Tag: "Beasley Media Group"

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff 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. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

| May 9, 2019

Emmis Revenue Down 4% in Fiscal Q4.  Radio revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018 for Emmis Communications was $22.2 million, down 4% pro forma for the sale of its Los Angeles and St. Louis radio stations.  For the full fiscal year of 2018, pro forma revenue was $108 million, down 2% in markets that were down 1%, according to Miller Kaplan data.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “While the fourth quarter didn’t finish as strongly as we would have liked, we are seeing significant strength as we commence the new fiscal year.  Emmis’ first fiscal quarter is pacing up 5%, and ticket and sponsorship sales for Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Emmis’ largest event which occurs in June, are pacing well ahead of last year.  Our renewed focus on digital is bearing immediate fruit, with Q1 digital revenues pacing up 50%.  Ratings remain strong across all our brands and I’m confident that our ratings success will allow us to sustain this growth.  With the scaling down of NextRadio that occurred last year, coupled with the company’s recent refinancing, Emmis has one of the best balance sheets in the radio industry, which has been enhanced by our strong operational start to this fiscal year.”  In the report, Emmis noted that it completed a refinancing of its credit facility on April 12.  The refinancing lowered the company’s cost of capital from 10.5% to 5.8%.

Urban One Q1 Broadcast and Digital Net Revenue Up 6.1%. First quarter financial data from Urban One, Inc. shows the company as a whole posted net revenue of approximately $98.4 million, a decrease of 1.2% from the same period in 2018.  However, the broadcast and digital sector’s operating income was approximately $34.5 million, an increase of 6.1% over Q1 in 2018. Operating income during 2019’s first quarter was approximately $16.1 million compared to approximately $7.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net loss was approximately $6.7 compared to net loss of approximately $22.6 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III comments, “While our radio division finished the quarter a little softer than expected, the Q2 pacings show a strong rebound, with April up mid-teens and Q2 overall pacing up high single-digits.  TV One advertising revenues performed nicely, with ratings remaining relatively stable, and subscriber churn was largely offset by contractual rate increases. Our digital segment was impacted by the timing of a tent-pole event, which caused some revenue to spill over into Q2, however the reorganization of expenses that occurred at the end of 2018 meant that the division delivered a much-improved EBITDA performance. Our investment in MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, with first quarter net gaming revenues up by 5.6% year-over-year. We remain focused on deleveraging, and during the first quarter we reduced indebtedness by $21.8 million.”

Beasley Ups Heidi Raphael to Chief Communications Officer. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is promoted to chief communications officer at Beasley Media Group.  Raphael had been VP of corporate communications. She joined Beasley in 2017, coming over from Greater Media – where she’d been for two decades – after Beasley acquired its assets.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Heidi has proven time and time again that she is most deserving of being promoted to the position of chief communications officer. While she’s only been at our company for two years, she’s accomplished more than others would in five!  We are so very proud and lucky to have her in our Beasley Media Group family.”  Raphael currently serves on the boards of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, the Broadcast Education Association and the Florida Association of Broadcasters.  In addition, she is a member of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group executive committee.

Chelsey Waddell Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Marketing pro Chelsey Waddell is appointed director of marketing and promotions at iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes WTKK-FM “106.1 FM Talk” and four music-formatted stations.  Waddell previously served in marketing and promotions positions with Radio One in St. Louis and Cumulus Media in Melbourne, Florida.  In this position she’ll work closely with the promotions, events, sales, and programming teams in developing and executing marketing for the Raleigh market’s iconic brands and franchises and will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and will assist with increasing revenue growth for the market. She says, “I’m excited to join the iHeartMedia market-leading team in Raleigh.  I’m looking forward to growing brand engagement among our audiences while driving continued revenue for the stations.”

Shosh Abromovich to Lead iHeartMedia Toledo. Radio sales pro Shosh Abromovich is promoted from SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to market president.  iHeartMedia region president Paul Corvino says, “Shosh has done an excellent job at leading our sales teams in the Toledo market.  She truly understands the value of iHeart’s full spectrum of services and unmatched assets, including radio, podcast, digital streaming, social media and mobile as well as OTT in relation to creating effective branding and results-driven marketing programs.”  The Toledo cluster includes news/talk WSPD-AM/W225AM and sports talk WCWA-AM “FOX Sports Toledo” in addition to five music brands.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated Chad Benson show announces it adds a number of affiliate stations to its roster.  Recently adding the Radio America-syndicated show to their program schedules are: Hubbard Radio’s WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach and KSLM-AM/FM, Portland and Townsquare Media’s KKAM-AM, Lubbock, Texas; KTPI-AM/FM, Lancaster, California; and WNWF-AM, Evergreen, Alabama…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive play-by-play and talk coverage of the PGA Championship taking place next week at Bethpage Black Course on Long Island. Live hole-by-hole coverage, which SiriusXM will co-produce with Westwood One, will air starting at 12:00 pm ET all four days of Championship play. The broadcast will be hosted by Brian Katrek and Taylor Zarzour who will handle the play-by-play.

The Mueller Report/Trump’s Executive Privilege, NYTimes Trump Piece, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, Facebook Bans; Gaza-Israel Violence, and the Royal Baby Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The claim by President Trump that the release of the unredacted Mueller Report is up to him; the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the reactions of the world’s financial markets; Facebook’s ban of “dangerous individuals and organizations”; the violence between Gaza and Israel; and the birth of the royal baby 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. Radio programming pro Dustin Kross joins Radio One to serve as CHR format director in charge of the company’s WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “RadioNOW 100.9” and KROI-FM, Houston “RadioNOW 92.1.”  Kross comes to Radio One from his most recent position as program director and morning host for Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”  Radio One vice president of programming Colby Tyner says, “We are excited to be working with Dustin, his expertise and passion for the top 40 format is just what we need in Houston and Indy.”…..The WHQC, Charlotte-based, regionally syndicated “Ace & TJ Show” announces it has officially named Laura Vinson, a.k.a. Intern Sass, a permanent member of The Ace & TJ Show.  She began her career with The Ace & TJ Show as an intern in January 2018.  Vinson says, “I’m excited and honored to be the newest member of ‘The Ace and TJ Show.’  I’m thankful for the overwhelming amount of support.  I can’t wait to bring more sass and continue this journey with our radio family.”…..United Stations Radio Networks is distributing “The Summer of 1969,” produced and hosted by Dick Bartley, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the summer of 1969.   The radio special will be available for air this summer and is perfect for classic hits/oldies-formatted stations.  Music in the special will include many of the biggest songs of that summer, including major hits from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Creedence Clearwater RevivalBlood, Sweat and Tears, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, as well as great novelty hits like “Sugar Sugar” from The Archies.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

| May 8, 2019

It’s Official: Rich Zeoli Moves to AM Drive on WPHT, Philadelphia. Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is making the move to the WPHT, Philadelphia’s morning drive daypart, effective May 13. Zeoli is taking over the show most recently hosted by Chris Stigall, who exited the station earlier this year. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Rich is a compelling and thought-provoking radio host and we’re looking forward to seeing him shine in the mornings on WPHT. From interviewing the president to covering what’s hot in pop culture or entertainment, to Rich’s passion for recognizing local police officers, his funny and poignant style always shines a light on what everyone is talking about.” Zeoli comments, “For years I have had one simple goal: to blend information and humor to make entertaining talk radio. Moving to mornings is an honor and a challenge and I’m thrilled that my team will be moving with me.” Zeoli has been with the company since joining as a talk host in 2010.   He became afternoon drive host in 2015.  Zeoli is also the founder of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in media training, public speaking, and strategy. His clients have included Fortune 100 C-Suite executives, national television personalities, and bestselling authors. He is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (2008, Skyhorse).  WPHT has made no statement about its plans for the now-open afternoon drive depart.

Nashville Sports Talk Personality George Plaster Launching Daily Show on WSM-AM. The Tennessean reports that Nashville sports talk personality George Plaster is returning to the air full time to host a daily, afternoon sports talk show on Grand Ole Opry’s country WSM-AM, effective July 15.  Plaster has been serving as athletics director at Belmont University since 2016.  Plaster first started doing sports talk radio on WWTN-FM, Nashville in 1989. From 2003 through 2012, he hosted afternoons on crosstown WGFX-FM “The Zone,” and moved to WPRT-FM “102.5 FM The Game” in 2012.  Despite its afternoon drive air time, the show will be called “Sports Night with George Plaster.”

Connoisseur Sells Billings Cluster to Desert Mountain Broadcasting. The Billings, Montana cluster of six stations owned by Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media is going to Desert Mountain Broadcasting for $3 million in a just-announced deal.  The cluster includes news/talk KYYA and sports talk KBLG in addition to four music-formatted brands.  Connoisseur regional vice president and general manager Cameron Maxwell formed Desert Mountain Broadcasting in 2018 with the intention of acquiring the stations.  He says, “And now I’m in the very rare position to be able to launch my new media company by purchasing from these exceptional broadcasters six radio stations I’ve helped to create.  I’m forever grateful for this incredible time with Connoisseur Media and the constant mentoring they’ve provided.  With this first acquisition, Desert Mountain Broadcasting launches today on a solid foundation, built upon the values and best practices embedded in me by [Connoisseur CEO] Jeff [Warshaw], [CFO] Mike [Driscoll], and COO David Bevins.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio. Among the challenges news/talk radio faces today is the aging of its audience and the desire by many broadcasters to attract younger listeners to the format. Opinions on how to achieve this – and there are those who question whether it can be achieved at all – vary greatly.  Some believe broadcasting on FM is a necessary first step while others say the whole approach to the format must be re-thought for the Millennial generation.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  Panelists include (pictured below): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Greg Foster, VP of programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia and KOA, Denver PD; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM, Hofstra University; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-news KYW gets a brand refresh as Entercom unveils a new logo and an update to its iconic jingle.  The company says the changes reflect “its multiplatform growth and evolution.”  KYW worked with legendary arranger and Philadelphia native Larry Gold on the modern update to its beloved jingle. Entercom SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio has evolved into a modern news organization serving a wide range of listeners across various platforms and we are proud to introduce visual and audio enhancements that reflect who the station is today.  The station is a local treasure that remains an integral part of the city and to honor those roots, we worked with hometown artists to capture its essence and develop the refreshed brand identity.  Everyone in town sings our jingle and we’re thrilled to introduce this new contemporary sound.”  Check it out here…..Sun Broadcast Group announces the opening of its West Coast office in Los Angeles as part of its expansion efforts and the hiring of Ed Moloney as affiliate content director, effective immediately.  The company says Moloney will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, and support other programming efforts for new additions to the SBG line up such as “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and more.  For the past eight years, Moloney programmed the syndicated version of JACK FM.  He has also served with Westwood One, Entertainment Radio Networks, KCBS and KYSR, Los Angeles and WBCN, Boston…..Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM, Atlantic City is changing its FM simulcast to 95.5 FM.  The company announces that, effective immediately, the station is being heard there in addition to 104.1 and, of course, 1450 AM.  But, the 104.1 FM simulcast will eventually go away.  Townsquare also says it’s not done making major announcements about the station, saying, “WPG is getting even bigger and better very soon…” Stay tuned!

MIW Radio Group Announces 2019 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Participants. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces the four radio professionals selected to participate as mentees in the 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program.  They are: Andrea Clay, national sales manager, Beasley Media Group Charlotte; Katy Dempsey, program director and morning show host, Bryan Broadcasting, College Station, Texas; Nicole Jones, manager of sales training & development, Cumulus Media Chicago; and Jennifer Seelig, director of news & programming, Entercom San Francisco.  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 broadcasting.  Beasley Media Group, LLC is, for the second year in a row, serving as the lead sponsor of this year’s program.  Lindsay Cerajewski, chair of the 2019 MIW Group Mentoring Committee and national sales manager/new business development, Entercom Chicago says, “Each year, this coveted program generates more and more interest and therefore applications.  We are very encouraged by the quantity and quality of candidates desiring to grow their careers in radio, and this year’s class definitely reflects the excellence we’re seeing in our applications.  Let the mentoring begin!”

Mueller Report/Barr Contempt Vote, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Nuclear Deal, NYTimes Trump Losses Story, 2020 Presidential Politics, Colorado School Shooting, and North Korea Missile Test Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7). The ongoing reactions to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ option to consider Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress for his refusal to turn over the complete report; the financial markets react to President Trump’s reigniting the tariff war with China; Iran backs out of the nuclear deal it entered into with six other nations; The New York Times’ story about Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Tuesday’s shooting at a Colorado high school that left one dead and several injured; and North Korea’s latest missile test were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The “Todd & Jayde” morning show announced that May 31 will be the last broadcast on WPLJ-FM, New York as a hot AC outlet.  Owner Cumulus Media is selling the iconic FM to Educational Media Foundation and that company will flip the station to a Christian music format…..The Daily Chronicle reports that Bustos Media is acquiring the Centralia, Washington FM KFNY from the Ocean Station II Trust, operated by iHeartMedia.  The station has been airing a smooth jazz format for the past couple of years as it awaited acquisition by another broadcaster.  Bustos owns KDDS-FM in the market that currently airs a regional Mexican format.

Friday, April 26, 2019

| April 26, 2019

Mark Levin to Air Interview with President Trump. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin is presenting an exclusive interview with President Trump on his Westwood One program later today (4/26).  In the segment, the president tells Levin he’ll be proud to run on a position that continues prohibiting felons from voting and accuses Democrats of moving to the far left.  Trump also weighed in on the Mueller Report.  Check out some of the audio from the interview here.

NJBA to Induct Class of 2019 into Hall of Fame.  At this summer’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention in Atlantic City, the state broadcasters organization will induct seven into its Hall of Fame.  Being enshrined this year will be: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (who will also present a keynote address at the convention), iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren DavisTownsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson, Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce, Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan, WFPG-FM, Atlantic City “Lite Rock” morning host Eddie Davis, and late national syndication and WCTC-AM, New Brunswick talk radio legend Bruce Williams.  Also at this year’s event,TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison will address the conference as a featured speaker.

Jim Bohannon Helps WDUN Celebrate 70th Anniversary. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night personality Jim Bohannon (right) with WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia EVP and general manager Bill Maine (left).  Bohannon visited his affiliate station in the market yesterday (4/25) to attend its 70thanniversary celebration luncheon.

Kellie Holeman Named Market President at iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio executive Kellie Holeman is moving from iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point cluster to serve as market president.  The station group consists of news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music formatted stations.  iHeartMedia area president Bill McMartin says, “I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region.  Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment.  Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm, and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.”  Holeman served as market president for a seven-station market for iHeartMedia Toledo for the past seven years.

Detailed Agenda for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Posted.  Although speakers and sessions are still being added, the basic detailed agenda for the forthcoming 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most important annual gathering of the talk media industry is now posted and can be accessed here.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The sheer quality of this convention’s lineup of speakers is a testimony to the present-day vibrancy of talk radio and the associated talk media industry. This is the place to be for anyone who is serious about their career and business in the field of talk shows.”  The event will take place on Friday, June 7 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 55 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including influential talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, fast-paced day!  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. A full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address Talk Radio’s Challenges and Opportunities Generating Revenue in 2019.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely useful and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges faced by and opportunities available to talk radio in 2019 in advertising sales, digital marketing, and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019,” the session will feature panelists (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, “AsaRx”; Vince Benedetto, CEO Bold Gold Media GroupSuzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood OneChad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus Media New York; Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The discussion will be moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The session will be introduced by Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  The panel will identify problems as well as solutions inherent in the sales and marketing of talk radio as the medium integrates its multi-platform assets into the rapidly evolving digital era.   Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

WMVP’s Zederman Launches Fitness-Nutrition Podcast. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports some podcast news out of the Windy City. Danny Zederman, who serves ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP-AM as executive producer of the late morning “Kap & Co.” with host David Kaplan, is striking out into the podcast space with the health, nutrition, and fitness-focused “The Armchair Nutritionist” program.  Zederman tells Feder, “I target a demographic that usually goes unserved in the health and nutrition marketplace: the newbies trying to figure out health and nutrition in order to get themselves on track in life with the limited time they have in the day.”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 22-26.  The reaction to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ calls for impeachment of President Trump were the top news/talk stories this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration’s plan to ignore subpoenas from House leaders.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential candidates and their political strategies, followed by the Southern border migrant issue 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. Programmer Dave Numme is promoted to format captain for hot AC and rock brands for Alpha Media.  Numme serves as content director for hot AC KEZR and classic hits KBAY in San Jose, positions he will continue to hold.   Numme says, “Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience.  It’s exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our content managers to have fun and win.”…..In Rhode Island, Hall Communications appoints April Shibley to the position of promotions manager for WCTK-FM, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”  She previously served with Cumulus Media New York as promotions director.  Hall Communications VP of programming Bob Walker says, “April is a true industry pro and we are thrilled to have her join us in Providence.”…..WCMF, Rochester midday personality Dave Kane is the subject of a feature piece in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week.  The piece reveals Kane’s thoughts on classic rock from the late 1960s and the 1970s and why it still resonates with people.  Kane is being honored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame for his 38 years of work on the rock station at a ceremony on Sunday (4/28).

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream rock.  Based on weekly 6+ AQH share, about half the rock stations in PPM markets saw their ratings go up and about half saw them go down.  Comparing March 2018 to March 2019 slightly more than half (56%) of rock stations saw ratings improve year-over-year.  Three rock stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the March survey: Hubbard Radio’s KSHE, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence.  See the whole report here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Friday, April 12, 2019

| April 12, 2019

Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list.  The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show.  It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’”  The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith.  See the list here.

KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich.  Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’  He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts.  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.”  The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers.  Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!”  The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials.  Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.

Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations.  Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media.  Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations.  He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS.  Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country.  The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.  Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions 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.

TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist.  Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format.  Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans.  The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months.  Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station.  Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.”  After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield.  A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.

Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps CompanyRalph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM.  Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back.  When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none.  He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels.  I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!  I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country.  This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.  The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.  Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince GillRandy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve WarinerMark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

| April 9, 2019

Craig Carton Appears on WEPN’s Michael Kay Show After WFAN Decides to Pass.  Three days after receiving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in a concert tickets re-sale Ponzi scheme, former WFAN morning personality Craig Carton made an appearance on WEPN “98.7 ESPN” on the afternoon drive Michael Kay show.  Carton talked about his sentence, his gambling addiction, and the sports talk battle between WFAN and WEPN.  The New York Post’s Greg Joyce reports that Carton’s former partner – WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason – told his listeners that Carton, contrary to internet chatter, had not “backstabbed” WFAN by going on the competition.  In fact, he offered to go on the “Boomer and Gio” show to talk, but Esiason felt uncomfortable with that.  He said, “At the end of the day, [WFAN vice president of programming Mark] Chernoff and I sat down, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it.  I really didn’t.  I don’t know necessarily if they talked to Mike [Francesa] about it, or whoever.  I know that he went on with Sid and Bernie [on WABC Radio].” Carton wrapped his appearance on the Michael Kay show by saying he “owes his audience an apology” and “he thanks those who believed in who he was and what he said on-air.”  He also advised people dealing with addiction or who are victims of sexual assault to seek help.

In the Halls at the NAB Show. Pictured above at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas are (from l-r): NPR CEO Jarl Mohn, Geller Media International president Valerie Geller, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, and the NAB’s Josh Miley.

2019 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City. Consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show covering the confab for TALKERS magazine.  Coverage from Monday includes his notes from the opening presentation by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith that included bestowing actor Alan Alda with the NAB’s Distinguished Service Award.  See his report here.

Trump’s Homeland Security Purge/U.S.-Mexico Border Battle, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Mueller Report Aftermath, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Netanyahu Re-Election Bid, NCAA Final, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The ouster of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the further purging of DHS officials and the related state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts by the House Ways and Means Committee to get access to President Trump’s tax returns; the aftermath of the Mueller Report and Attorney General William Barr’s appearance before a House appropriations subcommittee; guilty pleas in the college admissions scandal; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for re-election; Virginia beats Texas Tech for NCAA hoops crown; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Chris Daniel Celebrates 10 Years On-Air. Pictured above is KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno afternoon drive host Chris Daniel (wearing hat) at a special live event to celebrate his 10th anniversary in the position.  Standing with Daniel is Fresno Mayor Lee Brand who presented Daniel with a framed declaration marking “Chris Daniel Day” in the city.  Hundreds of Daniel’s loyal fans attended the event that featured music and comedy.  Daniel told the crowd, “Thanks for being there, thanks for listening, but most of all – thanks for the laughs!”

Beasley Media Group Partners with ConnectedTravel for HyperDrive Rewards Safety Promotion. As the result of an increase in fatal crashes in Nevada in 2018, the firm ConnectedTravel is expanding its HyperDrive Rewards mobile app to the Las Vegas market with the assistance of Beasley Media Groups local stations.  HyperDrive Rewards is a free app that gamifies everyday driving challenges, helps users to improve their driving habits on the road, and offers them points and rewards for success.  The app, available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, alerts Las Vegas drivers when and where they speed, how often they use their phone, how they accelerate, how they brake, and how much time they spend on the road and in traffic.  The multi-city rewards can be redeemed for cash and gift cards from over 50 local and online retail partners.  Beasley’s stations – including news/talk KDWN and its four music-formatted siblings – are promoting the app.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Christine Malovetz is promoted to assistant program director at Entercom’s alternative WNYL-FM, New York “ALT 92.3.” She’ll continue to host the station’s midday show.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan says, “Christine has been a huge contributor to the team.  She’s been my true partner-in-crime and I’m thrilled for her on this much-deserved promotion.  Christine has her finger on the pulse of alternative music in New York and we look forward to the station’s continued growth under the leadership of this team.”…..Programmer Curtis Johnson is named program director for Lotus Communications’ Fresno rock outlet KKBZ “105.1 The Blaze.”  Johnson takes over for Jon Ballard, who recently exited the station.  Johnson notes in his Facebook post he’s been out of radio since leaving One Putt Broadcasting in 2014.  “Today starts a new chapter in my career… My skills may be a little rusty, but I still have a face for radio.”…..WUSY, Chattanooga “U.S.101” morning show “Mo & StyckMan” (pictured at left) is honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Radio Award for “On-Air Personality of the Year – Medium Market.”  The show was recognized at the annual Radio Winners Reception in Las Vegas…..Through his entertainment company the Elvis Duran Group, New York-based radio star Elvis Duran is embarking on a nationwide talent search for documentaries, docu-series, reality and lifestyle shows.  EDG is working with NYC TV/film/digital production firm Atlas Media Corp to leverage Duran’s “10-plus million listeners to help find talent.”  The press release says, “This innovative nationwide casting initiative will deputize millions of eyes and ears to help find talent that Atlas Media and the Elvis Duran Group can develop into TV shows, documentaries, short-form webisodes, podcasts, and other content. Through verbal prompts on the top-rated Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, and related social media blasts, listeners and fans will be encouraged to submit their TV-friendly friends, family members, and interesting local personalities to a nationwide talent search on elvistvcasting.com. Atlas and EDG will review the submissions and offer development deals to the most promising talent. Resulting projects will be pitched to networks and SVOD platforms.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival taking place on Saturday, May 4 at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin.  The free, daytime event will feature live performances by: Russell Dickerson, Michael Ray, Lauren Alaina, LOCASH, and Morgan Wallen.

iHeartMedia Execs Honored by UJA-Federation of New York. Last week’s gathering of music and media executives at Freds at Barneys New York was a precursor to the June 11 UJA-Federation’s Music Visionary of the Year Award Luncheon at which iHeartMedia’s Bob PittmanRich Bressler, John Sykes, and Tom Poleman will be honored for their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements.  Pictured above from left to right are: Rob Stringer, Fred Davis, Julie Greenwald, John Sykes, Bob Pittman, Daniel Glass, Rich Bressler, Tom Poleman, Jessica Reif Ehrlich, Kevin Liles, Barry Weiss, and Avery Lipman.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

| March 27, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  The period between the end of the NFL season and the start of the MLB season usually means a dip in ratings for sports talk radio stations and this year is no different as 73% of sports talkers see a decrease in their weekly 6+ AQH share from the January 2019 survey to the February 2019 PPM survey.  Comparing last February to this, about half of the sports talk stations on our panel are up with the other half down or unchanged.  Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” was the highest-ranking station (6+) during the February survey, finishing the month at #3 in the Boston market with a 6.4 share.  Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 FM The Fan” is the sports station with the highest 6+ share in February with a 6.5.  See all the data here.

Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network Renew Through 2023. Talk radio pro Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network will continue to work together through 2023 as Salem announces the company and Gallagher have agreed to a new contract.  Gallagher’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show is heard on more than 420 affiliate stations via SRN.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are honored to have had Mike Gallagher in our Salem family for over two decades and thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with him.  Mike’s thoughtful and expert commentary is exactly what America needs in these turbulent times we live in, and it’s no wonder he is Salem’s highest-rated program.”  Gallagher comments, “Every broadcaster should be lucky enough to work for Salem Media Group.  I’ve worked hard and they’ve rewarded me with a partnership that will have spanned at least 22 years, a rarity in our business.  I’m so grateful to Ed Atsinger, Dave Santrella, and Phil Boyce for their support and visionary leadership.  And I will always appreciate Greg Anderson, who has since retired, for believing in me back in 2001 and bringing me into the Salem family.”

Jason Page Joins iHub Radio in Palm Springs. As the Palm Springs locally focused internet radio station iHub Radio approaches its first birthday, it announces that sports talk personality Jason Page is taking over the afternoon drive program, effective April 1.  Page has served with NBC Sports Radio, ESPN, and SiriusXM.  iHub Radio was founded by programmer John McMullen who asked Page to help with coverage of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  McMullen says, “Jason brought his A-game for the entirety of his stay in February and March.  After two weeks of upsets on the tennis courts, I felt that the timing was right on our final broadcast from Indian Wells to wrap up with a positive surprise. We offered Jason a full-time opportunity to not only take our 3 to 6 pm weekday slot, but to join our management team and put his vision in play for social media and other multimedia opportunities that are likely to involve expanding some of our local talent beyond the iHub Radio platform and local market.” In addition to hosting afternoons, Page will be director of multimedia platforms for the media outlet.  McMullen is giving up hosting the afternoon show to focus on management responsibilities. McMullen says iHub Radio is hyper-focused on its local connection to a marketplace rather than proactively seeking a national or global audience.  He adds that as the platform nears its first anniversary and continues to increase its weekly unique audience numbers that rival the terrestrial competition and double the time spent listening of most traditional talk stations, the company will enter its second year with an eye towards creating a handful of programming products that could ultimately be part of the terrestrial radio landscape by 2020.

Cox Media Group: Study Shows Our Customers Are ‘More Satisfied.’ The results of a three-year study designed to measure advertiser expectations and perceptions of traditional and digital advertising at CMG indicates CMG customers rate many CMG advertising solutions at least two to three-times higher than non-CMG advertisers rate similar competitor services on return on investment.  The survey of more than 450 businesses – including CMG customers and non-CMG customers – was done by research firm Magid. The advertising solutions include programmatic advertising, digital video, native, and traditional media.  Cox Media Group EVP of content, digital strategy, technology, and research Marian Pittman says, “This is part of the culture and commitment at Cox Media Group.  Our entire team is focused on driving results for our advertisers, providing innovative solutions and being a true partner for our clients.  We have a relentless focus on tracking, monitoring and optimizing every advertisers’ campaign.  The results of the survey show our clients agree.”

Westwood One’s 2019 Audioscape Report Highlights Podcasting and Smart Speaker Data. The company says this report examines the podcast and smart speaker consumer, listener, and user trends, podcast consumption among smart speaker users, and marketer and agency sentiment for advertising in podcasts and smart speaker environments.  Westwood One reveals some of what it calls the key findings on podcasting and smart speakers: 1) The podcast audience is maturing with the median age advancing from 29 in 2017 to 35 in 2018.  However, 2) podcast listeners are far more engaged and one-and-a-half times more attentive than social media audiences.  3) Smart speaker ownership has tripled in two years with 23% of U.S. households owning a smart speaker, and 4) GenXers – adults between the ages of 35 and 54 – represent the largest segment of smart speaker owners (38%). See more here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis-based, independently syndicated talk host Tony Katz adds Emmis Communications’ KLBJ-AM, Austin to his roster of affiliate stations for his “Tony Katz Today” program, effective April 15. Katz hosts the “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on WIBC-FM and his “Tony Katz Today” talk show airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  KLBJ-AM program director Mark Caesar says, “We are very excited about Tony Katz joining the NewsRadio KLBJ lineup.  Tony is a great guy who knows how to blend his excellent sense of humor with his strong insight on the day’s biggest stories.”…..MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” announce a new multi-year agreement that ensures the station continues to serve as the radio home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.   WEPN has served in this role since 2004.  “ESPN New York” vice president and general manager Tim McCarthy says, “We are proud to continue our 15-year relationship with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  As ‘98.7 ESPN’ continues to expand our listener base, the Knicks and Rangers serve as an integral component of our programming lineup.”…..Bonneville International’s sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix “Arizona Sports” inks a deal to serve as the radio and digital home for the Phoenix Rising FC for the 2019 season.  As part of the deal, “Arizona Sports” will stream all Phoenix Rising FC games live on ArizonaSports.com as well as air three Phoenix Rising FC games on sister KTAR-AM “ESPN 620,” beginning in June.  The partnership will also include a dedicated page of Rising coverage on ArizonaSports.com along with a weekly podcast hosted by Kellan Olson.

Mueller Investigation Aftermath, Obamacare Battle, Jussie Smollett Case, Green New Deal Vote, Israel-Gaza Tensions, Brexit Redux, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).The aftermath of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; the battle between the Trump administration and Democrats over the status of the Affordable Care Act; the Illinois state prosecutor’s decision not to charge actor Jussie Smollett; the U.S. Senate vote on the Green New Deal; the tensions in Israel over the missile strike from the Gaza Strip; the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit status; and NBA action and the NCAA Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is no longer with Radio One as the CHR format captain and program director for CHR outlets KROI, Houston and WNOW, Indianapolis.  Fruge had previously served with the old CBS RADIO in Houston as vice president of programming and operations manager as well as PD for KHMX and KKHH…..On-air personality Amber “Alabama” Cole is the new morning show contributor for iHeartMedia’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM.”  She exited the company’s Chicago country outlet WEBG “Big 95.5” where she was midday host back in December…..Griffin Communications announces that country recording artist Joe Diffie is joining the KXBL, Tulsa “Big Country 99.5” air staff, hosting the midday show.  Diffie is based in Nashville and will voice track the program, even when he’s on the road this summer.  Station program director Brian Jennings says, “Joe’s music is a reflection of the dominance of Oklahoma artists that have become part of the country music soundtrack across the nation. And ‘Big Country’ is the only station in Tulsa that is positioned to properly celebrate that legacy.  Think about the influence that Oklahoma music has on the nation: Joe Diffie, Reba,Garth, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood…shall I go on? Having Joe on as part of the team brings Tulsa pride to his national status.  I am so proud.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

| March 15, 2019

Bubba the Love Sponge Lashes Out at ‘Speech Police’ in WSJ Op-Ed Piece. There’s been a lot of chatter on news/talk radio this week about Media Matters’ attack on Tucker Carlson for stuff he said on the Bubba the Love Sponge show during the period of 2006-2011 when he was a regular guest.  Carlson took an unusual tack and not only didn’t apologize but used the Media Matters attack on him to call out the “speech police.”  Now, Bubba the Love Sponge also rips Media Matters and others in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal that compares Carlson’s battle with that of comic Lenny Bruce some 50 years ago.  The crux of Bubba’s piece is that entertainers in the U.S. have the right to be edgy and to push boundaries even if that includes being rude or profane.  He says that in our culture we accept that kind of language within the context of comedy where we wouldn’t accept it in other facets of life – or at least we used to.   Read Bubba’s piece here.

Mitchinson Exits KFBK, Sacramento Mornings. Sacramento news/talk KFBK parts ways with morning drive co-anchor Dan Mitchinson after almost four years.  Mitchinson worked alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendosa on the “KFBK Morning News” program.  The iHeartMedia station will announce a new co-anchor soon.  Mitchinson posted news of his exit on Facebook.  He wrote, in part, “‘Everything’s got to end sometime.  Otherwise nothing would ever get started.’ And with that (semi) favorite quote of mine, my time here at KFBK has come to an end.  I can’t say it was easy getting up most mornings around 1, but once I was in the car, heading to work, I looked forward to connecting with all of you on air and through social media and sharing stories.”

McCredden Named OM at Townsquare Media Quad Cities. Programming pro Ryan McCredden joins Townsquare Media as operations manager for the company’s five-station cluster in the Quad Cities that includes sports talk KJOC-FM “ESPN 93.5” and four music-formatted stations.  McCredden was most recently programming Houston sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  He’s also programmed news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be able to work with the entire team at Townsquare Quad Cities and their great local brands.  We will have a lot of fun and I look forward to growing upon the success they’ve already achieved.”

Jacksonville Sports Talker Gets FM Translator. “930 The Game” gets an FM translator added to its signal.  iHeartMedia announces that sports talk WFXJ-AM, Jacksonville is now also heard on W247CF (licensed to Orange Park, Florida) at 97.3 FM.  The 99-watt signal covers the southeast portion of the Jacksonville metro. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Geewiz says, “Jacksonville was in need of a strong FM sports station.  We are very fortunate to have the legendary morning show with Mike Bianchi and ‘Harp on Sports with Seth Harp’ leading the sports world in Jacksonville.  The strong FM signal will allow ‘930 The Game’ to have an even wider reach.”

Manafort Sentencing and Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Stories for Week of March 11-15. The second sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the related Trump-Russia investigation tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the college entrance cheating scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the looming national emergency vote in the senate and the related border wall project, followed by the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance 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.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s been just over a year since ESPN returned Stephen A. Smith to a full-time, national radio show with ESPN Radio.  Now, the sports media giant is happy to report the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Stephen A. Smith Show (simulcast on cable’s ESPNEWS) is enjoying a positive uptick in Nielsen’s PPM ratings.  ESPN says since August 2018 the show was up 23% in AQH share (men 25-54)…..The NFL’s Carolina Panthers are moving forward without longtime analyst Eugene Robinson in the radio booth alongside Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke.  Robinson – who was part of the Panthers Radio Network for 17 years – also co-hosts “Charlotte Today” on WCNC-TV, Charlotte.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM serves as the flagship station for Panthers radio play-by-play…..Westwood One is the official network radio partner of the NCAA and will present exclusive live coverage of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, starting with First Four action on Tuesday, March 19.  WWO is producing radio play-by-play for all 67 games – including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One is broadcasting live coverage of NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 6 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8, in both English and Spanish…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” is the newest affiliate station of the Minnesota Twins’ Treasure Island Radio Network via Learfield.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Francisco morning personality Vinnie Hasson re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” to continue co-hosting the station “Sarah and Vinnie” program with Sarah Clark.   Hasson says, “A thousand thanks to [Entercom SVP of programming] Michael Martin and [market manager] Greg Nemitz for their support and leadership, and to my wonderful partner Sarah – you are the best and I look forward to chopping it up with you every day.  I’m stoked to keep rolling with our great team and continue waking up the Bay Area every day.”…..On-air personality and programmer Cameron Moore is adding another set of music director duties to her responsibilities with Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster.  Moore is now MD for WSOC “Country 1037” in addition to her role as midday personality and music director for sister CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1.”  WSOC program director Jack Daniel comments, “Cameron is experienced in the country music format.  She has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have her on the ‘Country 1037’ team and cannot wait to utilize all of her creative input and perspective.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that the “Déjà vu Show” takes over the midday daypart on rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 1077,” effective March 25.  As a result, Teddy Bear moves to the evening show (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm).  WUKS brand manager Kenny J says, “We are extremely excited to have the ‘Déjà vu Show’ here in Fayetteville.  Deja will bring lots of experience, high energy girlfriend talk and lots of fun!  She will take middays to a whole new level.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Elvis Duran is publishing his new memoir, Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud, (October 2019, Atria) In promoting the book, Duran chatted with People magazine about his rise to fame, how he took control of his health, losing more than 100 pounds with the help of celebrity medico Dr. Oz, coming out as gay man on the radio, and how he manages to get major pop stars to talk so candidly about their personal lives.

Monday, February 4, 2019

| February 4, 2019

Jamie Allman Returns to St. Louis Air on Salem’s ‘The Answer.’ Former KFTK-FM morning talk host Jamie Allman will be back on the air in St. Louis after a 10-month absence when he assumes the morning talk show host position on Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380AM & 105.3FM The Answer.”  “Allman in the Morning” will launch on February 28.  He says, “I’m proud and super stoked to be joining a legendary broadcasting company. Salem always puts the listener first and we are a perfect match.  There is no bigger castle of common-sense conservatism in broadcasting.  I’m honored to inhabit a part of it with energy, insight, and entertainment.”  Allman and former employers Emmis Communications and Entercom were involved in a lengthy legal fight over Allman’s dismissal from KFTK-FM in the aftermath of this social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of 2018.  Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Salem St. Louis vice president and general manager Greg Lhamon says, “Jamie is a broadcasting legend in this market.  He’s bright, passionate, and asks tough questions when he interviews political leaders.  He’ll keep them on their toes, that’s for sure.  But his show is just plain fun, too.  We are thrilled to see him return to St. Louis radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Although 70% of the news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2018 survey to the Holiday survey, a relative handful saw modest increases, including iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach (+1.0).  Comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, four stations improved by a full share or better, led by Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+3.1).  No news/talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

Monday Memo: Say What?  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo about a number of bad habits and consistent errors that air personalities often make and that drive consultants (and programmers!) nuts.  Get Cooke’s thoughts on blue language, clichés, the benefit of forward momentum and more right here.

Chris Lavoie Named General Manager of SM Radio Productions. Former Stephanie Miller show executive producer Chris Lavoie is returning to the show as general manager of SM Radio Productions, parent company of “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Lavoie served as the radio talk show’s executive producer from 2004 to 2015.  He was public relations manager for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, California area for the past three years. Lavoie comments, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my longtime radio home and back into the arms of Mama.  I began working with Stephanie as her production coordinator back in 1997 at KABC-AM in Los Angeles and we have a long, 18-year history together.  I’m excited to return to the Stephanie Miller universe to help take the show and SM Radio Productions to the next level.”  SM Radio Productions co-founder Ron Hartenbaum adds, “Chris has been a valued member of The Stephanie Miller Show family for years and we are ecstatic that he is re- joining the team in this newly created general manager role.  He will be crucial in overseeing our exciting, soon-to-be-announced multimedia platform.”

WVON, Chicago’s Cliff Kelley to Leave PM Drive Role. Windy City radio personality Cliff Kelley will be leaving his afternoon drive host position at Midway Broadcasting’s urban talker WVON after his program on March 29.  The company says that Kelley – who has been with WVON for the past 25 years – will remain with the station as community ambassador and as the host of the independently produced “American Heroes” broadcast that airs Saturdays on WVON. He’ll also serve as a regular fill-in host.  Kelley has been the longest serving talk show host at the station since it switched to its all talk format in 1986.  He says, “I don’t want people to look at this as I am retiring.  I’m just rewiring.  There is plenty more work for me to do.”  WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski comments, “Cliff Kelley is one of Chicago’s most influential hosts and has been a trusted source of information for Chicago’s African-American Community for over three decades, forming a host/listener bond that is rarely seen in any market.”  Kelley’s replacement has not been announced.

Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers.  Longtime broadcaster and now college associate professor Donna L. Halper writes a special piece for TALKERS magazine that looks at some of the early African American talk show hosts who made inroads into the spoken-word end of the radio business during radio’s golden age.  Halper writes that at that time in the American radio business, “young black men and women who saw no chance to become announcers or newscasters went into print journalism instead, usually working for black newspapers.” But a few did buck that trend, including New Jersey and New York host Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell.  Read the entire piece here.

Jennifer Williams Promoted to VP of Digital Marketing for Beasley. Marketing pro Jennifer Williams is promoted to vice president of digital marketing for Beasley Media Group.  She has been serving with the company as director of interactive marketing.  In her new role, she’ll be responsible for marketing the company’s digital content platforms and leveraging data to drive traffic, audience engagement, and advertiser growth.  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Williams spent nearly 20 years with Greater Media, Inc where she worked as the director of digital marketing and was responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of the company’s 20 radio properties.  She joined the organization as the marketing director of WCSX-FM in 1997.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Jennifer’s programming background, combined with her digital knowledge, marketing expertise and can-do attitude, made her the perfect choice to lead Beasley Media Group’s digital marketing efforts as we continue to diversify and extend our brands into the multi-platform arena.”

Lorenzo Neal and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Renew. Former NFL star and current morning drive sports talk personality Lorenzo Neal signs a new, long-term contract with Entercom to continue co-hosting the morning drive “Joe, Lo, Dibs” program on KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” with fellow hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Lorenzo Neal continues to drive the San Francisco sports conversation every morning.  His experience as a professional athlete and gregarious personality translates to great radio for listeners of ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ and we look forward to this continued partnership.”  Neal spent 16 seasons in the NFL and he’s been a personality on KGMZ since 2014.

Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander Debut Midday Program on Townsquare’s ‘ESPN South Jersey.’  Former WPEN, Philadelphia “95.7 The Fanatic” personalities Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander are teaming up for a midday sports talk radio show on Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “97.3 ESPN South Jersey,” starting on April 1.  The program is being produced by JAKIB Media Partners and in a press release, Mayes says, “We are thrilled to be back on sports radio in Philadelphia and South Jersey on a powerful radio station that is a download away.  Our plan begins here with plans already to expand regionally before we launch an assault on the national sports radio market.”  The two partnered on a podcast called “Derailed” via WENJ that launched last fall.

Beasley Launches ‘FOX Sports Charlotte.’The new sports talker from Beasley Media Group is heard on three signals in the Charlotte market: WBCN-AM at 1660, W234BY at 94.7 FM, and the HD3 channel of WSOC-FM.  It launches today and carries the full FOX Sports Radio national lineup, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “We are thrilled to bring FOX Sports Radio to the Charlotte Market.  We’re giving sports fans another great option for compelling content in our community.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio personality Jon Weiner, a.k.a. “Stugotz” from ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” now has his own platform in the form of a new podcast called, “Stupodity.”  This is the second original offering from the newly formed Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network created by ESPN Podcasts.  “Stupodity” will be a weekly opportunity for Stugotz’s views on sports and life with visits from the people important to him both professionally and personally…..The University of Illinois and Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM partner to present play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball games – as well as the seasonal coaches’ shows – through the 2023-24 season.  The news, five-year agreement officially kicks off with the 2019 football season…..Westwood One was the official national radio partner of the NFL for the broadcast of last night’s Super Bowl LIII.  Pictured below is Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes (right) with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left).

Denver Sports Talk Personality Irv Brown Dies at 83.   Longtime Denver sports talk radio personality Irv Brown died on Sunday at age 83.  Brown retired from the business in April of 2016 after spending more than 40 years on the air.  He began as a sports reporter on KHOW, Denver in 1974.  For a portion of his career, he partnered with Joe Williams for “The Irv and Joe Show.”  Read Fox 31’s report here.

Ralph Northam Controversy, Border Wall Battle, State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist college yearbook photos; the ongoing battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa, Melanie Mineau joins the morning drive program as the new co-host of “The Morning Krewe with Marc and Melanie.”  Mineau has most recently been hosting her own, successful podcast.  Previously, she served as a co-host on the “Sarah, Ty & Mel Morning Show” on WRQX, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to be back in the building and to be working alongside so many talented people, some of whom are longtime friends.  I look forward to working with Marc and creating great content for the listeners of Tampa Bay.  I’m grateful to the Beasleys and Travis Daily for presenting me with this opportunity.  There is nothing better than hosting a morning show at a heritage station in your hometown!”…..Also from Beasley Media Group, WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert signs a multi-year contract extension to remain in his position with the station.  Robert joined the station in 1981 and has been hosting the midday show for more than 35 years.  Beasley rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR.  His warm, compassionate voice remains an important part of Philadelphia’s broadcast day.  A gifted interviewer and brand ambassador, he truly cares about the community he serves. We are so fortunate to have his talents grace the airwaves.”…..Jason Kidd exits Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington after a three-year stint hosting afternoon drive and serving as APD and music director…..In Wisconsin, Van McNeil joins Magnum Media’s country WVTY, Racine to host the early afternoon daypart.  McNeil comes to WVTY from his most recent position with WISN-TV, Milwaukee.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten 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.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

| January 15, 2019

iHeartMedia Asks Bankruptcy Court for More Time. In a motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston yesterday (1/14), iHeartMedia asks the court to grant it more time in which it (the Debtors) may remove actions from its Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  It is asking the court to give it until June 7, 2019 to address the matters.  It says, “Given the size and scope of the Debtors’ capital structure and business operations, expeditiously moving toward exit from these chapter 11 cases will require significant effort. Due to the Debtors’ efforts to date, they are on track to consummate a restructuring that will maximize value for all stakeholders.  As a result, the Debtors have not yet determined conclusively which Actions, if any, they will seek to remove. The extension requested herein will provide the Debtors with time to make informed decisions concerning which Actions to remove and will ensure that the Debtors’ rights to remove Actions can be exercised in an appropriate manner.”  iHM notes that the rights of parties to the actions will not be unduly prejudiced.  “If the Debtors ultimately seek to remove Actions pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9027, parties will retain their right to seek remand with respect to such Actions pursuant to section 1452(b) of the Judicial Code. Therefore, the Debtors submit that cause exists for the relief requested herein.”

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Marty Griffin Cancer-Free. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces that afternoon personality Marty Griffin – who’s been battling cancer since last year – is cancer free.  Griffin co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show with Wendy Bell on the Entercom station.  He had a PET-CT scan at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center yesterday (1/14) and the results indicate he is officially cancer free.  Griffin was diagnosed with HPV-related cancer near his throat and underwent weeks of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.  He’ll continue with three more months of immunotherapy to increase his survivability rate.  Griffin said upon learning the results of this latest test, “I won the lottery today, its Christmas morning, it’s just beautiful.”

Cattles Named PD at ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk. Afternoon drive talk host Nick Cattles is promoted to program director at Max Media’s sports talker WVSP-FM, Norfolk-Virginia Beach “ESPN Radio 94.1.” Cattles served with the station from 2012 through 2017 when he left for a stint at now-Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  He returned to WVSP last June.  About his promotion, Cattles says, “I’m so grateful for being named the new PD of ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  “I’ve loved my time working as a host at the station and now enthusiastically jump into this next challenge. I’d like to thank Keith Barton, Rusty James, and the ownership at Max Media for this opportunity.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York news/talk WABC will have a place at the radio row for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The “Bernie and Sid Show” featuring Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg as well as Rosenberg’s “Sid Sports Sunday” programs will broadcast from the Atlanta Sheraton.  The “Bernie and Sid” show will broadcast on Thursday and Friday. Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine this is the first time a WABC show has gone on the road for the Super Bowl…..CBS News and Simon & Schuster announce a joint podcast/book project by popular “CBS SUNDAY MORNING” correspondent, humorist, and history buff Mo Rocca. His long love of obituaries has led him to write Mobituaries, an “irreverent but deeply researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him — from an unsung Founding Father to the first Chinese-American superstar, from Neanderthals to the station wagon.”  The Mobituaries podcast premieres January 17 with eight weekly episodes in the first season…..Television talk host, game show host and Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning radio star Steve Harvey is hosting the “NFL Honors” program live from Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Saturday, February 2.  The two-hour primetime awards show is in its seventh year and is designed to recognize the NFL’s best players, performances, and plays from the 2018 season.  It will air at 9:00 pm on CBS TV.

Border Wall Issue, Government Shutdown, Barr Confirmation Hearing, Federal Birth Control Ruling, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Rep. Steve King Troubles, Jayme Closs Case, Today’s Brexit Vote in U.K., and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The ongoing battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the issues surrounding the federal government shutdown; today’s senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr; federal judges block President Trump’s birth control mandate rollback; the potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020; U.S. Rep. Steve King has committee assignments taken away after white supremacist comments in NYT story; missing teen Jayme Closs escapes captor in Northern Wisconsin; today’s Brexit vote in the U.K.; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The LGBTQ-targeted “Channel Q” format comes to Seattle as Entercom adds it to KNDD-HD2 and translator K277AE at 103.3 FM.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are thrilled to bring ‘Channel Q’ to Seattle.  We’re passionate about giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, and look forward to partnering with people and organizations that help the LGBTQ+ community thrive in Seattle.”…..“The Breakfast Club” co-host Angela Yee is named the first-ever BSE Global Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) Ambassador.  As such, Yee will “play a prominent role in helping the organization build deeper connections to Brooklyn neighborhoods to further expand awareness of the company’s events and community initiatives. As part of her position, she will participate in BSE Global’s youth educational programs throughout the community.”  Her nationally syndicated morning program is based at iHeartMedia’s WWPR, New York “Power 105.1.”  Yee says, “As a Brooklynite, this borough holds a special place in my heart and I’m excited to represent BSE Global and identify opportunities that elevate our community to new heights.  Brooklyn has a strong, historic relationship with both music and basketball, and I look forward to working with BSE Global to find new ways to deepen and celebrate that relationship within our community.”…..In Southeastern Wisconsin, Magnum Communications names Mitch Morgan morning show host at country WVTY, Racine.  Morgan also hosts the afternoon show on the company’s sister country outlet WMBZ, West Bend “92.5 Buzz Country,” a position he’ll continue. Prior to his work with Magnum, Morgan served as music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMIL, Milwaukee for more than 25 years…..Two programming staff moves take place at Neuhoff Media’s Lafayette, Indiana station group.  Jared Jesulaitis gives up the program director position at CHR WXXB “B102.9” and takes on the dual roles of sports director for the cluster and morning co-host on sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101-7 The Hammer.”  Rising from APD to program director for “B102.9” is Joe LeCay.  Cluster vice president of programming Mike Shamus comments, “These guys have both worked very hard over the last few years and we are happy to see them move into positions that will make Lafayette an even stronger market for Neuhoff Media.”

iHeartMedia and The CW Renew for Television and Streaming Deal.  Television network The CW and iHeartMedia announce a new, multi-year agreement for The CW to remain the exclusive television broadcaster and video streaming partner for the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the annual holiday iHeartRadio Jingle Ball event.  The two have partnered for the events since 2012.  Under the new agreement, The CW will air a “best of” special featuring one of iHeartRadio’s 2019 marquee events as well as live stream four of iHeartRadio’s Theater Shows from New York and Los Angeles.  The CW Network president Mark Pedowitz says, “The CW has really enjoyed the incredible relationship we’ve shared over the years with our friends at iHeart, as we’re able to showcase for our fans the best of the best in the world of music.  As the exclusive TV broadcast and video streaming partner, The CW is looking forward to continuing our tradition of starting our fall launch with the iHeartRadio Music Festival, celebrating the holiday season with Jingle Ball and adding some new events through the year.”

Friday, January 11, 2019

| January 11, 2019

New Afternoon Show to Launch at KIRO-FM, Seattle; Jason Rantz to PM Drive at Sister KTTH-AM.  Talent changes take effect at Bonneville’s Seattle talk stations on Monday (1/14).  The new “Candy, Mike and Todd” Show launches with hosts Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd HermanHeather Bosch handles news updates twice hourly for the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’ve put together what we feel is a winning team.  Candy, Mike, and Todd are a fun, entertaining and intelligent trio.  They will be a perfect complement to the news, traffic, and weather elements that ‘KIRO Radio’ listeners expect every weekday afternoon.”  Candy Harper most recently served as the afternoon producer on KIRO-FM.  Mike Lewis has worked at KIRO-FM as a reporter and fill-in host since 2016, and Todd Herman moves over from sister conservative news/talk KTTH where he’s been the afternoon drive personality.  As a result of that move, Bonneville shifts KTTH morning show host Jason Rantz to the afternoon drive daypart and brings Saul Spady aboard to host the morning drive program.  Spady is described as “very active in local politics” and an accomplished businessman.  Candy Harper says of the new KIRO-FM show, “Mike, Todd, and I are three opinionated friends who may disagree on almost everything but love to talk about why.  Turns out, people are quite capable of disagreeing on issues and still being decent human beings. This show is going to be unique.”  About joining KTTH-AM for mornings, Spady comments, “I’m excited for this opportunity to create a new type of conservative talk radio show in mornings that gives a 21st century perspective both locally and nationally. I hope to connect with listeners both new and old, transplant and local alike in our quest to create a rational opposition to the rudderless leadership we have in Seattle and Olympia.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  There’s wasn’t great movement up or down for public radio news/talk stations in PPM markets from November to December – 48% were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) and 41% were down. Year-over-year, 39% of those stations were up with 55% of them losing audience share.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in December – KQED, San Franciscio; WAMU, Washington; and KPBS, San Diego – while four other stations ranked #2 in their respective markets. Also in this report is a chart comparing the performances of all-news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk. See the whole story here.

Timeless Wisdom from Radio Legends.  Consultant Bill McMahon, principal of The Authentic Personality, offers some advice to TALKERS magazine readers that he picked up a few years back that he says bears constant reinforcement:

TalenTrak was an annual event in Chicago created by The Conclave to inspire and educate radio personalities. The year I attended, it delivered big-time on both accounts.

Radio legends Larry Lujack and Jonathon Brandmeier were the featured speakers. They put on quite a show. Their passion for radio and its possibilities lifted the conference room at Columbia College. Their performance demonstrated radio’s unique ability to create intimate human relationships. The stories they told about their lives in radio — the ups and downs, the successes and failures — really resonated with the audience. Lujack and Brandmeier established a real connection and emotional bond with everyone in that room. It was great radio.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for aspiring radio personalities from the success stories of Uncle Lar and Johnny B:

Don’t copy anyone. Be yourself and you’ll be distinctive. There is nobody exactly like you. Lujack said it this way. “One of my advantages was not being able to hear big-city radio growing up in Caldwell, Idaho. I never copied anybody because I didn’t have anyone to copy.” Here’s Brandmeier’s perspective: “I don’t know what’s going on in radio.  I don’t listen to other shows. In my head, I’m the only guy on the radio.”

Constantly expand what you know. If you don’t know more than your listeners, you can’t add much to their lives. Lujack “read newspapers and magazines for seven hours a day” to expand his knowledge. Brandmeier said, “I read everything. You gotta to be aware of the world around you. The more you read the more you have to react to. It’s like filling a cooler with meat. I just keep filling it.”

Don’t present anything on the radio that you don’t really care about. If it doesn’t ring your emotional bell, if it’s not interesting, meaningful, or fun to you, forget it. It won’t matter to your listeners if it doesn’t matter to you. Brandmeier put it this way, “if you’re not curious about it or care about it, don’t talk about it. The audience knows.”

Find the right boss — someone who totally believes in you. Don’t go to work for people who want to change you and what you do. They’ll make your life miserable, destroy your confidence, and then fire you. Lujack and Brandmeier’s careers took off when they found PDs who believed in them. Lujack was fired repeatedly by bosses who didn’t understand or appreciate his often “cynical, sarcastic, negative attitude” on the radio and insisted he change. He refused because, “it was easier to be me than somebody I was not. I believed me would work.”  It sure did once he found Pat O’Day at KJR in Seattle. “He was the first PD who encouraged me to be me.” Brandmeier found Don Benson who heard him breaking format doing a midday music show in Milwaukee. Brandmeier recalled, “I would start talking to listeners on the radio the minute the programmers left the building for lunch. I figured they wouldn’t hear me while they were eating.” Benson heard him. He called Brandmeier with an offer that changed his life. “There’s a voice inside you that wants to get out. How would you like to let that voice out on a morning show in Phoenix?” Brandmeier took the job at KZZP. The “voice” Benson heard attracted a few listeners. “They let me do whatever I wanted”, remembered Brandmeier, “and the ratings tripled.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the partnering of Chicago radio personality Kathy Hart with Frank Fontana on Tribune Broadcasting’s news/talk WGN-AM continues with a regular, Wednesday evening show.  Hart, formerly the morning drive co-host on hot AC WTMX, has been sitting in with Fontana on his weekend show since October and now the two will have a regular, weeknight program…..According to a report by Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Laurel Highland Total Communications Inc. has flipped WAVL, Apollo, Pennsylvania (northeast of Pittsburgh) from news/talk as “Talk PA” to variety hits.  It has changed the call letters to WXJX.  The reason for the switch is reportedly due to the disappearance of Laura Ingraham’s daily live radio show and the re-configuration of Michael Savage’s program, combined with the loss of exclusivity for the “Quinn & Rose” show hosted by Jim Quinn and Rose Somma Tennent (pictured here).  Their show is also heard on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh.  Station executive David Waugaman states, “Then we found out Laura Ingraham would be quitting radio and staying with TV [and a podcast].  And finally, finding that Michael Savage was dropping away from radio as well.  So without great replacements, we felt it was best to go with a music format and we have had great success with our ‘Jack’ programming at our radio station down in Morgantown.”

Beasley and UNLV Hackathon Initiative Winners. Pictured above are the winners of Beasley Media Group’s Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019.  Done in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the initiative was launched in October 2018 with the goal of generating potential commercial products and services utilizing existing media technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as to conceptualize the kinds of transformative, disruptive technologies that will become mainstream in the next 20 years.  The first-place team (pictured above) won $5,000 for its work using AM/FM frequencies to charge devices.  The second- and third-place teams won $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Pictured are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, UNLV’s Dr. Mary Croughan, Consumer Technology Association senior director of Innovation & Trends Ben Arnold, Beasley’s Buzz Knight, UNLV students Erick Serrano and Yuria Mann, UNLV’s Zach Miles, UNLV provost Diane Chase, and Brian Beasley.

Celebrating ‘The Sopranos.’ Pictured above is “The Sopranos” actor Steve Schirripa (center), who played Bobby Baccalieri on the iconic HBO series.  He stopped by the WOR, New York studios yesterday (1/10) to talk about the 20th anniversary of the premiere of  the show with morning drive team Len Berman (left) and Michael Riedel (right).

Trump Border Wall Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 7-11. Tuesday evening’s Oval Office address by President Trump about the border wall issue was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing federal government shutdown. Coming at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the potential 2020 presidential candidates 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.

Multi-Platform Performer Kate Delaney Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  She is a woman of many platforms and talents who casts a wide net.  Kate Delaney is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, top business and motivational speaker, best-selling author, and a weekend host for the NBC Sports Radio Network.  In addition, she hosts a long-running news/talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called “America Tonight” and a weekly online feature with Forbes Books showcasing movers and shakers in the business world.  Her most recent book published by Forbes is titled, Deal Your Own Destiny: Increase Your Odds, Win Big and Become Extraordinary.  Delaney is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Delaney discuss sports, politics, business, and breaking the glass ceiling.  Harrison says, “More people in the talk media industry should know about this hard-working renaissance woman and we are so pleased to launch this podcast’s fifth year by spotlighting her views and accomplishments.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3,” evening personality Jordan Alamat gets to take the “assistant” off his music director title.  In a statement, station program director Christy Taylor says, “Jordan has been a key member of Go 96.3’s programming since before I returned.  His knowledge of music as a fan and a musician gives him a passion I’ve rarely seen in a music director.  With great pride ‘GO Radio’ is happy to announce that Jordan Alamat has been officially elevated to music director of ‘GO 96.3.’  Along with his music director duties he will continue to host the most interactive night show in the cities.”…..Sarkes Tarzian’s Fort Wayne, Indiana alternative outlet gets another signal to expand its presence in the region.  The company bought WGBJ-FM, Auburn, Indiana last year and now adds its class A 102.3 FM signal to the “ALT 99.5” format airing on WAJI-HD2, Fort Wayne. Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne VP and market manager Lee Tobin comments, “This expands the reach of Fort Wayne’s only alternative station beyond Allen County into the surrounding counties of northeast Indiana.”…..The syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” show – distributed by YEA Networks – adds two new stations to its affiliate roster. KORQ, Abilene, Texas and KHQT, Las Cruces, New Mexico pick up the program.  It’s currently heard on almost 40 stations nationwide.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

| January 9, 2019

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  The 6+ numbers for all-news formatted radio stations have been fairly steady over the past year.   Increases or decreases in those 6+ weekly AQH share numbers have been pretty small, for the most part.  Of the seven all-news stations that saw decreases from the November survey to the December survey, all were by .3 shares or less.  When it comes to market rank, the majority of all-news stations rank in the top 10 in their respective markets with three – Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago; Hubbard’s WTOP-FM, Washington; and Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit – all ranking #2. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Mike Kasper Joins KBOI, Boise Morning Show. Boise news/talk outlet KBOI announces it has hired market radio pro Mike Kasper to join the morning show, assuming the role that opened with the retirement of Paul J Schneider.  Kasper will work with Chris Walton on the “Kasper and Chris” show, effective January 14.  Kasper previously served in the market hosting mornings on the old KFXD “KF-95” and several other Boise music stations.  Kasper says, “I finally get the chance to work in a news/talk format where, for the first time in my career, I’ll be able to talk with listeners to discuss current events, news, sports, politics and issues that affect our state and the Treasure Valley.”  Station general manager Don Morin says, “KBOI was overwhelmed with the number of qualified applicants and talent wanting to be part of our team.  Through hundreds of applications, Mike’s presence in the Treasure Valley is part of what made him one of the best candidates for the position.  I look forward to 670 KBOI moving into a new era.”

Westwood One: In-Car Display Ads Improve Recall and Effectiveness. From a study by MARU/Vision Critical, commissioned by Westwood One, comes data that indicates the combination of the in-car visual with the over-the-air radio ad “generates a major improvement in advertising recall and impact.”  The study examined consumers with vehicles that have next generation HD Radio technology and revealed the impact of a retailer’s visual in the in-car display when synced to the advertiser’s radio ad.  Some of the findings indicated that the more time consumers spend in the car, the more they pay attention to the visual information.  The study determined that heavy AM/FM radio listeners recall seeing visual information from in-car display screens and two-thirds of heavy AM/FM radio listeners have frequently or occasionally seen the advertiser name or logo on their connected vehicle’s screens.  Moreover, those who recall the retailer’s in-car visuals were more likely to visit the stores.  In fact, 84% of those who recalled seeing the in-car visual synced to the radio ad had visited or planned to visit the store.  See more in the Westwood One blog post here.

Chris Duncan Takes Leave from WXOS-FM, St. Louis. Sports talk host Chris Duncan is taking a permanent leave from Hubbard Radio’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis to focus on his battle against brain cancer.  The former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder has been hosting the midday program “The Turn” with co-host Anthony Stalter.  The station tweeted out the message: “Dunc will be taking a permanent leave from ‘101 ESPN’ to continue his fight against cancer and focus on health.  If you pray, please keep him in your prayers. If you don’t, keep him in your thoughts. He is our brother and we miss him deeply.”  Duncan first joined the station in 2011.  He was diagnosed with cancer about six years ago.

ESPN: Podcast Downloads Increased 43% in 2018. Sports content giant ESPN announces that downloads of its podcasts increased 43% in 2018 as its podcast business saw 411 million downloads.  The data comes from Blubrry, which says its measurement system is certified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.  The most downloaded show was “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” totaling more than 91 million downloads.  “First Take,” the leading television show podcast, was next with more than 31 million downloads.  ESPN says that among its original podcasts, “538: Politics” enjoyed another strong year with more than 26 million downloads, followed by “Fantasy Focus Football” with more than 21 million.

SiriusXM Total Paid Subscribers Hits 34 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM will reveal its fourth quarter 2018 financial data later this month (1/30) but announces today that it added 1.4 million self-pay subscribers in 2018 to bring its total of paid subscribers to 34 million.  The company says that beat its 2018 guidance by about 40%.  SiriusXM issued 2019 subscriber and financial guidance in which it expects to add another 1 million self-pay net additions and projects total revenue of $6.1 billion.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “I’m proud to report that 2018 was not only another year of operational excellence at SiriusXM, with record high subscribers, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA.  Last year also saw SiriusXM achieve important milestones, like the introduction of 360L and significant improvements in our smartphone apps and IP distribution on connected devices.  We attained a record 40% adjusted EBITDA margin in the third quarter, saw our efforts in connected vehicle services bear fruit and, of course, we were extremely pleased to reach an agreement to acquire Pandora Media.”  The company expects to close on the Pandora deal shortly after Pandora’s stockholder meeting later this month.

Talking About the Future of In-Vehicle Infotainment. Pictured above at CES 2019 in Las Vegas is Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley and her fellow panelists who talked about “The Future of In-Vehicle Infotainment” that addressed the future of in-vehicle entertainment, radio’s place in the connected car, and data attribution.  From l-r are: NAB EVP of strategy planning and special projects Steve Newberry; BBC senior distribution manager Ben Rosenberg; Beasley; Xperi SVP of broadcast radio Joe D’Angelo; and author, futurist and founder of Ellis and Associates, John Ellis.

Community Broadcasters Sells Twin Tiers Cluster to Seven Mountains Media. The Twin Tiers region of New York includes the towns of Elmira and Olean, to which the seven stations in this deal are licensed.  Seven Mountains Media is agreeing to buy CHR WNKI-FM, rock WNGZ-FM, country WPGI-FM, news/talk WWLZ-AM and classic country WRCE-AM in Elmira and country WPIG-FM and CHR WHDL-AM/W296DB in Olean from Community Broadcasters for a price yet to be announced.  The deal puts the Kristin Cantrell-led Seven Mountains at the 38-station mark.

Comrex Unveils New EarShot IFB. The new EarShot IFB is a VoIP-based auto coupler for IFB and listen lines from Comrex.  It is designed to help TV stations reduce costs and provide more flexibility for remote IFB feeds.  EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts that serves up to 30 users who can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a standard telephone.  For higher fidelity, the Comrex FieldTap smartphone app can be used to pull audio in studio quality.  FieldTap uses the Opus audio decoder to deliver studio quality audio, and is available to download for free on iOS and Android.

President Trump’s Border Wall Speech, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein’s Future, U.S.-China Trade War, NYC Health Care Guarantee, Fate of Sears, Clemson Beats Alabama for NCAA Football Title, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8). Tuesday evening’s border wall speech by President Trump and the Democrats’ response; the state of the federal government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related status of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio guarantees health care for all; Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s attempt to save the retailer; Clemson beats Alabama in NCAA title game; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley Brings Brian Ives Aboard Centralized Digital Content Team. Content pro Brian Ives was most recently editor-in-chief with Townsquare Media’s Loudwire.  Now, he’s joining Beasley Media Group to serve as managing editor of its centralized digital content team.  In this new position, Ives will be responsible for leading the team that will be supplying its owner-operated and social media sites with breaking news and format-specific content in an effort to drive traffic and audience engagement.   Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Brian’s journalistic background and passionate knowledge about artists and music genres made him perfectly poised to lead our centralized digital content team with the intent to create compelling, multi-platform content.  His background in video, storytelling and interviewing and creating content on multiple platforms will further elevate Beasley’s efforts in the digital space.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Rob Miller is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s South Florida region.  He’s also being elevated to executive vice president of hot AC programming and strategy for iHeartMedia national programming group. He’ll be responsible for the day-to-day operations in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale markets.  He takes this new role after having served as program director for WKTU, New York for the past 12 years……….The new airstaff at iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WISX, Philadelphia “106.1 The Breeze” is named. Mornings will feature former WOGL “Breakfast Club” co-host Valerie Knight.  She’s followed by former “Power 99” operations manager Helen Little in middays and former WBEB afternoon personality Dan Blackman in PM drive. Evenings are being hosted by Premiere NetworksDelilah.  The station flipped to adult contemporary back in November…..In the Twin Cities, iHeartMedia’s CHR KDWB extends its deal with morning show personality Falen for another three years. She is part of the “Dave Ryan in the Morning Show” with Ryan and co-host Steve-O.  KDWB program director Rich Davis says, “I’ll never forget calling and offering the job to Falen late one night in early 2012.  Since then she has connected with the Twin Cities KDWB audience in ways I could’ve only wished for and solidified herself as a true morning talent.  I can’t wait to see what happens next as she continues her career on the ‘Dave Ryan in the Morning Show’ on KDWB.”…..Townsquare Media names Dave Fields afternoon drive host for country WYRK, Buffalo.  He moves to that position from sister WMSX where he did mornings and takes over for brand manager Chris Crowley who recently added programming duties for the re-branded WMSX “96.1 The Breeze.”……Cumulus Media adds the Westwood One-syndicated “The Bert Show” to the morning daypart at CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania…..iHeartMedia announces several new affiliate stations add the syndicated “Rover’s Morning Glory” program, including WNCD, Youngstown, Ohio “93.3 The Wolf”; WFXN, Mansfield, Ohio “102.3 The Fox”; and WZRX, Lima, Ohio.  Host Shane “Rover” French says, “We are thrilled to increase the size of our radio network.  We look forward to getting to know fans in these new markets and are confident that ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ will become their #1 choice for morning radio.”  The WMMS, Cleveland-based show is now heard on 15 affiliate stations.

Monday, January 7, 2019

| January 7, 2019

Jeff Poor Show Launches on WVNN, Huntsville.  Conservative media figure Jeff Poor begins hosting a daily talk radio program on Cumulus Media’s WVNN, Huntsville “NewsTalk 770AM/92.5FM” today (1/7).  Poor serves as the editor of Breitbart News’ media vertical, is a regular contributor to Yellowhammer News, and a political columnist for Lagniappe, Mobile, Alabama’s alternative weekly newspaper.  Poor previously reported in Washington, D.C. for The Daily Caller and the Media Research Center.  WVNN program director Dale Jackson states, “Jeff Poor is an experienced media personality with a real ability to decipher local and national issues.  His experience in media in Washington, D.C. and his Alabama upbringing make him the perfect fit for WVNN.  I am thrilled to add Jeff to our already amazing lineup of local and national talkers.” The Jeff Poor show airs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Sports Talk Moves in Grand Rapids as Cumulus Media’s WBBL-FM Drops Sports. According to MLive.comCumulus Media is flipping sports talk WBBL-FM, Grand Rapids to country in a simulcast with sister WTNR-FM. That means a number of staffers have been let go and the statewide Bill Simonson-hosted program “The Huge Show” is no longer on the 107.3 FM frequency.  Fired from WBBL are morning personalities Eric Zane and Ben Glaze as well as program director Marcus Bradman.  The MLive piece indicates that “The Huge Show” – currently heard on 12 stations across Michigan – will continue as part of an agreement between Cumulus and Michigan Media Network and will be heard in Grand Rapids on Cumulus’ news/talk WJRW at 3:00 pm, effective today (1/7).

iHeartMedia Study: Radio Is Most-Trusted Medium. According to a study commissioned by iHeartMedia, radio is America’s most-trusted medium and iHeartMedia personalities are more trustworthy and relatable than top TV personalities.  iHM states, “The survey found iHeartMedia’s focus on live and local programming and the deep, connection on-air personalities have with listeners has led to iHeartRadio being considered the most trusted name in radio and its on-air personalities being more trusted than leading talk personalities in other media.”  The study further found that “84% of respondents (people) said radio understands what is important to them, a number that is over 20% greater than network and cable television and social media. In addition, 8 out of 10 people feel that radio aligns with their core values, which is number one across all media.” iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman says, “In a time when trust matters most to consumers, trust has become a critical criterium for media investment decisions and these findings are extremely compelling because they spotlight our unique and personal role in people’s lives each and every day.  Furthermore, it spotlights why iHeartMedia is a leader in audio and reaches over a quarter billion listeners each month. Our personalities are more than just a voice on the radio, they are a trusted friend who shares common values 24/7 across 850 stations nationwide…and only iHeartMedia can deliver that scale, with the intimacy and authenticity consumers want.”

Monday Memo: Podcast Ads Work. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo that, according to a Nielsen study, ads on podcasts delivered better and longer audience recall. Additionally, listeners who heard ads delivered by show hosts were 118% more likely to buy the product than those who didn’t hear the ad.  Stitcher commissioner the study and the company’s chief revenue officer Korri Kolesa notes the power of podcasts “to speak to a generation of consumers who tend to be hard to reach through other digital media platforms.”  See the entire Memo here.

Beasley Appoints Lori Burgess Chief Digital Content Officer. Consultant Lori Burgess has been working with Beasley Media Group on integrated marketing strategy since May of 2017.  Now the company names her to the newly created position of chief digital content officer.  In this new role, she will be responsible for designing and overseeing the digital content strategy for the company.  She says, “We are embarking upon an exciting business transformation, one focused on content excellence and proficiency across all media platforms.  This expansion will allow our on-air talent to enhance their local market presence, fostering deeper and more engaged relationships with audiences and advertisers alike.”  During her career, she has worked with such brands as: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

TALKERS News Notes. The CRN Digital Talk Radio-produced “Sports Lounge with Fred Dryer” program is now airing on Dan Patrick Radio heard on SiriusXM Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET.  Dryer – a 13-year NFL pro with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams and film & television actor – partners with CRN chief Mike Horn to talk about sports news and the politics of the game…..Los Angeles-based personality Sheena Metal – who has hosted the “Sheena Metal Experience” show on LA Talk Radio for the past 10 years, is hosting a live, audience-interactive radio broadcast from the Hollywood Improv on January 27.  Metal says the show will celebrate her 10th LA Talk Radio anniversary as well as her five years as live event host at the legendary comedy club and will feature “lots of great celebrity guests on stage, a fun red carpet/meet-and-greet after the show and a chance to meet so many of the fantastic people who have made my daily show the media success that it is!”…..A new iHeartRadio original podcast premieres called, “Pratt Cast,” hosted by “The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt.  She is one of the infamous “The Hills” stars coming back for the sequel.  The podcast gives listeners an all access pass to everything happening on and off of the camera this season…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio reach a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that adds more than 25 new employees – including reporters for the news site Gothamist – to the union’s longstanding collective bargaining unit.  It covers some 175 workers at NYPR.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, Rashida Tlaib Flap, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, U.S.-Syria Policy, Golden Globe Awards, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the federal government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the flap over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comment referring to President Trump as a “motherf*cker”; freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “60 Minutes” interview; the  Trump administration’s Syria policy; Sunday evening’s Golden Globe awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Charlotte CHR WHQC re-brands, leaving behind the “Channel 96.1” brand and taking up the new “HITS 96.1” name.  The air staff at the iHeartMedia outlet remains the same.  Station program director A.J. comments, “Charlotte is a very competitive market and these updates align the brand in a way that capitalizes on its current strengths.  We’re excited to provide a fresh new experience for our listeners.  This is an excellent opportunity for ‘The New HITS 96.1’ to be the home of the biggest hits and stars while allowing our audience to gain access to the greatest music and entertainment events in Charlotte.”…..Westwood One launches a new urban AC morning show into national syndication that stars Rick Party (left)and Sasha the Diva (right). The “Rick and Sasha” show is debuting on 15 stations, including: KMJK-FM,Kansas City; KMEZ-FM, New Orleans; WDLT-FM, Mobile; and more. Rick Party previously served with WHQT, Miami “HOT 105” and Sasha was a personality on WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1.”…..Entercom’s classic rock WCMF, Rochester is celebrating 50 years as a rock station by kicking off its year-long “Rockin’ for 50 Years” celebration.  The station will observe this milestone with special programming and promotions throughout the year, including “50th Anniversary Album Side Saturdays” that will highlight the 50-year music history of WCMF.  Listeners will also be able to tune-in to “Riffer Madness” to hear iconic guitar riffs in classic rock as their cue to call for the chance to win prizes, including a WCMF 50th Anniversary electric guitar signed by current WCMF air staff.  The year-long commemoration will also include anniversary themed merchandise and a new station logo highlighting the history and music of the past 50 years…..Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula announces that Glenn Topolski is named director of on air for oldies WECK-AM/W275BB in Buffalo.  In addition to programming duties, Topolski also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Topolski has served in the market at signals including: WTSS-FM, WBEN-AM, WGR-AM, and WWKB-AM.  Shula says, “Glenn has helped WECK’s rank into the Nielson top 10 since joining 17 months ago.  He has been with us from day one and is a person who lives and breathes radio.  Glenn is a leader for the next generation on our industry.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Bobby Bones is profiled in the January issue of Texas Monthly. The piece delves into his radio journey from Austin to Nashville and his rise to becoming “…the most influential voice in country music today, with the power to turn new artists into breakout stars.”

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. December 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A December decrease of eight-tenths by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is twice the size of its November gain of four-tenths (4.5 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). KLBJ-AM was a combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

In a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX climbs from #16 to #15. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone – Austin’s Sports Talk” has more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+) and is stable at #24.

Following three straight months at #1, KUT segues to #2 (8.5 – 8.2, -.3, 6+); the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet was a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ has been -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 November); and now +1.2 in December (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” carries on at #3. Its current 7.4 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Urban AC KKMJ-HD3, which hadn’t had a decrease since February and was up a collective three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off one-tenth and exits the top twenty (1.4, #20 to #21, 6+). A December gain of seven-tenths to 5.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+) by Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” erases its collective -.7 in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). Just as it did in November, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX posts a gain of six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #11, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Three consecutive down or flat trends by Emmis’ KLBJ-FM accounted for a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” gains three-tenths in December to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to being a cumulative +1.0 in four straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), adult hits sibling KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot it held the past three months to #1. It is the first time since August that “Bob” has held the top spot. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are its alternative cluster-mate KROX “101-X” (3.5 – 2.7, #10 to #14, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (3.1 – 2.3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is the first time “101-X” has been below a three-share (2.7, 6+) since January 2018 (2.9), and KLQB’s lowest 6+-share (2.3) since June’s 2.2. Despite dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in eighth-place. Logging decreases of one-half share each are KHFI’s rhythmic CHR sibling KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” (3.4 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+) and Emmis triple A KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” (2.3 – 1.8, flat at #18, 6+). In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” has lost a collective eight-tenths but remains at #7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” has lost a combined seven-tenths in November and December (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). It was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF regains half of November’s -.2 (1.6 – 1.7, +.1, 6+) and remains at #18. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders half that gain in November and December (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, -.3, #16 to #17, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fourth decline in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.6 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Registering increases of one full-share each are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.1 – 5.1, #11 to #10, 6+) and – from Greensboro – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” (.4 – 1.4, #20, 6+). WKIX reaches the five-share level for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. An improvement of seven-tenths to 5.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” halts a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). An overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) and remains at #14. A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Continuing at #5 is its format rival, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country,” which is a collective -1.9 in November and December (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.1) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (6.0). With a +1.0 in September, WQDR curtailed three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC erodes by -1.5 but “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” stays on top for the fourth straight month. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. It has a 1.2-share (6+) advantage over urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK, which regresses by eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but repeats in the runner-up position; “K-97.5” was up an overall six-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Emmis news/talk WIBC has posted a -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); and now a -.9 in December (7.2 – 6.3, third to  fourth, 6+).

Its sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” records its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8, #16 to #14, 6+) and enjoys its best 6+-stat (2.8) in exactly one year (3.1, December 2017). On the other hand, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” regresses by four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #17, 6+), curtailing five straight sweeps without a loss that netted eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Adding three-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI inches up from ninth to eighth. WFYI was off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Following a collective seven-tenths decline in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” bounces back with an increase more than three times the size of that loss (9.0, +2.2, fourth to second, 6+). Prior to October, “B-105.7” was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). In December 2017, WYXB posted a 7.8 (6+). An improvement of nine-tenths to 7.7 (fourth to third, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” halts three (modest) downward moves in succession that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June – in which time it is even – (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR carries on at #12; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December.  Notwithstanding that it is off by seven-tenths (9.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the sixth month in a row. Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Having finished at #2 in October and November, co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” plummets -1.8 in December (8.0 – 6.2, 6+), segueing to #5 with its lowest 6+-stat since March (6.2, as well). On top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and now -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” has been -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); -.7 (November); and now -.4 in December (5.0 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Down an overall four-tenths in an alternating June 2018 through December 2018 up/down sequence (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), University of Indianapolis jazz/classical WICR “88.7 The Diamond” (down six-tenths in December) falls from #19 to #18. A collective -1.4 via six straight downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+) send Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” from #15 to #16.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There have been some wild fluctuations this calendar year for Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” including -.8 (January); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); and now -2.6 in December (9.4 – 6.8, first to fifth, 6+). This (6.8) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March (6.0). A combined +1.3 in October and November, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” forfeits approximately half that gain in December (6.9 – 6.3, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” advances from #17 to #16. Its loss of four-tenths in November curtailed four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Roughly three-quarters of the way through the November sweep, Good Karma Brands shifted WKTI from country to sports talk. In its first full monthly report in its new format, “94.5 ESPN” erodes by -1.5 to .8 (#15 to #18, 6+). WKTI is now an overall -3.6 in seven straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8, 6+). Co-owned/Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee,” which debuted in November with a .5 (#20, 6+), disappears from print in December. Meanwhile, after quintupling (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” surrenders three-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+).

Owing to three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.5 and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – December 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 (#19 to #18, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Not only does WLDB post a whopping +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7, seventh to second, 6+), “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” is just one-tenth from the lead; the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary outlet posted a 5.6 in December 2017. A December increase of +1.1 (4.8 – 5.9 eighth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” completely obliterates its -1.1 in October and November (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Having been an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in a row (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” erases just over half that deficit with a +.7 to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #13. Progressing from #16 to #15, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” posts its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to November’s +.2 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WKLH “Hometown Rock 96.5” jumps from fourth to first. A station familiar with the top spot is WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies facility spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 but spirals by -1.0 in December (8.7 – 7.7) and is tied for second; WRIT was dislodged from the top spot in October. Off -1.1 in four successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” slips from sixth to eighth. After trending 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 (6+), its urban AC cluster-mate, WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” surrenders one-half share to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). As a result of dropping two-tenths to 7.3 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” interrupts three gains in succession that netted +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Ironically, the decrease comes immediately after WMIL lost its country competitor, WKTI, which is now sports talk (see above).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – In 12 of the last 13 sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, #11 to #14, 6+) has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range 6+; the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0.

Flat at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubles (+.6) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths with a December gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” advances from seventh to sixth. The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. By dropping one-tenth to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” suspends three consecutive improvements that yielded a collective +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

After three down moves in a row in which it was a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is up four-tenths to 3.8 (#14 to #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is +.7 since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+) and reaches #20 in December.

Nashville Music Formats – Adding a +1.9 to November’s +.9 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the 11th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations in calendar year 2018 are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); and now +1.9 (December). In addition to zooming from fifth to second, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.8) in over a year (7.2, October 2017). Wiping away November’s loss of one-half share with a December improvement twice that margin (2.6 – 3.6, +1.0, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU jumps from #16 to #13. Prior to November, “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was an overall +.8 through five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). The +.9 that iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” gained in October and November (6.0 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+) all but disappears in December with a loss of eight-tenths to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+). Owing to four straight decreases, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ is a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), yet “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” climbs from fourth to third. August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+) since January (7.8, as well). The market’s three country FMs finish at eighth, ninth, and tenth as they log a collective loss of -2.1 from November. More specifically, on the heels of November’s improvement of eight-tenths and a -1.0 in September, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” plummets by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, third to eighth, 6+). Stable at #9, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which was +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), is now an overall -.9 in November and December (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but stays at #10.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from seventh to sixth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Conversely, a four-tenths’ loss by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (1.7 – 1.3, #12 to #14, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with Boston hybrid news-talk sibling WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030,” which is up nine-tenths in six straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3, #17 to #14, 6+). Continuing at #21, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has its 6+-share sliced in half since October (.6 – .5 – .3, 6+).

Following four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI returns 80% of that increase (3.8, -1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

By regaining the three-tenths it lost in November (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH progresses from tenth to ninth; WGBH was up one-half share in October. Leveling off at 2.0 (6+) after November’s loss of six-tenths, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH repeats at #10. WELH gained four-tenths in September and in October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public radio news/talk outlets (WELH and WGBH) finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the fifth month in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dials up a +2.7 to 12.1, its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Over the last three ratings periods, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB has fluctuated by one-half share: “B-101” was +.5 (October); -.5 (November); and now +.5 in December (6.4 – 6.9, fifth to third, 6+). Representative WWBB moves earlier in calendar year 2018 include -.5 (January); +.9 (March); +.6 (April); +.9 (July); -.8 (August); and -.9 (September). After returning October’s one-half share increase in November, Hall Communications’ WCTK further erodes by -1.3 in December (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) and is tied for third with “B-101.” This (6.9) is the lowest 6+performance for “Cat Country 98.1” in approximately two years (6.6, “Holiday” 2016). A loss of eight-tenths (7.4 – 6.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) takes Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” below a seven-share (6.6, 6+) for the first time in more than three years (6.9, August 2015).

 Norfolk – Good news continues for iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV, which has ballooned its 6+ stat more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) in five positive spikes in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), zooming from eighth to fourth. At this time last year (December 2017), “Movin’ 107.7” logged a 4.4 (6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, however, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths via four consecutive modest decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” roars back with a +1.5 to 7.2 (fifth to second, 6+). This (7.2) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.5. Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a -2.6 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9, 6+), its urban AC cluster-mate – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is nonetheless #1 for the 25th straight survey period and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 33rd time in the last 34 sweeps. December 2018’s 12.9, however, is its lowest 6+-reading since April’s 12.3. On the other hand, its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A decline of -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to sixth, 6+) sends Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” to its weakest 6+-stat (5.5) since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. In four consecutive down or flat reports, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.2 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last six survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and now -.8 in December (11.2 – 10.4, first to second). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth to .7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Carrying on at #13, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), thus ending three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – By posting a December +2.8 to 10.7 (6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ completely vaporizes its collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” marches from third to first with its strongest 6+-mark (10.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. Finishing on top in June, July, August, and September, WEJZ was 9.0 in December 2017. As a result of four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI was an overall +1.9; however, in December, “Easy 102.9” regresses by four-tenths to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). That particular positive streak immediately followed three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Urban AC sibling WOKV-HD2 improves by one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). Having registered a 3.6 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK sputters by eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) as “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight positive spikes that netted a +1.6 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share to 6.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Recording a gain of four-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” carries on at #9. November’s +.4 pulled the plug on six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in three successive dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which had been in the runner-up slot the past three months, segues to third.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding three-tenths to November’s increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). A loss of four-tenths in October halted at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” has lost a collective three-tenths in November and December (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, flat at #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which recorded a 1.8 (6+) the past three reports, slips three-tenths to 1.5 (#14 to #15); WZZR gained one-half share in August. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD picks up one-tenth (.9 – 1.0, 6+) and returns to West Palm Beach’s top twenty (#22 to #18, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), WLRN jumps from eighth to sixth. Immediately prior to the November sweep, the Dade County School Board news/talk station logged three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – On the heels of November’s four-tenths’ improvement, Alpha Media’s WEAT dials up a +1.9 (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9, 6+) as “Sunny 107.9” zooms from fourth to second. Off six-tenths in October, “Sunny” has its best 6+-showing (6.9) since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. After plummeting by -1.8 in November, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” makes up more than half that loss with a +1.0 (8.9 – 9.9, 6+) and is #1 for the 12th sweep in succession. WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). Following back-to-back gains that netted one-half share (.8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami adult contemporary WMIA “93.9 Variety From the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #22, 6+). Down one-half share each are its classic rock sibling WKGR “Gater 98.7,” which is a collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, flat at #6, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida Country” (3.6 – 3.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Via five straight upticks, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX was a combined +1.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), but “Mia 92.1” is off two-tenths and departs the top ten (2.6, #10 to #11, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Although it repeats at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” forfeits one-half share of October and November’s collective +.7 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

A gain of two-tenths (.3 – .5, steady at #16, 6+) takes Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” to its best 6+-showing since May (.5, as well).

This is the seventh consecutive time that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 (1.9 – 2.1, +.2, 6+). After four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Stable at #15, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has a May 2018 through December 2018 (6+) topline of: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 – .6.

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG up or flat for the fourth straight month for a whopping (collective) +7.1 more than doubling its 6+-share since August (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9, 6+), “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” leaps from third to first. This (13.9) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017 and easily beats its (6+) December 2017 reading of 11.8. Dislodged from the top spot after 11 straight sweeps there is WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (11.4 – 10.8, -.6, first to second, 6+), which nonetheless is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th straight time. The Entercom urban AC was +1.0 in November. Its gain of two-tenths in October applied the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). A combined -.8 in October and September, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR gained three-tenths in November, but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” craters by -1.6 in December (6.7 – 5.1, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” was up one-half share in October; faltered by four-tenths in November; and is down three-tenths in December (5.5 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+) – but – overtakes WTQR. Spiraling by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” has its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (2.9, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #4, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” is an overall -2.1 in six straight sweeps without an increase, (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot the past 11 sweeps, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” sputters by seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to third. When it picked up two-tenths in November, “Simon” suspended three straight declines that accounted for a combined loss of nine-tenths (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Over the course of the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is +.5 (September, 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 (October, 3.4 – 2.8, 6+); +.9 (November, 2.8 – 3.7, 6+); and now -.5 (December, 3.7 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – In a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it has lost six-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drifts from the top ten (#10 to #13).

In addition to logging five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, “ESPN Sports Radio” was off six-tenths in July.

Memphis Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS up one full-share (10.5 – 11.5, 6+), “V-101” progresses from third to first and is in double-digits (6+) for the eighth successive sweep. This (11.5) is the best 6+-stat for “V-101” since June 2016’s 11.6. In a rare case of an adult contemporary outlet exiting the #1 slot in December 2018, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” freefalls by -1.6 (10.9 – 9.3, first to second, 6+). “The River” was off one-tenth in November, following October’s +2.4 to 11.0, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. At the same time, its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” – is an overall +2.1 in six consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WKIM sibling WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; and is now +.7 in December (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Up six-tenths each are iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (unchanged at #5, 6+) and co-owned CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” (1.1 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+). WHAL is an overall +1.6 in four straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately after Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” posted a November +1.9, it surrenders all of it and another one-tenth more in December (10.7 – 8.7, -2.0, second to third, 6+). Nevertheless, November’s 10.7 is the highest 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of nine-tenths (6.8 – 5.9, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM  from fifth to sixth; “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Going into the October sweep, WTIC-AM notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#14 to #15) has an ultra-consistent (6+) topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0.

Ever since reappearing in print in July 2018, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#12 to #13, 6+).

Although it is a combined +1.4 in four upticks in succession (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” backslides from eighth to ninth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which had a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (steady at #14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Down eight-tenths in November (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH roars back with a +1.8 to 12.4 (6+) and is on top for the 29th consecutive ratings period. In addition, “Lite 100.5” is in double-digits (6+) for the 26th time in the last 28 sweeps with its best 6+-performance since June (12.4, as well). In December 2017, WRCH posted a 13.0 (6+). When co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7” gained four-tenths in November, it ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). The rhythmic CHR adds another seven-tenths in December (6.8 – 7.5, sixth to third, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” nets a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, repeating at #2, 6+); 7.8 in November and December is its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). An overall -1.3 owing to three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” answers with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). While unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Following a November increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 surrenders one-half share (2.6, flat at #11, 6+).

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates 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.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Friday, October 26, 2018

| October 26, 2018

Good Karma to Flip WKTI-FM, Milwaukee to Sports Talk as ‘ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.’ When Craig Kamazin’s Good Karma Brands takes ownership of country WKTI-FM and news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee on November 1, it will flip WKTI to sports talk as “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.”  Good Karma is buying the duo from E.W. Scripps for $16 million.  In a press release, Karmazin says, “This is a natural evolution of our sports marketing, event and broadcast business in Wisconsin.  94.5 FM’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister station WTMJ-AM, will provide new and exciting ways for fans to stay close to their favorite teams and provide new ways for our marketing partners to engage with Wisconsin sports fans.”  WTMJ-AM is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Good Karma’s WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” airs Marquette University basketball play-by-play.  Initially, both WKTI and WAUK will carry the same programming, including the “Wilde and Tausch” show featuring Packers Hall of Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers writer Jason Wilde – as well as the “Homer & Gabe” show, hosted by Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel.  This move adds another station to the sports talk battle in Milwaukee with Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan” and iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM “The Big 920.”

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Evacuated After Mail Bomb Scare. After receiving a suspicious package at its Jenifer St. NW offices in Washington, Cumulus Media DC called authorities and the building was evacuated from about 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm on Thursday.  WRC-TV reports that police arrived and after a period determined the package was not a threat. WMAL and sister WRQX-FM staffers were allowed to return to the offices.  The package was addressed to WMAL personalities, according to afternoon host Larry O’Connor, who Tweeted, “Though it does not look like the other packages we have seen the past day or two, there were some similarities. DC police examined it and immediately ordered full evacuation.”  Ultimately, WMAL reporter Heather Curtis Tweeted that the package appears to have contained pieces of the Berlin Wall intended as gifts to WMAL talk show hosts.

iHeartMedia Seeks Exclusivity Extension. The company is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston for more time in the exclusivity window – the period during which only it can submit reorganization plans – because it says it’s making progress after successfully negotiating with a “vast majority of creditors.”  iHeartMedia’s current exclusivity window expires on November 24 but would like the court to give it until February 7 of next year.  The company says it is seeking “a further extension to ensure that the Debtors can build upon the substantial progress made to date without distraction from other competing plans.”  The company further states that although this Fifth Amended Plan has not been confirmed, it and its advisers are “diligently working toward the Confirmation Hearing on December 11, 2018 and are currently in the midst of the solicitation process.”  This means it’s likely that iHeartMedia will not exit Chapter 11 until sometime in early 2019.

Jed Burns to Lead Bighorn Radio Network. Radio management pro Jed Burns is promoted to vice president and general manager for Legend Communications of Wyoming’s Big Horn Radio Network.  Legend Communications owners Larry and Susan Patrick say, “Jed has been with us for nearly 10 years now and he has significant management and marketing experience.  Jed’s leadership will enable the Big Horn Radio Network to continue to super serve our communities, our listeners, and our advertisers throughout the Big Horn Basin.” Big Horn Radio Network operates news/talk KODI-AM, Cody; news/talk KWOR-AM, Worland and six other music outlets.

Tampa Bay Times Runs Feature Piece on Bubba the Love Sponge.  The story by feature writer Christopher Spata tells that tale of the rise and fall of Tampa-based shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a., Todd Clem.  In the piece, Bubba is very honest about his standing in the radio industry, his huge legal bills defending himself in the Nielsen ratings tampering suit, and the fallout from the Hulk Hogan sex tape case.  Though he recently said during a guest appearance on the Howard Stern show that he lost his house, the truth is that his St. Petersburg mansion is on the market for $1.3 million.  Read the Times piece here.

Beasley Media Group’s Caroline Beasley Joins ‘Most Influential Business Leaders.’ The honor comes from Florida Trend magazine as the publication releases its list of 500 executives in the state it deems the “Most Influential Business Leaders.” Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley was named among the “500 executives selected based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, hundreds of interviews and months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida.”

Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 22-26. The 10 package bombs sent to high-level Democrats and CNN was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate. Coming in at #3 was the migrant caravan moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, followed by global financial markets activity and the wildly fluctuating Dow 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.

 

KIRO-FM, Seattle Seeks Night Host. As the Bonneville station says, this is a “golden opportunity with one of the nation’s most established and respected news/talk stations. We’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well-informed individual who can deliver remarkable content that attracts an adults 25-54 audience. In addition, qualified candidates should be able to regularly contribute to the various digital platforms including, but not limited to regular blogs, podcasts, and/or videos, online listener chats, and use of other social media platforms in addition to emerging digital technologies.” KIRO-FM would prefer candidates have one to two years of major market hosting experience. Check out the application info and full job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three changes to report at Beasley’s country WSOC, Charlotte.  First, Jack Daniel takes on the program director role for both WSOC and sister Americana WBCN-AM/W234BY “94.7 Smoke” in addition to his current role as afternoon host on sister adult contemporary WKQC “K104.7.”  Second, Philip Tabakelis, a.k.a. Big Sexy, is named as assistant program director for WSOC in addition to his current role as evening personality.  Finally, Mimi Wheeler adds WSOC music director to her responsibilities that include serving as co-host of the “Tanner in the Morning” show and her work as assistant digital PD.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, we found the most ideal and experienced programming team for WSOC within the walls of the station.  At Beasley, we always look for ways to promote from within.  I’m proud that we were able to this time with Mimi, Phillip and Jack.”…..Programmer Chris Eagan is promoted to senior director of operations at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta cluster.  In this new role he’ll oversee programming for CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97-1 The River,” and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1.”  Eagan joined Cox Media Group in 2008 as the program director at WEZN.  In 2012, he assumed the role of director of branding and programming, responsible for on-air programming for WSB-FM and WSRV-FM.  In addition, he also provides expert consultation and collaborates with six of CMG’s radio markets as AC/hot AC format leader to achieve target ratings in the adult contemporary brand…..At Entercom’s Seattle adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” Jeanne Ashley joins to serve as morning show co-host and assistant program director.  On air, she’s partnering with John Fisher for the “John and Jeanne” show.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Jeanne is an exceptional radio talent and we are happy to have her join The Sound’s air team because of her deep understanding of the values of the adult contemporary format, from the interests of its fans to its music library.  She is fresh, engaging, and a great fit with John’s wit and local wisdom.  Her music programming skills will provide us with greater creative power in packaging and presenting The Sound’s unique blend of relaxing favorites.”…..In the Akron/Canton, Ohio market, iHeartMedia names Scott Davidson program director country WHOF-HD2/W259BW “99.7 Canton’s New Country” and adult hits WHOF “My 101.7, The 80s and More,” effective immediately.  Davidson will continue his morning host role on WHOF…..Hubbard Radio’s legendary St. Louis rock outlet KSHE is launching its first official podcast that will cull the archives of its more than 50 years of interviews with rock royalty.  “The KSHE Tapes” is hosted by the KSHE Morning Rock Show’s John “The U-Man” Ulett and assistant program director and afternoon drive host Favazz. They will explore the back-stories and interviews heard on KSHE over the years.  Ulett is a 42-year veteran of KSHE and Favazz has been with the station for 27 years.  Ulett says, “It’s fun bringing back so many great interviews that were buried in storage for so many years.  Now they can live forever in the light of day.”  To date, the duo has produced two podcasts, one exploring a Sammy Hagar interview and one exploring a Paul McCartney interview.  Slash and Duff from Guns n’ Roses is posted today (10/26…..iHeartMedia announces what it is calling the “first ever nationwide song roadblock” in which it will play Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” across its 650 radio stations and their websites at 9:00 am (local time) on November 1 to promote the November 2 release of the Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film, Bohemian Rhapsody…..Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3” is adding the YEA Networks-syndicated nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program for afternoon drive, effective October 29…..Sun Broadcast Group promotes interactive project manager Alex Quintero to affiliate content manager, effective immediately.  In his new position, Quintero will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, assist in development of marketing materials for new affiliates and monitor effectiveness of marketing campaigns, among other duties…..Last night (10/25), superstar singer Kelly Clarkson performed at an intimate event hosted by iHeartMedia at the Rosen Shingle Creek during ANA Master of Marketing in Orlando, Florida.  The night also featured a fireside chat with Clarkson and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  Pictured below are (from l-r): iHeartMedia president/COO/CFO Rich Bressler; iHM president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes; Clarkson; Pittman; iHM president, national programming group Tom Poleman; MediaLink founder and CEO Michael Kassan.  (Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Monday, October 8, 2018

| October 8, 2018

KQED Names Blakley Executive Director/Radio Programming. Four-year Minnesota Public Radio program director Jonathan Blakley is appointed executive director of radio programming for Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, San Francisco. The Western Michigan University graduate previously was a senior producer and editor at NPR and launched all-news on WKZO, Kalamazoo. He has also worked for all-news WWJ, Detroit and the Associated Press. In other station news, KQED promotes executive director of news Holly Kernan to chief content officer. She will now oversee news, arts, science, and education for radio and TV programming. Kerman joined the station in 2014 from San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW, where she was news and public affairs director. Meanwhile, managing editor Ethan Lindsey succeeds Kernan as executive director of news. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 report for San Francisco, KQED is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In San Jose, KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. It finished first in that Bay Area market between January and June.

Harrison:  Neither Side is as Bad as Political Opponents ClaimTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, described by TV anchor/moderator/commentator Carol Costello as “the voice of reason” appeared today as a panelist on CNN’s Headline News channel (HLN) to discuss the impact of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation on the coming mid-term elections.  He joined other panelists Republican Scott Jennings and Democrat Nomiki Konst.  Jennings supported the President’s assertion that the Democrats and Liberals have become an unruly mob unfit to govern.  Konst expressed the opposite view that working people have never faced the level of economic inequality that presently exists and that the Kavanaugh addition to the Supreme Court feeds into the “women are doomed” scenario.  When asked by Costello if we as a nation are “going to remain as divided  – men versus women, Democrat versus Republican – as we are now permanently forever more?” Harrison replied by saying “Hopefully not permanently.  Let’s hope it ebbs and flows as it has through history.  Both sides are extremely energized.  The coming mid-term election promises to be as exciting, if not more, than a presidential election.  But we can’t tell which side will feel that way in a few weeks on Election Day when it will be decided by voter turn-out. From a media standpoint, which is the lens through which I view this, even though both sides in ‘biased media’ express righteous indignation – and there is extreme bias on both sides in the media  – both sides are loving this because this is a golden era for media that plays the news for the American public viewing it as a spectator sport.  The demonization of the ‘other side’ is just that – excessive hyperbolic demonization.  Nothing is going to be so terrible no matter how it plays out.  Women are not doomed and the Democrats are not a mob.  And if for some reason Trump loses his majority in Congress, he’ll work that to his advantage as well.  It’ll be his excuse for not fulfilling all his campaign promises to his base.”

One Putt Lands O’Rorke as VP/GM. Ten-year Lotus Broadcasting Fresno market manager Kevin O’Rorke joins cross-town One Putt Broadcasting as vice president and general manager, succeeding Josh Riley. One Putt partner John Ostlund comments, “We are excited to have Kevin on our team. His passion for radio, [as well as his] experience with many of our clients and involvement in non-profit organizations, makes him a great fit.” Another One Putt partner – Chris Pacheco – notes, “I have known and worked with Kevin many times over the years – he brings tremendous experience to our team.” California State University-Fullerton alum O’Rorke adds, “Radio is an exciting industry, but locally-owned radio with the kind of community focus that Chris and John have demonstrated over the years is very unique. I am looking forward to getting started and making a difference.” One Putt’s Fresno cluster includes sports talk KFIG “940 ESPN Radio”; KFRR “New Rock 104.1”; classic rock KJFX “95.7 The Fox”; triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5”; CHR KWDO “99.3 Now FM”; and classic hits-oldies KYNO-AM.

Daniel Joins Fresno’s KVPR and Bakersfield’s KPRX As News Director. News/talk KQED, San Francisco reporter Alice Daniel is appointed news director of similarly-formatted KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield. Valley Public Radio interim president Joe Moore comments, “Alice is a talented reporter and educator, who always finds a way to bring out something special or unexpected in her stories. Six years ago, we didn’t have any local reporters at the station; now, we have three. Our work is increasingly being recognized with awards at the regional and national level.” Daniel remarks, “I am excited by the prospect of working with other reporters to cover this diverse and story-rich region in a way that makes a difference for the community at large. I love the creative process of figuring out the best way to tell a compelling story. There is nothing I love more in journalism than finding that gem of a story that no one else has unearthed.” In addition to contributing to Success Magazine, Daniel – who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University – has taught journalism for 17 years at Fresno State University.

TALKERS News Notes.  In a presentation to be made this coming Saturday (10/13), Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk KSFO morning host (5:00 am – 9:00 am) Brian Sussman will receive the Don Sherwood Award from the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. The listener-voted honor recognizes the Bay Area’s favorite news/talk radio broadcaster for 2018. Sussman replaced Lee Rodgers in morning drive on KSFO in February 2010 ….. Beginning this Thursday (10/11), The New York Times debuts “The Argument,” a weekly opinion podcast hosted by three of the paper’s op-ed columnists – David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat, and Michelle Goldberg ….. As reported by the St. Louis Dispatch, “Real Housewife of Orange County” Meghan King Edmonds will appear with “Meghan’s Must Haves” every week on the Sunday morning edition of Rick & Tracey Ellis’ show on Entercom St. Louis news/talk KFTK “FM Newstalk 97.1.” The segment starts this Sunday (10/14). Edmonds is the wife of former St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels outfielder/current Fox Sports Midwest analyst Jim Edmonds ….. The former six-year general manager of Tri-States Public Radio and an adjunct instructor at Western Illinois UniversityJonathan Ahl, will be a Rolla, Missouri-based reporter for University of Missouri-St. Louis news/talk KWMU. Ahl previously was news director and reporter at Iowa Public Radio ….. KTTC-TV, Austin (Minnesota) multimedia journalist James Bunner has been fired for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Trump’s appearance last Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota. KTTC news director Noel Sederstrom said Bunner was let go for wearing campaign gear while covering the political event – not because of his personal politics. Sederstrom told BuzzFeed News, “[Bunner] violated our policy so he’s no longer with us. We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.” On the day of Trump’s inauguration, Bunner posted a video of himself on Facebook dancing to “Celebration” (Kool & The Gang). KTTC removed Bunner’s online profile from its website last Friday …..  Listeners will be able to use touch and voice to tune into live iHeartRadio radio stations on Portal and Portal+ – Facebook’s home video communications devices. The Portal comes with a variety of features such as AI-powered video cameras, smart sound technology, and crystal-clear audio. Powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice control system, the video chat devices were introduced today (10/8).

Richard Neer Pens Sixth Murder Mystery Book.  Longtime TALKERS columnist Richard Neer, a 30-year sports talk veteran at WFAN, New York and former WNEW-FM, New York radio great, has released his sixth Riley King murder mystery, An American Storm (Amazon Digital Services, 2018). This one has a strong radio sub-plot as King’s cohort Rick Stone deals with a career crisis after moving from making big dollars at a large market station to a small labor-of-love outlet, attempting to create a free form talk and music format. He is frustrated by a dearth of callers and the aging demo. Neer is well-known for his landmark radio non-fiction FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and is developing a large following as a writer of the mystery fiction genre. He can be reached for interviews at novelistcafe@windstream.net. The new book is available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Kavanaugh Confirmation and Ensuing Protests Across the Nation Top the List of Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio Over the Weekend.  The U.S. Senate Confirmation and Swearing-in of controversial Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the protests that took place during and after the vote topped the list of stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend.  These stories were followed by the US-China trade war; November midterm elections and the battle for control of Congress; the new USMCA deal; the disappearance of the head of Interpol after traveling to China; NFL action during week number five and the MLB divisional playoffs which were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Welsh, Porreca Join JAM Media Solutions. East Orange, New Jersey-based JAM Media Solutions names Donovan Welsh executive vice president of sales and Kerry Porreca executive vice president of finance. JAM Media Solutions closed on its media properties last Wednesday (10/3). They take over eight media properties in Outer Banks, North Carolina and Muscatine, Iowa. The Outer Banks properties include WCMS “Water Country”; hot AC WCXL “Beach 104”; WVOD “99.1 The Sound – The Outer Banks’ Alternative”; WZPR “Classic Rock 92.3”; and “The Outer Banks Voice.” The Muscatine properties include classic rock KMCS “Vintage Sound 93.1”; KWPC “The Voice of Muscatine; and “The Voice of Muscatine.” JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. remarks, “In the early years of my career in New York, I worked with Mr. Welsh and am honored that he has decided to join JAM Media to oversee our sales efforts. Mrs. Porreca is a veteran finance executive and has extensive knowledge of the Outer Banks. She is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our goal of giving back to the communities we seek to serve. I am humbled to step into the next phase of our collective journey. Our goal is to deliver a first-rate experience for the communities we serve. We love our radio local and our listeners will come to know that for themselves.” Most recently, Welsh was sales manager of Entercom New York sports talk WFAN. Porreca has spent the majority of her professional career in the manufacturing and advertising areas.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Additions at Entercom Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” find DJ Vice hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix” weekdays from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Krystal Bee joining the station’s weekend lineup. According to Entercom Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Jeff Federman, “DJ Vice and Krystal Bee have been household names in the Southern California radio and music scene for more than 25 years collectively. We look forward to them delivering a fresh listening experience for fans.” DJ Vice remarks, “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family. This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal Bee notes that, “[KAMP] has a vision for radio that is so exciting. I have loved working with the team and I am excited about everything the future holds for me, the station, and our amazing listeners.” In 2011, DJ Vice was named one of “America’s Best DJs” by DJ Times. Prior to joining Entercom, Krystal Bee held on-air roles for cross-town rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” since 2011 ….. Following last week’s departure of brand manager/program director Ron Valeri, Entercom Boston-owned WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” names Joe Galgaro, PD of Saga Communications Milwaukee’s WHQG “102.9 The Hog,” as Valeri’s replacement ….. Most recently doing mid-days for Beasley Media Group Tampa’s WQYK “99.5 New Country Hits,” June Knight joins Entercom Miami’s similarly-formatted WKIS “Country 99.5” as morning drive co-host, where she will pair with assistant program director/music director Tim “TC” Conlon as “TC & June. Knight previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and WODS …  As we reported last week, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for the Cumulus Radio Station Group, continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as PD for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Associated with that move, Cumulus Media vice president/contemporary programming (CHR and hot AC) Cat Thomas departs. Thomas joined Cumulus Media nearly three years ago, after a 27-year career with CBS Radio Las Vegas where he was vice president/programming. For approximately 20 years, he programmed that company’s Las Vegas CHR, KLUC ….. Morning co-host Brian Fowler exits WGAR. He joined “Country 99.5.” in 2011 to team with LeeAnn Sommers, who remains with the iHeartMedia Cleveland outlet ….. Next year’s iHeartRadio “ALTer Ego” officially sold out on the first day on sale. The second annual music event, which will broadcast live (1/19/2019) across over 70 iHeartRadio alternative and rock stations, reportedly sold out in less than a minute of being on sale to the general public. The “ALTer Ego” lineup at Los Angeles’ Fabulous Forum includes The Killers, Weezer, Rise Against, Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists. Chief programming officer for iHeartMedia Tom Poleman notes, “It was remarkable to watch how fast tickets sold out. All tickets immediately went the moment we made them available. It speaks to the power of the lineup and how fast the ALTer Ego brand has grown in just two years.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia president/national sales, marketing & partnerships Tim Castelli comments, “The lineup is incredible and reaches the millennial trend leaders who make up the mega-event’s core audience. Given such an amazing response, we are expecting this to break social chatter records like we have done with our lineup on our other iHeart marquee events” ….. Former WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM,” Peoria (Illinois) program director Jonathan Steele is named to a similar position at Martz Communications Pittsburgh urban contemporary WAMO …..Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and congressional hopeful Jim Cooper have picked up a big-name endorsement – Taylor Swift. The singer usually doesn’t express her political beliefs but notes on Instagram, “Due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.” Bredesen and Cooper are Democrats ….. At the box office, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” remake took in $41.3 million. According to comScore, with $174.5 million in tickets sold at United States and Canadian theaters, it was easily the best October weekend ever…. Starting today (10/8), iHeartMedia Columbus CHR WNCI-originated “Dave (Kaelin) & Jimmy (Jam)” will air (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix” 94.1.” WHBC-FM operations manager Bo Matthews comments, “Dave & Jimmy are Ohio guys [who] celebrate the region with their content. They experience all the pain that comes with being Cleveland sports fans. I am super excited for the show they will be providing us every weekday morning.” According to Jimmy Jam, “Canton is my hometown so I have about 200 relatives [who] will be listening every day.”

Friday, October 5, 2018

| October 5, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Jack Swanson to Return to KGO and KSFO as PD. Former KGO and KSFO, San Francisco program director Jack Swanson is returning to the Cumulus Media news/talk radio stations to serve as program director of both stations.  This will be Swanson’s second tour of duty at KGO, having served for a number of years up until 2011 as PD, OM and eventually VP of programming at KGO and sister station KSFO.  He left at that time due to a massive cost-cutting that took place in the aftermath of Cumulus acquiring the station in a “merger” with its former parent company Citadel Broadcasting.  Swanson most recently served a two-year stint as news director of then-CBS owned KCBS-AM, San Francisco between 2015 and 2017.  Swanson says, “People have asked why I’m returning.  Simple.  This is the most exciting time in the history of these iconic stations.  I’m jazzed about their future.  Returning to work with [market manager] Doug Harvill and the support of a re-energized Cumulus is going to be an amazing adventure.  I’m excited to be a part of the new Cumulus!

Talk Radio Examines #MeToo Movement One Year Later.  It is exactly one year since The New York Times triggered what has come to be known as the #MeToo movement by publishing an exposé by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual improprieties that eventually brought him down along with a list of prominent men in the entertainment, business, media and political industries.  After a couple of turbulent weeks of headline dominating events emanating from Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s controversial confirmation hearing culminating in what is certain to be a historic and consequential vote by the U.S. Senate, TALKERS looks at the #MeToo movement through lens of some of news/talk radio’s prominent female hosts.  We spoke with the following women working in talk radio to get their points of view: WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby; WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut’s Lisa Wexler; SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter; WFTL, Fort Lauderdale’s Joyce Kauffman; KRLA, Los Angeles’ Jennifer Horn; and KMZQ, Las Vegas’ Heidi Harris.  Read the story here.

Austin Rhodes Renews with WGAC-FM, Augusta. Georgia talk show host Austin Rhodes signs a new, long-term contract with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the company’s Augusta news/talk station WGAC-FM. Rhodes celebrated his 26th year on the air at WGAC-FM in July and Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn says, “Austin has the longest-running radio talk show in Augusta, Georgia history.  His commitment to WGAC listeners, the community, and Beasley Media Group is tremendous.  We are fortunate to have him on our team for the future.”  Company EVP of programming Justin Chase adds, “Beasley is committed to top quality local content across our platforms and Austin Rhode’s show is loved by our clients and listeners in the Augusta market.  Austin has been with Beasley for many years and we are thrilled that he’ll be with us for many more!”

Beasley Adds QCB for Commentary Across Charlotte Stations. The personality known as QCB, a.k.a. Tremaine Sloan, joins the Beasley Media Group Charlotte stations as a part-time sports entertainment talent.  He’ll will host a podcast called “3 with the QCB.”  QCB previously was heard on Entercom’s crosstown sports talk WFNZ.  When he is not on the airwaves, Q performs stand-up comedy at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte, as well as at similar clubs across the Southeast.   Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “I’m really excited to be reunited with QCB and hear him on our airwaves.  We look forward to listening to his great sports entertainment commentary.”

Report: 13% of Americans Don’t Trust Any Traditional News Source.  That’s one of the conclusions of a study by Simmons Research that attempts to quantify the American public’s trust of 38 major news outlets.  The data was culled from an online study fielded the week of August 14 consisting of 2,009 people, weighted to the U.S. population.  The Wall Street Journal was rated most trustworthy among 57.7% of respondents.  The Daily Caller came in last at 22.5%.  Simmons Research says, “Based on our study, it is clear that news media is in crisis overall.  The average percentage of respondents who rated news sources as trustworthy or very trustworthy was just 40.1% — not a ringing endorsement for journalism in general.” Across the 38 outlets in the study, the news organizations that present from a decided political perspective – FOX News, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Daily Beast – did not fare as well as the traditional news organizations such as ABC, NBC, CBS, The New York Times, Forbes and even BBC News.  The study found that 13% of respondents found none of the 38 sources listed to be trustworthy.  Simmons calls this segment Doubters and further explores this group’s political, consumer, and lifestyle profile in the study.  It notes that 62.2% of Doubters voted for Donald Trump in 2018 and 27.8% voted for Hillary Clinton.  Simmons says, “Our data suggest that about six million of the 129 million people who voted in the 2016 election were Doubters.  Among this group, Trump beat Clinton by about two million votes.  Consider that Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes, Wisconsin by 22,748 votes, and Michigan by just 10,704 votes.  Given this narrow electoral margin, Doubters’ vote choices may have played an important role in the election result.” Read the study here.

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman Sits for In-Depth Interview with KHOW, Denver’s Ross Kaminsky. Usually, interviewing the chairman and CEO of the company from which you draw your paycheck means you’re going to be very careful not to ask him any “sensitive” questions, but KHOW, Denver’s Ross Kaminsky conducts a wide-ranging and interesting chat with iHeartMedia chief Bob Pittman – touching on everything from how he got into radio to his love affair with piloting airplanes to his business philosophy and how that affects how he operates iHeartMedia.  Regarding podcasting, Pittman says, “Podcasting is to talk radio and talk shows on the radio as streaming is to music on the radio.” While working for Bob Ross at MTV, Pittman says he took some advice he got and applies it to his work at iHeart.  “In this company, you will never get fired for making mistakes, you’ll get fired for not making mistakes because that shows that you’re not trying anything new and the assets that we’ve given you to manage will wilt away under your leadership.”  Listen to the interview here.

Kavanaugh Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 1-5.  The FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the New York Times story suggesting the Trump family passed its wealth down to the children through tax schemes.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the allegations of abuse by U.S. Rep and DNC deputy chair Keith Ellison 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. WKTU, New York-based radio personality Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton and iHeartMedia New York announce they’ve agreed to terms on a contract extension.  Hamilton will continue his current role as host of his weekday afternoon show on “103.5 KTU” in New York City.  He also renews and extends his partnership with Premiere Networks to syndicate his trio of radio programs – “The Remix Top 30 Countdown with Hollywood Hamilton,” “Weekend Top 30 with Hollywood Hamilton,” and “Weekend Top 30 with DJ Pup Dawg” – that broadcast on 120 stations worldwide…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Sarah Lee the new morning drive co-host on WKKT “96.9 The Kat” alongside Country Radio Hall of Famer Paul Schadt on the “Paul Schadt and Sarah Lee in the Morning” program, effective October 22.  Lee comments, “I’m ecstatic to return to Charlotte and work on-air with one of my idols in the genre my parents raised me in.  Paul Schadt is not only a talent that I have respected for years, but he is a legend in the format, a mentor, a peer, and a friend.  It is my deepest honor to be able to call him partner and a dream come true to wake up the Carolinas on ‘96.9 The Kat.’”  Lee was most recently an artist social media manager with Black River Entertainment…..The CBS News Radio Network is launching a new service called CBS Connect, designed to provide news, entertainment, and information specifically designed for FM music radio listeners.  Its flagship program is “The Connected Minute,” anchored by Jennifer Brown.  The company says CBS Connect affiliates will also receive a number of other short-form features on entertainment, health, and lifestyle.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “The launch of CBS Connect demonstrates our commitment to providing our broadcast partners with the tools, services, and content they need to win in our hyper-competitive media environment.”…..Cumulus Media’s Nashville urban AC WQQK “92Q” announces it will launch its new morning show on Thursday, October 11. The “The Kenny Smoov Morning Show” features WQQK program director Kenny Smoov (right), Sissy Brown (center), producer and social media director C-Dub (left).  Smoov also serves as afternoon host for Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “The Touch” format…..iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones show is celebrating its fifth annual Joy Week October 8-11 with in-studio performances by country music stars Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Luke Combs, and Old Dominion.  During the week, Bones and his cast encourage listeners to choose joy, spread happiness, and do good things for others.  The program is also selling #PimpinJoy apparel, the proceeds from which will benefit military service members, veterans and their families.  Since the #PimpinJoy movement was launched in 2014, more than $2.5 million dollars has been raised to support many worthy causes.

September 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite dropping one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” inches up from tenth to ninth; August’s 4.4 is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). It has been a wild ride lately for Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn,” which was +.5 in June; -.9 in July; and now in September, posts a +1.0 to 2.5 (#18 to #14,), its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Flat at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” nets two-tenths in five straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+). Its +.2 in June halted four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+). Roaring back from August’s full-share decline (8.1 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.8 in September (7.9, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT advances from second to first. KUT was #1 in July and May – with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0.

Austin Music Formats – In four straight downward trends, iHeartMedia-owned country KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+), but “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” hauls out a +.6 to 5.3 (6+), progressing from eighth to sixth. While April’s +1.1 to 6.4 (6+) enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2, August’s 4.7 is its lowest 6+-performance since April 2016’s 4.6. Co-owned and similarly-formatted KASE, which was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and +.4 in August (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) adds two-tenths (5.7, fourth to third, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, after stopping three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” erases that -.6 with a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, flat at #21, 6+). Notwithstanding a one-half share September increase, Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” backslides from first to second; “Bob” was a collective -.8 in July and August (8.1 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+). KBPA would later have one-month stays at #1 in both June and August. Improving by one-half share as well are its triple A cluster-mate KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” (2.4, #17 to #15, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” (1.9, steady at #19, 6+). Entering the September sweep, KGSR had a (6+) topline of 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, while “Amor” applies the brakes to five straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+). On the heels of recording its strongest 6+-stat (6.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” has August’s one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) wiped away with a -1.2 to 5.5 (third to fourth, 6+). After four successive up or flat trends that netted a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+) Emmis’ KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” forfeits 90% of that increase (3.8, -.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Somewhat similarly, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which was a collective +.9 in three upticks in succession (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), surrenders seven-tenths to 2.4 (#13 to #15, 6+). It is tied at #15 with University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience,” which has improved by a cumulative six-tenths in six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a 5.1 (6+) three times in the last five ratings periods (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” improves by four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), advancing from ninth to eighth. A similar gain of four-tenths in July halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April decline of two-tenths ended three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). A collective +.7 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF continues at #19. In May, “News Radio 680” finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. By gaining four-tenths to 2.2 (#16 to #14, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” (#14 to #16) pulls the plug on three losses in a row that resulted in a loss of more than 50% (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Raleigh’s “Fan” was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and -.6 in July. Over the last four sweeps, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); and now first to second (September, 8.8 – 8.4, -.4, 6+). In April, WUNC  was -1.0.

Raleigh Music Formats – As a result of a robust +1.1 to 9.6 – its strongest 6+-stat since January’s 10.7 – Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” marches from third to first, succeeding WUNC (see above). A collective -1.2 in three straight downward moves (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” eliminates all but two-tenths of that deficit with a +1.0 to 7.9 (fifth to third, 6+). Conversely, iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” falters by four-tenths to 2.9 (unchanged at #12, 6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (4.7 – 5.2, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “101.1 La Ley” (1.5 – 2.0, #18 to #16, 6+). This (5.2) is the brightest 6+-showing for “The Light” since May 2017’s 6.0, and the highest 6+-stat for “La Ley” since January (2.0, as well). Significant ups/downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is a collective +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+); -1.3 in July (7.7 – 6.4, 6+); +.6 in August (6.4 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.2 in September (7.0 – 5.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). June’s 7.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Following six straight up or flat trends that netted a +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” is a cumulative -1.2 in August and September (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.8, second to fourth, 6+); “K-97.5” jumped from fifth to first in July. A combined -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from eighth to tenth, with its lowest 6+-share since December 2017 (5.0, as well).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – In a March through September up/down pattern that includes September’s -.7 (5.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 5.5, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is off one-tenth in that stretch and remains in sixth-place. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” trots out a +.6 to 2.2 (#18 to #15, 6+), which nearly erases its collective -.7 through five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). After notching a +.1 in back-to-back reports (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, June-July-August, 6+) to end three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is off two-tenths to 1.7 (#16 to #19). A combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI slips by one-tenth to 4.3 (6+) but continues at #10. Having increased by one-tenth in back-to-back (July and August) reports (.8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WGNR “Moody Radio” improves by one-half share to 1.5 (6+) and continues at #20.

Indianapolis Music Formats – Shattering milestones it set just last month, Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” boasts a +1.1 to 9.7, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history – and first time it reaches the nine-share threshold (6+). By way of perspective, the previous best for “Classic Hits 104.5” was 8.6, set in … August 2018. If that weren’t enough, WJJK is #1 for the third month in a row and registers its fourth successive uptrend that accounts for a cumulative +2.9 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7, 6+). While not as dramatic perhaps as what “Classic Hits 104.5” has recently accomplished, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB posts its fourth consecutive up or flat move for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+) to progress from fourth to second. Moreover, this (7.5) represents the finest 6+-showing for “B-105.7” since January’s 7.9. By gaining six-tenths to 2.1 (#19 to #17, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” pulls the plug on eight straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a roughly 70% (-3.6) decline of that frequency’s 6+ AQH share (5.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). It was in mid-November 2017 when WRWM “The Beat” evolved to WYRG “Energy.” Locked on 6.6 (6+) in July and August, Emmis-owned WLHK craters by -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), as “Country 97.1 Hank FM” drops from fifth to eighth. In July, “Hank” regained four-tenths of June’s -.9. Immediately prior to that, WLHK was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). May’s 7.1 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in September 2015. Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” – is up four-tenths (7.0 – 7.4, 6+) and remains at #3. WFMS was #1 in April, May, and June, before becoming a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+). July’s one-half share loss suspended four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Representative July 2017 – August 2018 WFMS fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); and -.7 (August). In addition to being down or flat for the third straight month for an overall loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.2, flat at #15, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” has its lowest 6+-share (2.2) since April’s 2.1.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Substituting August’s one-half share loss with a September gain of six-tenths (7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” advances from third to second. In April, the Milwaukee Brewers flagship more than doubled February’s +.9 with a +1.9; two months later (June), WTMJ virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN, which also forfeited one-half share in August, sputters by another six-tenths, segueing from fourth to sixth. “News/Talk 1130” is now a combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+), following a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” notches a gain of one-tenth for the third month in a row (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+) but ranks #14 for the third straight month. It is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 17th consecutive sweep. Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Regaining the two-tenths it lost in August (.9 – .7 – .9), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD continues at #19.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Powered by three consecutive positive spikes that have netted a +2.2 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB zooms from eighth to fourth. This (6.2) constitutes the strongest 6+-showing for “B-93.3” since “Holiday” 2017’s 7.4. Notching improvements of one-half share each are Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (5.4 – 5.9, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Saga Communications urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (#13 to #11). “Mix” has its best 6+-stat (5.9) since August 2017’s 6.3, while “Jammin’” posts a gain for the third consecutive month for an overall +1.6 (2.6 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” posts its fourth gain in succession for an overall +1.0 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.1) since December 2016’s 5.5. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now,” which had three straight decreases for an overall loss of eight-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), gains four-tenths to 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Six straight down or flat trends by Milwaukee Radio Alliance classic hits-oldies WZTI resulted in a more than 50% loss (-.6) of its 6+-share (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), but “Fonz FM” picks up one-tenth to .5 (6+) and continues at #21. While it sets the pace for the 43rd consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” spirals by -1.6 (10.2 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to July’s loss of seven-tenths, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Not unlike WRIT, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” is accustomed to some substantial month-to-month fluctuations. In September, for example, it is -.5 (8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but remains at #2. WKLH previously was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 (June); and +1.2 (August). In the market’s country skirmish, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” regains the three-tenths it lost in August (5.3 – 5.6, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” falters by that margin and is an overall -.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5, #11 to #13, 6+). WMIL rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. Entering the August sweep, WKTI had been within 4.0 – 4.4 range the previous six months (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at 3.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Entering the August ratings period, “Super Talk” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#20 to #19, 6+) has a May 2017 – September 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8 – .7. Piling on a +1.4 to August’s gain of six-tenths (3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). This (5.0) is the highest 6+-share for “104.5 The Zone” since January’s 6.5. Immediately prior to August, WGFX was without an increase for six straight monthlies for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). An overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which were by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+) – Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” picks up one-tenth to .8 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #19). After logging a one-half share increase in August, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” relinquishes three-tenths (4.9 – 4.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). Just before August’s +.5, WPLN-FM was a combined -.9 in five straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – At the same time that iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” posts a +.8 (4.3 – 5.1, ninth to eighth, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” spirals by -1.0 (6.6 – 5.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” – picks up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+), yet backslides from #11 to #12. “The Big 98” had been without an increase the past four sweeps for a collective -1.6 since April (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+); August’s 4.3 is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.1. Up four-tenths in August, “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), “Nash FM” was a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+). On the heels of August’s +.4, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW adds seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+) as “107.5 The River” has its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.9. Improving by seven-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love,” which is an overall +.8 in four straight up or flat moves (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, #15 to #13, 6+). In three upticks in succession (5.9   – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK is a collective +1.5; “92-Q” progresses from fourth to third. Even though it returns in its entirety the nine-tenths it added in August (8.8 – 9.7 – 8.8, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” sets the pace for the eighth month in a row. “Mix” – which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May – ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February. Co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” stumbles by eight-tenths (7.8 – 7.0, 6+), slipping from second to fourth. An overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ surrenders two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but carries in the runner-up slot. August’s 7.8 is the best 6+-stat for “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” since January (7.8, as well). After eroding by seven-tenths in August, urban contemporary cluster-mate WUBT “101.1 The Beat” sputters by another six-tenths (6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but stays at #5. Entering the August sweep, “The Beat” was trending 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 (6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to August’s +.3 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from eighth to seventh. Its August increase halted three straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). A decline of eight-tenths in May wiped out the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is a combined +.4 in August and September (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+), directly following an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). While its net loss between May and September is just one-tenth, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” (#20 to #21) is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row (.6 – .6 -.6 – .5 – .5, 6+). Following an approximately six-and-one-half year absence from the Providence report, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” returned in print in May. Its five May through September 6+ Providence stats are: 1.4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 (#18 to #19, 6+).While level at 4.1 (6+), WVEI slips from seventh to eighth. The Entercom sports talk outlet was up seven-tenths in August, after a drop of six-tenths in July. In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). At the same time, WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH returns the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – Bouncing back from August’s -1.2 with a +.8 (9.5 – 8.3 – 9.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” climbs from third to second. August’s 8.3 is its lowest 6+-stat since July 2017 (8.3, as well). The four most recent fluctuations for hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” are: -1.2 (June); +1.1 (July); -.8 (August); and now +.6 in September (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). June’s decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI follows August’s +.1 with a September +.2 and repeats at #1 (9.9 – 10.0 – 10.2, 6+). On top in May and June, with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017, “Lite Rock 105” has been in double-digits (6+) in 11 of the last 17 sweeps. Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+), but “B-101” is a combined -1.7 in August and September (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+). In July, it reached the eight-share level (8.1) for the first time since August 2015 (8.0). On a seesaw, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music” is -.7 (July); +1.0 (August); and now -.7 in September (9.1 – 8.4, second to third, 6+). August 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-showing in more than a year (9.1, as well, in June 2017).

Norfolk – A cumulative -1.8 in four straight decreases (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” roars back with a +1.1 to 6.4 (fifth to third, 6+). When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted a +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). In April-May-June, Entercom hot AC WPTE was +1.0 (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, 6+). It returned 90% of that increase (-.9) in July and August (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and now regains one-half share in September (3.5, 6+); “94.9 The Point” carries on at #7. A collective +3.4 in five straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6 – 15.5, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL relinquishes just over half of that bounty (13.7, -1.8, 6+). Even so, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 22ndtime in a row and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 30th time in the last 31 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+), which WVKL tied in July. Meanwhile, CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104,” which was +1.2 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), surrenders half that increase (4.7, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). August’s 5.3 is its highest 6+-share in more than four years (5.4, May 2014). An overall +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” is off an overall four-tenths in August and September (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), shifting from third to fourth. Just prior to May’s -1.1, WWDE posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” picks up three-tenths in August and September (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+) to crack the top ten (#11 to #10). As the result of four straight declines, Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” is -2.5 (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of eight-tenths (4.3 – 3.5, 6+) drops iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #11). WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. In six straight down or flat survey periods, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS has lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+) and stays at #16. Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+). For the fourth sweep in succession, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+). Its +.1 in August concluded at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May through September topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (#14 to #15) is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Posting whopping gains of +1.1 each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” (6.8 – 7.9, fifth to third, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to sixth). WMAG had been a collective -1.0 in July and August (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.8, 6+). After a lengthy hiatus, WKZL recently returned in print. Its February through September topline is 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 5.7 (6+) for an overall +1.7 in that timeframe. Adding one-half share to August’s +.2 (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” finishes at #12 for the fourth sweep in a row. Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down two full-shares as the result of five successive decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” leads the pack for the ninth month in a row and is in double-digits (6+) for the 23rd straight time. WQMG was -1.1 in March, but then +1.2 in April. In the runner-up slot for the ninth consecutive time, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is off a combined four-tenths in August and September (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6, 6+). A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Down three-tenths in July and then up four-tenths in August, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” regresses by eight-tenths in September (7.3 – 6.5, third to fifth, 6+). July’s decrease ended at three its consecutive streak of gains that netted a +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for “Q-104.1” since October 2017’s 7.3. Locked on 5.6 (6+) in July (when it was up nine-tenths) and August, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW drops two-tenths to 5.4 (seventh to eighth, 6+); “93.1 The Wolf” plummeted by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately prior to that loss, WPAW was +1.1 in May to 6.2, its highest 6+-share since October 2017’s 7.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #10, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is an overall +.7 in four successive upticks (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, , 6+). After four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is now a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, -.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). Following a one-half share gain in August, co-owned news/talk WZZR returns 40% of that increase (2.0 – 1.8, -.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to August, “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Returning to print in West Palm Beach, Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is trending 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 (#19 to #18, 6+). Progressing from ninth to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has been within 2.9 – 3.5 range (6+) each month this calendar year: 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – A collective +1.0 in four straight up or flat trends (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF finishes first for the ninth consecutive month and is in double-digits for the first time since February. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it suspended three straight decreases that produced an overall -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). WRMF spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. On the heels of August’s +1.2 to 5.1 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 – co-owned WIRK surrenders 75% of that increase (4.2, -.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to August, “Country 103.1” notched five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.0 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Off for the third time in a row for an overall -1.2 (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL segues from second to third with its lowest 6+-share (5.3) since 4.9 in “Holiday” 2017. “Today’s Kool 105.5” was up six-tenths in June, after being locked on 5.9 (6+) in April and May. One-tenth behind WOLL is its format rival, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” which is up four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.2, steady at #4, 6+), after July’s half-share loss. This is the best 6+-showing for “Sunny” since April (5.2, as well). Big ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5,” which was -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+); a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+); and now -.5 in September (4.0 – 3.5, flat at #7, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well are WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (3.3 – 2.8, eighth to ninth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WBGG “Big 105.9 – South Florida’s Classic Rock” (1.6 – 1.1, #16 to #19, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last three sweeps, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” has been -.7 (July); +.5 (August); and -.6 in September (9.2 – 8.6, second to third, 6+). Immediately in advance of July’s decline, WOKV was +2.1 in three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+). Off nine-tenths in March, WOKV was #1 in May. Flat at .5 – its best 6+-stat since January’s .7 – iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” remains at #19. A very steady January – August topline for public news/talk WJCT (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4) gets a bit of a September jolt with a -.6 to 2.8 (flat at #12, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – It has been a real rollercoaster ride the past four sweeps for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which was -.5 (June); +.8 (July); -.7 (August); and now a whopping +1.3 in September (8.0 – 9.3, third to second, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s one-half share loss, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+). In a continuation of that theme, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” was a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 (May); -.5 (June); +1.0 (July); -.4 (August); and now +.8 in September (5.1 – 5.9, flat at #6, 6+). A collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI answers with a collective +1.3 in August and September (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+) as “Easy 102.9” jumps from tenth to seventh. While Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ is #1 for the fourth month in a row, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” regresses by eight-tenths (10.6 – 9.8, 6+) and has its consecutive string of reaching double-digits (6+) end at three (10.4 – 10.3 – 10.6, 6+). August’s 10.6 is the best 6+-showing for WEJZ since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WEJZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Having recorded a March through July topline of 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” gained one-half share in August to 4.4 (6+), only to lose nine-tenths in September (3.5, 6+) and exit the top ten (#8 to #11). August’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. In five straight negative moves (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE is an overall -1.5 and slips from seventh to ninth; “Gator Country 99.9” was +1.1 in April. Unchanged at #4, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” is off a combined four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), WQIK bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (June, 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 this past January and March.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +.6 in July and August (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drops one-tenth in September to 3.4 (6+) but continues at #10. July’s increase stalled five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Fully erasing July’s -.6 (2.9 – 2.3, 6+) with a combined +.6 in August and September (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” carries on at #12. Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” is up or flat for the fifth time in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4, flat at #18, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Answering August’s loss of eight-tenths with a September gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.6, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned WEGR continues in ninth-place. Prior to August, “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” was a collective +1.7 via four straight gains (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). After being down or flat the past six monthlies for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (6+) and is unchanged at #8. August’s 4.6 is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Improving by six-tenths and jumping from fourth to second is Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” (8.0 – 8.6, 6+), which was +.6 in July as well. This (8.6) is the best 6+-stat for WRVR since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up a total of three-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7, steady at #14, 6+). Also notching a +.6 in September, in addition to “The River,” is Entercom country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” (1.8 – 2.4, #14 to #13, 6+), which has its best 6+-performance since January (2.4, as well). Format rival – Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” – is off two-tenths to 5.0 (flat at #7, 6+), thus halting three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). June’s gain of one-half share interrupted four decreases in a row that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). At #1 for the fifth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless a combined -.8 in August and September (11.1 – 10.4 – 10.3, 6+). Entering the August sweep, KJMS was +1.7 in three straight up or flat trends (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+). An overall -2.6 in five downward moves in succession (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” shifts from third to fourth with its lowest 6+-stat (7.2) since March 2017’s 6.5. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded “V-101” at #1. Without an increase for the fourth successive sweep for a combined -1.4 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” stays at #2, where it is tied with AC sibling WRVR. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+); May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. Albeit down for the third straight month for  a combined -1.7 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM remains at #6. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+); June 2018’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third time in a row that Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” has posted a 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+). July’s one-half share gain halted three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Prior to July and August, WTIC-AM last reached the six-share level (6+) in June 2017 (6.7). This calendar year’s (6+) topline trending for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#14 to #15) is: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0. After seven straight down or flat trends for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” notches a +.5 to 4.0 (flat at #9, 6+). Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Level at #13, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” follows August’s gain of three-tenths with a loss of one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Its August improvement curtailed five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Wiping away August’s -.6 with September’s increase of seven-tenths (7.3 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” repeats at #2. Entering the August sweep, “Kiss” posted three straight upticks that netted +1.0 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Similarly, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” virtually erases August’s loss of seven-tenths with an improvement of six-tenths (6.4 – 7.0, 6+), as it jumps from sixth to third. Off an overall six-tenths in July and August (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” logs a one-half share gain to 3.9 (6+) and continues at #10. Setting the pace for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” slips three-tenths (11.4 – 11.1, 6+) but is in double-digits (6+) for the 23rd time in the last 25 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which pulled the plug on four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March, but then -1.1 in April. A decrease of six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, fifth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN takes “105.9 The River” to its lowest 6+-stat since October 2017’s 5.6. A cumulative +1.9 in three straight up or flat trends (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.7, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” loses three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but is steady at #8; August’s 5.7 is its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.0. Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.6 in four straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

| October 3, 2018

Beasley Launches Esports Initiative; Acquires ‘Checkpoint Radio’ Show. The company made the announcement of its acquisition of the esports gaming lifestyle radio show, “Checkpoint Radio” at the 2018 Esports Business Summit at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday (10/2).  Beasley Media Group is calling its esports initiative BEASLEY XP.  “Checkpoint Radio” is a weekly, two-hour show (also found on the twitch platform) hosted by Nathan Bender, Norris Howard, Robbie Landis, and Joe Sloan. It’s currently heard on Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” as well as in 58 other markets across the United States and Canada via Westwood One.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Our company is excited to enter the growing arena of esports.  It’s a great way for us to reach future generations of listeners as we continue to focus on new and innovative ways to grow and transform the way we do business as a company.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nate Bender, Caroline Beasley, and Joe Sloan.

A Reunion at Westwood One Podcast Network. Pictured above at the Westwood One Podcast Network offices are (from l-r): WWO SVP of digital Tim Sabean, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, Gregg “Opie” Hughes, and “Stuttering” John Melendez.  Hughes does the “Opie Radio” podcast with WWO and Sabean, Martling, and Melendez all worked together on the Howard Stern show.  For a period, both the Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern shows aired on SiriusXM at the same time and Sabean was SVP of the Howard Stern channels there until 2014.

WNBF, Binghamton’s Roger Neel Celebrates 40 Years with the Station. At Townsquare Media’s news/talk WNBF, Binghamton, morning host Roger Neel (pictured above) is being honored for his four decades of service to the station.  The station writes on its website that “Neel joined WNBF on October 2, 1978.  He had been working in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, when he learned of an opportunity to be the play-by-play announcer for the Broome Dusters in Binghamton.  Over the years, Neel has covered countless sporting events for WNBF Radio.  He also has been involved with television coverage of a wide range of Binghamton events over the years.  In addition to his sports-related work, he has served at WNBF in various capacities. He now is co-host of the station’s ‘First News’ program weekday mornings.  He also writes for the WNBF.com website and is the WNBF brand manager for Townsquare Media.” Neel was honored Tuesday afternoon with a luncheon at the radio station’s Court Street offices.

TALKERS News Notes.  On Tuesday afternoon (10/2), a jury in Atlantic County, New Jersey convicted Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello of murder in the death of WOND-AM, Atlantic City talk host April Kauffman in 2012.  The Pagans motorcycle gang member was also convicted of conspiracy and racketeering.  Prosecutors said April Kauffman was killed by hitman Francis Mullholland – hired by Augello – after her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, decided he wanted her dead for fear she would expose the prescription pill ring he was operating.  Mullholland is deceased and James Kauffman killed himself in his cell two weeks after being indicted in January of this year…..Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root is expanding his reach as Las Vegas Review Journal opinion column is being syndicated nationally.  Root says, “It’s an amazing honor to announce that my Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper column has been chosen for national syndication by Creators Syndicate.  My political opinions will now reach newspapers across the USA.  I’ll be joining the Creators Syndicate lineup of stars such as Michelle Malkin, Patrick Buchanan, Ben Shapiro, Walter Williams, Armstrong Williams, Dick Morris, Thomas Sowell, and Judge Andrew Napolitano – all heroes of mine.”  Root is heard on the radio in national syndication via USA Radio Network and the program is simulcast on Newsmax TV…..iHeartMedia Houston and the Houston Rockets announce an extension of their long-term partnership to keep KBME-AM “Sportstalk 790 AM” as the Houston Rockets flagship radio station.  As part of the deal, all the games will also be broadcast on KTBZ-HD2 and many of the games will be simulcast on news/talk KTRH AM 740 and KODA-HD2…..Dr. Ronald Hoffman is celebrating his 30thyear talking medicine on the radio.  His nationally syndicated “Intelligent Medicine” show is one of the longest-running medical/health radio programs in the country.  After a brief run at WMCA, New York, Dr. Hoffman joined crosstown WOR in 1988, first as a local show, and then as a part of the WOR Radio Network.  Upon the demise of that network, the program moved to the Radio America network in 2014 where it remains today.  Hoffman says, “Although we have great sponsors and value their commitment, this show has always been about the audience first.  We never have and never will do anything to betray their trust and I strongly believe that’s why my show is still going strong.”…..Podcaster Stitcher announces it is naming Drew Welborn vice president of content partnerships. He’ll oversee Stitcher’s partnership team and the process of working with its podcast partners – ranging from content publishers to podcast talent…..Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting names Kevin Barrett as its new general manager.  Barrett has served with stations such as sports talk KTRB, San Francisco, KABZ-FM, Little Rock, and news/talk KTRS, St Louis.  Casper-based Mt. Rushmore operates 10 stations in Wyoming and South Dakota.  Barrett says, “I am thrilled to be in Casper. We have a dynamic array of brands and there are many opportunities for growth.  I am especially excited about working with the great Mt. Rushmore team.  This is a wonderful community, and I look forward to being a part of it.”…..The Philadelphia Flyers and Beasley Media Group announce a renewed broadcast partnership that includes sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” as the flagship station of the Flyers Radio Network and rock WMMR-FM as a partner broadcast station as part of a multi-year partnership extension.  In addition, new, original Flyers programming will be introduced on a weekly basis on “97.5 The Fanatic” during the 2018-19 season.  The first “Fanatic Flyers Weekly” hosted by Jason Myrtetus and Chris Therien will air this Thursday from 6:00 pm to -7:00 pm.

Harrison:  The ACLU and Judicial Crisis Network Wasted their Donors’ Contributions on Expensive Political TV Ads Both Pro and Con Kavanaugh.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison appeared this morning on the CNN Headline News (HLN) channel’s program “Across America with Carol Costello” to discuss the multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns being waged by America First (pro) and the ACLU (con) in states represented by key undecided senators from both parties regarding their forthcoming votes in the Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. Harrison was joined by GOP “branding strategist” Justin Wallin. During the conversation, Harrison stated, “I think both organizations have wasted their donors’ money by investing in political advertisements that will have no impact on their intended targets’ minds.  The last people who will be influenced by the messages of political ads are politicians themselves who know very well that they are exercises in hyperbole.  The only winners in this scenario are the television production companies that produced these ads and the TV stations that are running them.”  Harrison added, “President Trump and the Republicans would have been smarter to kick Kavanaugh to the curb and replace him with a less distracting nominee than to hitch their wagon to his star and allow this circus to become about him and not their elected mission to fill the seat with a conservative.  Now, it might be too late.”

Kavanaugh Investigation, NYTimes Trump Piece, U.S.-China Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, Record High Dow/Debt Bubble Concerns, Amazon Wage Hike, Facebook Hack, Ricin Packages Sent to Pentagon, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; the New York Times story alleging Donald Trump’s family engaged in tax schemes to achieve its wealth; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; November’s midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the Dow hits a new, record high and concerns a global debt bubble could burst and result in a recession; the ramifications of Amazon’s decision to raise its workers’ minimum wage to $15; the hack of Facebook data; packages containing ricin are sent to the Pentagon; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Portland, Entercom names Buck Wise new morning host at hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.”  Wise’s career includes stops at KFMS, Las Vegas; KYSR, Los Angeles; WKQI, Detroit; and KKRZ, Portland.  He says, “I’m honored to be joining the talented Entercom Portland family.  I’ve admired [market manager] Bill Ashenden and [program director] Brian Bridgman’s approach to local entertaining radio and I’m excited to work with them as a member of the KRSK team.”…..iHeartMedia announces that this year’s “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour 2018 Presented by Capital One” will feature Alessia Cara at select stops across the country.  She’ll join the previously announced Bebe Rexha.  The full lineup of performers will be announced next Tuesday (10/9)…..Entercom is expected to unveil the new format for WIAD, Washington – the former hot AC “94.7 Fresh FM” today.  On Tuesday (10/2), Entercom took a number of staffers off the air – including morning host Tommy McFly – in advance of the format change.  The new format is rumored to be launching today at 5:00 pm ET and industry chatter has classic hits as a leading contender…..On Friday (10/5), more than 470 college radio stations will unite for College Radio Day.  The event is a celebration of college radio and this year has support from leaders such as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, former Vice President Joe Biden, rocker Joan Jett, and producer/songwriter Kenny Laguna…..Service Broadcasting’s hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” is looking for an “elite” music director.  The company says that if you: are a “music maven” and “cultural curator” ready to elevate your brand, career and creativity; have a passion for people, music, culture and community; live, love and breathe the “hip hop” lifestyle; have mastered music scheduling and how to create the perfect music flow; and more, Service Broadcasting Group may have a rare opportunity for you in the fifth-largest market in America.  Send your resume package, music scheduling philosophy, success stories, and references to: SBG HR Manager Debbie Henry at jobs@k104fm.com.  No phone calls please. Service Broadcasting is an equal opportunity employer (EEO).

September 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the ratings for subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in July and August (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL levels out at 4.5 (6+) in September, yet progresses from seventh to sixth. Immediately prior to July, WMAL was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In March, it reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). Having completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” now drops one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), shifting from ninth to tenth. July’s decrease ended three gains in a row by the Washington Nationals’ flagship that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” slides from #19 to #20. “The Team” had a lengthy hiatus from Nielsen Audio; reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared again in July (0.0); but returned in August. The six most recent trends for WTOP are a very steady 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 (6+) as the Hubbard all-news facility sets the pace for the ninth straight month. Following four consecutive months at #1, it shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Between January – June, WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished first and second, respectively. By gaining four-tenths in August, WAMU curtailed three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+) and returned (from #3) to its familiar runner-up slot. With a gain of two-tenths (8.0 – 8.2, 6+), it is ensconced there again in September. An August increase of two-tenths to .5 (6+) by WDCH ended three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), but the Entercom business news outlet forfeits one-tenth in September to .4 (6+) and is flat at #24.

Washington, DC Music Formats – Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of -1.1 (4.8 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” answers with a +.7 to 4.4 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.3 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5, #14 to #12, 6+). Prior to this sweep, “Classical 90.9” had been inside 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 22 ratings periods. The three-tenths lead Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” had over Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR lengthens to one-half share as “Majic” improves by three-tenths (7.0 – 7.3, 6+), while WHUR adds one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+). The two rivals repeat at third and fourth, respectively. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. In July, “Majic”  registered the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June). In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). This is the sixth sweep in succession that WHUR has finished at #4. After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. Despite being up or flat for the third successive report for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” backslides from #14 to #15. In August, co-owned WBIG recaptured the three-tenths it lost in July, but “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” falters by seven-tenths in September (4.7 – 4.0, fifth to ninth, 6+). Going into the August sweep, WBIG was down or flat three months in a row for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the tenth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” drops from #14 to #16. An overall -.9 through five consecutive decreases (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM shifts from #12 to #14.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Up three-tenths (2.4 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO  progresses from #14 to #13. When “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notched a gain of two-tenths in July, it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Two-tenths of a share separates Beantown’s two mammoth sports talkers, as Entercom’s WEEI-FM drops one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” notches a +.4 (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). As it entered the September ratings period, Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM had been an overall +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). A +1.0 in April cut in half a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Meanwhile, New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+) following a one-half share decline in August, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” backslides from fifth to sixth. An April loss of nine-tenths ended three straight improvements that produced a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+); 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Off two-tenths (5.7 – 5.5, 6+), Boston University’s news/talk WBUR falls from third to fifth. In June, WBUR returned half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths; it was +.7 in January and +1.0 in March. Surrendering the one-tenth it logged this time last month (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #11 to #12. Prior to August’s +.1, WGBH was an overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+). WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January but was off two-tenths in both February and March.

Boston Music Formats – Typically solid in its home market (Worcester), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is up or flat for the fifth straight time for a +.9 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1, #19 to #17, 6+), reaching the two-share level in Boston (2.1, 6+) for the first time in nearly four years (2.0, November 2014). Doubling August’s +.3 with a September improvement of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” jumps from sixth to fourth. While co-owned mainstream CHR WXKS-FM is on top for the ninth consecutive ratings period, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by seven-tenths to 7.1 (6+), thus erasing the +.7 it netted in four consecutive up or flat monthlies (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). It exited the top spot in December 2017, after three straight months there. Its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#16 to #14), has a “Holiday” 2017 – September 2018 topline trending of 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+). Steady at #10, hot AC cluster-mate WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” drops one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), thus snapping at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded one-half share (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+). Not only does co-owned WAAF notch a +.3 to 1.8 (6+) to suspend four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), “The Only Station That Really Rocks” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). Somewhat similarly, Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV, which was off six-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), breaks that streak by adding one-tenth to 1.7 (6+). The difference is that “92.5 The River” backslides from #20 to #21. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 15th straight sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.5 – 2.3, -.2, 6+) dips from #13 to #14. In the market’s country tussle, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” is off for the third successive sweep for a -.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which had been in a March through August down/up sequence (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), drops two-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #17, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – By regaining the one-tenth it squandered in August, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD maintains a May through September topline pattern of 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+); News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” carries on at #20. WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Included in a five-way logjam at #25 (up from #27 in August) is Entercom’s WQAM, whose May through September trending is .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 (6+). A May gain of two-tenths by “Sports Radio 560” suspended five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+). Cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is in that scrum at #25 as well, but is up three tenths (to .9, #28 to #25, 6+), thus applying the brakes to seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). Doubling August’s one-tenth increase with a +.2 in September (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN inches up from #20 to #19. On the strength of a +1.1, Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WRMB “Moody Radio South Florida” nearly triples its 6+-share (.6 – 1.7,  #22, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A gain of seven-tenths to 4.6 (tenth to sixth, 6+) by iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Tus Hits” nearly erases its -.8 through three downward moves in succession (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). Tacking on four-tenths to August’s one-half share gain (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” sets the pace for the fourth month in a row. “Easy” advanced from second to first in June, but after three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), it faltered by six-tenths in July. Prior to April, WFEZ had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. In three straight monthlies without an increase, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+); however, “101.5 Lite FM” is a collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Nonetheless, it backslides from a fourth-place tie to fifth. July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. A collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” picks up one-tenth to 6.2 (6+) and is unchanged at #3. Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” is up two-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #16, 6+), curtailing three consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Fully erasing August’s +.5 with a -.5 in September (3.5 – 4.0 – 3.5), Univision Radio-owned Spanish tropical WRTO slips from ninth to tenth. In July, “Mix 98.3” surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share as well (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+) is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7,” which was +.7 in three up or flat months in a row (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has a March – September (6+) topline of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4. Down a combined -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” moves from #17 to #18. The tie at #11 between the market’s two mainstream CHRs is broken as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is off one-tenth (#12), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” sputters by three-tenths (#14). “Y-100” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 (March – September, 6+), while “Hits 97.3” is down for the third sweep in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) for an overall loss of seven-tenths. Down or flat nine consecutive reports for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. The two rivals were separated by one-tenth in April and May.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a combined +.5 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+). Its +.2 in August, suspended three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Off seven-tenths in three downward moves in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” answers with a +.9 to 5.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, the Detroit Tigers flagship was up nine-tenths in April. Adding two-tenths to August’s robust +.8 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” (unchanged at #3) registers its best 6+-performance since its 6.5 in March. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; and was then frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Following eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM picks up one-tenth to 1.7 (#19 to #18, 6+). Steady at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth for the third consecutive sweep (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Powered by a +1.3, more than quadrupling August’s 6+ AQH share (.4 – 1.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WDMK-HD2 “Detroit Praise Network” checks in at #18. Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia mainstream CHR and urban AC cluster-mates WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to eighth, 6+) and WMXD “Mix 92.3” (5.2 – 5.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). An overall -.9 in six successive sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), “Channel 95.5″ is now a collective +1.3 in August and September (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). The last time WKQI reached the five-share level (6+) was in December 2017 (5.0). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH, which was a combined +.4 in three straight up or flat moves (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), falters by four-tenths to 2.4 (#15 to #16, 6+). Just before that streak, “98.7 Amp Radio” suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Despite dropping one-tenth (7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. It dislodges Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” (7.9 – 7.4, -.5, 6+), which had been #1 the past four months; it slips to #2. WCSX was +.6 in July but is now a combined -.9 in August and September. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive negative moves (5.6 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, eighth to tenth, 6+). This comes immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). Forfeiting the three-tenths it picked up in August (5.5 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom’s WYCD segues from fourth to sixth. Three down or flat moves in succession by “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. While unchanged at #17, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is -1.0 in four consecutive decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of August’s +.8 to 5.9 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM tacks on two-tenths (6.1, 6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. Prior to its -.7 in June, KIRO-FM had an October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. Within 2.0 – 2.4 range for the sixth month in a row (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). The (6+) topline February – September trending for Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (flat at #24) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Even though it is off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” moves up from #14 to #13. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Locked on .6 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” follows in July through September with a .5 – .7 – .9, #28 to #26, 6+). Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO gains two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) and continues at #19. Not only is Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW a collective +.8 in three up or flat trends in succession (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), it proceeds from #2 to #1 with its highest 6+-share (6.2) since April’s 6.5. August’s increase concluded three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1.

Seattle Music Formats – Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) the past six survey periods (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” erupts with a +1.0 to 3.5 (#19 to #12), its strongest 6+-performance since December 2017 (3.5, as well). The market’s 6+ hot AC share swells by +1.3, virtually equally divided between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5” (4.0 – 4.7, +.7, eighth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM Seattle’s New Hit Music” (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Conversely, country’s 6+-share here shrinks by six-tenths, as Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” forfeits two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) sputters by four-tenths (3.6 – 3.2, #13 to #16, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in August, “The Wolf” concluded a streak that dated back to October 2017 in which KKWF alternated an up sweep with a down one (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). “The Bull” bounced back from July’s -.4 with an August +.6. Entering the July sweep, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+). These two country stations were tied at #14 in June. For the first time since Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound” (3.8 – 4.2, +.4, #11 to #8, 6+) became an adult contemporary outlet in early-December 2017, it overtakes the longtime incumbent – Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” (seventh to ninth, 6+). In August, “The Sound” posted a one-half share increase to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “Warm” is currently -1.0 in three successive setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The rollercoaster ride continues for co-owned CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5,” which was +1.7 in July (6.1 – 7.8, 6+); -1.4 in August; and now -.6 in September to 5.8, its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 5.6. Having finished first in June, July, and August, KQMV drops to third. A decline of seven-tenths takes Classic Radio’s KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” to 1.7 (#21 to #22), its softest 6+-stat since 1.6 in November 2017. Dropping one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (3.9 – 3.4, #10 to #13, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7,” which is a collective -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3, #17 to #20, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is a collective +.5 in three upticks in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. Following four straight gains that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” falters by four-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). A September increase of one-half share to 3.1 (#17 to #13, 6+) by Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” halts its May through August topline of 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 (6+). It is the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship reaches the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0. From January through May, it was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+); KMVP-FM was then frozen on 2.5 (6+) in June and July. Regaining one-tenth of August’s -.3 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ bumps up from #16 to #15. Its July increase of six-tenths halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Major ups/downs continue for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3,” which was +.5 in June and July (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+); -.8 in August; and now +.5 in September (1.3 – 1.8, #26 to #22, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM” (5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+), which had been -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). The only station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here posting an August 2018 – September 2018 decrease of at least one full-share is KZZP’s adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ (7.3 – 6.1, -1.2, 6+). Not only is this the fourth consecutive decline for KESZ for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+), it relocates to #2 after spending the last ten reports at #1. KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Taking over at #1 is Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which levels out at 6.3 (6+), after August’s +.8. As the result of July’s -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which occupied the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. An overall +.9 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” relinquishes two-thirds of that collective increase (2.4, -.6, #14 to #18, 6+). In three straight positive spikes (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT  managed to rack up a collective +2.7; however, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is off three-tenths in September to 5.9 (6+) and continues in third-place. For perspective, “The Mountain” finished tenth in May. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” moves from fourth to third, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – returns half of August’s +.4 (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+) and remains at #9. A cumulative -2.1 (or roughly -50%) in six successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” slips from a three-way tie at #18 to #19.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recording a 4.4 (6+) for the third straight month, Entercom-owned WCCO drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, the four previous fluctuations for “News Radio 830” were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. A loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) drops iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” from #13 to #14. In advance of the June sweep, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Flat at #16, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” surrenders two-tenths (2.7 – 2.5, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March decrease of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat trends that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). A collective -2.1 via four decreases in a row (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” answers with a +1.2 in August and September (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 (February through September, 6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #21 to #22. Following four negative moves in a row for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is +.8 in August and September (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and +.7 (August).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Not only does its increase of nine-tenths to 8.0 (6+) suspend three straight negative moves that generated a -.6 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 14.2. “Kool 108” succeeds co-owned CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (7.8 – 7.2, -.6, first to third, 6+), which occupied the top spot for just one month. August’s 7.8 is its highest 6+-share since September 2016’s 8.1. Prior to August 2018, the last time KDWB claimed the top spot was August 2017. Locked on 1.5 (6+) in May and June and then on 1.6 (6+) in July and August, Minneapolis Public Schools’ KBEM breaks out a +.5 to 2.1 (steady at #19, 6+), the first time “88 FM – The Twin Cities’ Voice For Jazz, Roots Music & Education” reaches the two-share level (6+) since March (2.0). Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which held the lead position seven straight sweeps before being ousted in August, is up three-tenths to 7.4 (steady at #2, 6+), thus curtailing four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Its -.7 in May suspended four successive progressive moves that netted a +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following four consecutive increases for a cumulative +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” dropped six-tenths in August and is flat in September (at 3.6, #14 to #13, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in August, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” surrenders twice that margin in September (6.0 – 5.2, -.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s KMNB “Minneapolis Country Music – Buz’n @ 102.9” is down a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, #11 to #12, 6+). Unchanged in fifth place, Cumulus Media-owned KQRS is off one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Following five consecutive months without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” posted a +.3 in August.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO regresses by seven-tenths in August and September (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), yet actually improves from ninth to seventh. “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); and -.6 (August). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Flat at #22, Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth interrupted three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” (1.8 – 1.4, -.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Finishing one after another  are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #24 to #25, 6+); Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.8 – .9, +.1, even at #25, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.5 – .8, +.3, level at #27, 6+). San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth to July; returned to first in August; and segues from first to second to September (6.5 – 6.2, -.3, 6+). KPBS was up seven-tenths in August.

San Diego Music Formats – Boasting a +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ zooms from #16 to #10 as San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” reaches the three-share threshold (6+, 3.7) for the first time since March (3.1). Both of the market’s rockers – Tegna’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM BFM” (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” (2.8, #20 to #16, 6+) – improve by six-tenths. In August, KFMB-FM sputtered by one-half share to 3.0, its lowest 6+-showing since March (2.9). Meanwhile, “Rock 105.3” was a collective -.6 in four successive down or flat sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Local Media San Diego-operated XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (3.6, #10 to #11, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.5 – 3.0, #18 to #14, 6+). CHR “Z-90.3” was -1.4 via three decreases in a row (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), while “Amor 102.9” recorded a 2.7 (6+) in March, April, May, and June. A collective +2.8 through seven consecutive ratings periods without a loss (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” storms from second to first. A collective +1.6 in July and August (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV surrenders nine-tenths in September (5.3 – 4.4, 6+) slipping from sixth to seventh. In August, “Que Buena 106.5” crossed the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. Uni Radio’s similarly-formatted XHTY “Invasora 99.7,” which was up eight-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), drops two-tenths to 2.9 (#10 to #15, 6+). In four downward moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4 – 2.1, #19 to #20, 6+), Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.9 (approximately -50%).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – With a May through September topline of 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA advances from sixth to fourth. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first, but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. In an up/down pattern, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW was +.3 (June); -.2 (July); +.1 (August); and now -.4 in September (2.1 – 1.7, 6+) as “Talk Radio 630” departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). Adding nine-tenths to August’s +.4 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” proceeds from #14 to #12 with its best 6+-stat (3.8) since December 2017’s 4.2. “The Fan” faltered by one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. On the heels of hauling out a +1.1 (5.2 – 6.3, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR tacks on another one-tenth (to 6.4, 6+), which is sufficient to progress from second to first. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9, -.8, 6+), Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC registers a one-half share increase to 1.3 (#26 to #23, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0 (6+), KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – The market’s (6+) hot AC share balloons by +1.2, which is nearly equally divided between KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN (3.9 – 4.6, +.7, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.3, +.5, #11 to #10, 6+). The (6+) April – May – June – July – August stats for “Alice” were 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8. Having notched a 2.7 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 (6+), Entravision Communications Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” breaks out a +.7 to 3.4 (#15 to #13, 6+). A gain of six-tenths to 2.3, the best 6+-stat for Colorado Public Radio’s KVOD since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.4, ends its April – August 1.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 (6+) trending and takes the classical station to #19. Since debuting in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (#18 to #16) is trending 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8. Immediately after registering three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL followed with a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In September, “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and continues in eighth-place. May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. On the other hand, August’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. Two streaks come to an end for Entercom classic rocker KQMT: It drops six-tenths to 6.0 (6+), thus snapping its consecutive string of three positive spikes that netted a +1.7 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) – and – after being #1 the past three months – “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” shifts to the runner-up slot. Up or flat five months in a row for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is now -1.0 in August and September (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Whereas July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5, September’s 5.0 is its lowest since March (4.7). Erasing in full the one-half share increase it recorded in August (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBPI “107.9 Rocks The Rockies” departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Prior to August, KBPI posted a 1.5 (6+) in four of the previous six sweeps (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Also forfeiting one-half share is Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.8 – 3.3, #11 to #15, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning half of August’s +.6 (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). In January and February, WFLA was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; and +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without a loss the last four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” falters by two-tenths to 3.3 (#13 to #14, 6+). A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Conversely, with a gain of four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” pulls the plug on four consecutive down or flat reports that led to a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Beginning with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March – September topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to dialing up a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) which halts five straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). Albeit down three-tenths (8.9 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is in the driver’s seat for the 73rd successive ratings period. After four straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), WDUV slipped three-tenths in July but picked up one-tenth in August. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A September decrease of eight-tenths by  classic hits-oldies sibling WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” completely wipes away August’s +.7 (6.4 – 7.1 – 6.3, 6+). In August, “The Eagle” registered its highest 6+-stat since July 2017 (7.1, as well). Similarly, iHeartMedia-owned WXTB “98 Rock” erases August’s one-half share increase with a September decrease of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #12). Four straight up or flat trends by “98 Rock” netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but it was down nine-tenths in July; June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). Whereas iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” was up one-half share in August, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” was down by that same margin. WFLZ is flat at 4.1 (#11 to #10, 6+) and “Hot” picks up three-tenths (3.4 – 3.7, #14 to #12, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, #11 to #12, 6+) takes independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” to its lowest 6+-showing (2.6) since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.5. Steady at #14, Hearst Television news/talker WBAL gains one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” carries on at #9. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). A collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” remains at #12. Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. American University-owned news/talker WAMU (1.0 – 1.1, +.1, 6+) is part of a four-way scrum at #18. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report. The March through September topline for Entercom business news WDCH is .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 (#26, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Answering July’s -.8 with a collective +1.1 in August and September (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” progresses from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-stat since August 2017 (5.5, as well). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF improves by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place. “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classic Music Station” more than triples (+1.9) its 6+-share (.8 – 1.3 – 2.7, 6+), catapulting from #16 to #11. In August, WBJC halted four straight down or flat trends that carved away approximately half (-.7) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, 6+). It is a somewhat similar scenario for Entercom-owned gospel WLIF-HD2 which also more than triples (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share in August and September (.6 – 1.1 – 1.9, #18 to #15, 6+). Up one-tenth to 8.8 (6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM finishes first for the ninth successive sweep as “Magic 95.9” bounces back from August’s -.8 (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it responded with a +.3 in June. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it lost one-tenth in March. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ (7.8 – 7.6, -.2, 6+) occupies the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row; “92-Q Jams” was up nine-tenths in August, with 7.8 its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017 (7.8, as well). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 (January); -.9 (February); -1.5 (April); +.6 (May); +.5 (June); +.8 (July); -.6 (August) and now -.6 in September (6.2 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+). Off one-tenth to 4.9 (6+) and dropping from sixth to eighth, Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” has its successive string of up or flat trends that produced an overall +2.2 snapped at eight (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away July’s -.6 with a combined +.9 in August and September (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” marches from the runner-up slot to #1 with its highest 6+-stat since May (8.3, as well). The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was +2.3 in April. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Despite being -.7 in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” improves from #17 to #16. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Three straight negative moves by Hubbard sports talk WXOS generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “101 Sports” follows with an overall +1.3 in July, August, and September (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0, #12 to #11, 6+); 4.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). WXOS posted a -.6 in both February and April. Without a decrease in the last four ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU remains at #14. Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), KWMU added one-tenth in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – In back-to-back major-league wobbles, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” completely obliterates August’s -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7, 6+) with a September gain of the same magnitude (6.7 – 7.8, +1.1, 6+) and advances from third to second. After regressing by a combined -1.5 in May and June, KLOU recaptured nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+). On top for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” erases an August decline in its entirety as well, flipping August’s -.5 into a September +.5 (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Its August loss ended six consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). It is tied at #6 with Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative,” which registers its fifth consecutive positive spike for a +1.9 in that stretch (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Moreover, this (5.9) is the highest 6+-performance for “The Point” since March 2016’s 6.1. It is only a one-month stay at #1 for Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY (7.8 – 7.6, -.2, 6+), which segues from first to third. Even so, it’s a noteworthy story for “99.1 Joy FM,” which – after being unlisted for 18 straight sweeps – reappeared in print in June and by hauling out a +1.3 in August (6.5 – 7.8, 6+) marched from third to first. After posting a repetitive May through August topline of 5.8 – 6.2 – 5.8 – 6.2 (6+), Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” falters by eight-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to eighth, 6+). Without a gain for the fifth straight sweep, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#16 to #17) is a collective -1.2 (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

| September 26, 2018

New Morning Host Greg Tish Takes Over on WVFT, Tallahassee. At WVFT, Tallahassee “Real Talk 93.3,” operator Magic Broadcasting II names Greg Tish the new morning host after declining to renew the contract of former morning personality Greg Marr Jr.  According to a story at Tallahassee.com, the new show, “Real Mornings with Greg Tish and Bobby Mac,” will focus less on politics than Marr Jr.’s “Voice of Freedom Today” program.  WVFT station manager Jon Jopling is quoted saying, “We are going to be intellectually honest and locally relevant.  It’s going to be more interesting and more thought provoking. We want to engage listeners on a higher level.”  Tish has been employed for the past 19 years with the Florida Sheriff’s Association.  He is described in the piece as a “partially retired DJ and man-about-town socialite.”

PodcastOne Sportsnet Beefs Up Offerings with Nine New Shows. These new programs now available on the PodcastOne Sportsnet platform are from The Pro Football Focus Network, The Underdog Network, The Collider Network, RealGM, and Natalie Eva Marie. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norman Pattiz says, “As a full-service sports network totally focused on podcasts, plus up-to-date coverage of live events and major sporting events from around the world, these new inclusions from our podcasting partners further signal our commitment to sports and maintaining our leadership position.” New shows include “The PFF NFL Show” with Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson; “The Underdog” with Chris Horwedel and writer Anshu Khanna; “You’re Wrong and Here’s Why”; “Tales from the Association”; “Collider Sports”; “RealGM Radio Football” with Jeff Risdon; and “The Natalie Eva Marie Show.”

NAB/RAB Radio Show Happening Now in Orlando — The 2018 installment of the annual “Radio Show” produced and presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) kicked off yesterday (9/26) in Orlando, FL and will run through Friday (9/28) at the dual location of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando.  TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay is on the scene providing first-hand coverage of the event and conducting interviews with speakers and attendees.  Read his coverage here.  McKay (on crutches due to a recent knee injury) is pictured below in front of one of the convention’s promotional posters that adorn the hallways and public spaces of the radio industry gathering.

Edison Teases ‘Share of Ear’ Data; Estimates SiriusXM-Pandora Market Share.  Tomorrow at the RAB/NAB Radio Show, Edison Research will unveil data from its 2018 “Share of Ear” study.  In advance of that, the company teases some of the findings, including that “in-car is the top listening location in the U.S. for all audio.”  That’s probably not a surprising statistic to radio pros, but the research puts some figures on that conclusion.  Edison says, “In any given day, nearly everyone in the U.S. will consume at least some audio, and on average, people age 13 and older spend four hours per day listening to music, news, personalities, and sports…70% of Americans age 13 and older listen to audio in a car each day – higher even than the portion who listen to audio at home.”  In a separate press release, Edison comments on the proposed acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM saying that its research indicates that if the deal is consummated, the new company would deliver 12% of all audio consumed in the U.S.

Beasley Media Group Presents Dr. Shawn DuBravac at Radio Show — The appearance by best-selling author Dr. Shawn DuBravac came at the Beasley Media Group-sponsored “Evening of Dinner and Disruption” event held last night (9/25).  DuBravac discussed transformative innovation, including smart cities, AI, data, and the opportunities for radio in the future.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: DuBravac, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, COO/EVP Brian Beasley, and president Bruce Beasley.

Westwood One’s Kevin Harlan Gives Advice to Future Broadcasters – At the Westwood One-sponsored presentation by “Monday Night Football” announcer Kevin Harlan (right), he spoke with a large group of 2018 Radio Show Student Scholars about the business of radio broadcasting.  Harlan shared stories and offered advice to the students.  He’s pictured above with University of Indianapolis student broadcaster Mallory Moreno (left).  “The Student Scholar Kick-off with Kevin Harlan” was hosted by Westwood One Sports EVP/executive producer Howard Deneroff.

Harrison: Corporate Media Will Stop Catering to Targeted Audience Biases Only If It Sees Ratings and Revenue in Journalistic Objectivity. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison appeared as a guest on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) yesterday (9/25) on “Across America with Carol Costello” to share his take on Brett Kavanaugh’s FOX News interview the night before (9/24).  As the conversation delved into the widespread practice of news organizations catering to target audience mindsets, Costello asked Harrison if he thinks any minds would be changed by Kavanaugh’s historically unusual FOX News appearance.  Harrison responded with the cynical observation, “I don’t think anything changes minds anymore.  We’re in a very strange impasse and I think it’s corroding our democracy.  I do hope that we eventually get to the point where it’s a little more fluid, where people are a bit more open-minded and that the media in general is a little bit more independent of adhering to its political flavor.  I guess the only way the media will ever get to that point will be if the media thinks it is in their interests to be that way – that you can actually get ratings and revenue and build an audience by not preaching to choirs.  But right now, we’re really in a quagmire of partisanship and polarized reporting where even media people who think they’re objective find themselves succumbing to the temptation to preach to their audience’s biases.”  Harrison went on to say that he does not hold FOX solely responsible for this type of positioning and insinuated that it is practiced to one degree or another by outlets all across the political spectrum including CNN and even TALKERS.

Trump UN Speech, Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Tensions, Bill Cosby Sentenced, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). Tuesday’s UN address by President Trump, including his warnings to Iran; the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the related status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the tense relationship between the U.S. and China over tariffs and weapons sales; entertainment icon Bill Cosby is sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault; the week’s NFL activities; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push 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 Boston, iHeartMedia names Rebekah “Bex” Maroun executive producer and co-host on CHR WXKS-FM’s “Matty In The Morning, effective October 1. She joins the program alongside well-known on-air personalities Matt Siegel, Billy Costa, and Lisa Donovan. She assumes the role previously held by Medha Gandhi, who recently joined the syndicated “Elvis Duran & The Morning Show.”  “Kiss 108” program director Dylan Sprague comments, “Bex’s chemistry with the Matty team was obvious at our first meeting.  Couple that with her magnetic personality and producing experience and it was really an easy choice.”  She was most recently an air personality and producer at Entercom’s hot AC WTDY…..BMI announces it has re-elected six members of its board of directors during the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.  The following have been elected to new three-year terms: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group, LLC; Amador Bustos, president and CEO, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; Michael Fiorile, current chairman, BMI board of directors; chairman and CEO, The Dispatch Printing Company; and chairman and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group; Bill Hoffman, president, Hoffman Communications, Inc. and retired president, Cox Media Group; Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson, Urban One, Inc.; and Jerry Kersting, former president, Tribune Broadcasting and past EVP/CFO, Clear Channel Radio.…..In Miami, Entercom adds Melissa Maxx to the air staff of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show. She takes over for Erin Lee, who remains with the station to handle weekends and fill-ins…..At company headquarters in Portland this week, Alpha Media programmers are meeting for the first-ever “Alpha Media Programming Pop-Up.”  Fifty of Alpha’s content directors from around the country are taking part in a two-day forum.  The company says the goal is to “motivate and educate Alpha’s brand leaders by providing interaction with and information from some of the industry’s top executives and celebrity influencers.  Meetings and presentations are taking place today and tomorrow at Alpha’s theater located at the corporate offices.  Pictured below at Tuesday evening’s rooftop cocktail party are (from l-r): Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick, Republic Records’ Sharon Dastur, Republic’s Gary Spangler, Alpha VP of content Phil Becker, Republic artist Mike Posner, Republic’s Brett Dumler, Republic’s Mike DePippa, and model/TV personality Kim Stolz.

Monday, September 10, 2018

| September 10, 2018

iHeartMedia Reports July Financial Figures.  As is required by the US Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia has been filing its 8-K form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission each month that provides basic financial information.  The latest monthly operating report for July 2018 shows revenue was $281.1 million, an 8.4% decrease from the June 2018 period where that figure was $305.9 million. However, net income was $55.2 million, a change from June’s loss of $119.7 million.  During July, the company’s payments to professionals leaped from $1.4 million the month prior to $15.7 million.

WPG, Atlantic City Unveils New Programming. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG-AM/W281BH announces a new program lineup that includes the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and Van Camp” program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David Van Camp – in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s San Antonio-based syndicated program is added for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am program.  The Townsquare Media station says it has enhanced its weekend programming with the addition of Radio America’s Dana LoeschFOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Compass Media Networks’ Lars Larson, and Westwood One’s Walter Sterling.  The station is also beefing up its news reporting with newscasts four times per hour during middays.

Judge Denies Craig Carton’s Request to Keep Documents from Prosecutors.  New York radio personality Craig Carton’s attorneys wanted to submit required documents (detailing subpoenas) only to Judge Colleen McMahon and away from the prosecutors charging Carton with fraud in the trial that will get underway on October 29.  The argument from Carton’s side was that his defense team’s strategy would be revealed to prosecutors.  But Judge McMahon cited Carton’s own words in The New York Post in shooting down that request.  She said the defense’s strategy to argue that Carton was running a legitimate ticket business and was duped by associate Joe Meli is already public knowledge because Carton said as much in a story in the Post.  In that story, Carton said, “I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.” The September 6 Post story by Kaja Whitehouse reports that Carton’s lawyer will argue that Carton “was a professional gambler who placed bets at casinos around the world on behalf of investors — not someone who used investor money to pay off his own gambling debts, as the feds have charged.”

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN Air.  Midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno was back on WFAN, New York after being off the air since July in the aftermath of being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former sales exec who worked at WFAN when it was owned by CBS RADIOLauren Lockwood’s suit alleges a frat house-like atmosphere at WFAN – an allegation current owner Entercom denies.  She further alleges that Benigno propositioned her to take part in threesomes and that he carried out an affair with a female subordinate.  Benigno said he couldn’t talk about the suit but thanked his wife, PD Mark Chernoff, and Entercom executives before getting back to sports talk with co-host Evan Roberts.

Westwood One Announces News Additions. News pro Linda Kenyon joins Westwood One News as a full-time Washington correspondent. She was most recently with Salem Radio Network News covering congress. At the same time, WWO announces that Bob Costantini is now White House correspondent. Kenyon comes to Westwood One with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.  She has served as a Capitol Hill correspondent, White House correspondent, anchor, and general assignment reporter, writer and editor at three national news networks, including the Associated Press and Salem.  Costantini has been covering Capitol Hill and other beats since joining Westwood One in 2015.  His career includes reporting for FOX News Channel, Tribune Television, NBC News Radio, and CNN Radio.

Beasley Names Gregg Stiansen NSM for New Jersey Group.  Sales pro Gregg Stiansen comes to Beasley Media Group from his most recent position with Salem Media Group in Philadelphia to take on the national sales manager position for the company’s New Jersey stations, including news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick.  Beasley SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Gregg is a perfect fit for Beasley Media Group New Jersey.  He is synonymous with New Jersey radio, especially on the national front.  Gregg understands the uniqueness of the job and we’re confident he will hit the ground running in his new position.”

Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted to VP/Director of Sales for Entercom Washington DC. Rising from director of local sales for the company’s hip hop WPGC and Spanish pop WLZL in Washington, DC is Ivy Savoy-Smith, who is now vice president and director of sales for Entercom Washington’s cluster that also includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” Senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Ivy is a natural leader who has embraced every challenge and earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her competitors.  Those privileged to benefit from Ivy’s mentorship are not only better professionals but better people, and her positive influence casts a wide net across the region and the industry.  I can’t think of a better person to lead DC’s elite radio and digital marketing team.”

Cooke: Podcast Listeners Like Booze.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today citing Edison Research and Nielsen Audio data that indicates avid fans of podcasting are consumers of spirits. Of all of the product categories that moved podcast listeners, liquor is one that was either tops or close to tops for many of the podcast categories cited.  See Holland Cooke’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk personality Aaron Goldhammer said back in April that he’d eat horse poop if the Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the draft.  Well, they did and last week Goldhammer followed through on his promise (pictured here).  WKRC-TV has the story here…..A more appetizing story from Cleveland comes courtesy of iHeartMedia as its news/talk WTAM adds an FM translator to its broadcast as W295DE at