Tag: "Beasley Media Group"

Monday, August 20, 2018

| August 20, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.   Almost half of the stations in this panel (47%) saw their 6+ AQH share dip compared to the June 2018 PPM survey with just three all-newsers – Entercom’s WBZ-AM, Boston; WCBS-AM, New York; and KNX, Los Angeles – enjoying increases.  Compared to a year ago, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington (up 1.1%) and WBZ-AM (up 0.8%) lead the pack of five news stations improving over the July 2017 survey.  Although there are only 11 all-news stations in the panel, six rank in the top 5 in their respective markets with WTOP ranking #1 (6+) in Washington, KCBS-AM ranking #2 in San Francisco and KFBK ranking #2 in Sacramento.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Wisconsin Sports Talker Bill Michaels Okay After Lightning Strike. From a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comes news that WSSP, Milwaukee-based, regionally syndicated sports talk personality Bill Michaels was struck by lightning while doing a remote broadcast from a Junior Achievement Golf Outing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin last Thursday (8/16).  Michaels’ wife Sherry posted the story and some pix (including the one seen here) on Facebook.  Michaels was doing his show from a patio at the golf course when the lightning hit.  He later said on his show, “I was sitting at the table … as [producer] Joe [Zenzola] and I were having this conversation.  A lightning strike had taken place.  It wasn’t directly to me, but it had taken place in the area.  There was enough energy – I don’t know how to put it – but it hit me.  It jolted me, I guess, is the best way to put it.  It burned my arms, burned my fingers and found out later it had blown out through my shoe.”  The strike interrupted the remote link back to the station and Michaels immediately sought medical attention.  He was treated at a local hospital where he spent several hours. He was back on the air on Friday to talk about the experience.

Clay Travis Returns to WGFX-FM, Nashville with Premiere Networks Syndicated Show. Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Clay Travis is back on the Nashville radio station where he got his start as a sports talk host.  Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” is adding an hour of Travis’ Premiere Networks-syndicated show to WGFX-FM’s program schedule, airing from 5:00 am to 6:00 am, leading into the station’s “Wake Up Zone” morning show.  Travis launched his sports talk career 2010 as part of the “3HL” program.  WGFX-FM program director Brad Willis comments, “We’re excited to add Clay Travis back to ‘The Zone’ lineup as his presence in Nashville and his perspective on sports across the nation is one that our listeners have enjoyed for many years.”

‘LI News Radio’ Host Tom Schiliro Drives Vehicle in Presidential Motorcade. Pictured above is WRCN-FM, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” midday talk host Tom Schiliro standing next to the presidential state car nicknamed “The Beast.”  The JVC Media personality was shocked when he received a call from the White House and was asked to drive a dignitary vehicle in the presidential motorcade on a pending visit to Long Island by President Trump.  In speaking with the White House advance team, Schiliro learned that the White House often reaches out to select retired police officers and military personal in the local area to participate in the presidential motorcade by driving cars that shuttle local invited guests and business dignitaries around. Schiliro’s name was put on a list by Congressman Lee Zeldin and Brookhaven political leader Jessie Garcia because of the “great community work Tom does with LI News Radio and his tenure with the Suffolk County Police Department.”  Neither LI News Radio listeners nor station staff were given advance notice about Schiliro’s “remote broadcast” but after Air Force One arrived at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton it was “all clear” for Schiliro to call into the studio and give LI News listeners his once-in-a-lifetime broadcast from the actual POTUS motorcade.

Pete Forester to Lead Sales for Beasley’s WCTC-AM and WMGQ-FM in New Jersey. Radio sales pro Pete Forester is promoted to director of sales at Beasley Media Group’s New Brunswick, New Jersey duo of news/talk WCTC and adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.”  Forester has been serving as national sales manager for the company’s New Jersey-based properties for the past 14 years. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn states, “Pete has demonstrated an incredible work ethic along with creativity.  I’m confident he will thrive being based in Somerset and leading our team.”  The company is conducting a search for a national sales manager and inquiries about that position can be sent to: Jennifer.Alexander-Mettlen@bbgi.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports radio pros Scott Linn, Tim Murray, and Steve Solomon are launching a new podcast via Patreon.com.  The three formerly hosted the morning drive program on the SB Nation Radio network.  They spent several years as Steve Czaban’s co-hosts/sidekicks on his national radio show on FOX Sports Radio and later SB Nation Radio.  Linn currently co-hosts with Czaban.  Murray serves as the studio host for Navy football and as a sports anchor for WTOP, Washington.  The “Linn, Murray, and Solly” podcast is available on three different tiers at www.Patreon.com/LinnMurraySolly starting at $4.99 per month…..Westwood One launches a new podcast series featuring sports radio personality Scott Ferrall titled, “Ferrall on the Bets.”  The podcast will launch next Monday (8/28) with six 30-minute original shows per week, posted Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 am ET. Ferrall says, “I am thrilled to offer bettors a free resource for picks.   I watch as many games as I can, I check out all the lines.  I love being the go-to predictor of the podcast world and I thank Westwood One for the opportunity.”…..Cumulus Media announces that 77 WABC’s OG Podcast Network is launching a new home improvement podcast co-hosted by Dean Marisco (left) and Derek Stearns (right) titled, “Under Your Roof and In Your Backyard with Dean and Derek.” New, 45-minute podcasts are being released every Friday.  Marisco and Stearns host the national television shows “Rock Solid” and “Indoors Out” on Scripps Networks and appear on “Victory Garden” on PBS…..Entercom Houston and the NFL’s Texans agree to extend their partnership for airing play-by-play and related Texans programming through the 2027 season.  As part of the agreement, KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” will continue to carry all Houston Texans games and KLOL-FM “Mega 101 FM” will broadcast all games in Spanish. KILT-AM will air a three-hour pregame and postgame show, plus “Texans All Access,” airing weekdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm during the regular season and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm during the offseason. The Texans Radio Network broadcast team of Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware will continue to provide play-by-play and game analysis as they have done for the past 17 years.  Enrique Vasquez and Gustavo Rangel will provide the play-by-play for Spanish broadcasts on Texans Radio Network…..Legendary Indianapolis Colts voice Bob Lamey is retiring from his position as play-by-play announcer for the team’s games heard on Emmis’ sports talk WFNI and country WLHK in Indianapolis.  Matt Taylor, currently studio host and a sideline reporter, will handle play-by-play on an interim basis.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa Recordings/Book, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Brennan Security Clearance Issue, Midterm Elections, Madonna Turns 60, Crazy Rich Asians Film, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Omarosa Marigault Newman’s Trump recordings and her new, tell-all book; the Pennsylvania scandal involving widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the possibility of charges being filed against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the stripping of John Brennan’s security clearance; the looming midterm elections; pop icon Madonna turns 60; the success of the Crazy Rich Asians film; NFL pre-season 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. Two Bay Area morning duos extend their contracts with iHeartMedia San Francisco. KIOI “STAR 101.3” morning hosts Marcus & Sandy (right) and KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” AM personalities Jack Kulp and Carolyn McArdle (left) are celebrating new deals with the company to keep them waking up their audiences.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker states, “Both Marcus & Sandy and Jack & Carolyn have established their respective shows as some of the most listened to morning shows in San Francisco and we’re thrilled to sign them to multi-year extensions.”…..KCTZ, Minneapolis implements programming changes, adding adult alternative artists to its current hot AC programming.  Station PD Rich Davis says the new “Cities 97.1” will broadcast an eclectic mix of adult alternative and hot adult contemporary music including songs from artists which the station was instrumental in breaking over the years like Ed SheeranColdplay, and John Mayer. The station will also include music from a variety of top artists such as Imagine DragonsMaroon 5, Adele, and Weezer.  Minneapolis singer-songwriter Keri Noble is hosting the weekday morning show from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and Minneapolis local favorite Paul Fletcher hosts afternoon drive.  Davis adds, “We’re connected to the Twin Cities and we care about our community and the music we play.  ‘Cities 97’ was born in 1984 and now reborn in 2018 and we’re thrilled to grow and continually evolve with our listeners and fans.”…..In Los Angeles, Entercom appoints midday personality Yesi Ortiz music director for CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP Radio.”  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman declares, “We are very proud of Yesi’s on-air work since joining us earlier this year.  She has been a respected leader in the music community for many years and we look forward to her expanding her duties as 97.1 AMP Radio’s music director.”…..Pictured below is Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former Journey frontman Steve Perry in the KQRS, Minneapolis studios talking with station morning personality Tom Barnard about his new solo record, Traces.  This is Perry’s first record in 24 years.  He spoke with Barnard about the album artwork that is comprised of a collection of images tracing Perry’s life and career.  He also discussed why he chose to walk away from the music business.

Friday, August 17, 2018

| August 17, 2018

WBAL, Baltimore Adds Dan Joseph Show for Nights. Charm City news/talk WBAL announces the launch of a new nighttime show hosted by Dan Joseph.  The Hearst station says he comes with “a unique background” that “includes acting, politics and media.”  He’s previously served with Media Research Center producing man-on-the-street videos used by FOX News.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Providing Baltimore and Maryland with the most local news and talk is job one at WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090.’  With Dan’s new 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm program, WBAL now is the area’s only destination weeknights for live and local conversation and insight.”  Joseph adds, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be here at WBAL and I’m so grateful to discuss the issues of the day with the people of Baltimore, each night.  It’s an honor to be part of the WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090’ lineup.”

Moyer to Lead Sales Efforts for Alpha Media’s Portland Talk Stations. This is a promotion for Alpha Media sales pro Geoff Moyer as he rises from local sales manager to general sales manager for the company’s Portland talk stations – KXL “FM News 101.1,” sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH “102.9/750 The Game,” talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” as well as the 22-station Radio Northwest Network.  Alpha Media VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “Geoff is an excellent coach and talent developer who has rapidly become one of Alpha Media Portland’s most effective leaders.  I’m excited to watch Geoff excel in his newly expanded role.”  Moyer says of his promotion, “I am happy and excited about this great opportunity to continue growing at Alpha.  It’s always exciting to work alongside so many great people.  Every day brings new adventures and I am excited about our future.”

Johnson to Host Afternoons at ’94.3 The Game’ in Greenville, NC. Air personality Patrick Johnson is joining Inner Banks Media to host the afternoon show on sports talk WRHD-FM, Greenville, North Carolina “94.3 The Game.”  He’ll also host the Eastern Carolina University football pre-game show this season. Johnson takes over on-air duties from Josh Graham who recently exited to join WSJS, Winston-Salem.  Inner Banks Media vice president Hank Hinton says, “We are so excited that Patrick has agreed to return to Greenville.  He is the perfect addition to our great sports talk lineup.  He’s a real pro and quite a fun guy to listen to.  ECU Pirate fans will love his new show on ‘The Game.’”

VSiN to Provide ‘The Sports Hub’ with Boston-Focused Updates.  Continuing to expand its relationships with sports talk radio stations, VSiN – the first network dedicated to delivering daily information about sports gambling – signs a deal with Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” to provide it with Boston-focused updates.  Beginning Monday (8/20), the station will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Boston’s sports teams.  VSiN will supply one report at 12:13 pm ET and another at 6:13 pm ET each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas says, “Sports gambling laws are changing across the country and ‘The Sports Hub’ is proud to have a relationship with VSiN and the Musburger team to give our listeners the latest and most accurate information.” VSiN CEO Brian Musberger comments, “‘The Sports Hub’ joins a growing list of more than 25 terrestrial radio stations across the country bringing ‘VSiN Action Updates’ to their listeners – including ‘670 The Score’ in Chicago, KNBR in San Francisco, ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego and ‘101 ESPN’ in St. Louis.”

Omarosa’s ‘Bitchiness’ Provoked Radio Producer to Use the F Word and Hang Up on Her.  It happened back in 2009 during what was then referred to in the radio business as a “satellite tour.”  It is a series of radio interviews in which a hot guest appears in brief interviews on one show after another across the country from a central location via telephone, ISDN or satellite hook-up.   Famous radio producer Bernadette Duncan was coordinating one such tour on United Stations Radio Networks’ roster of client morning shows for Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (Stallworth was her first husband) who was promoting her book, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off (Phoenix Books, 2008).  The theme of the book was to inform women how to locate and properly use their “inner bitch.”  According to a segment titled “Talk Show, Freak Show” in Duncan’s popular radio book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016), Omarosa was extremely nasty and difficult to work with.  She called the usually affable producer a “fucking moron.”  In retaliation, Duncan writes, “I flung an F-bomb back at her, the first and only time I ever did so with any guest.”  Then Duncan hung up on Omarosa and fulfilled the remaining scheduled interviews herself, telling the story on the air about what had just happened.  To read the entire excerpt, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Heidi Harris program on Kemp Communications’ KMZQ, Las Vegas is expanding by an hour.  Previously heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am each day, the show starts an hour earlier beginning Monday (8/20) and will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  Harris has hosted talk shows on numerous signals in the market, including KXNT and KDWN…..Former talk radio host Jerry Klein has died after a battle with esophageal cancer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.  Klein had been in hospice care for the past 10 days.  He was a talk host on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte during the mid-1990s, later moving to WMAL-AM, Washington where he was an air personality and assistant program director.

Omarosa Recording and Book Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 13-17.  The secret White House recording made by former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Marigault Newman and her tell-all book were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing Trump-Russia Investigation and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok.  Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primaries, followed by the Pennsylvania Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal 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. There’s a morning show change at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM, Cincinnati “WARM 98.5” as Jim Day and Amanda Orlando launch “The WARM Morning Show with Jim and Amanda” on Monday (8/20).  They take over for Bob Goen and Marianne Curan who exit the station.  Day has hosted morning shows on WHKO-FM, Dayton; KWEN-FM, Tulsa; and WSM-FM, Nashville.  Orlando comes to WRRM from sister country outlet WNNF “NASH FM 94.1.”  WRRM program director Brian Demay says, “Sometimes you just know!  Jim and Amanda have obvious chemistry.  They have both been a part of very successful morning shows. It’s time to put them together on ‘Warm 98.5.’…..Entercom is putting Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM format on the HD2 channel of WMYX, Milwaukee.  This format is syndicated by Envision Networks and is heard on flagship WRME-LP, Chicago.  The format has been making news in the radio industry since achieving very good ratings for a signal at 88.7 FM…..Cumulus Media and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” announce the NASH Next 2018 New York City Country Challenge Showcase – a live country music talent competition – taking place Tuesday (8/21) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Opry City Stage in Times Square.  NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Katie Neal will host Tuesday night’s competition with live music performances by 10 area country artists.  The NASH FM 94.7 judging team includes: Country artist Jessie Chris; Dolly Chandler, talent buyer, Opry Entertainment Group; Leslie Slender, VP, brand partnerships, Cumulus Media; NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Kylie Keene; and NASH FM 94.7 producer and on-air personality Jason Goldstein.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

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.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

| July 25, 2018

Beasley Sets Price for ‘Bordes Family’ Stock at $7.50; Pulls Back on Secondary Offering. Analysts are saying the announcement of the sale of 3,126,147 shares of its Class A common stock – shares held by the Bordes family and received in the Greater Media deal – at $7.50 per share, combined with Beasley Media Group’s intent to purchase country WXTU, Philadelphia for $38 million in cash has sent the company’s stock price down 17.4% (as of Tuesday) to $7.35 per share.  As a result, Beasley has reversed course and will not sell 1.1 million shares of Beasley family-held stock in a secondary offering.  At the same time, the company has set the price of the “Bordes family” stock to the public at $7.50 per share.  That offering is expected to close on or about July 26 (subject to customary closing conditions).  Additionally, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 468,922 shares of Class A common stock from the “Bordes family selling stockholders.”  Beasley will not receive any proceeds from shares of Class A common stock to be sold by the Bordes family selling stockholders.  Guggenheim Securities, LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

Cox Media Group Considering ‘Strategic Options’ for Television Assets. It wasn’t that long ago that a rumor filtered through the radio industry that Cox Media Group may be shopping its radio station properties.  Now we learn that CMG’s concern is not with its radio division but with the 14-station TV group.  In a statement, Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie says that when it comes to television, “scale is critical to be successful.  We firmly believe that our great stations – and talented people – will need to be part of a larger entity to thrive in the future.”  It’s not clear if Cox has a buyer or partner in mind, but Guthrie says any deal would likely be completed in the next six to 12 months.  Her internal memo says the company would consider merging or partnering with another media entity.  Cox Enterprises president and CEO Alex Taylor  says in his internal memo, “We’ve identified a lot of exciting growth opportunities, and also some tough decisions we need to make as time marches on and things change.”

FCC Seeking Comments on Competition in Audio Marketplace.  Speaking of competition in the broader media marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission issues a public notice seeking comment from the industry on the “status of competition in the marketplace for delivery of audio programming.”  Recent legislation requires “the Commission publish a Communications Marketplace Report in the last quarter of every even numbered year.  Among other things, the biennial Communications Marketplace Report requires that the Commission assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver audio service among broadcast stations, satellite radio, and entities that provide audio content via the internet and to mobile devices.”  Responses to this request could go a long way in giving the FCC the information it needs to justify changes in ownership caps, for example.  The notice continues: “Accordingly, this Public Notice seeks input on the state of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming as it would relate to the overall goal of providing the required Communications Marketplace Report to Congress.  This Public Notice requests comment on the criteria or metrics that could be used to evaluate the state of competition in the audio programming marketplace, as well as comment and information on industry data, competitive dynamics, and trending factors.  For example, commenters are invited to submit the following data and information related to participants in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming, including, but not limited to, terrestrial radio broadcasters (i.e., AM and FM radio stations), satellite radio providers, and entities that provide audio programming over the Internet and to mobile devices (collectively, Audio Marketplace Participants): 1) identification and ownership of key Audio Marketplace Participants, as well as the business models and competitive strategies they use; 2) trends in service offerings, pricing, and consumer behavior; 3) the extent of competition among Audio Marketplace Participants, including intramodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of the same type, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations) and intermodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of different types, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations and satellite radio providers); 4) ratings, subscribership, and revenue information, for the marketplace as a whole and for individual Audio Marketplace Participants; 5) capital investment, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technology; 6) requirements for entry into the marketplace; and 7) recent entry into and exit from the marketplace.”  See the full Notice here.

Jack Taddeo to Lead Cumulus Des Moines. Radio management pro Jack Taddeo is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Des Moines station group that includes: news/talk/sports KBGG and four music formatted stations.  Taddeo was most recently market manager at NRG Media’s Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids cluster.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “We are thrilled to have a broadcaster like Jack Taddeo to lead the Cumulus team in Des Moines.  Jack’s passion for broadcast and the impact it has in communities is contagious.”

Doug Gottlieb and JT The Brick Launch NFL Camp Tour. The NFL season is just around the corner and that means FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb and JT “The Brick” are on the road visiting team training camps in California for the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.  The Doug Gottlieb show will broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams training camp at UC Irvine on July 27, followed by the Dallas Cowboys training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard on August 6, and the Los Angeles Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa on August 9.  JT “The Brick,” who has served in various broadcast capacities with the Oakland Raiders since 1998 and currently serves as a sideline reporter for the team’s pre-season broadcasts, will broadcast from their training camp in Napa Valley, on July 26 and 27.

New Affiliates for Walter M. Sterling; Guest Shot on KMOX, St. Louis. New affiliates for the Westwood One-distributed “Sterling on Sunday” program include KKSF, San Francisco and KUFO, Portland.  Walter M. Sterling says, “The show’s success comes from holding up a mirror to daily life.  I did a whole hour about stealing Splenda and tiny airplane bathrooms.” On Thursday of this week (7/26), Sterling guest stars on KMOX, St. Louis’ “Overnight America” program for regular host Ryan Wrecker.

Envision’s ‘Drive By Funny’ to Air on WWSE, Jamestown.  The city of license for adult contemporary WWSE “SE93” – Jamestown, New York – is the hometown of comedy legend Lucille Ball.  The owner is Media One Group and director of broadcast operations Andrew Hill says, “Jamestown, New York is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, the first female of comedy, so we needed to have a professional and easy-to-use comedy service to entertain listeners that come into town from across the globe to visit her hometown.  We are also opening the new National Comedy Center museum in Jamestown this year and we really needed a turnkey comedy option that our jocks could use to promote all of the comedy we have in town.  ‘Drive by Funny’ fits our needs perfectly and our audience is enjoying these clean, funny, and iconic audio pieces to laugh to throughout the day.”  Envision Networks says, “Drive By Funny’s contemporary and classic comedy cuts come from a library that boasts tracks pulled from an archive of more than 18,000 safe-for-work and in-the-car comedy clips that can create a great opportunity for benchmark features and lucrative sponsorship opportunities.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trade Wars/Farm Aid Package, Illegal Immigration/Asylum Policies, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Ivanka Trump Shuts Fashion Brand, Mega Millions Jackpot, Southwest Heatwave, Athens Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the Trump tariffs and fears of trade wars as well as the related move to provide $12 billion in assistance to U.S. farmers; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum polices; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Ivanka Trump shutters her fashion brand; the $522 million Mega Millions jackpot; the heatwave affecting the Southwest U.S.; the deadly wildfires ravaging Greece; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Nathan Graham is named PD at Entercom’s CHR WDZH, Detroit “98.7 AMP Radio.”  He comes to Detroit from his most recent position with the company at CHR WXSS, Milwaukee “103.7 KISS FM” where he was APD and music director.  Entercom Detroit vice president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Nathan has cultivated strong leadership skills and a wealth of top 40 format knowledge that we are confident will help propel ‘98.7 AMP Radio’ to new heights.  We are proud to cultivate talent within the Entercom team and look forward to welcoming him to Detroit.”  Graham succeeds Ian “Slacker” Richards as program director, who remains at the station as the afternoon drive host, APD and music director…..KISS-FM, San Antonio-based Billy Madison is named Best Talk Show Host by San Antonio Current magazine.  His syndicated “Billy Madison Show” airs in morning drive on the Cox Media Group rock outlet…..SiriusXM announces that The Beach Boys will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” series at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on July 30.  The session will be moderated by Emmy award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Rob Reiner and will air on August 10 at 5:00 pm ET/PT on the Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel.  In this rare, live group appearance, founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and David Marks along with long time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, will gather to speak with Reiner and answer questions from fans about their SiriusXM channel, their new album, The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their celebrated career as one of the world’s most beloved and respected bands…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 3.  The fifth annual concert will celebrate the best in Latin music with performances by Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, and Becky G with more artists to follow.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

| July 10, 2018

WSJ: Liberty Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  After taking its offer of $1.2 billion for 40% of iHeartMedia off the table a couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that now Liberty Media is “working on revamping its original offer.”  The story goes on to say that Liberty’s return to the table could signal a bidding war between it and private equity firm Silver Lake.  Last week, the New York Post reported that Silver Lake is in talks with iHM.  The Wall Street Journal story says Silver Lake has made an offer for 20% of the reorganized iHeart, though a dollar figure is not being reported.  Both Liberty – owner of a controlling interest in SiriusXM and a minority interest in Pandora – and Silver Lake are also said to be in talks with iHeartMedia creditors Franklin Advisors Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., both of which are expected to control the post-reorganization iHeartMedia.  For Liberty, the obvious synergies make it an attractive suitor with iHeart itself stating in a recent filing that Liberty’s original offer didn’t take into account some $500 million in annual synergies.

TALKERS News Notes. A Louisburg, Kansas woman prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled a lower court should not have dismissed her civil rights complaint against local police officers who ordered her to stop praying in her own home. The case developed after neighbors called police on Mary Anne Sause because she was listening to Michael Savage too loudly.   She claims police didn’t tell her why they were there, and she became frightened and asked to pray.  She says the officers then attempted to stop her from praying.  Read the account in The Hutchinson News here…..At the Podcast Movement event in Philadelphia on July 24, Edison Research will present the results of its latest podcasting study.  Titled, “Podcasting’s Next Frontier: 100 Million Listeners,” the address promises to “provide a research-based road map for the podcasting industry to grow audience and increase exposure to podcasts.”  It will provide “attendees with a look at the tens of millions of Americans who say they know what podcasting is but haven’t (yet) become regular listeners to the medium.”…..Fort Myers rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock” drops the Bubba the Love Sponge program from the morning drive daypart.  The Beasley Media Group station had Bubba’s show in morning drive there for the past 10 years and says an announcement about the new morning show is forthcoming. Beasley’s decision comes just days after Bubba Clem and Nielsen settled their lawsuits against each other…..Entercom Atlanta inks a deal with Georgia State University for sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” and sister news/talk WAOK to broadcast the school’s football and men’s and women’s basketball games, beginning with the 2018-19 season.   Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Expanding our sports content is an important part of our strategy to remain the leaders in sports radio.  We remain strong advocates of our local community and of delivering quality content to our city and beyond.  This agreement with Georgia State University is another step in that direction and we look forward to an exciting season with an excellent sports program.”  As part of the partnership, “92.9 The Game” will also host weekly interviews with Georgia State football coach Shawn Elliott on “Mornings with John and Hugh.”  Men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter will join “Dukes and Bell” for a weekly interview.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Luncheon Greetings by WNYM (AM 970 The Answer), New York Morning Host Joe Piscopo and “Humanitarian of the Year” Award Presentation to the Late Matt Patrick.  Today (7/10), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 11th installment is a video of convention luncheon greetings by WNYM (970 AM The Answer), New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce; and the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan.   Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Former KSTP, Minneapolis Talk Host Barbara Carlson Dies at 80.  Twin Cities talk radio fans are remembering Barbara Carlson, the former KSTP-AM, Minneapolis talk show host who died yesterday (7/9) at age 80 after a battle with lung cancer.  Carlson was a two-term Minneapolis city councilor during the 1980s. Prior to that, she was married for more than 10 years to former Minnesota Republican Governor Arne Carlson.  She hosted her talk show at KSTP from 1990 to 2002. See the Twin Cities Pioneer Press obit here.

Trump Supreme Court Nomination, Illegal Immigration Policy-Judge Rejects Trump Request, Trump-Russia Investigation/Impending Putin Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War, U.K Brexit Complications, Thailand Cave Rescues, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The anticipation and announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as nominee for Supreme Court Justice; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration policies and a federal judge’s rejection of administration’s bid to modify child detention policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the planned meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin; new tariffs and concerns over a U.S.-China trade war; the challenges facing British Prime Minister Theresa May in executing the British exit from the EU; the rescue of the boys’ soccer team from flooded caves in Thailand; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer and air personality Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra joins iHeartMedia’s Fort Myers station group to serve as program director for hip hop WBTT “105.5 The Beat” and hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1.”  He was most recently music director and an air personality at Entercom’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento.  iHeartMedia Fort Myers SVP of programming Louis Kaplan states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Short-E to iHeartMedia Fort Myers. He genuinely understands our market and brings adept format experience and lively energy to our team.  He’ll be leading two of our most popular brands, ‘105.5 The Beat,’ which has been a huge success for over 15 years, and ‘Y100,’ the area’s home for the Elvis Duran show, and I know his vast industry knowledge and creativity will take our stations to even higher levels.”…..iHeartMedia Los Angeles names Tamo Sein midday personality at alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7,” effective July 16.  KYSR program director Lisa Worden says, “We believe the ‘ALT 98.7’ audience will immediately take to Tamo’s relatable and down-to-earth approach.  Plus, she loves alternative music and is a food and wine enthusiast!  She’ll fit right in with LA.”  Sein comes to LA from iHeartMedia Charlotte where she was APD and music director at alternative WEND “105.5 The End.”.….Hubbard Radio’s country WIL-FM, St. Louis officially welcomed Mason and Remy to their new gig as afternoon drive team on the station. They take over for Stacey and Jonah, who move over to the company’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for afternoons.  The changes took effect yesterday (7/9)…..S-R Broadcasting flips KRKO-AM/K237GN from sports talk to classic hits. General manager Chuck Maylin says the new station is “custom designed to meet the musical appetites of local listeners, with a strong focus on information and activities of importance and interest in the greater Snohomish County area.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

| June 27, 2018

Marske Named PD at WOC, Quad Cities.  Moline native Kirk Marske is named program director for iHeartMedia’s Quad Cities news/talk WOC.  Marske has served with the cluster for 17 years, producing programs on WOC, classic rock WCQQ “Q106.5” and CHR KUUL “101.3 Kiss FM.” In this position, Marske will program WOC and be part of the “AM Quad Cities” morning show hosted by Dave Levora with contributions from Dan Deibert.  Marske takes over for Dan Kennedy, who retired from the station in May after 20 years there.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jim O’Hara says, “Kirk is just the guy to program WOC.  Born and raised in Moline – and with more local connections than anyone – he has a real passion for news/talk radio.”

Beasley Media Group Files with SEC Announcing Sale of Up to $250 million in Stock. In an S-3 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Beasley Media Group announces its intent to offer securities for sale on the Nasdaq Global Market using a “shelf” registration process that allows the company to “sell securities from time to time and in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $250,000,000 …”  This is Class A common stock has one vote per share.  Class B common stock is owned only by the Beasley family and enjoys 10 votes per share.  What would Beasley use the influx of cash for?  Acquisition of more radio stations is the popular bet.  Although iHeartMedia – currently in Chapter 11 reorganization – has said it’s not in sale mode, the company has been willing to deal in recent years.  And then there’s the Scripps stations currently on the block.  Stay tuned.

Doug Hall Named Digitial PD for iHM San Francisco. There are just two spoken-word stations in iHeartMedia’s San Francisco cluster – progressive talker KKSF “Real Talk 910AM” and KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” – but the company says that its San Francisco cluster has “been an innovator in podcast content creation, generating 30 podcasts locally with nearly 100 episodes each week published.” It will be part of new digital program director Doug Hall’s charge as he moves from iHeartMedia Miami to the Bay Area for his gig. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “After an extensive search inside and outside of the industry, Doug stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area.  With Doug’s knowledge of our goals and priorities along with his sense of urgency and enthusiasm, I’m confident he will grow iHeartMedia San Francisco.”  Hall takes over for Matty Staudt, who was recently elevated to vice president of podcast programming at iHeartMedia.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Brian Kilmeade.  Today (6/27) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s third installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity.  Yesterday’s post presents opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted this week: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Going for the Gold.  The fourth annual fundraising dinner for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place last night (6/27) at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The sold-out event featured FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel personality and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade as keynote speaker, with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison warming up the crowd with special remarks.  Kilmeade delivered an inspirational speech discussing the ups and downs of his career as well as a number of others making the point that facing the challenges that life throws at you head on while remaining humble and grateful is one of the keys to achieving and maintaining success.  Harrison discussed the importance of education in preparing future generations of broadcasters to live up to the responsibility of preserving the First Amendment and the vibrant free marketplace of ideas in the rapidly evolving digital era.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation is a dynamic non-profit working to raise funds to support the education of young broadcasters.  It has been instrumental in helping develop the outstanding program offered at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, including the building of the school’s award-winning radio station WRFH.  Pictured at the event (l-r):  Harrison, Kilmeade and Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation president Vince Benedetto.  Benedetto is also the CEO of the Bold Gold Media Group, with a growing roster of news/talk, sports talk and music radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

Report: Colin Cowherd Renews Deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports. According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, sports media personality Colin Cowherd has inked a renewal deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports that will pay him in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Marchand’s piece reports that Cowherd’s three-hour radio show will continue (and remain simulcast on TVs’ FOX Sports 1), but he will exit the “Speak for Yourself” television program co-hosted by Jason Whitlock. Cowherd is expected to continue hosting the “FOX NFL Kickoff” TV show that returns in September.

iHeartMedia and Anna Faris Strike Deal for Expansion of ‘Unqualified’ Programming. Actress and podcaster Anna Faris – who produces her “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast via her Unqualified Media production company – is partnering with iHeartMedia to bring her show to CHR broadcast radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.  “Unqualified” features interviews with celebrities and cultural figures who tackle a variety of topics such as dating and relationships, in addition to taking phone calls from listeners seeking relationship advice.  Faris created the podcast with her longtime friend and co-host Sim Sarna, who produces the show and runs the production company.  The deal will have Unqualified Media produce a long-form “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” radio program that will air weekends across CHR broadcast radio stations nationwide.  In addition, iHeartMedia will create short-form content that will air weekdays promoting “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” nationwide.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday, news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga released a statement regarding the status of morning drive personality Jeff Styles, who was arrested on June 15 after a road rage incident left Styles with a gunshot wound to the arm and the other party with damage to his car left by Styles’ weapon – a military-grade tomahawk.   Cumulus Media has placed Styles on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Meanwhile the station says, “Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so.  He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting ‘The Morning Press’ along with Jim Reynolds.”…..Talk show host Tom Donahue is returning to the radio airwaves on July 1 as he launches a weekly, Sunday evening program available via Talk Stream Live and distributed to radio stations by Salem Radio Network.  The program will air live at 11:00 pm ET. Donahue says, “I am thrilled to have this broadcast opportunity that has eluded me for some time.  I will independently syndicate my show distributed by SRN and TSL, thus allowing me to reach a broader audience with satellite access and delivery to so many radio stations and markets. To be an impactful player in talk radio, your game plan must include broadcast stations. In recent years, my program has been confined mostly to online streaming, digital, and podcasting platforms, with the exception of a few independent stations.  I plan to make the most of my airtime each week!  I will be open to show expansion based on demand.”…..Boston morning show duo Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, a.k.a. “Toucher & Rich,” were honored by readers of Boston Magazine with the “Radio Personalities of the Year” award in the 2018 Best of Boston poll.  Toucher & Rich anchor mornings on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “We are so proud to have Toucher & Rich on our team in Boston.  They are so amazing at all of the things that we truly value at Beasley – community and top quality local content.  I’m thrilled that Boston Magazine recognized them!”…..Two sale closings to report that involve Salem Media Group.  First, the International Church of the Grace of God closes on the $1.73 million acquisition of WBIX, Boston from Salem. Since Salem bought the signal in 2015 it had been airing its syndicated conservative talk programming on the station with not a lot of success.  Second, Salem closes on its purchase of KDXE-FM, Cammack Village, Arkansas from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  The station serves the Little Rock market and Salem airs much of its Salem Radio Network conservative talk programming on the station branded “101.1 FM The Answer.”…..Cumulus Media appoints radio management pro Chuck Poet vice president and market manager for its Erie, Pennsylvania cluster that includes four music outlets and sports talk WRIE-AM/W242CU.

Illegal Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, Harassment of Administration Officials, Tuesday Primaries, Germany’s Migrant Issues, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  The U.S.’s policies in enforcing immigration laws; the Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries; the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass administration officials when they appear in public; Tuesday’s primary races and the ouster of New York Democrat Joe Crowley at the hands of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Germany’s Angela Merkel deals with political pressure to reverse policy welcoming migrants; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

JAM Media Buys Outer Banks, NC and Iowa Radio Clusters.  Originally founded as a media planning and buying agency, JAM Media Solutions, LLC is entering the radio station ownership business with the acquisition of two clusters of stations – one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and one in Muscatine, Iowa.  JAM has entered into an agreement to acquire Max Radio’s four music-formatted radio stations in the Outer Banks region, as well as the company’s interest in North Carolina E Paper, LLC, publisher of The Outer Banks Voice.  The radio stations are: country WCMS-FM, hot AC WCXL-FM, triple A WVOD-FM, and classic rock WZPR-FM.  The price tag for those properties is $1.85 million.  In Muscatine, Iowa, JAM enters into an agreement to buy Prairie Communications’ classic rock KMCS-FM and farm news KWPC-AM/K236CF, plus newspaper The Voice of Muscatine for $965,000.  JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan. A. Mason Sr. says “Having worked in radio since 1995, let me state for the record that I believe in the power of local radio.  Our goal is to unite local on-air personalities, local salespeople, and local advertisers together in an effort to deliver a first-rate experience for our local listeners.  JAM Media Solutions will also be very committed to the local communities in which we exist.  A portion of our income will be donated to non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people our stations touch.  We are thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making the concerns of the listeners our top priority.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air staff tweaks at Entercom Las Vegas include the addition of Audrey Lee to CHR KLUC as midday personality, effective July 2.  Also, music director and on-air host Yung Jon Que will host KLUC’s afternoon drive from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective immediately.  This role is in addition to his current position as assistant program director and music director for KLUC-HD2.  Finally, Hector ‘DJ CO1’ Minjarez has been elevated to the role of APD at sister urban contemporary KXQQ “Q100.5” in addition to his role as evening personality.  Lee was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster…..The North American syndicated rock radio show and website “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” celebrates its 30th year of national radio syndication.  “IN THE STUDIO” first launched the broadcast week of June 27, 1988 with rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash as inaugural guests and program host Redbeard.  He says, “When original ‘IN THE STUDIO’ executive producer Stephen R. Smith conceived 30 years ago of bringing the superstars of rock to radio every single week through one-on-one interviews about the stars’ most popular music, he was keenly aware that the rock audience had matured.  Now, the audience wanted an intimate, direct relationship with the musicians who actually created the soundtrack to their lives, lifting the curtain on the ‘wizards of rock.’  Over that time, the innate desire of the fans to get closer to the flame of inspiration has only intensified.”  The hourlong, weekly show is heard on 35 affiliate stations nationwide.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  More than half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares rise compared to the April survey (54%).  Better still, 65% of sports stations realized positive 6+ movement compared to the same ratings period a year ago.  There are no sports talk stations ranking #1 in their market (6+), however Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #3 in the Long Island market and the company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh also ranked #3.  See the entire report here.

Bloomberg: iHM Still Open to Takeover Talks After Shooting Down Liberty.  According to a report today by Bloomberg, Liberty Media officially retracted its $1.8 billion takeover offer to iHeartMedia (on 6/15) after some creditors apparently balked at the offer for a 40% equity stake in the company, saying it wasn’t enough.  However, iHeartMedia is still open to takeover talks – including with Liberty Media – as it tries to work its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Experts quoted in the piece say they expect Liberty to come back with another offer because Liberty hasn’t been acquiring iHM debt in order to get a fraction of that back in bankruptcy reorganization.  It wants leverage at the bargaining table.

Beasley Adds FM Translator to News/Talk KDWN, Las Vegas.  Las Vegas news/talker KDWN-AM officially begins life on the FM band today (6/21) as Beasley Media Group adds translator K268CS at 101.5 FM to the station’s transmission.  At the same time, the station re-brands as “The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas.”  The translator is located “high atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.”  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon adds, “We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market.  Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming, but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

TRN Seeks Permission to Appeal Case Against Westwood One.  Radio company Talk Radio Network is asking Southern District of New York bankruptcy court Judge Shelley Chapman to give it relief from the automatic stay so it can appeal the Oregon federal court dismissal of its case against Westwood One and others.  TRN says it filed a timely appeal of the previous dismissal but Cumulus Media’s entry in to Chapter 11 last fall put an automatic stay in place that prevented the Eleventh Circuit Appellate Court from taking up the case.  Now that Cumulus has exited Chapter 11, TRN wants to continue the appeal process.  It’s also asking for an extension in which to file its Opening Brief in the Westwood One case.  Fellow defendants in the case are: Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, WYM Media Management, Lew Dickey Jr., and Charles SteinhauerMark Masters-led TRN has claimed in a number of previous suits that Westwood One and the other defendants all conspired to monopolize the radio syndication ad sales market and that Westwood One also committed breach of fiduciary duty, among other allegations.

TALKERS News Notes. Award-winning hospitality figure, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and television personality Jon Taffer is partnering with PodcastOne to present his new podcast, “Jon Taffer: No Excuses.”  The new program debuted this week with fan-voted guest Big Cat from Barstool Sports.  The weekly show “features the Bar Rescue star’s trademark straight talk and unapologetic approach to daily topics, current events and celebrity interviews. In addition to his genuine opinions and in-your-face analysis on these topics, Jon will offer tough-love advice to fans in the interactive program.”…..Conservative media figure Armstrong Williams – who had a long career hosting a radio talk show on AM stations – is putting his SiriusXM program to bed. Williams tells the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that he will focus all of his attention on his television station company, Howard Stirk Holdings.  He’s not exiting the performance side of the business entirely as he’ll continue to host his eponymous TV show and will keep producing his podcast…..Scripps executive Tom Langmyer is being honored by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association with entrance into its Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2018.  Langmyer, who currently serves as VP of News, Talk and Sports and GM for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee, is a Buffalo native and former WGR-AM traffic reporter.  He’s being honored with the Buffalo Bob Smith Award bestowed upon a native broadcaster who achieves national prominence…..WBUR, Boston announces the winner of its Next Great Show Content and has selected “McSweeney’s Presents.”  The program was submitted – and beat about 400 other program pitches – by McSweeney’s Internet Tendency editor Chris Monks as a way of bringing the online magazine’s humor and insight to radio.  Monks says, “I am thrilled that WBUR chose my idea for the Next Great Show contest.  I look forward to making a radio version of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the challenge of not bringing shame upon my family of avid WBUR listeners.”  The program is said to be a “satirical look at the world, from pop culture, to politics, to the playground, featuring work of the country’s best established and up-and-coming writers and comics.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Peter Fonda Tweet, Trump Trade War, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Cops Kills Black Teen in Pittsburgh, World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The controversy over the separation of children from parents in the crackdown on illegal immigration and the related case of Peter Fonda’s Tweet about separating President Trump’s son from his family; the tariffs being tacked on foreign goods and concerns about  global trade war; the aftermath of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a police officer in Pittsburgh; the World Cup tournament in Russia; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit radio personality Lauren Crocker signs a new contract with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD where she’s co-host of the ‘Blaine Fowler Morning Show.”  She joined the program in 2015.  Program director Robby Bridges says, “It sounds clichéd, but it is the absolute truth.  When Lauren first walked in and interviewed with me seven years ago, I knew then she was going to be a superstar.  To see her flourish as co-host of ‘The Blaine Fowler Morning Show’ alongside Blaine and Matty, become a fixture in the Detroit market, work with local charities and appear on ‘Dish Nation’ and WDIV-TV’s ‘Live in the D’ is just terrific.  Lauren’s star is still on the rise and I’m so glad she’ll be with us at Cumulus into the next decade!”…..In Chicago, Cumulus signs alternative WKQX personalities Walt Flakus and Lauren O’Neil to multi-year contracts.  Flakus is assistant program director, music director, and evening personality.  He’s been with WKQX since 2014.  Midday personality O’Neil is entering her seventh year with the station.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren states, “There’s no greater joy than being able to work with incredibly talented people, and Walt and Lauren are two of the most creative, hard-working, and talented people I’ve had the privilege to work with.  They are an essential part of what truly separates us from our competition every day.  Together, Walt, Lauren and the entire staff make 101WKQX one-of-a-kind.”…..WBBM-FM, Chicago morning personality Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is off the air as he recovers from complications that arose from a previous surgical procedure.  In the interim, co-host Nina and producer Gabe Ramirez are handling the show duties…..Colorado Springs classic rock KKFM “Classic Rock 98” appoints Jonathan “J.P.” Peletis afternoon drive host and promotions director.  Cumulus Media Colorado Springs operations manager Bobby Irwin says, “J.P. brings to KKFM and our station cluster an awesome mix of radio rock show, digital marketing and promotions experience, with passion for the Colorado lifestyle.”…..Longport Media agrees to sell Atlantic City CHR WWAC “AC 102.7” to Educational Media Foundation for $570,000.  EMF will convert the station into a non-profit and flip it to a Christian music format…..iHeartMedia and MediaLink combined to host the seventh annual intimate VIP Dinner in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  On Tuesday evening (6/19), the VIP Dinner included a special performance by Jon Bon Jovi.  Attendees included corporate officers from such firms as Unilever, AT&T, Google, Vivendi, Conde Nast and others.  Katie Couric and Ryan Seacrest were also in attendance.  Picture below are (from l-r): Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer for iHeartMedia; Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia; Jon Bon Jovi; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia; and Tim Castelli, president of national sales and marketing partnerships for iHeartMedia.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Friday, April 20, 2018

| April 20, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Makes Morning and Early Afternoon Changes. St. Louis news/talker KFTK-FM makes changes to its program schedule after the recent departure of morning personality Jamie AllmanEntercom is operating the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the signal from Emmis.  Entercom moves early afternoon personality Marc Cox into the morning show daypart and bumps up part-time talk host Annie Frey into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, taking over for Cox.  Meanwhile, Allman and KFTK-FM are apparently still in disagreement over exactly how they are ending their relationship.  See yesterday’s TALKERS news for more on that. Cox – who has worked in the market as a reporter and anchor at KMOV-TV – has been with KFTK-FM since he took over the early afternoon show from the syndicated Dana Loesch almost two years ago.

Who’s #1 in Boston Sports Talk Mornings? The answer, as Boston Globe journo Chad Finn discovered, is it all depends on exactly how you measure it.  After learning about Tweets from both WEEI-FM and WBZ-FM thanking listeners for making their morning shows – Kirk & Callahan and Toucher & Rich, respectively — # 1 with Men 25-54, Finn wondered how both could be true and did a little investigating.  As you can see in his piece here, Finn concludes, “WEEI includes the share it gets from listeners based in the Boston DMA (designated market area) who tune into Providence-based WVEI because the signal comes in better in certain areas, such as the South Coast.  ‘The Sports Hub’ does not include these numbers when revealing how they fared against each other.”

iHeartMedia Brings Aboard Digital and Social Media Pro Justin Nesci. His title is executive vice president of advanced audio and data revenue.  Justin Nesci previously was SVP for digital sales at Fox Network Group where he managed the national digital sales and marketing responsibilities for Fox Broadcasting, Fox Cable and Fox Sports properties.  He’s been running his consulting practice, J/T/N Advisors, and through that venture has helped top media companies, including iHeartMedia, accelerate revenue generation through emerging digital and social media channels.  In this role, Nesci will be responsible for developing a variety of data-driven, audio strategies across iHeartMedia’s vast array of platforms.  He will help steer SmartAudio, the company’s data infused, cloud-based audio planning and buying platform that allows marketers to bring audience-based buying strategies to iHeartMedia’s robust audio ecosystem.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa may be an unlikely celebrant of “4/20 Day” – the unofficial day in which pot smokers honor the herb and campaign for marijuana law reform – but because of the plant’s medicinal value for him as a chronic sufferer of severe intestinal issues, he’s on board this year.  The New York Post recently ran a piece on Sliwa’s change in attitude toward marijuana laws.  Sliwa is a card-carrying medical pot patient and he tells the Post that he’s going to be at the new dispensary on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park today with his documentation in hand.  Read the piece here…..WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” is presenting the fifth annual “Baseball Camp for Kids 2018” baseball clinic event on Sunday, May 6.  Kids ages 6-13 will have the opportunity to participate at The Bud Dome. The station’s Kevin Wheeler and Brad Thompson will be there demonstrating and teaching children the fundamentals of baseball…..Westwood One-syndicated Clark Howard is presenting a special, seven-part series that focuses “on bringing listeners back to Clark Smart basics.”  The series (starting April 25) will feature ways “consumers can save more and spend less on cars, houses, insurance, investing, travel, credit, and monthly bills.”

Patriots Radio Play-by-Play Legend Gil Santos Dies at 80. Long before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the most famous names associated with the New England Patriots, radio play-by-play man Gil Santos was one of the most revered among Pats fans.  He died yesterday (4/19) on his birthday at age 80.  The cause of death is unknown.  For 36 seasons, Santos called the games (mostly with Gino Cappelletti as color analyst).  He was enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013.   Santos served as the morning drive sports anchor on WBZ-AM, Boston for 38 years. See the Boston Globe’s obit here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 16-20.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russian agent connections and the related book and media tour by James Comey tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the relationship between Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen and talk media star Sean Hannity.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over possible new sanctions against Russia, followed by the legal battles over California’s sanctuary cities policy and general talk about Mexican border security at #4. The Talkers TenTMis 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.

Deep Dive Conversation with Art Bell (Conducted in 2015) Presented in this Week’s Harrison Podcast. An extensive conversation between Michael Harrison and Art Bell recorded in 2015 is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview” which pays tribute to the late pioneering talk show host. The rare recording, one of the last long-form interviews granted by Bell, took place during the launch of his short-lived 2015 return to radio, “Midnight in the Desert.” Harrison and Bell discuss the legendary broadcast figure’s post-“Coast-to-Coast AM” career, his enthusiasm for the new show, as well as his assessment of the state and future of radio. They also discuss some of Bell’s favorite scientific and paranormal topics including astrophysics, quantum entanglement, the power of collective consciousness, time travel and more. According to Harrison, “This relatively recent conversation really sheds light on Art Bell’s intelligence, originality and approach to radio. We are fortunate to have such a treasure in our archives and are pleased to be able to present it again to the world.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There appears to be a program director position open in Indianapolis as CHR WNOW “Radio NOW 100.9” programmer Buster Satterfield exits, reportedly for a yet-to-be-announced new gig.  Satterfield joined the Radio One station just over two years ago.  Prior to joining Radio One, Satterfield was East Coast promotions manager for Atlantic Records…..iHeartRadio names Ariana Grande its “Artist of the Week” on the occasion of her first song release since the deadly attack at her concert in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017.  The new song, “No Tears Left to Cry,” is the first single from her highly anticipated new album and is available now on iHeartRadio…..Country superstar Carrie Underwood is pictured at right in the studio of the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show yesterday (4/19) as she stopped to discuss her new album, Cry Pretty.  She spoke about her 2018 ACM Award performance and win in the Vocal Event of the Year category with Keith Urban, her serious injury while walking her dogs, her husband Mike Fisher’s return to the Nashville Predators, and more…..ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are pictured below with nationally syndicated morning personalities Ty, Kelly and Chuck in the NASH Campus studios in Nashville.  They stopped by to promote their new album, Port Saint Joe.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John and TJ Osborne, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks.

Round Four of March PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. You can 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” immediately follows with a +1.8 via three upticks in a row (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) and carries on at #9. The majority of that +1.8 stems from January’s +1.3. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT returns February’s +.3 but continues at #2 (7.2, 6+). It previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is flat at 1.7 (6+) and stays at #19, while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is off one-tenth (.6 – .5, unchanged at #24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” picks up one-tenth in March and is #1 for the third month in a row (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017 and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Following three improvements in a row that netted eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” returns 75% of it and it and tumbles from fourth to eighth (4.7 (-.6, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). Locked on 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+). Regressing by that margin as well is Emmis’ KLBJ-FM (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) with “93.7 The Rock of Austin” dropping out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Tied at #5 are iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (up from #6 in February) and co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (5.0 – 5.3, +.3, up from #7 in February, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and is now +1.4 via three straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+); KVET-FM was -.9 in February. Simultaneously, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE  is down 60% (-1.5) as the result of six negative or flat trends in succession (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+) as “Austin’s Country Alternative” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” roars back with three positive spikes in a row for an overall +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, eighth to sixth, 6+). Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC posts a one-half share increase to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the seventh time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” adds one-tenth (8.7 – 8.8, 6+) and repeats at #2. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. It fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Flat at 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19.

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL replicate February’s gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), “103.9 The Light” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). A March +.7 by Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX more than wipes out February’s one-half share loss (4.8 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+) as “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” jumps from tenth to eighth. “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. Even though it is a combined -1.4 in February and March (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 10th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -1.9 in February and March (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR WDCG – including identical +.7 performances in January and February – yield a +1.7 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “G-105” relinquishes seven-tenths in March to 6.0 (flat at #5, 6+). When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Off one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” segues from sixth to ninth. A February +1.1 pulled the plug on three consecutive downward moves that generated a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.2 in three straight upticks (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” advances from tenth to eighth. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in February (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14; WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. Following four straight down or flat trends for an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” is up two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” gains one-tenth (1.7 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+)

Indianapolis Music Formats – February’s -.6 by iHeartMedia-owned WOLT deleted the collective +.6 it racked up the two previous sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” rebounds in March with a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), progressing from #13 to a three-way tie at #9. Stymied at 6.2 (6+) in January and February, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” improves by one-half share to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. One-half share behind “Hank” and steady at #6 is Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and -.5 (February 2018). Mirroring what happened in February, just one-tenth of a share separates Entercom CHR WZPL (7.4 – 7.5, +.1, repeating at #1, 6+) and Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.3 – 7.4, +.1, steady at #2, 6+). “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January and has gained one-tenth in both February and March. In six successive up or flat trends between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017, the Cumulus Media frequency at 93.9 was +2.5, virtually doubling its 6+-stat (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+). On December 26 (2017), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” The aforementioned streak ended in January 2018 as “Energy” was -2.2 (2.9, #10 to 15, 6+). Flat at 2.9 (6+) in February, “Energy” short-circuits by -.9 in March to 2.0 (#15 to #16, 6+). At the same time, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), relinquishes roughly one-third of that increase (4.7, -.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” (4.7, -.1, 6+), whose consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall +1.5 ends at four (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+). February’s 4.8 is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Trending 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.2 (“Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM is off six-tenths to 4.6 (6+) as “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” departs the top ten (#9 to #12).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a gain of nine-tenths in February (5.3 – 6.2, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ returns two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), but stays in fifth-place. Immediately before that +.9, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). Finishing second for the sixth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN is a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 11th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). Flat at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is down a combined one-half share in February and March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Major ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); and now +1.1 in March (7.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In addition to posting a +.6 (8.8 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 37th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). Owing to three consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.1; “B-93.3” leaves the top ten (#9 to #11). In three positive spikes in a row (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL is a cumulative +1.8 as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” shifts from eighth to sixth. Also in the market’s top ten is WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which adds four-tenths to February’s +.6 (3.4 – 4.0 – .4, #11 to #9, 6+). Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Likewise, February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #11, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is in a repetitive 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 sequence (6+). January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Off two-tenths after February’s -.1 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is unchanged at #17. Despite dropping two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” climbs from #11 to #10. “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9 and a -2.6 in February. Losing the one-tenth it picked up in February (1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” falls from #15 to #16. In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, ninth to eighth, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +1.3. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – It would be quite the understatement that the past few sweeps have been interesting for WLVU. For all practical purposes, the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+); regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9); and now tacks on a whopping +2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2, #19 to #14, 6+). In fact, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets had as large of a (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase than Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” By adding eight-tenths to February’s +.7 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” marches from fourth to second. Prior to February, “The Beat” was without an increase the previous five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 in September was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. An increase of seven-tenths (.2 – .9, 6+) enables TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” to enter the top twenty for the first time (#20). Down one-tenth (8.7 – 8.6, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA repeats at #1. On top in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017, “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). It is a rough ratings period for Nashville’s three FM country players as Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, #10 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is -.6 (5.8 – 5.3, flat at #8, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -.3 (6.1 – 5.8, unchanged at #6, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. In January, WSIX was +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Declining by one-half share are iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.0 – 6.5, second to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). A -.8 by “Nashville’s Classic Rock” stopped four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+); January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Immediately prior to March, “92-Q” was +.7 in four straight (modest) uptrends (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds four-tenths to February’s +.3 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns one-third of it but stays at #12 (1.8, -.2, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” gains one-tenth (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, #15 to #16, 6+). A cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI carries on at #8. Leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Once again finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (flat at 2.3, ninth to tenth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (flat at 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Logging a nine-tenths increase (5.0 – 5.9, steady at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” is within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) for the 12th sweep in succession. As a result of three straight positive spikes (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is a +1.1 and dials up its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4. Substituting February’s -.6 with a March +.7 (2.7 – 2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. For more than two years in a row (28 straight ratings periods), the top spot in this Rhode Island market was held by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105.” That consistency changes in calendar year 2018 though as iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” took over in January; “Lite Rock” returned to #1 in February with a +1.3; and WHJY recaptures the crown in March. This particular transition is more a function of “Lite Rock” eroding by -1.1 (10.2 – 9.1, first to second, 6+) than anything else, since WHJY is actually off four-tenths (9.6 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). The 9.6 by WHJY is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well), while the 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+).

Norfolk – In a very stagnant monthly, five of the 13 listed stations are up from February with an average increase of exactly +.2; seven are down with an average increase of exactly +.3; and one station is flat. Eleven of the 13 Norfolk outlets in print maintain their (6+) February market rank. The exceptions are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (ninth to eighth) and co-owned alternative WNOH “Alt 105.3” (eighth to ninth). In four straight up or flat trends “The Beat” is +.3 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), while “Alt 105.3” records the market’s largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 fluctuation (2.4 – 1.7, -.7, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (#10) erodes by -3.9 in three drops in succession (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). An overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” remains at #6. Its urban AC sibling – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is down two-tenths (12.3 – 12.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 16th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 24th time in the last 25 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In the Saga cluster, classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +1.7 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4, #4, 6+), while co-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is up one-half share in four straight up or flat trends (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, #13, 6+). At #11, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a -.7 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), while Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” has its third downtrend in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever since it rolled out a +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is -.7 in February and now -.6 in March (4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. This marks the third uptick in a row by Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, unchanged at #11, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Anchored at #13, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC surrenders February’s +.2 (.9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In three straight (modest) increases Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” quadruples its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, flat at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Albeit -1.1 (12.1 – 11.0, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” records double-digits (6+) for the 17th sweep in a row and remains at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. Right behind it repeating in the runner-up slot, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (11.4 – 10.4, -1.0, 6+) has been in double-digits (6+) in eight of the last nine sweeps. Following three straight gains that more than quadrupled (+1.3) its 6+-share (.4 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.0, -.7, flat at #12, 6+). A collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up,” which is +.1 to 3.0 (tenth to ninth, 6+), thus halting four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.3 as the result of four straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). This comes immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” also departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WZZR had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Stuck on 1.3 (6+) in January and February, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #14, 6+). For the third time in a row Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN posts a 3.2 (flat at #9, 6+). After recording a .3 (6+) three straight times, Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” falters by two-tenths to .1 (#18 to #19, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to four straight improvements (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, fourth to third, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.7. In a similar vein, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is +2.0 in three consecutive positive spikes (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, steady at #2, 6+). The five most recent (6+) fluctuations for “Kool” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; and now +.5 in March. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.9) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. Elevating by one-half share as well – and adding to its February +.7 – is JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), which cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). On top for the third month in a row is Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” (10.2 – 9.9, -.3, 6+). In advance of January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). In the two sweeps following January’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.9 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, seventh to eighth).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV eroded by -2.8. It wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+), but now regresses by -.9 to 7.3 (second to fourth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. A combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) but is steady at #12. January’s +.4 halted five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL register a +1.2 with its third increase in succession for an overall +1.7 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), “V-101.5” enters the top ten (#11 to #6). A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” breaks out a +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), vaulting from third to first. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Displaced from the top spot is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.3 – 8.1, -.2, first to third, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. After cratering by -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” answers with a combined +1.6 in three straight increases (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), jumping from fourth to second. Its urban AC HD2 channel, however, is off six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). A +1.0 in January enabled WKSL to end three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+); however, “97.9 Kiss-FM” is a combined -1.2 in February and March (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) as the iHeartMedia CHR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), surrenders all of it (4.6, -.6, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January, “The Beat” was without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Up one-half share in February (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 sputters by six-tenths as well (1.7, #15 to #16, 6+), as does Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” (5.4 – 4.8, fifth to eighth, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is a combined -.3 in February and March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Locked on 3.1 (6+) in January and February, Entercom sports talk WMFS gains two-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #10, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – While unchanged in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” improves by one full-share (8.2 – 9.2, 6+). This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-performance for “K-97.1” since November 2015’s 9.4. It is just one-half share behind urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (10.1 – 9.7, -.4, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Two other stations in that cluster have streaks snapped. Gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which was +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), is off one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but stays at #5. Meanwhile, co-owned WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis,” +1.8 as the result of five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), drops one-tenth as well (5.6, 6+) and carries on at #6. Having posted a .8 (6+) five times in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and is anchored at #17.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three increases in a row (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a collective +1.5 and remains at #7. Ironically, “News Talk 1080” just concluded a consecutive string of negative moves in which it was a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is down four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). It followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. After being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, falters by seven-tenths to 1.8 (#11 to #12). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Bouncing back from a -.2 in February, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a +1.1 (13.2 – 14.3, 6+) and reaches a milestone for being #1 for the 20th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 17th time in the last 19 sweeps – and ninth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). In addition to logging its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.2. As Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 improves for the third time in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, #12 to #11, 6+), co-owned alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” regresses by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains at #10. Stuck on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” coughs up six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), segueing from fourth to fifth. Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” picks up two-tenths to .3 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Thursday, April 19, 2018

| April 19, 2018

Beasley Programmer Buzz Knight Launches New Podcast Series. The title of the new podcast is “Healthy Paranoia” and Beasley Media Group vice president of programming Buzz Knight will produce a new episode each week that will be found on the “Insights” section of the brand-new Beasley Media Group corporate website.  Beasley says the podcast will “feature interviews with thought leaders of today discussing new innovation, new methods, new strategies and new thinking.” The first episode examines autonomous driving in Las Vegas.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to unveil this exciting new podcast on the Beasley platform that focuses on innovation… a coveted core value of our company.  I look forward to listening to Buzz as he shares valuable insight from thought leaders who are making a difference both in the media industry and the world around us.”

CBS News Radio Wins Four First Place ‘Headliner Awards.’ The 84th National Headliner Awards from the Press Club of Atlantic City were recently announced, and CBS News and CBS News Radio combined for five first place honors.  On the radio side, CBS News Radio earned first place honors in: the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Newscast category for “Las Vegas Newscast” by Steve Futterman, Deborah Rodriguez and Wendy Zentz; in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage category for “Las Vegas Massacre” by the CBS News Radio staff; in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story for “National Film Registry” by Dave Barrett; and in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series category for “Labor Day” by the CBS News Radio staff.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated feature, “The Miller Minute” hosted by Dennis Miller, hits the 100-affiliate mark two months after its debut.  Westwood One says the show clears on such signals as WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; KPAM,, Portland; and KLFE, Seattle…..News/talk outlet WYAY-FM, Atlanta “Talk 106.7” officially announces its new program lineup that TALKERS reported on Tuesday (4/17).  With the move of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson’s show to afternoon drive it should be noted that Pete Davis and Jim Gossett serve as cast members of the program…..The afternoon drive sports talk race in Indianapolis gets some attention from the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Scott Olson. His report records the success of the “Query & Schultz” program on iHeartMedia’s WNDE over the past several Nielsen Audio PPM surveys.  Last November, John Gliva on Emmis’ crosstown WFNI led “Query & Schultz” in the Men 25-54 demo with a 3.9 AQH share to the latter’s 2.3 share.  As of the February PPM survey, “Query & Schultz” leads afternoon sports talkers with a 4.8 AQH share of Men 25-54 over WFNI’s 4.1 AQH share…..Twin Cities alt-weekly City Pages names KKFN, Minneapolis afternoon personality Dan “Common Man” Cole “Best Sports Talk Host” for 2018.  The mag says, “Every afternoon, Dan ‘Common Man’ Cole does an artful job of not giving a shit. In a format that’s riddled with blowhard jocks summoning the hottest takes, Cole plays it smirkingly cool.  A keen awareness of the comic absurdity of the universe—especially the sports-talker one—rudders his easy-breezy ‘progrum.’”

Cool News Radio Opportunity.  Operations manager Tim Wenger informs us that Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo “NewsRadio 930” – Buffalo’s 24-hour radio newsroom of record – is looking for a full-time news professional charged with a mix of anchoring newscasts and reporting.  Successful candidate will be as comfortable ‘on the street’ reporting and publishing web content as they are behind a microphone in-studio.  Exceptional social media skills and an innate ability to seek out important, impacting, and relatable stories are key qualifications. See the official job posting here.

WGTK, Greenville’s Joey Hudson Recognized for Crimefighting Work. WGTK, Greenville, South Carolina talk show host Joey Hudson is pictured above (right) receiving the “Media Person of the Year” award by the Southeastern Crime Stoppers Association at their annual conference held in Atlanta.  The Salem Media Group air personality was recognized for his “Crime of the Week” feature.  Crime Stoppers’ Tony Lee says, “Joey’s dedication to promoting our ‘most wanted’ has assisted local law enforcement in making numerous arrests and clearing hundreds of cases that otherwise may go unsolved.”  Hudson has been a supporter of law enforcement for years as the executive director of the Mike Gallagher show charitable foundation’s Fallen Officer Fund supporting the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Russia Sanctions Controversy, U.S.-North Korea Talks, California Sanctuary Battle, Southwest Emergency Landing, Israel’s 70thAnniversary, Trump Syria Policy, Barbara Bush Legacy, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18).).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related James Comey book, A Higher Loyalty; President Trump’s reversal of U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement there would be further sanctions against Russia; the revelation that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ahead of scheduled future talks with President Trump; the battle between the federal government and California over the state’s sanctuary cities policy; the deadly emergency landing of Southwest flight 1380; Israel celebrates its 70thanniversary as a nation; the splintering of the GOP over President Trump’s Syria policy; the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush and her legacy; plus MLB and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Windy City radio personality Showbiz Shelly is the new midday host at iHeartMedia CHR WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM.”  iHeartMedia markets group president Matt Scarano says, “Showbiz Shelly is a Chicago institution.  Shelly is a true radio pro with tremendous Chicago roots and I am honored that she chose to join the iHeartMedia Chicago team.”…..Also from Chicago, Cumulus Media names imaging pro Nick Draeger creative imaging director for alternative WKQX.  Draeger was most recently with Entercom Sacramento handling imaging for the cluster’s rock stations, including alternative KKDO “ALT 94.7.”  WKQX program director Troy Hanson says, “We talked with many strong candidates, but we kept coming back to Nick’s excellent grasp of cut-through messaging for the brands he’s worked on.  Nick will work with our voiceover pros Dan Stone and Wendy K. Gray to continue to deliver the top-notch writing and sonic feel of WKQX.  We’re excited to have Nick on board!”…..Rock radio personality Lyndsey Marie is moving back to Atlanta after almost four years in Chicago where she was hosting middays on the former WLUP-FM.  She’d been hosting middays on Cumulus Media’s rock WNNX “Rock 100.5” from Chicago but now she’ll be working from WNNX’s studios.  She’s also heard on company rock stations: KXXR-FM, Minneapolis; WFTK-FM, Cincinnati; KGGO-FM, Des Moines; WIXV-FM, Savannah; and KKGL-FM, Boise.  Lyndsey Marie says, “I am excited to go back ‘home.’  Georgia’s been on my mind since I left it, and I’m ready to make some noise with Jesse Kage and my old friends Southside Steve and Jason Bailey.  We get to call Atlanta our playground.  I don’t know if it gets much better than that.”…..2018 ACM “Entertainer of the Year” Jason Aldean is performing live today (4/19) at WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” in an intimate show at the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17, high atop Madison Square Garden.  Cumulus Media’s “NASH FM 94.7” is also streaming Aldean’s performance live on Facebook…..Cumulus Media Charleston sadly confirms that legendary Charleston radio personality, Frankie Green, a.k.a., Frankie the Big Bopper, died earlier today.  The native Charlestonian was a much-loved fixture on the Lowcountry entertainment scene for more than 40 years.  Since February 2000, he hosted the Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on the company’s urban AC WMGL-FM “Magic 107.3” on which he played old school and the blues and shared stories and community information with his passionate and loyal audience.  In January 2015, Green was honored by President Barack Obama with the President’s Volunteer Service Award…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (right) with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (left) backstage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 14.

Round Three of March PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s March 2018 survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – No stranger to significant month-to-month fluctuations, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB makes it three straight months at #1. Representative recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); and now +1.0 in March (8.5 – 9.5, 6+). When it entered the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Three increases in a row by Alpha Media news/talk KXL produced a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), but “101 FM News – Stay Connected” forfeits four-tenths in March to 4.8 (6+) and is flat at #6. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Even though it is without a loss for the third time in succession for a +.6 (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” falls from #19 to #20. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in November, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is trending .8 – 1.0 – .7 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#23 to #25, 6+). Entercom sports talk KFXX is unchanged in both 6+-share (2.0) and 6+-market rank (#18). In February, “1080 The Fan” returned the four-tenths it picked up the previous sweep (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from #22 to #21, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” regains the four-tenths it lost in February (1.4 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” keeps this “four-tenths” theme going with … a +.4 (.7 – 1.1, #25 to #24, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – After being down or flat three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KXJM is a collective +1.3 in February and March (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.5, #16 to #13, 6+). In each of the previous 15 sweeps, “Jam’n 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” logged a 6+-share in the 2.1 – 2.9 range. A February loss of seven-tenths by Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD cut its 6+-share in half (1.4 – .7, 6+), but “Jazz Radio 89.1” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 1.2 (#25 to #23, 6+). Back in January (2018), Alpha Media’s KUPL registered a massive +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but “98.7 The Bull #1 for New Country” has forfeited 80% of that increase (-1.6) in the last two ratings periods (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3, 6+) as it drifts from #8 to #15. Moreover, the eight-tenths lead it held in February over its format rival – Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” – is now a two-tenths advantage for “The Wolf” (3.9 – 3.5, -.4, #11 to #13, 6+).  On the heels of gaining one-half share in February (4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” erodes by -1.1 to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” (6.1 – 5.5, flat at #3, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (5.8 – 5.2, unchanged at #4, 6+). Within 3.0 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” drops one-half share to 2.9 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from February’s -.7 with a March +.5 (1.9 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” inches up from #19 to #18. After three upticks in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WBT returns more than half that increase (3.6, -.7, 6+), drifting from #8 to #14. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE (3.5 – 3.3, -.2, flat at #15, 6+); “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats –Five consecutive ratings periods without an increase by Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF accounted for an overall -1.8 (5.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), but “Old School 105.3” erases nearly half that deficit with a +.8 to 4.9 (6+) as it rockets into the top ten (#12 to #7). The three most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” are +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); and now +.6 in March (6.2 – 6.8, fourth to second, 6+). “The Kat” shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, its first time on top since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). It is a slightly similar up/down/up scenario for co-owned WEND, which was +.7 in January to halt three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); -.5 in February (4.3 – 3.8, 6+); and now +.5 in March (3.8 – 4.3, 6+). As a result of March’s one-half share increase, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” returns to the top ten (#14 to #9). In February, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths, but in March, “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, 6+), skidding from third to sixth. In seven straight positive or flat trends, its urban AC sibling WBAV was a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), but “V-101.9” surrenders six-tenths in March (6.8, 6+). Not only that, after a short one-month stay at #1, WBAV returns to the runner-up slot it held in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Its 7.4 in February marked the first time “V-101.9” reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Trading places with WBAV is iHeartMedia-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock,” which is up eight-tenths in three consecutive up or flat trends (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). This (7.3) is its best 6+-stat in nearly a year (7.6, April 2017). Prior to being locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December. Flat at #13, CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” has its fourth straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite a one-tenth drop (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI actually elevates from ninth to seventh. A January +1.6 took WOAI to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing at #20, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” logs its third improvement in succession for a collective +.5 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Conversely, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is a combined -1.9 in three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, #15 to #17, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. This is the third time in a row that iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” posts a .5 (flat at #28, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – The up-down-up story for Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” is +.8 (January); -1.0 (February); and now +.7 in March (2.4 – 3.1, #17 to #14, 6+). For a bit of a change, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM has a modest month-to-month move (7.3 – 7.2, -.1, 6+) as “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” stays on top for the third sweep in a row. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Three straight negative moves by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT result in a whopping -.9.6 (13.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) as “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Variety Station” spirals out of the top ten (#5 to #11). In seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN was an overall +1.8, but “107.5 Tejano & Proud” sputters by seven-tenths in March to 3.3 (6+), slipping from #12 to #13. Having netted a staggering +2.7 in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” forfeits six-tenths in March to 6.2 (6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” – records its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.0 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Taking one-half share losses are Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (6.1 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+) and Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+), which was a combined +.8 in three successive up or flat trends (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #12, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up an overall eight-tenths via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Locked on 5.3 (6+) in January and February – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7 – Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” falters by seven-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+). January’s +1.3 curtailed four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” stabilizes after February’s -.9 with a one-tenth gain (5.7 – 5.8, steady at #6, 6+). “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+) – January’s 6.6 represents its best 6+-showing since September 2016’s 7.6. Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is without a loss for the ninth ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-tenth (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Setting the pace in this Pennsylvania market for the 13th consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW racks up a +.8 (10.3 – 11.1, 6+); “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). An overall -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” chalks up a March gain of seven-tenths to 6.5 (6+) and remains at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, “Wish” posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and now -.5 in March (8.3 – 7.8, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in nine of the last ten sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Off by one-half share as well, mainstream CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” carries on in fourth-place (7.4 – 6.9, 6+). Logging their third straight increases in a row for a +1.5 and +.7, respectively, are Entercom’s WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1, steady at #11, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s been an interesting game of musical chairs lately for iHeartMedia-owned KFBK. Specifically, “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; and now up again to #1 in March. Flat at 8.1 (6+), it actually shares the lead with KSEG (see below). Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Dropping one-tenth (2.5 – 2.4, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” stays at #15. KSTE was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Up four-tenths (4.4 – 4.8, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ climbs from sixth to fifth. KXJZ posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -1.0 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 (#21 – to #23, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Not only does a +1.0 (2.9 – 3.9, 6+) give Entercom-owned KKDO its best 6+-stat in more than two years (3.9, February 2016), “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” breaks into the top ten (#12 to #10). Trending 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 (January-February-March), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” continues at #1, albeit in a tie with KFBK (see above). A January gain of two full-shares by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). In six successive up or flat trends, Capital Public Radio’s KXPR was a collective +1.5 (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+), but “88.9 The Classical Station” stumbles by seven-tenths in March to 1.8 (#15 to #18, 6+). Notwithstanding that it remains in third-place, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is -8.2 as a result of three dips in a row (14.2 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). “Mix” ranked first in December 2017 (8.8, 6+) and in “Holiday” 2017 (14.2, 6+). Co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1” is an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). Likewise, Entravision-owned/similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is +.7 in three successive upticks (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is without a loss for the third time in a row as well for a +.3 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1, #17 to #16, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.8 in three consecutive positive spikes (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” continues at #2. Immediately prior to this streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). While flat at 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from tenth to ninth. KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Following February’s -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER drops one-tenth to 2.9 (#12 to #13, 6+); KUER was up eight-tenths in January. Unchanged at #21, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – As it eats into January and February’s -15.9 (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+) with a +.9 to 8.2 (6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” stays on top for the sixth ratings period in a row. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. Also displaying a March +.9 is iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.9 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+) which notes its finest 6+-share in exactly two years (7.1, March 2016). Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 (6+), Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KYUU “U-92, #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” posts a one-half share gain to 2.1 (#20 to #19, 6+). On a seesaw, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” was -.6 in January (1.8 – 1.2, 6+); +.9 to 2.1 (6+) in February; and is -.6 in March (1.5, #19 to #20, 6+); February’s 2.1 was its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). The market’s two hot ACs regress by one-half share: Capitol’s KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.2 – 5.7, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” (4.0 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). While it continues at #22, 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” relinquishes four-tenths (1.0, 6+), thus snapping at ten a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three positive spikes in succession (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR gains one full-share and inches up from #15 to #14. Conversely, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840,” which was up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), drops one-tenth to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). A one-half share decrease by Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” to .9 (#23 to #25, 6+) pulls the plug on five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7   – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled its 6+-share. A collective -.4 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” drops from #25 to #27.

Las Vegas Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.6, progressing from fourth to third. Gaining six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE (6.8 – 7.4, 6+) as “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” marches from second to first. “Sunny” held the lead in December 2017 (10.6, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). Dislodged from #1 and trading places with “Sunny” is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (7.1 – 6.8, -.3, first to second, 6+). In December 2017, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse after five straight months there. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); and -.5 (February). Frozen on 2.2 (6+) in the last four ratings periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona MX 103.5” erupts with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #19 to #14. Picking up one-half share each are Entercom’s KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station,” which is +1.2 in three straight gains (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0, seventh to fifth, 6+) and Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” (2.6 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to being a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), KSOS was an overall +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” is -1.0 to 2.6, freefalling from #10 to #17. Following three upticks in a row that produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” surrenders six-tenths to 2.9 (#11 to #14, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Heritage iHeartMedia news/talker WLW forfeits half of its combined +2.0 from January and February (8.3 – 6.3, -1.0, 6+) as it slips from second to third. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” loses one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but advances from #11 to #10. WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following a collective +.7 in January and February, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is off by four-tenths in March to 3.2 (flat at #12, 6+). Adding two-tenths each are iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” (1.1 – 1.3, #20 to #19, 6+) and co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” (.5 – .7, steady at #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – It’s a very productive sweep for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the third straight time; is a cumulative +2.9 in three consecutive up or flat trends (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+); and reaches double-digits (10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Rhythmic hot AC sibling WREW “Mix 94.9” erases February’s -.5 with a +.6 (4.5 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). Its +1.3 in January followed a -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Progressing from third to second, Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” registers its fourth positive spike in succession for an overall +2.5 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3, 6+). This comes immediately after December’s -1.4. Sputtering by seven-tenths (1.5 – .8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC “Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” falls from #16 to #20. A combined +1.2 in January and February (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” returns one-half share to 3.4 (#10 to #11, 6+); February’s 3.9 was its strongest 6+-share since August 2017’s 3.9. Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Up a combined three full-shares in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” returns a modest 10% of that increase (4.9, -.3, 6+) and remains at #8. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Three-tenths behind WTKS is Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5,” which was stuck on 4.7 (6+) in January and February before dipping to 4.6 (6+); even so, it moves from tenth to ninth. Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5,” was +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January; lost three-tenths in February; and now regains two-tenths in March (1.6 – 1.8, flat at #16, 6+). Despite being off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE remains at #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Back-to-back at #19 and #20, respectively, are Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.7 – 1.1, +.4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (.7 – .9, +.2, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – While it remains at #6, Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” records its third uptick in a row for an overall +2.4 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. The last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was one year ago (6.1, March 2017). In another such streak, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is +1.6 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+); this is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1. The market’s (6+) Spanish tropical share improves by +1.0, as Entravision Communications’ WNUE “Salsa 98.1” is up six-tenths (2.4, flat at #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” adds four-tenths (9.5 – 9.9, #1 for the third consecutive month, 6+). “Salsa 98.1” had been off one full-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 1.8, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. In January, co-owned WJRR posted a +1.3, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” is now -2.0 in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” is a collective -1.6 in February and March (6.6 – 7.2 – 6.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plunging in January by -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” falters by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In five successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is +1.2 and repeats at #10. Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” is within 5.0 – 5.5 range for the sixth time in a row (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). A one-half share gain in January suspended three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Immediately after posting a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is now -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – No sooner does iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” boast a whopping +1.9 (8.4 – 10.3, 6+), it follows with the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease logged by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. As a result of its -2.0 (10.3 – 8.3, 6+), “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” shifts from first to second. WMJI was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. It is succeeded at #1 by Radio One urban AC WZAK, the station WMJI replaced at the top in February. Not only does WZAK progress from second to first, it is an overall +1.5 in its third increase in a row (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+). Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” returns in full the six-tenths it gained in February (5.7 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). February’s +.6 pulled the plug on three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). In addition to WZAK, iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” logs a gain of six-tenths as well (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and is flat at #12. A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK then lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” responds in March with a +.5 to 5.4 (6+) and advances from ninth to eighth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 7.2 – 6.8 (“Holiday” 2017 – January – February, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share to 6.3 (6+), but carries on in fourth-place.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to roaring back from February’s -.9 by recapturing all of it (4.0 – 3.1 – 4.0, +.9, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB cracks the top ten (#14 to #10). “Sports Radio 810” was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Similarly, its format rival – Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” – erases February’s -.4 with a +.4 (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.8, 6+) and is back in the top twenty (#21 to #19). After registering six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” slips by two-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to fifth, 6+); cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is also off by two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, flat at #19, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 (unchanged at #22, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR carries on at #16.

Kansas City Music Formats – Locked on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.1 in February and March (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. In the Cumulus Media cluster, classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) to drop from first to second, regains half that loss and is back at #1 (8.1, +.3, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). It once again swaps places with classic rock sibling KCFX “The Fox,” which is down six-tenths (8.6 – 8.0, first to second, 6+). In February, “The Fox” recaptured all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+) as it advanced from second to first, replacing KCMO-FM. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. While unchanged at #10, Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” is down eight-tenths in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). On the heels of February’s -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, 6+), country sibling WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” flounders by another seven-tenths to 4.0 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country,” which was frozen on 3.9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 4.4 (6+) in January and February, picks up four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) and remains at #3.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is a collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+); 4.3 is its best 6+-showing since August 2017’s 4.7. Having eroded by one full-share in February (7.1 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN follows with a -.7 to 5.4 (fifth to sixth, 6+); “News Radio 610” was +1.5 in January and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). For the fourth report in a row, sports talk sibling WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is without an increase and is off two-tenths in that timeframe (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, flat at #16, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet is missing from print for the second straight month.

Columbus Music Formats – This is the third consecutive sweep that iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL sets the pace in Ohio’s state capital. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January. It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); and now +1.1 in March (12.3 – 13.4, 6+). A combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” returns one-third of that increase (9.0, -.5, 6+) but is #2 for the third time in a row. Declining by one-half share as well is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (5.9, third to fifth, 6+). In February, it wiped out roughly one-fifth of January’s -5.8 with a +1.2. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014).

Monday, March 26, 2018

| March 26, 2018

Positioning: The Battle for Your Government.  Consultant Holland Cooke says it’s interesting to note how today’s current political candidates – including Democrat Conor Lamb, recent winner of the Pennsylvania Congressional special election – are using some of the time-proven strategies of “product differentiation” to separate themselves from their opponents.  Read his piece here.

Imus’ ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Segment Airs.  Radio legend Don Imus appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning” yesterday, interviewed by Anthony Mason about his 50-year radio career, including his fondest memories and his regrets.  Last week, CBS teased the segment, reporting that Imus said he would include Howard Stern in the same group with himself as one of the five greatest radio performers of all time.  If you missed it you can read a partial transcript here and see the video.

Price: Investors May Not Care About Operational Resilience, but Your Listeners and Advertisers Do.  Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, says that as recent natural disasters have taught radio and television operators in places like Houston, the U.S. Southeast, and in the Caribbean, both listeners and advertisers care about the operational resilience of your stations.  “Your business has value so long as it operates.  When it doesn’t, it has no meaningful value to your audience or your clients.  And modern technology has made reasonable operational resilience easier and more affordable than ever.  Seems like a no-brainer.”  Yet many operators don’t take the time to prepare and end up regretting it.  Read Price’s piece here.

MIW Radio Group Announces Participants in 2018 Mentoring Program.  The four mentees for this year’s MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, are announced.  This year’s class consists of: Candy Cintron, assistant program director at El Zol 107.9, Entercom, Washington; Amanda Guest, founder & general manager BFF.fm, Best Frequencies, Inc., San Francisco; Jillene Khan, WMGN afternoon host/social media director, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Madison; Kimberly Sonneborn, vice president of digital operations, Beasley Media Group, LLC, Charlotte.  Now in its 17th year, the MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  To date, the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has successfully mentored a total of 43 mentees.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pro wrestling icon Jim Ross is taking his podcast to the Westwood One Podcast Network, effective in early April.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “This proud partnership is an impressive match between two legendary brands – Jim Ross and Westwood One.  Jim always brings it, which is why he has such a passionate fan base and massive social media following.  We can’t wait to share the first episode of ‘The Jim Ross Report’ with his highly engaged audience.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Urban View Vote” – what it calls “a non-partisan, mid-term election year voter registration campaign designed to raise awareness about voter registration opportunities throughout the 50 states.”  The campaign includes the roll-out of an “Urban View Vote” vehicle to tour multiple states – visiting college campuses, community centers, and other key locations.  Urban View host and programming consultant Karen Hunter states, “This is a crucial time in our country’s history to register new voters, and Urban View listeners will lead the way.  On Urban View, we don’t just talk about issues, we take action.  Now more than ever, we want people to know their voting rights and to empower them to take an active role in their futures.  Our hashtag – #10for2018 – reflects our goal that every listener will inspire 10 people they know to get registered.”

‘March for Our Lives,’ Stormy Daniels’ ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bolton Named National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump’s China Tariffs, Craig’s List Shutters Personals, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” gun control advocacy demonstrations; the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump names former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate; Trump’s tariff threats on Chinese goods and China’s response; Craig’s List closes its personal ads section to prevent human rights violations; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tampa, iHeartMedia names the personalities for its “Throwback 94.5, 99.1, and 105.9.”  Morning drive is home to “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” Queen B hosts middays, DJ Chase is afternoon personality, and DJ Sandman is evening jock.  The three-signal station is fed to W233AV, Gulfport; WVVD-LP, Seffner; and W290BJ, West Tampa via WMTX-HD2.  Station PD Mychal Maguire says, “This is an opportunity for us to give our listeners a great lineup of air personalities along with the great throwback hip-hop songs they grew up listening to and love.  iHeartMedia Tampa is continuously providing our listeners with the music and entertainment they want.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Weigel Broadcasting’s Windy City low-power FM, adult contemporary WRME “Me-TV FM” is syndicating its programming to WJMK-AM, Bridgeport, Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland market).  WJMK-AM station manager Philip Bernstein says, “We are excited to bring the Tri-Cities the proven ‘Me-TV’ music format, which attained ratings far surpassing the heritage stations in Chicago in only one year of being on the air.”…..Three staffers exit Entercom’s San Diego cluster.  Alternative KBZT “ALT 94/9” program director Chris Patyk, cluster promotions director Kiku Boyance, and production assistant Dawne Davis all exit in what’s being termed a restructuring…..Pictured below is “CMT After Midnite” syndicated star Cody Alan (at the standing mic) in the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt speaking with UMG Nashville recording artist Jordan Davis (seated).  In addition to meeting with the young patients and their families, Davis chatted with Alan about the release of his debut album, Home State, and his first headlining “White Wine and Whiskey Tour” that kicks off in April.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

KNBR, San Francisco Cuts Ties with Patrick Connor After Host’s Comments About Teen Olympian.  Sports media personality Patrick Connor has been let go by Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco after his sexualized comments about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.  Connor hosted the daily “The Shower Hour with Patrick Connor” at 5:00 am on KNBR but he didn’t make his comments on KNBR.  He did that on SiriusXM’s Barstool Sports channel calling in to the “Dailed In with Dallas Braden” program.  Connor’s radio bit revolved around his opinion of the 17-year-old athlete’s looks and that she would soon be 18.  Connor apologized for his words, calling them “lame and gross.”  Obviously, this latest incident comes as fellow broadcaster Entercom is dealing with the blowback from two recent errors in judgement by talk hosts and will suspend live programming on WEEI, Boston tomorrow (2/16) so the entire staff can attend mandatory sensitivity training.

John Patrick Joins WGAC, Augusta Morning Show.  At Augusta, Georgia news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Beasley Media Group names John Patrick as a new co-anchor of the station’s morning show.  He joins Steve Smith and Mary Liz Nolan for wake-up duties.  Patrick was most recently hosting the “Buzz on Buzz” show at sister sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta 1630.”  Among Patrick’s achievements in his 40-plus-year career is the 2008 creation of “The Augusta Golf Show with John Patrick.”  It will now air on WGAC-FM on Saturday afternoons.  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “To have a guy like John with 40-plus years in radio leading the way on the WGAC morning show is quite an honor.  We look forward to what John brings to WGAC and the Beasley Media Group of Augusta.”

Pub Talker Tom Ashbrook Exits WBUR, Boston for ‘Creating Abusive Work Environment.’ Host of the WBUR, Boston talk program “On Point” – Tom Ashbrook – had been on leave from the Boston University-owned public radio news/talk outlet since the school launched an investigation into his behavior back in December.  Now, the school has let him go, citing actions he was reported to have taken that created an “abusive work environment.”  According to a report of his dismissal in Deadspin, “The university said it had conducted two separate reviews after allegations were made by 11 former staffers claiming Ashbrook ‘created a work environment that included verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching.’ A second probe, conducted by a law firm, determined that the alleged unwelcome conduct was not sexual in nature, and was not sexual harassment under BU’s Title IX polices.”  See the Deadspin piece here.

Atlanta’s ‘The Sports X’ Gets a New Midday Show.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that another local show has been added to Dickey Broadcasting’s WOFM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “The Sports X.”  The station pairs up Jerry “Tug” Cowart with former University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cowart also works as a jock at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country outlet WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Station owner David Dickey has been retooling the station – a sister station to WCNN “The Fan” – in an effort to draw in younger listeners.  He recently added Mark Zinno to host the afternoon program and the late morning “Hometeam & Hamilton” show with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton.

WAXY, Miami Signs Deal for University of Miami Baseball. South Florida sports talker WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” enters into a multi-year agreement with University of Miami sports rights holder Learfield to air the school’s baseball games and ancillary baseball programming.  As part of the partnership, ‘The Ticket’ will broadcast at least 15 regular season games, all postseason baseball and various ‘Canes baseball-focused programs throughout the season.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We’re excited to begin a new partnership with Miami Athletics and are ready to air Canes baseball game broadcasts and various shows for fans this spring.  There’s not a better time than right now to be associated with the University of Miami and as part of our commitment to our listeners, we are always looking to bring them the excitement of the games they love.”  Joe Zagacki – in his 29th season as the voice of the ‘Canes – will continue calling games this season.

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

| February 8, 2018

Nielsen Holdings Announces Q4 Up 6.3%; Audio Ratings Sector Rises 9.2%.  As a whole, Nielsen Holdings plc reports that its fourth quarter 2017 revenue was $1.76 billion, an increase of 6.3% (or 4.2% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period in 2016.  For the full year of 2017, revenue was $6.5 billion up 4.2% (or 3.8% on a constant currency basis) compared to 2016.  Nielsen calls its ratings segment Watch and within that is the audio ratings business.  Nielsen reports audio rating revenue was up 9.2% in Q4.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, we had a strong year.  Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components.  As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”

Talk Host Paul Harris to Do ‘Last Show’ Tomorrow on KTRS, St. Louis.  For the past five years, talk radio pro Paul Harris has been doing the Friday afternoon show on KTRS, St. Louis.  But, that gig will wrap tomorrow (2/9) as former KYKY, St. Louis morning personality Guy Phillips will take over the afternoon drive show (Frank O. Pinion exited the Monday through Thursday role last fall).  Harris says he was offered the gig but does not want to work full time.  He says, “Having done this for my entire adult life, I know the stress that comes from waking up every day and immediately thinking, ‘What am I doing to talk about today?’ It may not seem like it, but hosting and planning a well-executed, informed, entertaining radio show takes an enormous amount of preparation and brain power.  Since moving into semi-retirement a few years ago — working only one or two days a week – I’ve had a lot less of that stress, and have welcomed those mornings when I didn’t have to worry about developing enough content to fill three hours of airtime.”  See his full comments on his last show here.

WCTC’s Bert Baron Nabs Regular Show with NJ Speaker of the Assembly.  New Brunswick, New Jersey morning host and program director Bert Baron is announcing he’s arranged to host New Jersey Assemblyman Craig Coughlin every month for a one-hour, live call-in show on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC.  The show will take place the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am, beginning February 13.  Baron says, “This monthly show will serve as a platform for Speaker Coughlin to engage not only the residents of the district he was elected to serve, but also to provide real, honest information on all things Jersey politics.  A Central Jersey lawmaker, appearing regularly on Central Jersey’s heritage radio station, is community synergy at its finest.”

iHeartMedia Seattle Announces Changes to KFNQ, Seattle and KHHO, Tacoma.  Both stations have been sports talk outlets that complement KJR-AM, Seattle “Sports Radio 950” for iHeartMedia.  Now, KHHO, Tacoma becomes “South Sound Talk 850, Tacoma’s Voice” and KFNQ re-brands from “1090 The Fan” to “1090 KJR, Seattle Sports Radio.”  KHHO’s talk lineup will feature: Glenn Beck in mornings, “Armstrong and Getty” in late mornings, “The Schnitt Show” in early afternoons, “America Now with Buck Sexton” in afternoon drive, and “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” in evenings.  KFNQ’s new lineup is: Dan Patrick in mornings, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in late mornings, Doug Gottlieb in early afternoons, “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter in afternoon drive, and CBS Sports Radio programming from 7:00 pm through the overnights.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is making a few changes to its weekend staffing.  The station is adding Joe Brand as Saturday morning sports anchor during Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and the John Williams show.  Also, the station is putting Andy Masur in the sports anchor role during the Sunday morning Dean Richards show.  Feder also notes that Tribune is negotiating for the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball.  But, the price is going to have to be right as WGN let the Chicago Cubs go because the station could not justify the expense…..According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” is adding a new, Friday evening program hosted by Carly Zucker – wife of Minnesota Wild player Justin Zucker – called “Overtime” that will delve into the personal and philanthropic lives of professional athletes.  Zucker makes regular appearances on the station’s morning program and previously hosted on the Minnesota Timberwolves Entertainment Network and reported for CBS Sports and FOX Sports North…..iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati re-ups with Learfield to continue serving as the flagship for Xavier University men’s basketball through the 2022-23 season.  As part of the deal, the weekly “Chris Mack” coach’s show will air on sister sports talk WCKY.  In the event of a conflict, games will air on sister news/talk WKRC.

New Budget Proposal, Pelosi Marathon Speech-Immigration Policy, Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Trump Approval Ratings Rise, White House Aid Resigns, FBI Texts Issue, Tesla Shot into Space, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7).  The congressional budget proposal that would add $500 billion in spending; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for eight hours in effort to force a vote on immigration policy affecting “dreamers”; this week’s Dow activity and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump’s request for a military parade; President Trump’s approval ratings rise; White House aide Rob Porter resigns over allegations of spousal abuse; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; Elon Musk shoots a Tesla Roadster into space with successful launch of SpaceX rocket; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Ex-Governor Chris Christie Chats on ABC Radio Podcast. New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie (left) is pictured here with “Powerful Politics” co-host Rick Klein (right) as the two discussed the Nunes memo, the Russia investigation, the Rob Porter resignation, and more on the weekly ABC Radio podcast.

Comrex Releases New Firmware for Opal Including Support for Mac OS and Safari.  Broadcasters who are also Mac users will rejoice as Comrex announces it has released a new firmware version for IP audio gateway Opal that includes native Safari support for macOS and iOS11.  Comrex says that once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through an Internet browser on any device with a microphone and speaker.  This web page allows a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  Prior to the release of Opal 1.1, Opal was only compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox browsers.  Now, Opal users can connect using Safari, making it even easier to operate for Apple users.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett says, “Up until this point we could support iPhone users with an app.  But as simple as we made it, there was still a concern that even this step was too much for some guests.  Now users can connect in studio quality from their iPhone without installing anything at all.”  Opal users can download firmware v.1.1 for free from the Comrex website.

Beasley Philadelphia Honors Top Account Executives.  Pictured above are members of the sales staff of Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia station group at the January 31 President’s Club Dinner. At this event, the company’s monthly Philadelphia President’s Club winners, many of whom were also annual budget achievers, were recognized by their sales managers for their outstanding performance and dedication. At the same time, account executive Steve Simons was named the 2017 Annual President’s Club Champion for his commitment to excellence and for exceeding his goals throughout the year.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning duo Paul Fuller and Al Matthews sign a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s active rock WHJY.  According to WHJY, this new contract will take the two through their 30-year anniversary with the station.  Operations manager Rob Anthony says, “‘94HJY’ continues to dominate Southern New England and Paul and Al have always been a major factor in its success.”  Program director Doug Palmieri adds, “It’s a great day for ‘HJY.  I’ve known them since 1993 and to see them continue to love what they do and do it this well is truly inspirational.  We’re proud to bring three more years of live, local mornings to Southern New England.”…..The syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” show – co-hosted by Chris Kelly and Chris Demm – is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s alternative rock WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The morning show is based at Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Friday, January 5, 2018

| January 5, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cancels CES 2018 Appearance Over Death Threats.  That’s what’s being reported by Recode.  The publication cites agency sources that say Pai’s scheduled appearance in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is being cancelled due to “death threats” – presumably over his leading the charge to overturn the Obama era FCC’s net neutrality policy.  Recode reports, “Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr each plan to attend CES.  So will Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting leader of their sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission.  Ohlhausen had been slated to appear alongside Pai at the annual Vegas event.”

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Nielsen’s December survey covers November 9 through December 6 and the buildup to the holiday season appears to have taken its toll on the format as 13 stations saw (6+) ratings decreases while only two – WCBS-AM, New York and WBZ-AM, Boston – realized increases from the November survey to the December survey.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, eight stations were down (6+) and four all-newsers – WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and WWJ, Detroit – were up year-over-year.  Only Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington ranked #1 in its market during the December survey.  View the entire report here.

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Names Two to New Positions. There are two new full-time staffers at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Director of sports content Eric Johnson names Tyrone Johnson to producer of the Mike Missanelli show.  Johnson previously served with WPEN but most recently was producing the nationally syndicated Buck Sexton show for Premiere Networks.  He’s also served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, “New Jersey 101.5” and pubcaster WHYY, Philadelphia.  Also, Natalie Egenolf moves from part-time to full-time as update anchor and ‘Fanatic’ social media coordinator.  She has been serving part-time on Missanelli’s show three days a week. She is also an in-game reporter for “NFL Sunday Drive” on Sirius XM and covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN.  Eric Johnson says, “I’ve been watching Tyrone grow as a radio talent from his early days when I worked with him in the past.  He has the perfect skill set for his new role as producer of our #1-rated Mike Missanelli show.  Tyrone has the sports knowledge, radio experience and comedic timing that will enhance Mike’s show.  Natalie Egenolf has so much passion for Philadelphia sports and is very plugged into the Philadelphia sports social media scene.  Combining that with her on-air skills makes her uniquely qualified for her new responsibilities as afternoon drive update anchor and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ social media coordinator.”

Wolff Book About Trump Campaign and Presidency Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 1-5.  The controversial Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury – purporting to present an inside view of the Trump campaign and early presidency – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At 2# was the Donald TrumpSteve Bannon rift.  Coming in at #3 was the severe winter weather and the related issue of global warming, followed by North Korea’s nuclear threats at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

TALKERS News Notes. Richmond news/talk WRVA is now heard on the FM band as new owner Entercom is simulcasting the station on translator W241AP, Midlothian, Virginia at 96.1 FM.  Entercom Richmond SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “News and politics are integral to the communities we serve and we’re excited to better serve our audience by expanding the distribution of ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA in Virginia’s Capitol City.  ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA has served the Richmond community since 1925 and to add it on the FM band is a real win for this legendary brand.”…..Along with the addition of new local sports talk shows, Dickey Broadcasting is re-branding the WFMO-AM/W292EV, Atlanta simulcast from the old “The Fan 2” to “The Sports X 1230AM and 106.3 FM.”  The station recently added local programs “Hometeam and Hamilton” (with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton) and the Mark Zinno show to the program schedule…..CBS News fires political director Steve Chaggaris after investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”  The news organization issued the following statement: “In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated.  As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) is pictured here serving as officiant administering the oath of office for Atlantic City councilman George Tibbitt (right).  Hurley is a notary public and that permits him to administer such oaths.  He tells TALKERS magazine he’s done it 10 times or so over the past 26 years.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss 99.9” names Dina Bonanni, a.k.a. Dina B, afternoon drive personality.  Dina B has been with the Entercom station since 2010.  Speaking about her new gig, she says, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love for a station that I grew up listening to.  I’ve spent 12 years of my career in country radio, from Palm Beaches to the Keys, so to say I’m excited to be afternoon host of ‘Kiss 99.9’ in my hometown is an understatement.”…..In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting names Rhiannon to the midday air shift at rock WRBA “95.9 Rocks.”  Program director Greg “Fitzdog” Fitzgerald says, “Rhiannon joins the winning team in Panama City with supportive and creative management and a group of stations community driven.  We are proud to have her here at ‘95.9.’”…..The Source magazine releases its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the Premiere Networks syndicated show “The Breakfast Club” – featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – tops the list of radio DJs for the fifth consecutive year.  The magazine dubbed the show “the most powerful talk show and squad period.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” is launching a new, weekly Gospel program, “Joy In The Morning,” starring hosts Crystal J and Carlos Hale, a.k.a. LOS.  The program will debut this Sunday (1/7) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 

Round Four of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 PPM ratings information has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Off by a combined -1.1 in November and December (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT slips from second to third. Its -.3 in November ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” exits the top ten (#10 to #12) with its third decline in a row for a collective -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk KVET-AM “AM 1300 The Zone” loses six-tenths (1.1 – .5, #23, 6+). Bouncing back from November’s -.8 (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” hangs out a +2.1 to 7.6, its best 6+-stat since February’s 8.0, and zooms from fourth to second. Although flat at #4, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to November’s gain of nine-tenths (5.5 – 6.2, 6+). From May through September, “Kiss” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December’s 6.2 is its best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Emmis Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9, 6+), which advances from a three-way tie at #18 to #13. Within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for the sixth straight month, adult hits sibling KBPA “Bob” (8.8 – 8.4, -.4, 6+) is #1 for the tenth time in succession. November’s +.5 to 8.8 gave “Bob” its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since 7.4 in June 2015. A one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+) takes Univision Radio’s KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” (#12 to #11) to its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). On the heels of a November gain of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” sputters by -1.3 (6.6 – 7.5 – 6.2, 6+), dropping from third to fifth. From March through October, KVET-FM was within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of those eight sweeps; prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Flat at #7, co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” drops one-tenth (4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to trending 2.5 – 2.3 (6+) in November, KOKE-FM hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In four successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and carries on at #16.

2) Raleigh – A loss of one-half share in October halted six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” (8.1 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row. Climbing from fifth to third, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is +2.1 in November and December (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+), with 7.7 its strongest 6+-performance since 8.4 in May. November’s gain of one full-share put to an end eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix 101.5” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. Over and above adding one-half share to November’s +.2 (8.9 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the seventh straight month with its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Owing to a loss of four-tenths to 4.6 (three-way tie at seventh to tenth, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has its string of consecutive improvements that more than doubled its 6+-share (+2.6) end at four (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+). November’s 5.0 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), with 5.0 matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Its cross-town competitor, Curtis Media Group’s WPLW “The Pulse FM – All the Hits,” picks up two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) and remains at #13. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, third-place tie to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” rebounds from November’s -.8 with a +.2 (3.1 – 3.3, 6+), continuing at #13 (tied with WPLW). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods.

3) Indianapolis – Five up or flat trends in succession by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) account for a +1.4 as “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” (#13 to #14) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WYXB pull the plug on three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” hangs out a +2.3 to 7.8 (6+), catapulting it from seventh to first. Whereas December’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, November’s 5.5 was its weakest in five years (5.3, November 2012). At this time last year (December 2016), WYXB notched an 8.3 (6+). The lead over the station it displaces at #1 – Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK (7.7, -.1, 6+) – is just one-tenth. On top in September, October, and November, WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, halting three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). An overall -1.1 in four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) and carries on at #12. By tacking on a +1.6 to November’s one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” progresses from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. Just over one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” Via six successive sweeps without a loss, the Cumulus Media-owned frequency at 93.9 is a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #12, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.6, as WYRG sibling WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off nine-tenths (second to fourth, 6+), while Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regresses by seven-tenths (third to fifth, 6+). A combined +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; and now -.9 in December (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 6.6, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. In three straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Albeit flat at #11, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (3.5, November 2016). Locked on 4.4 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” dips by one-half share to 3.9 (ninth to tenth), its lowest 6+-share since May’s 3.8.

4) Milwaukee – In an impressive streak, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (steady at #2) is +1.9 in five straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Its challenger – Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” – is flat at 6.4, slipping from fourth to fifth (6+). As the result of three consecutive downward moves that began in September (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WLDB “B-93.3” regressed by a collective -1.4, but the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary property dusts itself off with a gain nearly twice the size of that deficit (2.9 – 5.6, +2.7, 6+), rocketing from #14 to #7. This is the best 6+-stat for “B-93.3” since 8.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Unchanged at #13, alternative cluster-mate WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” is up one-half share to 3.8 (6+), halting three consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of one full-share (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Winning ways continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH (fifth to third), which is an overall +3.0 since August in four consecutive increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). This is the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print exactly three years ago (December 2014). One-half share ahead of WISN is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which is on top for the 33rd consecutive ratings period, even though it spirals by (-1.6, 6+). WRIT continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” plummets by one full-share (5.5 – 4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) after November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). The last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slides from eighth to ninth. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -2.6 in four successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit that it is down for the third month in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #11, 6+), Entercom-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” bypasses iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #11 to #14, 6+). This is the first time in the last 11 sweeps that “Kiss” (3.9, 6+) has not been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). It is a case of “slow and steady” for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE, which gains a cumulative one-half share in eight straight ratings periods without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) with no increase greater than one-tenth. Tied with it at #21 is iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station,” which is up or flat for the fifth time in a row for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+). Four straight negative moves (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6, 6+) have resulted in Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI losing roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6); “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” exits the top twenty (#17 to a three-way tie at #21 with WMSE and WOKY).

5) Nashville – Two of the market’s news/talk outlets (nearly equally) combine for a -2.4 (6+). Specifically, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.3 (#11 to #13, 6+), while Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.1 (5.7 – 6.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). Up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, WPLN-FM surrendered seven-tenths in November; “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.9 in November and December (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Five straight positive spikes by Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA generate an overall +3.5 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.1. Prior to November and December, the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position was in April. When Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” faltered by two-tenths in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). The flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans roars back in December though with a +1.4 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (6.8, December 2016), and leaps from tenth to sixth. Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Bumping up by seven-tenths each are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” (6.6 – 7.3, 6+, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” (6.0 – 6.7, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Jack” bounces back from November’s -.6, while “The Rock” has its best 6+-share since August (7.5). After dropping eight-tenths in November (3.3 – 2.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” recaptures one-half share to 3.0 (6+) and carries on at #14. The station that WJXA succeeded at #1 in November after spending two months there – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” – is without an increase for the third time in succession for a cumulative -1.7 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), slipping from second to third. In October, “The Beat” relinquished two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Down for the third time in a row for a collective -1.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.9 in February. Likewise, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off an overall nine-tenths in three straight negative trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and is anchored at #15. In the market’s country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, flat at #9); while Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” adds three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the sixth consecutive sweep.

6) Providence – Steady in seventh-place, Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.6 in its third straight upward move of