in July 2015). Thus, the market’s (6+) CHR erodes by -1.6 to 10.2. Dislodged from the penthouse in June (after four consecutive months there) and remaining in third-place in July is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a combined -1.8 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+). While it remains at #4, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). A quartet of Raleigh outlets have decreases of one-half share: iHeartMedia FM news/talk WTKK (#9 to #10, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” WNNL (3.8, #12 to #13, 6+); Capitol Broadcasting sports/talk WCMC “ESPN 99.9 – The Fan” (flat at #14, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (#15 to #16, 6+). This is WTKK’s fourth straight down or flat monthly for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). After posting three straight increases for a combined +1.2 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), “The Light” spiraled by -1.7 in June. In back-to-back sweeps (June 2017 and July 2017), “The Fan” is a combined -1.1 (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). This is the third straight half-share fluctuation for “La Ley 101.1,” which wiped out May’s half-share loss in June only to forfeit it in July (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Off by three-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” (#16 to #17) halts at six its consecutive streak of up or flat trends that more than quintupled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (.4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Off by a combined nine-tenths in May and June (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH roars back with a +1.1 to 4.4 – its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 5.0; “Hot 96.3” climbs from #13 to #11. In a somewhat similar scenario, Emmis’ WLHK wipes out an overall -.6 in May and June (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a July improvement of seven-tenths to 6.1, its highest 6+-share since May 2016, as “Country 97.1 Hank FM” progresses from seventh to fifth. Having plummeted by -2.8 as the result of five consecutive down or flat trends (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. Advancing from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its seventh successive improvement for an overall +2.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+). Major ups and downs continue for WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” As the result of three straight January through April downward trends (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian station was off by one full-share. It bounced back with a +1.1 in May only to falter by -1.2 in June (6.3 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+); however, “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” adds six-tenths in July to 6.8 (6+), marching from sixth to third. Despite being off by one-half share (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL is #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep; June’s 8.2 matches its highest 6+-stat since December 2015. By dropping one-tenth to 4.9 (6+), hot AC cluster-mate WNTR has its string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) halted at five; nonetheless, “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” actually improves from ninth to eighth. Eroding by nine-tenths each are Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.8, third to seventh, 6+) and Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” (1.7, #14 to #16, 6+). WFMS was a combined +.8 in May and June (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), while “The Fan” picked up a collective half-share via four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are its adult contemporary and news/talk siblings WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (6.5, second to fourth, 6+) and WIBC “Indy’s News Center” (4.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). By replicating May’s seven-tenths’ increase in June (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), WIBC reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2016’s 5.0; “B-105.7” is below a seven-share (6+) for the first time since January’s 6.7.

4) Milwaukee – Notwithstanding that a wide ranker and AQH share gap currently exists between them, both iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (9.9 – 10.7, #1 for the 28th consecutive time, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” (#18 to #14, 6+) register spikes of eight-tenths. It is the fourth straight gain for WZTI, which has more than tripled its 6+-share since March (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+). As for “Big FM,” is rebounds from a combined -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 10.3 – 9.9, 6+) and returns to double-digits (6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps. Recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); and now +.8 (July). An interesting development has occurred in the CHR scrum, following a June increase of three-tenths (6+) by both iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97-3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” and Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.” Via four straight improvements, “Now” is up by an overall full-share (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) and shifts from #14 to #12, but “Kiss” – which was 4.9 and ninth in June (6+) disappears from print. Advancing from seventh to fifth, co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a net gain of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” posts its second straight (modest) gain (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and matches its 4.0 in March to climb from #13 to #11. Having notched a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last four survey periods, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” regresses by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. The down/up pattern that Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB began in January (4.6 – 4.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+) ends in July as “B-93.3” is off by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), but remains at #10. Not higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 18 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through July 2017, public triple A WYMS (#17 to #15) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4.

5) Nashville – Part of a three-way June logjam for the runner-up slot, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” doubles June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) and marches to #1. Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). Not only does the station that “Jack” dislodges at #1 (after a brief one-month run) – iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ – segue to #2, “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” drops four-tenths to 7.4 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three straight improvements that netted a collective +1.4 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 7.8). Owing to a spike of nine-tenths to 2.5 (6+), Nashville Public Radio classical WFCL ends at four its skein of down or flat monthlies that generated an overall loss of one-half share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #15. Entering the June sweep, co-owned WPLN was down in each of the previous three survey periods for an overall -1.3 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “News 90.3” is a combined +1.5 in June and July (4.1 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), climbing from eighth to seventh. Simultaneous with Cromwell Group urban AC WPRT-HD2 improving by one-half share (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+), co-owned WPRT-FM “The Game” spirals by nine-tenths to .9 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). When “The Game” dropped six-tenths in June, it curtailed at four a successive string of up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk arena, Cumulus Media’s WGFX regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, 6+) to slide from #13 to #14. In June, “104.5 The Zone” returned in its entirety May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) share for CHR erodes by -1.5 as Midwest Communications-owned WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” forfeits twice as much of its one-half share gain in June (3.3 – 2.3, -1.0, #13 to #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” (second to third) follows up June’s -.6 with a -.5 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). The loss of six-tenths in June ended at three WRVW’s consecutive string of increases which netted a +1.8 (5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). February’s 5.9 was the first time “The River” had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Off by an overall nine-tenths in three successive downward moves (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” has an identical 6+ profile as “The River”: 7.1 – 6.6, second to third. Nine-tenths is the collective margin of decline as well for Cromwell alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz,” which dips in back-to-back sweeps (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+).

6) Providence –  Owing to four (modest) increases in a row (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” gains a cumulative one-half share and carries on in sixth-place. After dropping six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” bounces back with a gain of two-tenths to an even 10.0 (6+) and is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. Frozen on 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY picked up a combined nine-tenths in three consecutive progressive trends (8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+). “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” though surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase in July (8.3, -.8, 6+) and falls from second to fourth. June’s 9.1 represents the highest 6+-share for WHJY in just over one year (9.2, May 2016). As a result of replicating June’s -.7 for a combined -1.4 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” all but wipes out May’s +1.5. In advance of the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). For the fifth time in the last ten survey periods and second time in a row, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WWKX notches a 2.5 (6+) as “Hot 106.3” continues at #9. While steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+) and its lowest 6+-share since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for an overall increase of seven-tenths since January (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Boston public news/talk WGBH-FM drops six-tenths to 1.6 (6+), but remains at #10.

7) Norfolk – Without a loss for the seventh time in a row for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” continues in seventh-place. In a classic case of the rich get richer, Entercom urban AC WVKL “95-7 Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” trots out a +1.4 (12.0 – 13.4, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh successive sweep, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. It has registered a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 15th time in the last 16 ratings periods. Furthermore, 13.4 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, with WVKL accomplishing the feat several times, the most recent in January 2015. The only other station in the market to do so is co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD,” which logged 13.4 (6+) once. There is a little more history from this Virginia metro in the July 2017 sweep: Over and above marching from third to second by notching a gain of six-tenths, Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” hits 7.4, the highest 6+ share in its history as a PPM subscriber. Meanwhile, following its 7.4 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV has recorded a 6+-share within 2.2 – 2.8 range, but “Movin’ 107.7 The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” drops six-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as it segues from eighth to ninth. After being in the runner-up slot the past five sweeps (the last three with a 7.3, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” trades places with WNOR by slipping to #3 (7.0, -.3, 6+). For the fourth straight month, aforementioned WWDE “2WD” (flat at #6) fails to make an increase and is -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Continuing on a seesaw, Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” adds seven-tenths (6.3 – 7.0, 6+) to advance from sixth to fifth. It was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); eroded by seven-tenths in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. This is the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 7.1 in January 2015. It helps enable WPAW to pull ahead of iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1,” which is off three-tenths (7.3 – 6.9, fourth to sixth, 6+), snapping at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). On the heels of three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG answers with a combined June and July +1.4 (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+), allowing “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” to inch up from fifth to fourth. Ahead of it (continuing) at #3 is Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything,” which wipes out June’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.3, 6+). While it repeats at #1 and achieves double-digits (6+) for the eighth straight sweep, urban AC cluster-mate WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” hands over roughly half of the whopping +1.5 it notched in June (11.6 – 10.9, -.7, 6+); 11.6 is its most potent 6+-share in over three years (11.9, March 2014). In addition to placing first in June and July, WQMG occupied the top spot in January, February, and March, as well. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. Spiraling by seven-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM,” which has its third decrease in a row for an overall loss of -1.2 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and its softest 6+-share since January 2014’s 2.9. Unchanged at #7, rock sibling WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” sputters by four-tenths to 4.3 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six consecutive increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) that netted a +1.7. Having strung together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (flat at #2) follows with an equal number of consecutive losses that has accounted for a collective -1.1 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6, 6+). “Jamz” had been in double-digits (6+) 10 times in the previous 12 survey periods.

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to posting its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the seventh consecutive month and has its strongest 6+-share since November 2015’s 11.3. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. A collective +1.3 in three straight gains entering the June sweep (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI is now an overall -1.6 in back-to-back monthlies (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+) as “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” drifts from fifth to eighth. Having posted a 3.1 (6+) in three of the past four ratings periods, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN sputters by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and segues from ninth to tenth. Over the last two sweeps, Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 – South Florida’s Country Music” is a combined -1.4 (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Surrendering one-half share is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (flat at #5) which – in the last eight survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March); +1.4 in April; -.5 in May; +.7 in June; and now -.5 in July (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (#13 to #15), which is down or flat for the fourth straight time for a roughly 50% loss of its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Simultaneous with co-owned adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” losing three tenths after June’s -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+, iHeartMedia-owned and similarly-programmed WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” rebounds from June’s loss of eight-tenths by adding three-tenths (5.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) to jump from eighth to fifth. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 4.6 in November 2015. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), “Today’s Kool 105.5” was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). The market’s other AC – JVC Media’s WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm,” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row and down approximately 50% in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7, 6+), yet actually improves from #16 to a tie at #15.

10) Jacksonville – Wild fluctuations continue for iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL, whose April -.6 put an end to its 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence. “V-101.5,” bounced back with a +.8 in May, only to surrender -.7 in June; and now erupts with a massive +1.7 in July (4.4 – 6.1, seventh to sixth, 6+). This is its highest 6+-performance since 6.3 in May 2016. In recapturing in totality the one-half share it lost in June, Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” moves into the top ten (4.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #9, 6+). Prior to June’s -.5, “X-102.9” had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps netting seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Albeit down by six-tenths (12.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” is nonetheless the market pacesetter for the seventh straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The five most recent stats for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” are 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9 (March 2017 through July 2017, steady from June at #4, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5” (#13 to #12) is trending 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+) since April. Within 4.1 – 4.5 (6+) territory the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WKSL plummets by nine-tenths (4.3 – 3.4, 6+) and not only exits the top ten (#9 to #11), “97.9 Kiss FM” has its weakest 6+-showing since November 2013’s 3.3. Faltering by one-half share each are Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” (9.6 – 9.1, unchanged at #2, 6+) and public news/talk WJCT (3.1 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “The Eagle” was up nine-tenths in June and while its urban contemporary HD2 side channel floundered by one-half share in May and June (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), it picks up three-tenths to 2.2, but stays at #14 (6+).

11) Memphis – Adding nine-tenths onto the three-tenths it picked up in June, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” registers a 6.9, its best 6+-stat since 7.4 in March, to jump from sixth to fourth. As the result of three straight sweeps without a decrease (6.5 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK is a collective +1.8 and “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is in third-place for the fourth month in a row. Not only is urban AC cluster-mate KJMS up or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective gain of +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+), “V-101” is #1 for the sixth successive time. It held that same position for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016; “V-101” was up by two-tenths in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The last time it was in double-digits (6+) was in September 2016 (10.2, as well). Up (modestly) or flat the last three survey periods for a net gain of three-tenths (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) – and with a 6+-share consistently between 4.2 and 4.8 since last December – Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max, Maximum Rock” freefalls by one full-share to 3.8, but carries on in eighth-place. In eight straight down or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KWNW has lost one full-share (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+) but “101.9 Kiss FM – All The Hits” manages to move from #17 to #15. It is a mixed-bag for the market’s country outlets as Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is off by four-tenths to 5.5 (flat at #7, 6+) after back-to-back increases produced a +1.0 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” adds two-tenths to June’s +.8 and continues at #11 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

12) Hartford – By dialing up a gain of seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth with its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 6.5. At the same time that co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” (off eight-tenths in June) improves by one-half share (7.8 – 8.3 third to second, 6+), its news/talk sibling WTIC-AM plummets by -1.6 (fifth to eighth, 6+). When “Hartford’s Best Variety” lost four-tenths in May, it stopped at six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends that produced a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). In what is now WTIC-AM’s sixth consecutive decline, it has spiraled by a collective -3.7 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (4.8, 6+, August 2015). Down one tick (10.0 – 9.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH “Lite 100.5” remains at #1 for the 11th successive ratings period. It had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. “Lite” was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+). Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Its online stream remains at .5 (6+) although it rises from #15 to #14. A combined +1.7 in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (7.1 – 76 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in June for the first time since last December’s 8.2, but “Country 92-5” returns one-half share (8.8 – 8.3, 6+) and is in a second-place tie with WTIC-FM. Fading by one-half share as well (to its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.9) is Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Hartford’s Classic Rock” (5.7 – 5.2, 6+), which carries on in seventh-place.

Monday, July 31, 2017

| July 31, 2017

Beasley Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 3.3%; Pro Forma SOI Rises 17.5%.  The second quarter 2017 financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group isn’t straightforward from a comparison standpoint due to the recent acquisition of the Greater Media stations as well as the divestiture of its Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina operations.  The company states, “The $33.2 million, or 119.7%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30 reflects the operation of stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey acquired from Greater Media, partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville clusters.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “Following our second full quarter of results including the Greater Media markets, we are beginning to realize the benefits from this transaction in terms of scale and opportunity, as reflected by the 119.7% increase in consolidated net revenue and 100% rise in SOI compared to the prior year.  In the second quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations and extracting valuable synergies from our enhanced scale to drive SOI margin expansion.  The 9.1% reduction in pro-forma second quarter operating expenses, which included $1 million of severance related to the Greater Media markets, was partially offset by the 3.3% decline in pro forma revenue, which was attributable to political spending levels and declines in national revenues, as well as certain specific integration-related issues.  As a result, Beasley generated a 17.5% year-over-year increase in second quarter pro forma SOI with SOI margins reaching 26.6% up from 21.9% in the year-ago period.  With the financing of the Greater Media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of June 30 was approximately $225 million, compared to $240 million at March 31.  We made voluntary debt repayments of $4 million in the second quarter and applied 100% of the $11 million in net proceeds from our Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster divestiture toward debt reduction, resulting in a total $15 million reduction in debt.”

WBZT, West Palm Beach Flips to Sports as ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.’ Dropping news/talk for sports, iHeartMedia West Palm Beach introduces the new WBZT as “Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.”  The station will feature a local morning drive show – “Defo in the Morning” – hosted by Jeff Deforest, Mike “Lubie” Lubitz and The Greek.  The station will air play-by-play including NFL football, the Miami Marlins, Florida Gators basketball and the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Program director Brian Mudd comments, “We are excited that ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone’ will be the Palm Beaches’ new home for all things sports.  Our all-star lineup featuring South Florida’s own ‘Defo in the Morning,’ The Greek and Jim Rome will bring the biggest games, the best sports conversation and sports updates you need to know.”

John Oliver Again Targets Alex Jones on Last Night’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ (7/30).  Satirist John Oliver again targeted controversial InfoWars host Alex Jones on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” citing TALKERS magazine’s most-listened-to hosts audience estimates of 5.9 million per week.  To view the scathing commentary please click here.

KOA, Denver’s Steffan Tubbs Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge. The iHeartMedia news/talk station has issued no comment at this time after the local reports of KOA morning personality Steffan Tubbs’ arrest on the charge of domestic violence, disturbance via phone.  FOX 31 Denver reports the 48-year-old Tubbs was arrested on Sunday morning outside the apartment of an unidentified woman who called police.  The story notes that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state, meaning that if police are called and there’s probable cause, an arrest of the accused is made and that person must appear before a judge prior to posting bond.

TALKERS News Notes. The new executive producer of the “Jason and John” show – featuring John Martin and Jason Smith – on Entercom’s WMFS-FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN/680AM” is Bennett Doyle.  He’s been producing programs on the station – filling in on the Geoff Calkins show, the Eric Hasseltine show, and the Gary Parrish show – in addition to working with “Jason and John.”  At the same time, the station announces that Ashley Cahill is named promotion and events manager…..News anchor Frank Settipani retires from CBS Radio News after a 36-year stint with the news organization.  Before joining CBS Radio News in 1981, Settipani had worked at WNEW-AM and WINS-AM in New York, UPI, and Dow Jones…..RTDNA joins with the Society of Professional Journalists and a score of other journalism groups, urging the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.  The groups say an informed public is crucial to democracy and they want to work together to ensure the public has an informed opinion of the press and its role. Because the Commerce Committee oversees the Federal Communications Commission, it plays an important role in broadcast media licensing, communications networks and more.  The organizations say an open discussion about journalism will hopefully help to rebuild trust in the profession. See the letter here…..CBS RADIO’s Spanish music outlet KLOL, Houston “Mega 101 FM” will be the new home of the Houston Texans Spanish radio broadcasts on game days…..Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (pictured at left) takes a selfie in front of the stage at Citi Field in New York where the Doobie Brothers are performing on stage.  The event also featured Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Earth, Wind & Fire. Gallagher says the show was “my soundtrack from high school.”…..CBS Sports Radio host Jim Rome crowned the winner of the 2017 Smack Off, naming Leff in Laguna the eventual winner in what was described as a very crowded field.  Leff takes home $5,000 and eternal bragging rights.  Rome comments, “This was the best Smack Off ever and the toughest one to decide a winner, but Leff in Laguna won it with a great call that somehow included an incredible in-studio reunion of the guys from the 1996 SI photo shoot.  Truly an amazing moment in show history and one that I will remember forever.”

Profile: Walter SaboTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of radio’s Walter Sabo – currently focusing his efforts on his weekly Sunday night talk show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  Sabo’s weekly show diverges a bit from what some would term formulaic conservative political talk, and Sabo thinks there’s room for that on news/talk radio.  “I strongly believe there is a great opportunity for talk stations today to increase what they offer [however] I am not saying to get rid of political talk shows.  It’s good if a station has a gifted talk show host – but make sure [he or she is] entertaining.  The most response I get from my show is when I talk about trouble with the in-laws – that’s when the phones and emails go crazy.  It is what you talk about with your friends, so why wouldn’t you put it on the air? This is what someone like Elvis Duran [highlights on his morning show originating from iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ ‘Z-100’ and syndicated on Premiere Radio Networks]. Stations that just talk about politics are so afraid to talk about anything else and there is no reason to.”  Read Kinosian’s piece here.

ABC Radio and Skyview Renew. Partners since 2014, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce they’ve signed an early extension of their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.  The companies say that “this early renewal through 2026 positions ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to continue their growth in audio syndication and sales, while preparing ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to expand their relationship with news and entertainment brands seeking strategic partnerships that generate strong results.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele comments, “Skyview Networks is proud to extend our partnership with ABC Radio.  This early renewal speaks to the success of our collaboration and allows us to continue our joint initiative to deliver quality content to radio stations and provide the media community impactful advertiser opportunities.  We look forward to deepening our relationship, as we further explore options that will expand the ABC Radio offering.  We feel privileged to have ABC Radio at our side as Skyview Networks continues to experience healthy, sustainable growth.”

Futuri Appoints Three to New Positions.  Three new staffers join media technology firm Futuri Media at the company’s new Cleveland-area headquarters.  Radio pro Chris Huneke is named partner integration specialist.  In this role, the former WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1” program director will be a partner to programmers who use Futuri’s audience engagement products, helping them develop new ways to drive ratings and revenue.  Alison Stubbendieck is named national account manager.  She comes to Futuri after spending the last 11 years with digital marketer NeoFillJames Hunziker also joins as national account manager. He previously served with YP.com and CBS RADIO Cleveland before joining Futuri.

Jim Bohannon Delivers University of North Georgia Commencement.  Pictured here at the podium is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk host Jim Bohannon delivering a speech at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday (7/29).

The MBA Radio Talent Institute Begins Today.  This edition of the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute begins today at Northwest Missouri State University.  The 10-day institute is made possible with financial commitments from the school and the MBA, plus broadcast companies including: Hubbard Radio-St Louis; Eagle Communications-St. Joseph; Emmis Communications-St. Louis; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri-Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia-St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media-Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting-Springfield.  Students will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph for a session on sports broadcasting from Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus. The field trip will continue in Kansas City with a play-by-play session from the Royals’ Denny Matthews.  On Friday morning, Kansas City’s “Taylor and Brady Morning Show,” from KZPT “99.7 The Point” will broadcast live from the institute.

Trump Ousts Reince Priebus/Cabinet Changes, Future of ObamaCare, Putin Orders U.S. to Cut Diplomatic Staff, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Venezuela Elections, Sunday’s GoT Episode, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ouster of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly named his replacement, plus the arrival of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; the GOP’s efforts to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan crafted by Republicans; in retaliation for the Congress-approved sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin orders U.S. to remove 755 diplomats from Russia; the ongoing threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the weekend elections in Venezuela that Nicolas Maduro says give him complete control of the nation’s government and military and other nations’ refusal to accept the elections as legitimate; the current season of “Game of Thrones” and anticipation of Sunday night’s episode; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/31) with Memorial Tribute To Dr. Joy Browne by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/31) we posted the third of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Dr. Joy Browne.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Westwood One Realigns 24/7 Formats Organization.  President of programming Kirk Stirland says the streamlining of Westwood One’s 24/7 formats organizational structure “includes the promotion of many talented team members, and we are committed to continually optimizing our systems and station support as we advance our technology and content delivery solutions.”  The company says the structure gives every affiliate a single point of contact with a senior programming executive supported by a dedicated team of experts including a program operations manager, music and promotion director, and system operator.  “The new organization supporting VPs of programming George King/country, Cheri Marquart/contemporary, and David Felker/gold formats can respond to the more than 1,800 affiliates swiftly and conclusively with the singular goal of providing a top-notch product and white-glove service.”  Effective immediately, Dave Carey and Melody Morgan are promoted to program operations managers.  Al Vertucci and Gerry Dixon are promoted to music and promotion directors, for gold and contemporary formats respectively, and Bill Thorpe is promoted to system operator.  In a related move, Heather Martinez, a 13-year veteran of Westwood One’s 24-Hour Formats, is promoted to promotion manager.

Travis Moon to Program ‘K-Bull 93’ in Salt Lake City.  Country radio pro Travis Moon is joining Cumulus Media to serve as the program director for KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Moon was most recently with iHeartMedia as director of country operations at KAJA, San Antonio and KASE and KVET in Austin.  Joining KUBL is a return to the station for Moon.  Earlier in his career, he was afternoon drive personality and APD.  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City Pat Reedy says, “To have someone of Travis’ experience, knowledge and track record of programming winning country radio stations is very exciting.  Can’t wait to get him in the ‘K-Bull’ stable and let him work his magic.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kenny J is named program director at Cumulus Media’s urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  He comes to Kansas City from Kennelwood Radio’s hip hop KWBT, Waco, Texas “94.5 The Beat.”  At KMJK, Kenny J will also host the midday show.  Cumulus Kansas City operations manager Lance Tidwell states, “We are excited to have Kenny at the helm of ‘Magic 107.3’ in Kansas City.  The station is poised for significant growth and will benefit from Kenny’s leadership and deep knowledge of the urban AC format.”…..Cumulus Media launches a new CHR station, flipping from sports talk on WNMQ-FM, Columbus-Starkville, Mississippi.   The station takes on the brand “Q103.1 FM The Golden Triangle’s Hit Music.”  In morning drive, the station will use the syndicated “The Bert Show.”…..iHeartMedia Phoenix names Vinnie Del Rosso the new executive producer and on-air talent on adult contemporary KESZ’s “Beth and Friends” morning show. Area SVP of programming Paul Kelley says, “I’m excited to add Vinnie’s personality and perspective to the ‘Beth and Friends’ morning show. Vinnie and Beth have a great rapport and he will bring tremendous energy to the show.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Monday, May 15, 2017

| May 15, 2017

WFAN Sells Studio Naming Rights for ‘Boomer & Carton’ to Investors Bank.  New York City sports talk WFAN enters into a multi-year partnership with Investors Bank under which the bank will become the exclusive studio naming rights partner of the station’s “Boomer & Carton” show.  Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings says, “As we look to expand our profile throughout the NY and NJ region, partnering with organizations that share our values is important to us.  Investors Bank is looking forward to a very strong relationship with WFAN and we’re excited about having the ‘Boomer & Carton’ show broadcast from the Investors Bank Studio at WFAN.”

Alpha Media Launches Peoria Sports Talker.  In Peoria, Alpha Media launches a sports talk outlet – the company’s seventh station in the market – branded “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  So far, the station features Fox Sports Radio programming including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Dan Patrick and Doug Gottlieb and promises more programming news soon.  It airs on WNGY-HD2 and translator W251BQ.

Brown Named Sales Manager for WPHT, Philadelphia. Coming over to CBS RADIO from his most recent position with Greater Media as group sales manager for the company’s Philadelphia stations prior to their acquisition by Beasley Broadcast Group is Jim Brown. He’ll serve as sales manager for news/talk WPHT.  Brown is a Philly native well acquainted with the market, having started his career as an account manager at KYW-TV in 1983.  VP/director of sales for CBS RADIO Philadelphia Dave Scopinich comments, “We’re so fortunate to add someone of Jim’s talent and experience to our sales management team.  Jim is a natural coach and leader.  He understands how to create multi-platform campaigns that deliver results for clients.  He’s a perfect fit at 1210 WPHT.”

Sean Hannity, Jim Rome and Robin Quivers Among Nominees for National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The voting for the National Radio Hall of Fame class of 2017 begins today (5/15).  There are 24 nominees in six categories.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  The other two categories will be voted on by the public, beginning June 5 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “As an industry, we should all be proud of our incredibly diverse community of talent who have made and continue to make radio great.  This year’s class of nominees is a fine representation of why millions of people connect to our medium on a daily basis.”  News/talk and sports talk radio nominees include: Sean Hannity; Jim Rome; Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic; the Fabulous Sports Babe Nanci Donnellan; Robin Quivers; Diane Rehm; KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel; SiriusXM’s Joe Madison; WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris & Tedd Webb; and public radio shows “Marketplace” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”  Inductees will be announced June 26.  The induction ceremony will be held November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.  See the full list of nominees here.

TALKERS News Notes. In New Hampshire, Great Eastern Radio agrees to sell three FMs to longtime Granite State broadcaster/engineer Dirk Nadon.  After FCC approval of the deal, he’ll take over the operation of sports talk WZEI, Meredith “Sportsradio 101.5,” sports talk WTPL, Hillsboro “The Pulse 107.7” and rock WLKZ, Wolfeboro “The Hawk 104.9.”  Nadon says, “I am very excited to return to ownership in New Hampshire radio which began when my father and I originally put on the air the 101.5 frequency that I am re-purchasing in this transaction.  I feel like it is a coming home for this station and for me.”  WZEI airs programming from the WEEI Sports Radio Network and Boston Red Sox baseball.  WTPL also carries Red Sox baseball along with local sports talk…..Salem Radio Network News is offering a five-part series on media bias to interested stations for free.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says the news series was produced by SRN News anchor Keith Peters and features comments from former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Tim Graham of the Washington, DC-based Media Research Center, and others.  He says stations wishing to incorporate this material into local talk shows or newscasts will receive scripts and audio clips that is also free of any reference to SRN News.  If interested, email Tradup at ttradup@srnradio.com…..Compass Media Networks announces it will offer 72 college and pro football broadcasts this fall.  The slate of NCAA and NFL games includes exclusive coverage of Oakland Raiders games and full national coverage of Dallas Cowboys games.  Compass is also announcing its commitment to play-by-play announcer Chris Carrino’s fight against Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by encouraging people to visit fightforchris.com and donate to the cause.

Reminder! AMC-8 Service Is Going Away.  From your friends at Westwood One comes this reminder that in 45 days, “radio stations around the country will lose all radio network programming from all major companies if they do not re-aim their satellites from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  On June 30, AMC-8 will no longer serve as the radio network “neighborhood,” and there will not be a suitable replacement satellite at the 139 degree position.  It has exceeded its design life and is not being replaced by an equivalent C-band satellite at the same location.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18.  This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies. For more information, click here.

TAB Radio Institute at University of Tennessee Begins Today. At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville today, more than 40 broadcast professionals will begin leading sessions for the 25 students accepted into the inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute.  The Radio Talent Institute is spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  TAB president Whit Adamson says of the 10-day program, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station. They have been exposed to all facets of a station and capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and prepared to add something.”  Sessions throughout the Institute will be led by broadcasters from Midwest Communications, Scripps Radio Group, 5 Star Radio, Cumulus, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Saga, iHeartMedia, Cromwell, Entercom, and others.  Vallie says, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award-winning college radio station, WUTK. And we couldn’t be happier to partner with Whit Adamson and the TAB, who have been supportive of the National Radio Talent System almost from the very beginning.”

Herskovitz: Emerging Trend in Radio Ads?  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz says we may be seeing the emergence of a new trend in radio advertising – the use of old, classic song snippets to hawk modern goods and services.  As Herskovitz notes, “The wide world of commercials is no different than any other segment of society.  It goes through its periods of fads and fashions.”  Although the radio ad jingle is not as popular as it used to be, and popular music songs have long been used in commercials, this trend involves a slightly different twist.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Fox News Radio’s Starnes Delivers Commencement Address.  Pictured above are Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes (right) and Toccoa Falls College president Dr. Robert Myers (left).  Starnes delivered the commencement address at the Toccoa Falls, Georgia school and was presented with the President’s Medallion in recognition of meritorious service.

Worldwide Cyber-Attack, Trump Threatens End of Press Briefings, Comey Firing Aftermath, North Korea Missile Test, ‘SNL’ Spicer-Trump Bit, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ransomware attack that’s affected more than 100 countries; President Donald Trump’s threat to end press briefings for the sake of “accuracy”; the political effects of the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and speculation about who will take his place; North Korea’s test of a long-range missile; the latest Sean Spicer-Donald Trump skit on “Saturday Night Live”; and MLB, NBA, and NHL 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. The weekly “Country Club with Dee Jay Silver” show returns to Compass Media Networks.  The program airs Friday and Saturday nights and is currently heard on more than 60 country stations across the nation.  Dee Jay Silver says, “I am thrilled to rejoin Compass Media Networks.  This is where it all began for me a few years ago and I look forward to a long-term partnership.”  Compass is providing syndication and affiliate and ad sales…..Reach Media is launching a new weekend show called, appropriately, “The Weekend Blast” with co-hosts and hip hop legends Ed Lover and Monie Love.   Reach says that the two-hour show will “give listeners their hip hop culture fix with celebrity interviews, entertainment news and the best music for every generation.  It debuts on Saturday (5/20) in more than 15 markets including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

| April 3, 2017

RTDNA Establishes Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  In obvious response to statements by President Trump that the press is the “enemy of the people,” the Radio Television Digital News Association announces it is creating the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Saying that the task force is being founded amid “growing attacks on journalism,” the RTDNA “is renewing its commitment to speak out for freedom of the press…The goals of the task force include not only reacting to threats to First Amendment Freedoms, but proactively supporting journalists and educating the public about the importance of a free press to our democracy.”  Task Force co-chair Sheryl Worsley comments, “If the public comes to believe the news media are the ‘enemy of the people,’ one of our country’s most fundamental rights could be lost.  Freedom of the press helps ensure a check on government and helps America stay free.”  RTDNA says members of the task force will be meeting with leaders from radio and television station groups across the country at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month.  They will discuss recent threats to press freedom and begin to develop a strategic plan to protect and promote the vital role of journalism.

Long-Rumored ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup Still Full of Uncertainties.  A piece in Philly.com reports that the break-up of 18-year ESPN Radio morning show “Mike & Mike” – with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – is going to happen, but when and how is still a well-kept secret.  Writer Rob Tornoe cites a Sporting News piece in which both Greenberg and Golic appear to admit the end is near, but both insist they don’t know when or what will take the show’s place in the ESPN Radio lineup.  Also in that story is the report that Mike Greenberg recently signed a new deal with ESPN to work the television side of the company for about $6.5 million per year.  That’s always been part of the narrative – that Greenberg’s new duties necessitate his departure from the radio morning show.  Read the Philly.com piece here.

Derrick Martin Appointed Region President for iHM St. Louis.  Moving from his market president position with iHeartMedia in Norfolk, Derrick Martin returns to the St. Louis area to serve as region president for the St. Louis Region that includes 33 radio stations in St. Louis, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Davenport, Iowa and Springfield, Missouri.  He’ll report to Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division.  McConnell says, “I’m very excited to have Derrick return to the St. Louis Region in this important role leading our brands.  He has a proven track record of success and understands how to build and maintain a strong culture that rewards innovation and team work.”

Beasley Promotes Steve Meyers.  Rising from his director of digital operations with Greater Media to executive vice president of digital for Beasley Broadcast Group is Steve Meyers.  He joined Beasley with the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations last fall.  In his new role as Beasley’s EVP of digital, Meyers will oversee the Charlotte and Detroit corporate digital teams.  He says, “I’m honored to take on this leadership role in Beasley Media Group.  Our digital landscape has brought such a unique opportunity to the media space, and combined with our strong Beasley brands, we are creating an outstanding formula for continued growth and success.”

Beasley Names Craig Shemon PM Host at ‘99.3 ESPN’ in Fort Myers.  Sports media pro Craig Shemon is signed by Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WWCN, Fort Myers “99.3 ESPN.”  Shemon has worked at both Yahoo! Sports Radio and FOX Sports Radio Network, in addition to handling play-by-play duties for Fox Sports and The Big Ten Network.  He’s done studio work for NBA TV and MLB Strikezone on DirecTV.  Beasley Southwest Florida operations manager Adam Star states, “Craig’s play-by-play experience with the NBA, MLB and NFL is remarkable!  His ability to carry a daily sports show and his highly successful achievements in other national broadcast platforms from Los Angeles to Chicago are truly impressive.  Hiring Craig is a game changer and we’re looking forward to have his success and positive attitude continue here in Southwest Florida on ‘99.3 ESPN!’”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the San Diego Reader, market radio personality Chris Cantore – XETRA, KPRI, and KBZT – is set to replace sports journalist Kevin Acee on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” in the evening slot.  The piece notes that Cantore has made references in the past to not being a fan of big league team sports and questions what management is expecting of his 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  TALKERS recently wrote about Cantore’s new venture into podcasting via his Yew Media LLC firm.  Read the San Diego Reader story here…..Talk media personality Joe Madison is being honored by his alma mater Washington University in St. Louis with one of this year’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.  The school says, “The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Arts & Sciences graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in so doing bring honor to Washington University through their lives, work, and service.”  Joe Madison, a.k.a. “The Black Eagle,” is heard daily on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s a 1971 graduate of the school…..Kate Delaney’s “America Tonight” nationally syndicated overnight program adds new affiliate stations KPAM, Portland; WGSO, New Orleans; KSPI, Palm Springs, California; WKAL, Rome, New York; and WVBG, Vicksburg, Mississippi…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence “NewsTalk 630 & 99.7 FM WPRO” announces that 10-year staffer Tara Granahan is named the permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Granahan began hosting the daypart in January after John DePetro’s exit from the station.  Granahan is an award-winning journalist who joined WPRO in 2007 as host of the morning show.  During her time there, she’s also served as sidekick and co-host with former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci and hosted the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm talk show.

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Looming Gorsuch Vote, Trump Foreign Leader Meetings, North Korea Threats, GOP Health Care Plan/ObamaCare Repeal, and NCAA Final Four Among Top News Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible contacts between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents; Republicans’ plans to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; President Trump meets this week with Egypt’s President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on Friday; North Korea’s nuclear missile threats; GOP plans for a new health care bill and promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Medved Broadcasts from Scottsdale. Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured above broadcasting his Salem Radio Network program live from Scottsdale, Arizona – a remote sponsored by KKNT, Phoenix “AM960/The Patriot.”  During the broadcast, Medved was joined by local hosts Seth Leibsohn and Chris Buskirk.  He also autographed copies of his new bestseller The American Miracle for fans.

Exclusive: Sean Hannity Guests on Harrison Podcast TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted an exclusive interview with Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity recorded Monday night (3/27) as the high-profile star was riding home from work. It is now playing on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” They discuss a variety of subjects including the talk show host’s contentious encounter this past weekend with CBS newsman Ted Koppel, who stated that Hannity is “bad for America.” The two also talk about Hannity’s relationship with President Donald Trump and the rapidly evolving state of conservative talk media. At one point, Harrison asks Hannity if it was true that he could corroborate that Trump had told him he was against the Iraq War early on – as the then-candidate stated in one of the presidential debates with Hillary Clinton. Hannity answered that, yes, it was true and that he and Trump had engaged in a number of private conversations and passionate debates over their differences of opinion at that point as to the merits of the U.S. becoming militarily involved in Iraq. To listen to an excerpt from the interview, please click here. To listen to the entire unedited 48-minute podcast conversation between Hannity and Harrison, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Sean Hannity to Receive the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The editorial board of TALKERS announces that Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity is going to be the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hannity in New York City on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular. According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others. It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts. It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive and indispensable.” Harrison continues, “Sean Hannity is the clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

 

 

Jeff Kapugi Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming for DC-Baltimore.  Programming pro Jeff Kapugi and iHeartMedia work out a deal to bring Kapugi into the company as regional senior vice president of programming for the Washington and Baltimore markets.  In addition to overseeing the programming of CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH, classic rock WBIG “BIG 100,” alternative W284CQ “104.7 Cherry Blossom Radio” in Washington and country WPOC, CHR WZFT “Z104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM,” and Gospel WCAO in Baltimore, Kapugi will also serve as program director for country WMZQ, Washington.  Kapugi was most recently VP of programming for CBS RADIO Chicago and PD for country WUSN “US99.”    iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments, “I could not be more excited to bring Jeff Kapugi to DC.  Having worked with him previously, I have firsthand knowledge of his exceptional skills and incredible character.  Jeff’s smart, strategic and passionate about the brands and he will be a tremendous asset for our stations.”

Bohannon to Lead Cumulus Memphis.  Broadcasting management pro Morgan Bohannon is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster.  Bohannon was most recently area president for iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations.  At Cumulus, he’ll be in charge of rhythmic oldies WRBO, rock WXMX “98.1 The Max,” hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe,” and country WGKX “KIX 106.”  Prior to his work with iHeartMedia, Bohannon was director of sales for Apex Broadcasting.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ” announces MO! takes over the morning show.  The Hubbard Radio alt rocker moves jock Ian Camfield from AMs to middays (10:00 am to 3:00 pm).  Hubbard Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb says, “Mo’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her listener appeal make her a great choice for this daypart.  Ian has got the ball rolling and will be great in middays.  We are thrilled with the new lineup.” MO! has worked at Hubbard Phoenix sister rock KUPD and, had been hosting the midday show on “ALT AZ” prior to the change…..iHeartMedia Sacramento drops the adult hits and the “JACK FM” format on KQJK to re-launch the station as classic rock “93.7 The River.”  The station will also feature longtime Sacramento personalities Dog & Joe, Monica Lowe and Derek Moore as well as the nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense” show with Nikki Sixx.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “We’re incredibly excited to bring ‘93.7 The River’ to the River City.  ‘93.7 The River’ is built on the Dog & Joe show, a destination morning show with two wildly creative and beloved personalities, a redefined take on classic rock for 2017, and a passion and commitment to community we’ve embraced and called home for many years.”…..iHeartMedia launches “ALT 97.5” on translator W248BQ, Nashville.  The new alternative rock outlet will feature on-air personalities Wells Adams, Gabby Sanderson and Battle.  Program director Rossi states, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘ALT 97.5’ to Nashville’s alternative rock fans. ‘ALT 97.5’ is an alternative station with Nashville sensibilities. We’re excited to serve the community, which has such a loyal and passionate fan base.”…..Country radio legend Lon Helton celebrated his 25th anniversary hosting “Country Countdown USA” over the weekend.  He also was honored at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards where he received his fourth ACM “National On-Air Personality” award…..Beasley Media Group moves Russ Parr from hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99” to sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Warren “Rhubarb” Jones, who passed away on April 2 at the age of 65.  He was most recently working at Gradick Communications’ oldies WWGA, Tallapoosa, Georgia “Great Classics 98.9.”  From 1985 through 2008, Jones was a personality on WYAY-FM, Atlanta when it was a country outlet.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rhythmic CHR stations based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing (6+) ratings data from January of 2017 to February, “Six of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (60%); approximately one of three are down (35%); and the remaining 5% of the sample is flat (6+).  Looking at the changes from February 2016 to February 2017, Kinosian reports, “For all practical purposes, year-to-year percentages represent a complete reversal versus month-to-month stats, as 59% of our eligible rhythmic CHR sample is off year-to-year (6+), while 35% improve; the remaining 6% are steady.”  See all the data here.

Miranda Lambert Visits with Elaina Smith.  Country star Miranda Lambert (left) sits down for a chat with “NASH Nights Live” host Elaina Smith (right) at the Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards Radio Row event last weekend.  The event saw some 100 country music stars visit with country radio personalities at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Cumulus Media and Westwood One served as the official national radio partners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards.

WYCD, Detroit’s Linda Lee Dies at 55.  Almost seven months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, WYCD, Detroit radio personality Linda Lee Young died on Friday (3/31) at age 55.  Young was a 20-year staffer at WYCD.  For 16 years, she co-hosted the “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show with Chuck Edwards.  For the past year and a half, she’s worked with co-host Rob Stone.   Young leaves behind her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina Holmes Mills, and a stepdaughter Alexa Young.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

| March 23, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Files Countersuit Against Nielsen.  This is not the first counterclaim filed by Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, against Nielsen Audio – several others were rejected by Judge James D. Whittemore.  Nielsen is suing Clem claiming his attempts at distorting the PPM ratings in the Tampa market caused it damages.  In this counterclaim, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Bubba Clem alleges that Nielsen conspired with Cox Media (owner of WHPT, Tampa and his former employer) to get him off Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa station WBRN, a competitor of WHPT.  Clem alleges that “Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was three-fold: (i) to appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley to get Clem fired by suppressing WBRN’s ratings and thus artificially increasing WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market; (ii) to encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen; and (iii) to conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply its own quality control procedures.”  Clem further alleges that Nielsen conducted a “sting” operation, by installing a PPM panelist who would appear friendly to Clem to entice Clem into asking said panelist to engage in heavy listening to his show, thereby violating Nielsen’s rules.  Clem is seeking damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

Denver Talk Host Steve Curtis Charged with Voter Fraud, Forgery.  According to a report in the Denver Post, talk show host Steve Curtis has been charged with voter fraud and forgery after he allegedly used his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote during the 2016 general election.  Kelly Curtis contacted the Weld County clerk and recorder to determine what steps she needed to take to vote and, to her surprise, was told she’d already voted.  That started the investigation that led to the charges against Steve Curtis, who hosts two shows on KLZ, Denver – the 6:00 am to 7:00 am hour and the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour.  Curtis’ information is still on the KLZ website and it’s unclear if he’s still with the station or whether the programs he hosts are brokered.  The irony in this whole story is that Curtis – a one-time chair of the Colorado Republican Party – has, echoing President Trump’s comments about voter fraud, stated on his program that almost every case of voter fraud he can remember was perpetrated by Democrats.  KDVR-TV, Denver broke the story.

Steve Corbett Exits WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre.  According to a report in the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, afternoon drive talk show host Steve Corbett has exited the Entercom news/talk station.  The paper says no reason has been given for Corbett’s departure but prints the contents of a staff email from general manager Ryan Flynn that states: “Effective immediately, Steve Corbett will not be returning to WILK.  Steve will be shifting his focus to work on some other projects outside our company.  We appreciate the work Steve has done on WILK and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”  Sixty-year-old Corbett worked for years in the Northeastern PA region as a journalist, accruing numerous awards.  He’d been hosting a show on WILK for the past 10 years.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Greenville, South Carolina.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to Greenville’s Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (3/22).  Ramsey and fellow best-selling author Chris Hogan shared with attendees information about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey combined forces with Entercom’s local affiliate WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate general sales manager Devon van der Merwe says, “At ‘106.3 WORD,’ we pride ourselves on being the leader in Upstate talk and part of that magic is our local personalities and content backed by some big, national names like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has become a household staple with our listeners every week with his real stories and life lessons on how to be financially responsible.  The last visit Dave made was in 2013, so this stop in his Smart Money tour is highly anticipated by listeners and clients alike.”  Ramsey (fifth from the left) and Hogan (fourth from the right) are pictured above with some of the WYRD-FM staff.

Schmaeling to Assume EVP/CFO Role at Entercom.  Effective April 18, Richard J. Schmaeling takes over as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Entercom Communications.  He succeeds 18-year Entercom executive Steve Fisher, who is stepping down on April 30 but will remain with the company to assist in the integration of the CBS RADIO merger.  Schmaeling was most recently CFO at Travel Leaders Group, but his experience in media includes time spent with Lin Media – operator of TV and digital media properties in 23 markets.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO.  His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS RADIO and position ourselves for a dynamic future.  I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”

Westwood One Ups Wildman to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.  After five months with the company, Westwood One is promoting Mark Wildman to EVP, strategic partnerships.  The company says that in this newly expanded role, “Wildman will lead the company’s rapidly evolving new business development initiatives for both the network and spot sales.  Wildman will be working with brand partners on strategic marketing solutions that leverage Westwood One’s robust portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.”  Wildman is based in New York City and reports directly to WW1 president of sales Steve Shaw, who comments, “In just a few short months, Mark has proven his commitment and his value as a motivating sales leader and creative problem solver.  He brings a unique vision, skill set, and a tremendous depth of experience to our senior agency and client partners.  I’m excited to have him spearhead our strategic alliances.”

Lew Dickey Exits Cumulus Board; Designates John Dickey as Replacement.  Founder and former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company and used his allotted replacement designation to fill the seat with his brother John Dickey.  The reason given by Lew Dickey for leaving the board was to pursue other professional interests.

Cumulus Surrenders License for WGPC, Albany.  The sports talk outlet’s transmitter tower was demolished during a January storm and it appears that Cumulus Media decided spending cash to fix it was not cost effective, so the company has given the license back to the FCC.  Albany news outlet WALB-TV reports that WGPC was the first commercial radio station to serve the market, signing on in 1933.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new morning show is being launched by Talk Stream Live with affiliate relations assistance from Genesis Communications Network.  News/talk personality Matt Ray is hosting “America’s 1st News,” which debuted on Monday (3/20), airing live weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET…..ABC NewsAmna Nawaz is hosting new podcast titled, “Uncomfortable.”  ABC says the show “goes one-on-one with influential voices in America to tackle issues dividing the nation – race, gender, economics, religion.”  Nawaz says, “We hear a lot about how our country is divided, about how far apart we are on some of the big issues that define us, as Americans.  But our divisions don’t go away if we ignore them.  On ‘Uncomfortable,’ it’s about taking a cold, hard look at where we are, as a country, and figuring out how we move forward.”…..Chicago Public Media announces that vice president of content and programming Ben Calhoun is leaving his position, effective next month.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Calhoun is expected to return to the staff of “This American Life.”  He was there for five years as a producer and reporter prior to moving up and eventually leading CPM’s programming for the public radio magazine show…..Westwood One and the NCAA are broadcasting the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Spanish.  This is a collaboration between Westwood One and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Calling games will be Rafael Hernández Brito (play-by-play), Greivis Vásquez (analyst), and Clemson Smith Muñiz (pregame/halftime host)…..KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota farm director Dustin Hoffman is being honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with The Doan award.  The Doan award recognizes excellence in reporting skill, thoroughness, and attention to audience interest.  Hoffmann has been with Alpha Media’s KLGR since February of 2010…..The Association of Health Care Journalists awards KQED, San Francisco health reporter April Dembosky its top reporter prize as part of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.  Dembosky received the first place prize in the Beat Reporting category for her “2016 body of work.”

Cool Radio News Gig.  WTMJ Radio is seeking a news anchor/reporter to join its award-winning news team.  The news anchor/reporter would play a large role on “Wisconsin’s Morning News.”  The position also includes interaction with show hosts, live interviews, outside appearances, traffic reporting, online story creation and a visible role representing the station. Responsible for producing several newscasts during morning drive time and into the midday, writing multiple scripts for on-air and online, pulling interview bytes for use in newscasts and identifying/assigning stories.  Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position.  Must be comfortable in front of a camera (for digital platforms) and be able to perform multiple tasks while bringing a credible voice to Wisconsin’s Radio Station, WTMJ.  Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent on-air presentation and reportorial skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin.  Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred.  Minimum 2 to 4 years of prior broadcast experience required. EOE. Apply here.

 

 

KXQQ, Las Vegas Names Hernandez Midday Host.  Urban contemporary KXQQ, Las Vegas “Q100.5” names Natalia Hernandez its new midday personality.  Hernandez slides over to “Q100.5” from her on-air role at sister CHR KLUC.  Speaking about her new gig, Hernandez says, “Fourteen years ago I got my first radio gig at CBS RADIO in West Palm Beach and I’m so happy to be back with the company it all started with.  My career has come full circle and I have to thank our OM/PD JB King for believing in me for the midday opportunity at ‘Q100.5.’” I’ve already learned so much and am excited to keep growing with him.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At next weekend’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Cumulus Media and Westwood One will present an all-star lineup at “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards,” a two-day, exclusive showcase of brand activations and backstage audio and video coverage.  “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards” will feature exclusive private backstage performances from Curb Records superstars Lee Brice, Mo Pitney, and Jerrod Niemann plus Valory Music’s Delta Rae and Broken Bow recording artist Walker McGuire.  Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Seldom do you have this many superstars assembled in one location.  We are honored to have country music’s most popular artists perform exclusively for us.  It makes our backstage live experience even more special for our affiliates, brand partners and guests.”…..The nationally syndicated rock radio show “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” is celebrating 1,500 consecutive weeks of broadcast radio syndication.  It all started in June of 1988 when Dallas radio personality and music journalist Redbeard, in conjunction with Bullet Productions, launched the show to mainstream and classic rock radio.  For this week’s 1,500th episode, Redbeard is airing an encore presentation of his 1990 interview with Paul McCartney about his 1989 comeback album Flowers In The Dirt which is being reissued this month in multiple deluxe forms with additional music and extras…..Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB-FM, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” was recently honored with five Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.  They include: Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcements/Contest, Outstanding Radio Public Service Announcement/Campaign, Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series, Outstanding Radio Commercial, and Outstanding Radio: Judges’ Merit Award…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta, “KISS 104.1” announces the lineup for the 22nd Annual Flashback Festival that takes place August 12 at Lakewood Amphitheatre.  Acts will include: The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kid ‘n Play and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  Vice president of programming Tony Kidd says, “This year’s Flashback Festival looks to bring together lovers of old school R&B and hip hop for another great time.  I look forward to seeing all the ‘KISS 104.1’ family and enjoying the tailgate prior to the show.”

 

 

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey period covered February 2 – March 1.  View 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) Portland – Over and above dialing up a +.8 to 4.0 (6+) – enabling it to jump from #14 to #11 – Entercom classic rock KGON closes out eighth straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). At this time last month, the market’s top two finishers accounted for a combined 16.5 (6+). While they keep their #1 and #2 rankings, respectively, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is off by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB erodes by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), thus lowering that (6+) total to 14.6. Despite a roughly 50% drop-off since “Holiday” 2016 (15.3 – 8.6 – 7.7, combined -7.6, 6+), “K-103” is #1 for the 33rd time in the last 35 ratings periods. KOPB completely surrenders January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” recaptured all but three-tenths of that loss in January (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+) and tacks on an additional +1.1 in February (6.4, fourth to third, 6+). This represents the strongest 6+-showing for “The Eagle” in just over one year (7.0, 6+, January 2016). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), KLTH was +.5 in December. Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 after reaching 6.1 in December 2016, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” busts out a full-share increase to 6.3 (6+) – yet – must settle for a move to #5 from a tie at #4. In addition to the aforementioned “Eagle,” also one-tenth ahead of “The Buzz” is sibling KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest,” which registers its fourth straight gain for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “The Wolf” ranked third in January as well. While flat at 4.2 (6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” manages to inch up from tenth to ninth. A +.9 in January ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – In the period between October 2016 and January 2017, Radio One gospel WPZS’ 6+ trending was 3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8 – 2.9. A February gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), however, lifts “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” from #16 to #12. This is the best 6+-stat for “Praise” since July 2015’s 3.9. Following four straight negative trends for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – We Play Anything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” adds one-tenth (7.2 – 7.3, 6+) to repeat at #1. January’s +.8 (6+) halted a string of three straight downward moves by “The Fox” that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.1 to 2.2 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-LOVE” (unchanged at #17) has its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.6 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+); Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK “K-LOVE” (1.2 – .5, #19 to #20, 6+). Prior to January’s +.8, “The Link” had trended 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” added six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but surrenders the one-half share it gained in January (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #15 to #16. Down by one-half share as well – after sputtering by seven-tenths in January – is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), which drops from second to third. Leapfrogging WSOC is its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, third to second, 6+) – which was +1.7 in January and -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. It is quite a comeback indeed for “The Kat,” given that, in “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). For the second successive month, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.2, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

3) Pittsburgh – After improving by six-tenths in January, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on a full-share (6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. It is the first time that “Kiss” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). A one-half share increase by WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” ended three straight dips that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Now, the CBS Radio hot AC dials up a +.9 to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since February 2016’s 5.3, to jump from ninth to seventh. As co-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to inch up from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from eighth to tenth. Up three-tenths (10.0 – 10.3, 6+), WPGB’s rock sibling WDVE (+1.6 in January) repeats at #1. On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to #1 in January. Right on the heels of January’s +1.2, CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns all of it plus one-tenth (4.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, -1.3, 6+) to drop from sixth to ninth. By gaining four-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). After surrendering a -5.1 in January, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” forfeits another eight-tenths (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues from fourth to fifth. “Wish” was a combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. For the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, 6+) is at #11. In 2.1 – 2.9 range the past 18 sweeps, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) gains one-tenth to reach the three-share level (2.9 – 3.0, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Several unusual occurrences take place in California’s capital city, most notably CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” overcoming January’s -4.8 with a full-share increase to retake the lead (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Those market outlets displaying gains of seven-tenths each are hot AC cluster-mate KZZO (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to fifth, 6+) as well as co-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (3.0, #16 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (2.5 – 3.2, #13 to #11, 6+). Before February’s +.7, KSFM was a combined -.8 as a result of four consecutive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). By notching a +.4 in January, “Jack” ended six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.9 territory (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (#12 to #11) registers a six-tenths spike to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in just over one year (3.5, January 2016). Improving by six-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-LOVE,” which zooms into the top twenty (#21 to #15) with its fourth successive up-trend (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+) that has more than doubled its 6+-share for a +1.3. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK (8.7 – 8.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (fifth to seventh, 6+). Having finished six straight times in the runner-up slot, KFBK reached #1 in January. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); +.8 (January 2017); and -.5 (February 2017). This marks the fourth consecutive decline for “98 Rock” for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). One development with considerably more far-reaching implications than monthly ups and downs happened just after the February 2017 ratings period began. Entercom returned the license of KDND “The End” and transported the CHR format on 107.9 to the frequency of what was hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Thus, KUDL – as hot AC “Star” – goes out with a 2.4 (January 2017, #15, 6+), while the former KDND (4.5, January 2017, #6) now on its new frequency as CHR KUDL is eighth in February 2017 (3.8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Off by seven-tenths in January, Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG not only recaptures all of it plus one-tenth for good measure (3.8 – 4.6, +.8, 6+), “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Its 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends were 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Even though the net loss was only four-tenths, co-owned KISS had nonetheless been without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+) until February when “99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio” breaks out a +.6 to 6.0 (6+), advancing from fifth to third. It is the first time that KISS has reached the 6-share level since December 2015 (6.2). When Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” dropped four-tenths in January, it snapped at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). “The Beat” though dials up a one-half share increase (4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. The market’s CHR battle tightens as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops two-tenths (#10 to #12, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” adds two-tenths (steady at #13, 6+). “Mix” is down or flat for the sixth straight time for a -.5 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), while “Energy” notches its fourth consecutive gain for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +1.2, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” (6.2 – 7.4 – 6.4, -1.0, first to second, 6+), swaps places with Cox Media Group-owned KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” (6.9 – 7.0, +.1, second to first). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. Prior to February, KONO-FM’s most recent (6+) fluctuations are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KAJA, which has been -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and now -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+), with “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drifting from fourth to eighth. Despite a +.1 (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips from third to fourth. Even so, the one-tenth (6+) advantage that “Y-100” had over “KJ-97” in January widens to 1.4. Having skidded from first in “Holiday” 2016 to sixth in January as a result of a -6.6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” erodes by another full-share (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) and tumbles to tenth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat since last March (also 4.2) for “Q-101.9,” whose HD3 channel drops one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #19 to #22, 6+), as does Univision Radio’s urban-rhythmic oldies KMYO “Yo! 95.1” (3.1 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE answered in January with a +1.5 and “B-105” adds another eight-tenths in February (6.8 – 7.6, 6+) to carry on at #3. Down by a cumulative -1.2 via three straight decreases (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU bounces back with a +.7 to 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Radio One’s WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” posts a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). A combined -1.7 since December 2016 (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS notches a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+), enabling “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first. It repeats there in February, gaining two-tenths to 9.2 (6+). Forfeiting the one-half share that it picked up in January (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” shifts from eighth to tenth. Not only is iHeartMedia’s WEBN a collective -2.2 as a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #12). One of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease (ten in a row!) comes to an end as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#17 to #18) falters by three tenths to 1.4 (6+), halting a streak that started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+).

7) Cleveland – The market’s largest January 2017 – February 2017 (6+) jump belongs to Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland,” which improves by +1.4 (.9 – 2.3, #14, 6+). The religious outlet had not reached a one-share (6+) since October 2014 (1.0, 6+). Owing to a one-half share increase (5.9 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays the Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth. Albeit down two-tenths after January’s -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI repeats at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Consistently posting a 6+-share between 5.0 – 5.9 the past six sweeps, CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.6, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Right behind it – and making it a solid year that it’s been at #12 – is CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+). Although it remains unchanged at #13, Ideastream’s WCPN drops two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing eight consecutive up or flat trends that netted a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

8) Salt Lake City – Separated by two-tenths in January, the margin between country rivals KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.1 – 4.0, -.1, flat at #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3 – 4.4, +.1, steady at #8, 6+) increases to four-tenths. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Absolutely wild fluctuations continue for KSL, whose “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 – February 2017 stats are 6.8 – 8.9 – 6.8 (6+). The station’s six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and now -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Transitioning to the runner-up slot, the Bonneville talker yields first-place to adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+). Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY rebounded with a +.6 in January but “My 99.5” returns all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+), spiraling from #14 to #18. Locked on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Brigham Young University classical KBYU recorded a full-share gain to 3.1 (6+) in January only to forfeit half of it (2.6, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Unlisted in January 2017, University of Utah’s KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” (3.3, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns in February with a 3.7 (#10, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Having eroded by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” makes a serious dent in that collective -2.9 with a +1.2 to 3.7 (6+) and rockets from #17 to #10. After gaining six-tenths in January, CBS Radioowned KLUC tacks on nine-tenths (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. The last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” continues at #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. Notwithstanding it is unchanged at #13, adult hits sibling KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” shows an improvement for the sixth consecutive time more than doubling its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).  Without an increase in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF displayed a +1.2 in January but relinquishes all of it plus four-tenths (5.0 – 3.4, -1.6, 6+), freefalling from the top ten (#6 to #11). In second-place the last three sweeps, KKLZ drops nine-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and shifts to fourth. The Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 in January (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Before advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). In back-to-back survey periods, Lotus Communications’ Spanish adult hits KWID falters by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). Surrendering all but two-tenths of the +.7 it dialed up in January (4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, -.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull – New Country for Las Vegas” stumbles from fourth to seventh.

10) Kansas City –When Steel City Media-owned KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). “Country 94.1,” however, was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+), before posting a +.5 in January and a +1.2 in February (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), rocketing from ninth to third. This is the best 6+-stat for KFKF since April 2015 (5.3 as well). In fact, it’s a clean sweep for the country format here as co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” (4.1 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.6 – 3.9, #14 to #12, 6+) are each up by three-tenths. A gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) propels cluster-mate KQRC “98.9 The Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #10). Unchanged at #4, talk sibling KMBZ-FM is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Even though it drops a combined seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” repeats at #1. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). In addition to shifting from third to sixth as a result of a -1.1 (6. 0 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” drops below a five-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (4.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2014). Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 7.3, flat at #2, 6+); Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 – Today’s Best Variety” (4.4 – 3.9, #7 to #12, 6+); and Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (3.4 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. In January, “KC-102.1” spiraled by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+), while WHB gained seven-tenths.

11) Orlando – As it progresses from third to second, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is a combined +1.8 in back-to-back survey periods, (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), thus erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. In the Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” improves by six-tenths to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+), while WCFB’s HD2 channel wipes out January’s six-tenths’ loss with a gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.0 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the last three “Power” trends were 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 (6+). Off by nine-tenths each are those stations’ siblings – WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #4, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (5.1 – 4.2, #10, 6+). In January, WMMO dialed up a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but was +.7 in January. Although it repeats at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM sputters by eight-tenths to 11.7 from January’s 12.5, the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October, November and December. WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Slipping from second to third (7.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” has posted wild fluctuations in the past 18 months or so, including +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); -7.6 (January 2017) and -1.5 (February). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December; #1 in “Holiday” 2016; #2 in January 2017; and now back to #3. Public WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 29th straight time (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, flat at #14, 6+). This is the second consecutive month that JVC Media’s country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” (1.4, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

12) Columbus – With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” marches from second to first. Before the January ratings period, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. It dislodges (and trades places with) country sibling WCOL, which surrenders approximately half of January’s robust +2.2 (10.5 – 9.3, -1.2, first to second, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” fell to 3.5 in January but – like WNCI – gains seven-tenths (to 4.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). On the other hand, Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths and is a combined -3.8 in three straight downtrends (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), sinking from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to these declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Up in three consecutive ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ regressed by half that margin (-1.1) in “Holiday” 2016. “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” bounced back in January with a +1.5; falters by one-half share in February (6.4 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+); but carries on in third-place. As was the case in January, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) does not appear in Columbus’ February ratings report.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View 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 – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a