Tag: "Big John Howell"

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

| January 1, 2019

Townsquare Media Co-Founder Dhruv Prasad to Exit the Company. Company co-founder and current co-CEO Dhruv Prasad announces he will leave Townsquare Media, Inc at the end of this month.  Current co-CEO Bill Wilson will become the sole chief executive officer.  The company adds that, in addition to Wilson, co-founder and CFO Stuart Rosenstein and EVP Claire Yenicay will assume Prasad’s management responsibilities.  Prasad comments, “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since founding Townsquare in 2010.  From scratch, we created not only the nation’s third-largest radio broadcaster, but also built new, profitable businesses in live events and digital.  With the company on strong footing and in the hands of an outstanding senior management team, it’s time for me to move on to my next challenge.” Wilson states, “I want to thank Dhruv for his contributions to Townsquare over his longstanding tenure, and in particular, his partnership over the past year as co-CEO.  Together, we were able to reorient Townsquare to focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy and successfully rationalize our non-local businesses.  I look forward to continuing this strategy, which has driven strong local growth in 2018, particularly within our digital businesses, and solidified our position as the premier local advertising and marketing solutions company in the heartland of America.”

Mancow Begins New Year Hosting Mornings on WLS-AM, Chicago. As had been teased prior to the holidays, Erich Mancow Muller is the new morning drive personality on Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS-AM.  He’ll launch the new morning show tomorrow (1/3). Last month, the station announced that the morning team of Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens was exiting the morning daypart, but Howell stays with the station hosting the new 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  This is a return to WLS-AM for Muller.  He co-hosted the midday show with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010.  Mancow had been hosting the morning program at classic rock WLUP-FM until last March when owner Merlin Media sold the signal to religious operator Educational Media Foundation.  Since then, Muller has been off the air.  He’ll once again be working for Marv Nyren, Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager for Chicago.  Interestingly, Nyren fired Muller from alternative WKQX in 2006 and when he became Cumulus’ market manager (Cumulus was operating WLUP under an LMA) in 2017, Muller sued him for harassment and emotional distress.  However, the suit was dropped and the two have obviously overcome their differences.  John Dempsey is still the morning news anchor and Midge “Luv Cheez” Ripoli will serve as the show’s executive producer.

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Afternoon Host Scott Stiegler to Exit. Actually, Scott Stiegler is remaining with the Cumulus Media station and will move to the sales department. The station says it will have an announcement about the programming change on January 7, but New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan reports that former longtime morning rock jock T.J. Trout will take over the afternoon drive show.  Trout served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown KZRR “94 Rock” for 25 years until he exited the station in 2011. According to Monahan, Trout is returning to the market after retiring to his hometown of Cleveland in 2011.

Salem Debuts Sebastian Gorka on 340 Affiliates and 24/7 in Washington.  New Year’s Day marked the national syndication debut of “America First with Dr. Sebastian Gorka” from Salem Radio Network.  In addition to launching on some 340 affiliate stations across the country, the program is being heard in the Washington, DC market on four signals – including round the clock on Salem-owned WSPZ-AM.  The show can also be heard in DC on Salem’s news/talk WWRC “AM 570 The Answer,” WAVA-AM, and WAVA-HD2.

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio.  Consultant Holland Cooke launches a new, weekly column in TALKERS magazine called the “Monday Memo” in which he outlines “techniques proven to produce results and how these timeless basics advantage us on the changing media landscape.”  Coming on Monday (1/7) at Talkers.com, Cooke will address “how smart stations score smartphone clicks and earn digital dollars podcasting.”  Meanwhile, read today’s introductory piece explaining some of the good news/bad news scenarios facing the radio business here.

Davis Media to Launch ‘All News 102’ in Virginia Beach. The current triple A format on Davis Media’s WXTG-FM, Virginia Beach; WXTG-AM, Hampton; and W270DA, Hampton is flipping to all-news on Monday (1/7).  Davis Media says, “Listeners can expect ‘All-News 102’ to feature a wide variety of national and local news. Our content partners include ABC Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Accuweather, Reliant Traffic, Associated Press, Virginia News Network, and content from our sister publications, wydaily.com and southsidedaily.com.  While the focus for the station is news and not talk – community conversation will have its place. Throughout each newsday, ‘All-News 102’ will host discussions with local newsmakers regarding compelling, focused topics to inform communities and promote more thoughtful daily considerations and learnings for audiences.”  The triple A format continues on the company’s WTYD-FM, Deltaville, Virginia.

SB Nation Announces New Programming. The national radio syndication lineup of SB Nation Radio has a few changes in the New Year.  The KDUS-AM, Phoenix-based “Calling All Sports” show featuring RocManuch, and Crespin airs on the network in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  The show has been airing on KDUS-AM for the past 14 years.  Other changes include Jake Asman hosting “The Power Hour” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and Dave Smith joining the network for weekend show hosting duties.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Vinny D joins Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” as afternoon drive personality.  He was most recently with Urban Radio’s hip hop WMSR-FM “Power 94.9” and urban contemporary WMXV “V101.5” in Tuscumbia, Alabama.   WMGC program director John Candelaria comments, “We are thrilled to find a diamond in the rough.  He is authentic and funny.  Detroit is a blue-collar city and Vinny D is eager to roll up his sleeves and serve our community!”…..Entercom adds Greg “Grego” Onofrio to the air staff of adult hits KKHH, Houston “95.7 The Spot.”  Onofrio was previously an anchor and on-camera commentator at KIAH-TV, Houston “CW 39” where he hosted “NewsFix,” an alternative presentation to traditional local news.  Before working in television, he hosted “Outlaw Radio” on then-rock KLOL-FM, Houston. nighttime show at Rock 101 KLOL in Houston…..Cumulus Media flips country WIWF, Charleston, South Carolina to classic hits as “The All-New 96.9 The Wolf.”  Cumulus Charleston vice president and market manager Sherry Dollar says, “Our New Year’s resolution is to be the station that only plays the best of Charleston’s classic hits.  We think listeners will love hearing the songs that have stood the test of time and are now classics!  Their all-time favorites all have a home at 96.9 FM.”…..In the Akron-Canton market, iHeartMedia debuts new adult contemporary outlet WHOF-FM “SUNNY 101.7, Variety from the 80s, 90s and Today.”  The station is airing 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row and says it will have details about its new air personality lineup in the coming weeks…..Beasley Media Group launches new classic rock outlet WPBB-FM, Tampa “98.7FM The Shark” that is focused on rock songs from the 80s and 90s.  The station begins airing the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” in mornings on Monday (1/7).  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “It’s been many years since Tampa Bay had a true classic rock station on a full signal and we’re excited to offer the next generation of classic rock to such a great rock market.”…..Cumulus Media names Summer James midday personality for adult contemporary WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B106.7.”  James has worked for Cumulus in Los Angeles.   She says, “I’m so excited to be joining this great team on the air in the Capital City.  They have a winning philosophy, I love South Carolina, and we have the signal to rock the state in 2019!”

December 2018 PPM Data – Round One. REVISED information for the December 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s 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 these 12 PPM markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being off three-tenths in consecutive months (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7, October-November-December, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” completely forfeits its cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). In addition to posting its eighth straight monthly report without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22. Up or flat the fifth straight month for a net gain of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC checks in at #24.

Following November’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WFAN is down another two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October; 4.7 in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 5.2. Without a loss the past four months for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” forfeits three-tenths to 1.5 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). The New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS was then stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November before dropping one-tenth in December to 4.3 but advances from sixth to fifth. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.8 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) yet backslides from a three-way tie at #11 to #12.

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); and now +.6 in December (3.0 – 3.6, #15 to #9, 6+). For the third month in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (steady at #28, 6+). Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – After being down by four-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” roars back with a +2.4 in December to 9.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 17th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW (which was 8.8, 6+, in December 2017) was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). With a consistent July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM sputters by nine-tenths in December to 5.4, but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Four successive up or flat trends by Emmis urban AC WBLS accounted for a net +1.2 (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+); however, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” returns two-thirds of that increase (5.7, -.8, flat at #2, 6+). In five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, WBLS recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. Flat at #8, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97” 6+), is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Up a collective half-share in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” surrenders six-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat the past four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” manages to climb from seventh to sixth. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” are tied at #31 with identical profiles (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+). In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” gains two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, #40 to #35, 6+).

Practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” forfeits two-tenths to 1.3 (#25 to #26, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” erodes by two-thirds (-1.4) to .7 (6+), plummeting from #22 to #35. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

A gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) propels Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” back into the top ten (#11 to #9).

The ten (10) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#unchanged at #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over and above repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST racks up a +3.9 and is up for the fourth month in succession for an overall +4.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0, 6+). In December 2017, “Coast 103.5” was 8.7 (6+). While unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH is a collective -.7 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+).“K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which gains two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it halted a streak of five successive months at #1. As the result of four consecutive upticks (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC is a collective +.7 as the University of Southern California classical outlet enters the top twenty (#19). Finishing at #23, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a -.3 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+) but stays at #20. In the market’s alternative contest, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7” returns the three-tenths it gained in November (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KROQ is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -.7 (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), dipping from #17 to #20. Unchanged at #5, smooth AC sibling – KTWV “94.7 The Wave” – is nonetheless off one-half share in December (4.3 – 3.8, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the third sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN returns six-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and spirals from #11 to #18. Entering the August sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox notched three consecutive gains for a combined +1.0 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Dropping from #22 to #23, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through December topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

An increase of one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WSCR (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) is enough to boost “670 The Score” from #18 to a three-way tie at #12. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” (#23 to #22) is up one half-share.

Notwithstanding it is a collective +1.1 in four consecutive months without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM shifts from first to second. Immediately in advance of this streak, the Chicago Bears flagship logged six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth month in a row for a +.7 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ has its best 6+-showing (2.9) since April’s 3.0 and leaps from #16 to that aforementioned three-way scrum at #12.

Chicago Music Formats – In what has become a tradition when it transitions to all-Christmas music, iHeartMedia adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” registers a lofty +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+) and catapults from #11 all the way to #1. WLIT, which displaces Entercom all-news WBBM-AM at the top spot, was 8.5 in December 2017. Coming in at #15 and #16, respectively, are WLIT’s AC rivals – Hubbard’s WSHE (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #13 to #15, 6+) and Venture Technologies Group AC WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” (#9 to #16, 6+). Until surrendering its entire half-share increase in October to 2.6 (6+), WSHE had been without a loss five consecutive months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). In November, however, WSHE regained that half-share decline in its entirety (3.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). WRME-LP is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Sliding from fourth to seventh, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) takes alternative WKQX to its lowest 6+-showing (2.3) in exactly one year (December 2017‘s 2.2). Four consecutive increases by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO netted +1.4 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) but “Que Buena 105.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and slips from second to fourth. Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (seventh to ninth, 6+) and is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 17th consecutive ratings period. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is without a gain for the fourth straight month for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #23. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away October’s seven-tenths’ increase with a collective -.8 in November and December (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops from #14 to #16. KSFO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO is unchanged from November (2.1, 6+) but slips from #18 to #19. August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

Returning all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (2.9 – 2.6, -.3, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses from #13 to #14. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). By recapturing the two-tenths it lost in November and one-tenth more (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

Despite logging a gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM segues from second – where it had been the past ten (10) sweeps – to third. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July.

In addition to tacking on two-tenths to November’s +.7 (6.7 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is #1 for the 11th straight month. This (7.6) is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended 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+). Inching up from #31 to #30, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” has its sixth straight up or flat trend for a collective +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Rebounding from a November dip of two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM counters with a +2.7 to 6.4 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) and falls from third to fourth. Not only does KDFC post a one-half share increase for the second straight sweep (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), the University of Southern California-owned classical outlet zooms into the top ten (#14 to #9). After being an overall +1.1 in six straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” falters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Directly on the heels of November’s +.8, (2.8 – 3.6, 6+) KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (seventh to tenth, 6+). As a result of a one-half share decline (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since November 2017’s 2.6 and is tied with KOSF at #10.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past five months for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP forfeits nearly half that increase (2.7, -.5, #13 to #16, 6+). Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.3 in three straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the third time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4, flat at #36, 6+).

Even though it is off a collective three-tenths in November and December (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” advances from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, steady at #18, 6+). On the other hand, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 1.1 (#29 to #31, 6+).

Down or flat for the fourth straight time (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” actually progresses from #21 to a tie at #20. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

After posting three increases in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA returns two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In seven successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” has nearly doubled (+2.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1, 6+), vaulting from ninth to third. “Star” (5.1, 6+) is up one-tenth from where it was a year ago (5.0, December 2017, 6+). A combined +1.2 in three successive upticks (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” progresses from seventh to fourth. Down one-half share in November (6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” bounces back with a +.2 to 6.3 (6+) and is on top for the 12th straight time. “Kiss” was +1.1 in August, after a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Flat at #19, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is a combined -1.0 via five consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Albeit that Cumulus Media’s KSCS is -1.1 in five straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to sixth, 6+), “New Country 96.3” overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.1 – 3.6, -.5, fourth to tenth, 6+). An October gain by “The Wolf” halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths; its May through November topline was 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 (6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Despite being off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” advances from #13 to #11.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH erases its November gain of six-tenths and sends “News Radio 740” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). November’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

The AM flagship of the Houston Texans Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” – is a collective +.4 in five straight up or flat trends (.9 .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, #22, 6+). Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 for the third straight month (#25 to #27, 6+), while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which was trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 (6+), falters by one-half share to .6 (#22 to #28, 6+).

In five successive down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off one full-share (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on at #20.

Houston Music Formats – On top for the eighth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” dials up a +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7, 6+). “Sunny” recorded an 8.9 (6+) in December 2017. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. KODA has a 1.7-share (6+) advantage over Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which is a collective +3.3 via five successive positive spikes (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. In three successive declines, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its format foe, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull,” returns November’s +.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) yet climbs from #14 to #13. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is down by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Three straight upticks by KOVE accounted for an overall +1.7 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), but “Amor 106.5” lost four-tenths in November. A 4.5 (6+) in October 2018 enabled it to reach the four-share level for the first time since October 2016. Faltering by one-half share as well, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is a collective -2.0 in four successive downward moves (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). It is one-tenth behind iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” an overall -1.2 via six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). For the seventh ratings period in succession, Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” is without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, #26, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM forfeits seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but is #1 for the 37th consecutive time. Even though Cumulus Media’s WYAY gains one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Logging its sixth sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one-half share (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK nonetheless backslides from #27 to #28.

Off three-tenths in November, co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” answers with a +.6 (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and zooms into the top ten (#13 to #9). Prior to November, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Following three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 in that stretch (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (flat at #19, 6+). When the Atlanta Braves flagship lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (.6 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Following three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” erases two-thirds of the deficit with a +1.0 to 5.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fish” since its 6.0 in January. At this time last month, two-tenths of a share separated Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” and its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull.” The two country outlets though are now part of a three-way tie at #10 as “Kicks” is up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, +.2, flat at #10, 6+), while “The Bull” gains three-tenths (3.5 – 3.8, #14 to #10, 6+). A combined +.7 in September and October (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), “Kicks” returned three-tenths in November. After three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “The Bull” responded with a November gain of six-tenths. Three straight downward moves by Radio One-owned WHTA resulted in a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but “Hot 107.9” is up three-tenths to 3.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Its May through August topline was 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 (6+). Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 more than doubles (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, flat at #20, 6+), while Davis Broadcasting regional Mexican WLKQ “LA Raza” debuts with a .7 (#25, 6+). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -1.8 as iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.2 (3.3, #6 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is -.6 (4.4 – 3.8, #7 to #10, 6+). “Power” had been without a loss the past seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.6 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is off six-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #16), its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 2.5.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight ratings periods without a decrease netted Entercom’s WPHT a +1.4, nearly doubling its 6+ AQH share (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). That streak, however, ends in December as “Talk Radio 1210” falters by eight-tenths to 2.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, September-October-November, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returns to 1.3 in December (-.2, #20 to #23, 6+).

Stable at 6.3 (6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, proceeds from sixth to fourth. The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies was -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); and -1.0 (November). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is without a loss for the third time in a row for an overall +.9 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is down one-tenth (5.2 – 5.1, 6+), yet climbs from eighth to seventh; KYW was up seven-tenths in August.

A loss of four-tenths to 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+) by public news/talk WHYY ends a down/up pattern that began in June (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – On top from March through June before being dislodged in July, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB returns to #1 (6.5 – 10.4, +3.9, fourth to first, 6+); “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was 12.8 (6+) in December 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It displaces co-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which erases November’s +.6 with a December -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+) and falls to third. That November increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” breaks out a +.8 to 7.4 (third to second, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of six-tenths, Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (5.4 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. This is its lowest 6+-showing since February (4.3, as well). In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” In its first report as an AC, “The Breeze” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #17, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” shrinks by seven-tenths to 6.2 (second to fifth, 6+), its lowest 6+-share since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Off six-tenths each are co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philly’s Alternative Rock” (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.4 in November and December (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the third straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #25 to #26, 6+). Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Not only is Entercom sports talk WFAN off by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees slumps from a three-way tie at #1 to #5. WFAN had been on top the past four months. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. October’s 5.6 was the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. The flagship of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.3 in November and December (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Separated by one-tenth of a share in November, Entercom all-news WINS (3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #11 to #9, 6+) and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (3.2, -.1, #12 to #9, 6+) are now tied. WINS was up six-tenths in October; WCBS-AM had been +.9 in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Unlisted the past two months, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaces at #17 (1.9 – 2.0, +.1, 6+). From February 2018 – September 2018,  WNYC-FM had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September.

Long Island Music Formats – Roaring back from a one-half share November dip with an improvement more than four times that margin (4.4 – 6.5, +2.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” jumps from fourth to first. This (6.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since March (7.0). In addition, “Real Variety” breaks up November’s three-way logjam at #1, which included WFAN (see above); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, first to third, 6+); and iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, first to fourth, 6+). Following six straight months without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), “Z-100” picked up one-tenth in November. In three increases in succession, WCBS-FM was +1.2 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, it was a collective -1.2 via five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Two-tenths behind WALK-FM is iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which rockets from eighth to second and has more than doubled (+3.5) its 6+-stat in six sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3, 6+). “Lite FM” recorded a 4.5 (6+) in December 2017. Debuting or reappearing in print after a lengthy absence are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8, #29, 6+); Newark Public Radio’s WBGO “88.3 The Jazz Source” (.7, #30, 6+); Fordham University triple A WFUV “90.7 Music Discovery Starts Here” (.5, #33, 6+); and WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” (.5, #33, 6+). Dropping from #9 to #11, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” is an overall -1.9 in five straight slips (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Off eight-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (3.0), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from #7 to #11. Also departing the top ten and part of the four-way logjam at #11 is Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” which is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is down or flat for the sixth consecutive time for an overall decline of nine-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+); “Hot 97” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive ratings periods. In five straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH is a collective -.9 (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+) as “94.7 – Nash FM” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #26).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; up one-tenth in October; down two-tenths in November; and now “1290 News Talk IE” is flat at .2, remaining at #20 (6+).

It’s the same (November 2018 – December 2018) story for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” which is unchanged at .2/#20 (6+). The former KUBE disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; and dropped one-tenth in November. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 11th month in a row.

Following three straight modest increases that accounted for a +.4 (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR erases that gain with a -.4 to 1.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). The October 6+-share for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is sliced in half in November and December (.6 – .4 – .3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” bumps up from eighth to sixth, reaching the three-share level (3.2, 6+) for the first time since January 2018’s 3.1. Over and above being #1 for the seventh successive sweep, Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” dials up a +1.1 to 10.5, the largest 6+-stat for any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted in this particular overview; “Jose” was +2.5 in September. This (10.5) marks the first time any Riverside station has reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). An increase of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) elevates Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” to its best 6+-performance (2.9) since March (3.0). Despite being off four-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is secured in the runner-up slot for the seventh month in a row. KOLA held the lead position in May with a 6.5 (6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks,” which lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share as the result of six straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). Flat at 1.3 (#13 to #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 16th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a November loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO levels off at 2.2 and advances from #17 to #16. In advance of November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Locked on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned news/talk KSFO forfeits two-tenths to 1.0 (#24 to #28, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the vanishing of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (.6 – 1.1 – 1.5, #26 to #23, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+), is up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), yet backslides from third to fifth.

Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED rebounded from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), jumping from sixth to fourth. Unlisted in October and November, KQED returns in December at #2 (6.7, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuts at #30 (.5, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM erupts with a +2.7 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. On the heels of posting a one-half share improvement in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+). An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” erases one-quarter of that decrease with a +.6 to 4.4 (sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective -2.4 in three consecutive negative trends (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to that streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. In one fell swoop, KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” has virtually half of its 6+-stat slashed (2.9 – 1.5, -1.4, 6+) as it fades from the top twenty (#12 to #23). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” erases all but six-tenths of that increase with a -1.1 to 6.9 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. After regressing by seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ surrenders another eight-tenths in December (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #13); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, hot AC sibling KIOI “Star 101.3” relinquishes one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). As a result of four straight down or flat trends, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.0 (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#20 to #26). Three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7, but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is now -2.6 in three straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3, fifth to eighth, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. An overall +.3 via three successive up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of three-tenths to 8.0 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Even so, “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. November’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January (8.3, as well). Without a loss the past five sweeps and precisely doubling (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for an overall loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #23 to #26.

The +.7 that Entercom sports talk WFAN logged in October is erased by a combined -.8 in November and December (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Moreover, WFAN spirals from the top ten (#7 to #13). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets loses four-tenths in December to 2.5 (#17 to #19, 6+).

As Entercom all-news WCBS-AM loses two-tenths (2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS adds two-tenths (1.4 – 1.6, flat at #24, 6+). Through three increases in a row, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappears at #18 (2.6, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – On a rollercoaster ride, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; and now +.9 in November (3.5 – 4.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union showing since 3.3 in September 2016. In addition to being +2.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.5 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +.7 in Middlesex. Carrying on in second-place, WLTW is an overall +1.6 in four straight Middlesex upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Replicating November’s half-share improvement (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” progresses from tenth to eighth.WNYC Broadcasting Foundation classical WQXR debuts with a .5 (#28, 6+). Returning in full the one-half share increase it registered in November (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” continues in third-place. Faltering by one-half share as well and departing the top twenty is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” (2.5 – 2.0, #19 to #23, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was down or flat the past five months for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) gains one-tenth to 3.1 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

WLS-AM, Chicago Moves Big John Howell to PM Drive. Friday’s announcement by Cumulus Media solidifies the afternoon program schedule, but the question still remains who will end up hosting mornings on news/talk WLS-AM in the New Year.  Current morning drive personality Big John Howell is moving to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot – he’s following Westwood One syndicated talk host Ben Shapiro who’s on from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Howell’s co-host Ramblin’ Ray Stevens appears headed out the door.  Rumors in the Windy City are that Erich Mancow Muller is negotiating to be the station’s next morning show host. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day.  John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home.”  Before joining WLS-AM four years ago, Howell served with Salem Media Group on news/talk WIND-AM.  Prior to that he spent 17 years as a jock on country WUSN-FM. He says, “I’m very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890.  I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest, and intelligent summary of the day’s biggest stories – an afternoon wrap of the day’s biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts, and stars.  Of course, our town’s most colorful characters will also be welcome.  In addition, I’m looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun’s in the east.”

Media Action Center Targets Alex Jones Saying Radio Show Violates FCC’s Hoax Rules. The Media Action Center was founded by journalist and activist Sue Wilson.  She was instrumental in forcing Entercom to give up the license for KDND-FM, Sacramento in the wake of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest.  Now, Wilson’s MAC is encouraging people who live in markets that carry the Alex Jones radio show to file a complaint with the local station and the FCC that accuses Jones of violating the FCC’s hoax rules by insisting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  You can see the form letter here that outlines the FCC’s language: “Section 73.1217 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217, prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.”  Wilson cites the parents of some of the victims whose pain has been worsened by harassment they’ve suffered from Jones’ listeners, thus the public harm.  MAC notes the FCC rules would permit Jones’ comments if the stations airing the program aired a disclaimer before the program clearly characterizing it as fiction. See the MAC site here.

WQAM, Miami Names New Midday Show. Replacing Orlando “The Big O” Alzugaray (who exited early last month) in the midday slot at Entercom’s WQAM, Miami is the duo of Alex Donno (left) and Josh Friedman (right).  The “Donno & Friedo” show airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Friedman moves over to WQAM from sister sports talker WAXY-AM where he was evening host.  Alex Donno has been hosting the evening program on WQAM.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond.  Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Spector Upped to Program Director at Sports Talk KCSP, Kansas City. Rising from assistant program director and afternoon show producer to program director at Entercom’s KCSP-AM “610 Sports Radio” is Steven Spector.  Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next program director of ‘610 Sports Radio.’  This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate ‘610 Sports Radio’ in the Kansas City market.”  Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.”  He began his radio career with WTEM, Washington in 2008.

Chuck Peterson Rises to Area President for iHeartMedia. Executive Chuck Peterson is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia markets, effective immediately. The markets contain 16 news/talk, sports and music-formatted stations.  Peterson is promoted to area president after serving as market president for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets.  He began his career at WFTR, Front Royal, Virginia and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.  He says, “iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina region. I am proud of our company’s commitment to growing our advertiser’s businesses and serving our communities.”

PPM Analysis: November’s Top-Ranked Stations. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a tip of the hat to the stations that finished first and second (6+) in their respective markets in Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey.  In this report, you’ll find charts detailing the performances of the top two stations in each market, as well as a look at the top performers arranged by format.  Spoiler alert – adult contemporary stations comprised 22% of the #1 stations in the PPM markets while classic hits accounted for 22.9% of the #2-ranked stations. See the full report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally-syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KLIF-AM, Dallas, beginning in the New Year.  KLIF-AM and WBAP program director Kevin Graham says, “We’re thrilled to bring Dana to 570 KLIF.  Dallas-Fort Worth listeners are really going to connect with her honest opinions and authenticity.  And the fact she lives here in the Metroplex will also allow our listeners to easily relate to her.”  “The Dana Show” is syndicated nationally via Radio America…..Premiere Networkssyndicated Buck Sexton show begins airing on WCBM, Baltimore in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart, effective January 1.  The show will be followed by the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin program in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The station currently airs Michael Savage in evenings and he departs the station after 16 years as his three-hour show is re-configured into a one-hour live show and a one-hour podcast. WCBM program director Sean Casey adds, “This is the next chapter in our endless pursuit to bring the most powerful names in talk to Baltimore.  We’re really pumped to add Buck, an up-and-coming star and to have Levin, a Hall of Famer anchor our evenings!  I’d like to thank Michael Savage for a great run and continued success in his new venture.”…..The unique town of Tangier Island, Virginia – population 460 and shrinking – is the subject of a five-part podcast series from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington titled, “Going Under: The Story of Tangier Island.”  The series, hosted by WTOP’s Michelle Basch, takes an in-depth look at the “quirky, isolated place located smack dab in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay” that is gradually vanishing and could be uninhabitable in 25 years…..First Media Services closes on its purchase of two AMs and four FMs in the Bluefield, West Virginia market from Alpha Media for $1.8 million.  The stations are: news/talk WHIS-AM, hip hop WKEZ-AM, hot AC WHAJ-FM, country WHQX-FM, country WHKX-FM, and classic rock WKOY-FM.  First Media managing partner Bob Spencer says, “We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, and David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company.  In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region.  Many, of whom, have worked there for over two and even three decades.  It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias.” Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..WNIC, Detroit morning personality Jay Towers and Capedwonder.com founder Jim Bowers are co-hosting a podcast series dedicated to all things Superman in “The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.”  In the third podcast of the series, the hosts released never-before-heard audio of iconic Superman actor Christopher Reeve.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall-Government Shutdown, the Trumps vs the Media, ObamaCare Ruling, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Concerns, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s threat to allow the federal government to shut down if congress doesn’t fund the Mexico border wall; President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s complaints about the media’s treatment of them; a federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional; Friday’s Dow drops 400 points and talk about a recession in 2019; the new Aquaman film; 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. On-air pro Jay Cruze joins the morning show at Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver alongside current morning host Jenny D.  Program director Jim Lawson says, “Jay’s experience, energy, and authentic personality is exactly what we were looking for to create compelling content in the morning.  Jay has been on our part-time staff and has been a tremendous asset.  He’s a natural fit.”…..An apparent abundance of programmers in the Entercom Philadelphia cluster has forced the company’s hand and longtime hot AC WBEB “B101” PD Chuck Knight exits the station.  Entercom acquired the station from Jerry Lee Radio back in September…..KDGS-FM, Wichita APD, music director, and afternoon host “Rolls” Royce Stevenson re-ups with Entercom to continue his work at the rhythmic CHR outlet.

Friday, November 9, 2018

| November 9, 2018

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Sebastian Gorka in 2019; Michael Medved Moves to New Platform. Beginning January 1, Salem Radio Network begins airing the “America First with Sebastian Gorka” program in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart, replacing the Michael Medved program.  Salem Broadcast Division president David Santrella says, “The listener feedback we receive each time Dr. Gorka fills in for one of our network hosts is overwhelming.  I think Dr. Gorka is the right person at the right time and the Salem Radio Network is definitely the right place.”  Gorka is FOX News Channel’s national security strategist and is a regular guest on “Hannity” and the FOX Business Network.  He writes for The Hill and is the author of best-sellers Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies (Regnery) and Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (Regnery).  Gorka was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump and served on the staff of the White House in 2017 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategy.  Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “There is a culture war going on in this country and Dr. Gorka is uniquely qualified to take this fight to talk radio.  His program will deal with the hot breaking news stories of each day, and help listeners understand what to make of it.”  Michael Medved comments, “I feel grateful for the more than 21 years I’ve worked with Salem Media Group and I wish continued success to my friends and colleagues at the network.  Together with my team of producers here in Seattle, we’ll be continuing our daily broadcast with no interruption, making it available to our devoted listeners in an exciting new format.  We’ll also move forward with our emphasis on history programs and commentary to encourage public appreciation of the real blessings of this amazing country. Stay tuned.”

Tom Langmyer Forms Radio and Digital Acquisition Firm. Radio executive Tom Langmyer – most recently the vice president and general manager for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee – is forming Great Lakes Media Corp., a company that will “invest in local broadcasting and digital media opportunities through the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in small markets.”  A press release indicates the firm will investigate acquisition of “properties in small markets, focusing on opportunities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”  The company is meeting with investors and brokers – and others who are interested in specific markets; and plans to announce appointments of officers and partners in the weeks ahead.  Langmyer says, “Smaller communities are making a big comeback.  This new generation of people, to whom quality of life and community are very important, are building their lives and businesses in these places.  Over the years, the shifting economy and technology had ended an era of localism in media.  Today, people are once again in search of real community and the greater connection that comes with being a part of a ‘place.’  Local media builds that connection – particularly in smaller markets. The need is clear as many of the broadcast media platforms have been providing white-labelled, generic, unremarkable content.  And while it’s growing, the digital space is in dire need of compelling content to make it a more robust advertising and revenue platform.  Radio and digital complement each other as it’s not an either/or proposition.  There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms – and expanding the emotional connection between consumers and local brands.”  Langmyer is president and CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.  Prior to managing WTMJ and WKTI for Scripps Media, Langmyer was general manager for Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  Earlier in his career he transitioned from programming CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis to serving as general manager.  He exited WTMJ and WKTI on October 31 upon the transfer of the stations from Scripps to Good Karma Brands LLC.

Report: Mancow to WLS-AM Mornings, Shapiro Show to Air in Afternoons.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder says he has inside info indicating Cumulus Media intends to insert Ben Shapiro – whose current one-hour, podcast-for-radio program will morph into a two-hour live show beginning in January distributed via Westwood One – will be heard in afternoon drive and that Mancow Muller may assume the morning drive show, bumping Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from AM drive.  This comes after the station announced it would be re-tooling the programming on WLS, and that includes the announced departure of Windy City icon Steve Dahl from afternoons (though he continues his podcast relationship with the company).  Shapiro’s new show will be distributed by WWO live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Recall that Westwood One’s Michael Savage – currently heard live in afternoons Eastern Time – is transitioning his show to a one-hour live program (live 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET?) followed by a one-hour podcast available to stations in 2019. Stay tuned.

The Fall of Craig CartonTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the case against former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton and the concert tickets scam that will likely send him to federal prison for a number of years.  Weisman writes, “It is common for scammers to take advantage of positions of trust.  People trust radio personalities who they feel they get to know over years of broadcasting.  But sometimes that trust, as was the case with Carton, is abused.”  Read the whole column here.

Rush Limbaugh Show Presents Fifth Annual Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway. In honor of Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11 but observed on Monday 11/12), the fifth annual military promotion from Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America is underway.  In recognition of the service and sacrifice of our military, all active and veteran military service members are eligible to enter for a chance to win a Mahindra 1000 Gas Standard utility vehicle with roof and windshield in “The Rush Limbaugh Show’s Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.”  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 11 at 11:59 pm PT at http://sweeps.rushlimbaugh.com/mahindra2018/.   The winner will be selected in a random drawing on Monday, November 12.  Limbaugh says, “My thanks to Mahindra, makers of the world’s number one selling tractor.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.”

USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions Partner for Trucker-Targeted Programming. This deal between USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions entails Oasis broadcasting USA Radio’s top-of-the-hour national news on its truckersmusic-radio.com and truckersrock-radio.com sites.  Additionally, the “Truckers Radio Network” has added USA’s syndicated late-night show featuring veteran Dallas icon Charley Jones from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and USA’s “Classic Radio Theater” on Sunday evenings.  USA Radio Networks COO Janet Bro (left) says this is the first of several new partnerships and ventures that the company will undertake in the next year.  “We’re definitely in a growth mode.”  Oasis COO Rex Allen, Jr. (right) comments, “We feel that this is a great opportunity.  Truckers Radio expands USA’s reach to millions of listeners both nationally and internationally and provides our listeners with quality information and programming.”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 5-9.  The midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the top story on news/talk this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related status of the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials by President Trump, and the deadly California bar shootings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is 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 and Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from country to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze” is iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento.  The company says the station will debut on Monday (11/12) at 3:00 pm with 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  Core artists will include: Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams, and more.  The on-air lineup for the station will be announced in the coming weeks.  iHM SVP of programming for Sacramento Curtiss Johnson says, “No doubt many in Sacramento will remember the station 92.5 for its decades-long heritage as an adult contemporary station and one of the top stations in the market.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing that format back.  ‘92.5 The Breeze’ is the perfect station for relaxing to favorites while you work, unwinding after a long day, or just for getting into that weekend frame of mind.”…..After more than 41 years in the industry Cox Media Group San Antonio market manager Ben Reed will retire at the end of this year.  Reed says, “When looking back on the last four decades and the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my career, all I can say is I’m blessed – it’s that simple.  The success we’ve achieved as an organization and the expectations we’ve exceeded year after year in the San Antonio market is truly remarkable.  The camaraderie I share with my team and colleagues at CMG will live in my heart forever.”…..Country radio pro Charlie Cook signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with the company as vice president, country formats; operations manager for the Nashville cluster; and program director for WSM-FM, Nashville “NASH Icon.”  Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay says, “Charlie Cook is not only one of the best known and most successful country programmers in the history of the format, he is a solid and strategic thinking multi-format radio expert.  We are excited to continue this partnership with him.”…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces today the debut of the new WBZY, Atlanta ‘Z105.3, Tu Estación Para Super Hits,’ effective immediately, flipping from regional Mexican to Spanish CHR. Core artists will include: Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Ozuna, Romeo Santos, Maluma, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Enrique Iglesias.  iHM Atlanta SVP of programming Brian Michel comments, “With the launch of ‘Z105.3,’ we are proud to continue the tradition of being the innovator and leader of Atlanta’s Hispanic media landscape. With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve our listeners, advertisers, and the community.”…..Westwood One announces affiliate sales pro Debbie Brand joins the company as manager of affiliate sales, country. Brand, who returns to Westwood One after having served with the company in the mid-1990s, takes over for Tim Closson.

PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on country. The number of country stations moving either up or down – weekly 6+ AQH Share – in PPM markets in October was split about 50/50 with the remaining stations unchanged, and the numbers were pretty similar comparing year-over-year.  Two country outlets were able to claim the 6+ #1 rank in their respective markets: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC, Charlotte and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus.  However, 10 other country stations finished in the top three in their markets.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

| October 23, 2018

Report: WLS-AM, Chicago to Get Lineup Re-Vamp in 2019.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM will get a programming makeover early in the New Year.  Feder writes, “Once among the top-rated stations in Chicago, the 50,000-watt AM giant never recovered after the loss of longtime morning star Don Wade, who died in 2013.”  He reports recent ratings figures reflect more success in middays with Cumulus’ Washington-based Chris Plante and Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, leading one to conclude changes are more likely for drive time where market legend Steve Dahl hosts afternoons and mornings are hosted by Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren wouldn’t comment specifically but said the station will continue with a combination of local and syndicated programming.

NYPost: MSG Goes to War with Entercom and WFAN. A story in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand reveals the bad blood between Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan over WFAN sports talk host Maggie Gray’s rant against him that aired on the station this summer.  Gray didn’t hold back when she called Dolan a “vile piece of trash” while accusing him of hypocrisy after his band – yes, he plays in a band called JD and the Straight Shot – released a song about Harvey Weinstein called, “I Should’ve Known.” Gray alleges Dolan and Weinstein were close and that he did know.  In retribution, MSG banned all Entercom and WFAN staffers from getting special access to players and that players and coaches would not be allowed to appear on any show on WFAN.  Gray did ultimately apologize for her name calling during the rant but not for the thrust of her critique.  At the same time, WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa is being accused of throwing Gray “under the bus” during his comments about the feud.  Although Francesa is probably irked about losing access, he did call out MSG for holding a grudge after Gray apologized.

But Wait!… There’s More Francesa News. Also from the Post’s Andrew Marchand – or more accurately, from Mike Francesa himself – comes the question of whether Francesa’s afternoon drive program on WFAN can co-exist with his “Mike’s On” app. The Post story, based on Francesa’s on-air musings, indicates there are still contractual issues regarding the app between him, Entercom, and CAA that haven’t been settled.  Francesa went so far as to say, “We haven’t really come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and show don’t work together and that’s something we’re going to have to adjust one way or the other.”  He followed that by saying the app is here to stay.  He also reflected on his return to the station after a brief retirement, admitting that it’s been “more uncomfortable” than he thought it would be after bumping Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott from the afternoon drive daypart.

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Help Raise $35,000-plus for Veterans Charity. Pictured above (in scooter) is Korean Conflict veteran Denny Dorman, the oldest recipient of a Puppy Jake Foundation service dog – named Puppy Simon – along with WHO PM drive personality Simon Conway, who adopted the organization as his show’s official charity.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises, and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Conway tells TALKERS that five years ago they held a BBQ fundraiser in the WHO parking lot and raised $4,000.  The next year they brought in $6,000.  Years three and four pulled in $22,000 and $29,000, respectively, and last Friday’s event raised $35,500.  He says, “It is really incredible how my audience, and indeed some of my show’s sponsors, have taken this charity to their hearts.”

Ann Marie Mulholland Named Market Manager for Hubbard Seattle. Emerald City media management pro Ann Marie Mulholland joins Hubbard Radio as vice president and market manager for its Seattle properties, including “Alternative Talk” KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV “Movin 92.5,” country KNUC “The Bull,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9,” and nostalgia KKNW-AM.  Mulholland comes to Hubbard from CRISTA Media.  Prior to that, she served with Entercom and Sandusky in the Seattle market. Hubbard president/COO Drew Horowitz says, “We are looking forward to having Ann Marie, with her exceptional operational credentials, assume the leadership role in Seattle.  She brings strong market experience and will be an excellent fit with our Hubbard Seattle team.”

Midterm Elections, Khashoggi Death Aftermath, Migrant Caravan, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermedia-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air changes take place at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” as the company promotes Tyler Reese from his part-time role with sister classic country WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon” to midday host and assistant program director at WKDF.  Also, Kelley Bradshaw-Brock moves from Entercom’s WUSY, Chattanooga, where she was part of the “Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” morning show to host afternoon drive on WKDF.  Program director John Shomby states, “We are excited for Tyler and Kelley to join ‘NASH FM 103.3.’  These are two very talented stars that are ready to shine in the Music City!…..The vacant program director chair at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise doesn’t last long as Matt Derrick arrives from his most recent gig as director of FM programming at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster to assume the PD role.  Derrick takes over for Rich Summers, who exited the station last week…..Entercom rock WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 Planet Rocks” partners with the local Thomas Creek Brewery to create The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner inspired by the station’s morning show, “The Rise Guys.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We are excited about this partnership and the ability to share the best beer on ‘The Planet’ with our dedicated fans.  The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner is a salute to the P1 army.  This refreshing and crushable beer fits our personalities and those of our listeners.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

| June 12, 2018

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Rocks New York City.  The 21st installment of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/8) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing some 250 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference featured a record-breaking 71 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking/meal receptions.  The majority of the program was streamed live in real time on Talkers.com by Livestream and video of the event is currently available to view on the main page of Talkers.com.  In the weeks ahead, TALKERS will present standalone videos of key panels and presentations along with additional coverage of the event.  Visit Talkers.com regularly for details.  Pictured below is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) conducting the opening-session fireside chat with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right).

Chris Plante Hits Chicago for ‘Politics and a Pint.’ Pictured above is Westwood One and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk show host Chris Plante (center) on stage at Rock ‘N Ravioli in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.  He was taking part in a discussion about politics and current events at WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Politics and a Pint” live event with WLS morning show personalities Big John Howell (right) and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens (left).

WSB-AM, Atlanta’s Jamie Dupree Gets a ‘Voice’ Thanks to Text-to-Speech App. Industry insiders are aware of the case of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree: due to a rare disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – in which the tongue slips forward and out of the mouth during attempts to speak – that has all but eliminated Dupree’s ability to speak clearly, his continued future as a radio news correspondent has become tenuous.  But, employer Cox Media Group and Dupree have been searching for a possible solution in the form of text-to-voice technology and have found one made by a Scottish company called CereProc, and it works pretty well.  Yes, Dupree’s “voice” sounds a bit robotic, but not as much as you’d expect. Read Dupree’s blog about his situation and hear a sample of his “voice” here.

Gow Media Announces Simulcasts on Houston Sports Talkers. As reported by David Barron in the Houston Chronicle, Gow Media’s Houston sports talk stations announce a new simulcast and programming schedule.  The company operates KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” and KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Simulcast on both signals will be “The Bench” with John Granato and Lance Zierlein from 7:00 am to 9:00 am; Charlie Pallilo from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; and “The Blitz” with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The rest of ESPN 97.5’s lineup is John Granato with Raheel Ramzanali from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and “The Usual Suspects” with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  On “Sportsmap 94.1” it’s “Golic & Wingo” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Stephen A. Smith from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Sean Salisbury from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Shaq Expands Role at PodcastOne. Four-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal is expanding his role at PodcastOne – the podcast platform on which he hosts “The BIG Podcast with Shaq.”  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz is promoting Shaq to general.  In this role, he’ll establish greater visibility for his own podcast and will also take part in the promotion and curation of the sports network’s programming slate.  Shaq says, “I have a blast doing my podcast every week and I always like to have my hand in the hottest businesses. Podcasting continues to heat up and now is the time for me to take the next step into the space – who better to do it with than PodcastOne, who has led the way in podcasting since its inception? They have a phenomenal vision for the sports community.  So here I am.  The general of PodcastOne Sportsnet.”  Pattiz comments, “As someone who wears one of Shaq’s championship rings on my finger, I know firsthand of his passion for success.  There is no one bigger – in size or spirit.  Shaq will stand for everything PodcastOne Sportsnet is – quality, sports IQ, big fun, and a connection to fans everywhere.”

TALKERS News Notes. Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the radio business this Friday (6/15) and Entercom Buffalo’s WBEN-AM is throwing a special party for him that day.  The station and Beach are welcoming special guests as well as members of the local media in studio during his Friday program.  Plus, a reception will be held on-site following the conclusion of the show where he’ll be available for interviews with confirmed media. In-studio guests will include: legendary DJ and talk host Joey Reynolds, former WKBW (now WWKB) personality and NYSB Hall-of-Famer Danny Neaverth, and former WKBW jock Stan Roberts…..In the Lamar, Colorado market 25-7 Media flips KLMR-AM from classic country to news/talk.  The station is serving up local programs including morning shows “Ag on the High Plains” with host Ty Harmon, “High Plains Morning News” and “Agri Talk.”  It is also airing Westwood One’s “First Light” and Clark Howard shows, plus Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved.  25-7 recently closed on the station as part of a deal with Cherry Creek Media…..Salem Media Group promotes Laura Sheaffer to the general sales manager position at New York duo news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian teaching WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.” Sheaffer joined Salem New York in the spring of 2015 and has since been promoted to national sales manager and digital sales manager.  Salem New York VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “I have rarely worked with anyone who has Laura’s drive and determination and I am ecstatic to have her in this position.  Her work has been beyond exceptional and crucial to our operation.  I am positive that she will lead our team to new levels of success.”…..iHeartMedia‘s new Bay Area progressive talk outlet KKSF “Talk 910” is airing Westwood One‘s “Sterling on Sunday” program hosted by Walter Sterling…..SiriusXM is presenting exclusive national radio coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship, June 14 through June 17.  SiriusXM’s programming will feature a minimum of 32 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage across all four rounds of play.  Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth…..FOX Sports announces its multiplatform coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship that includes nine live hours of programming originating from Shinnecock Hills on Thursday and Friday (6/14-15) during the first and second rounds of the tournament, with broadcasts by “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” the Doug Gottlieb show,” and JT ‘The Brick.’  FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer also reports live from the course throughout the duration of the championship and will host his Sunday program on location.

Salem Syndicated Hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager Named to Jewish Newspaper The Algemeiner’s List of Top 100 Individuals Who Have Positively Influenced Jewish Life This Past Year (2017).  Nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager – both members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – have been named by the Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner as two of the top 100 individuals who have had a positive influence on Jewish life in 2017.  The Salem Radio Networks hosts are joined on the prestigious “J100” list by such high-profile figures as President Donald Trump, noted attorney Alan Dershowitz, and legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. To see the entire list, please click here.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Trump G-7 Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Net Neutrality, Tony Awards, Tuesday Primary Elections, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  The meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the aftermath of President Trump’s criticism of U.S.-Canada trade relations and his exit from the G-7 meeting; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules; Sunday evening’s Tony Awards and Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech; today’s primary elections in Virginia, Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Louisville market, Alpha Media names Steve Bearance SVP and market manager for its five-music-station cluster. Bearance was most recently with Cumulus Media as VP and market manager. Prior to that gig, he served with Cumulus in Louisville…..iHeartRadio has opened up voice voting for the top five finalists in the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition.  For the past seven years iHeartMedia has partnered with Macy’s to host the music competition that introduces fans to up-and-coming artists.  Listeners vote for their favorite act and the winner performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Beginning today, fans can now cast their votes for the finalists using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.  After they ask to “Talk to iHeart Rising Star,” users can hear the five finalists introduce themselves and listen to a clip from their song before voting.  At the end, voters will enjoy Macy’s mstyle Radio on iHeartRadio which features all of the finalists. The whole experience is “hosted” by James Maslow, the winner of last year’s competition…..25-7 Media flips classic rock KLMR-FM to hot AC and re-brands the station “The Heat 93.5.”  The station adds the “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to the lineup with local personalities Aaron Leiker in middays and Amy Jacobs in afternoon drive.

Round One of May PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating its April 2018 +.8 performance (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps into the top five (eighth to fifth) with its best +-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship picked up four-tenths in March. Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – returns two-thirds of April’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, 6+), dipping from #15 to #18. A March +.1 by WOR ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WINS is a combined -1.2 in April and May (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4, while co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is off a cumulative six-tenths in those same two sweeps (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to March, WCBS-AM was stuck on 2.8 (6+) the previous three survey periods; 3.3 (March 2018) is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Following three months in succession at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN posts a +.4 to 1.7 as “98.7 ESPN New York” climbs from #22 to #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). This marks the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) and Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) mirror each other. The latter’s last 13 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.0, flat at #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .6 (#28 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A loss of eight-tenths (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) drops iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW to its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.0. Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the tenth successive sweep. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). The market’s rhythmic CHR tussle remains tight. In the last eight survey periods, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” is trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 (flat at #9, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 over the same (November 2017 – May 2018) stretch and is unchanged at #10 (6+). This is the fourth time in the last six survey periods that Emmis urban AC WBLS “#1 for R&B” posts a 5.7 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, steady at #3, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from April’s -.6 with a +.1 (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). With an identical 2.6 – 2.7, #13 to #10 6+-profile as KNX is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI continues a down/up pattern that commenced in December (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), as “AM 640” advances from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). The December 2017 – May 2018 topline 6+-trending for sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN” (#29) is 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0. Tied at #30 are iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (flat at .9, #31 in April, 6+) and Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #29 in April, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk format, iHeartMedia’s KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) for six straight sweeps, is now off a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (1.0 – .9 – .8 – .8, #34 to #32, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” dips from #39 to #40 (.5 – .4, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Albeit flat at 5.7 (second to first, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” supplants adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (6.0 – 5.6, -.4, first to second, 6+) at #1. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 33 Los Angeles sweeps (dating back to December 2015), KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 13 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; and May 2018. Flat at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” is a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). After four successive increases for a collective +1.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips two-tenths to 4.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). There is a massive seven-way logjam at #10 that includes mainstream CHR cluster-mate KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” (2.5 – 2.7, +.2, #16 to #10, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” – is flat at 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #5. Unchanged at #19, Entercom alternative KROQ is a combined +.2 in three straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), whereas format foe – iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – gains four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st time in succession, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Debuting at #40 is Entravision regional Mexican KDLD “La Tricolor 103.1.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While it was up an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), WBBM-AM is now a collective -.4 in three straight sweeps without a gain (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom all-news operation actually manages to progress from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” is now +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+) as the Chicago Cubs flagship cracks the top ten (#13 to #7). “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ falters by two-tenths to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 2.2 (flat at #21, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN pulls the plug on three successive decreases that produced a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of three-tenths in March by the Chicago White Sox key station ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Format rival – Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM – is off three-tenths in three consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 1.7, #22 to #23, 6+). Immediately prior to this, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). For the fourth sweep in a row, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #24 to #25, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – In five straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) and elevates from fifth to third. Albeit anchored at #6, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Off two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the fifth month in succession; WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September, as well. In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (4.6, -.4, 6+) slips from second to fifth. Prior to March, “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. This is the third time in succession that Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” posts a 3.5 (seventh to ninth). It has an eight-tenths lead over Hubbard AC WSHE “100.3 SHE” (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was off by one-half share in April. Approximately one-third into the March ratings period, Merlin Media-owned classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love,” which Educational Media Foundation is operating until the sale is finalized. WCKL eroded by -1.9 in that sweep (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+); disappeared from print in April; but resurfaces in May with a 1.5 (#24). At the same time, similarly-formatted WJKL (using the same “Positive, Encouraging K-Love” branding) plummets from 1.3 to .1 (-1.2, #41, 6+). Gone as well in April was Window to the World’s WFMT, which had been trending 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 (6+) since “Holiday” 2017; however, the classical outlet is back in May with a .9 (#28, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – While #1 for the fifth time in succession, KQED sputters by three-tenths (8.4 – 8.1, 6+). The Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talker was a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+) and had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM nevertheless continues in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Following an April gain of nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Tied at #13 are the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game”- and Cumulus Media news/talker KSFO. “The Game” is without a loss for the ninth time in a row, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, up from #16 in April, 6+). KSFO’s (6+) March – April – May trending is identical to that of KGMZ (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). News/talk sibling KGO is trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23).

San Francisco Music Formats – Licensed to Vacaville, Alpha Media-owned adult contemporary KUIC nearly doubles its 6+-share (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+) as “95.3 Your Hometown Station” checks in at #26. Also in the AC format, iHeartMedia’s KISQ is an overall +.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+) with “98.1 The Breeze” carrying on in third-place. Simultaneously, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “96.5 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” registers a positive spike of one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, fifth to fourth, 6+). By way of a one-tenth uptick to 3.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” applies the brakes to three consecutive losses that accounted for a -1.0 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It is tied with similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is -.8 in four straight (modest) declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Unchanged in fourth-place, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is down two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three increases in a row that netted nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). After each was without an increase the past four ratings periods, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (1.7, #24, 6+) and hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.4, #25, 6+) are up two-tenths and one-tenth, respectively. “Bay FM” was -.6 in that stretch (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), while “Mix” was -.2 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” is +1.2 in April and May (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Over and above that, KTCK vaults from #12 to #6. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Bunched together this month are North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #21 to #18, 6+); Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.6 – 2.4, -.2, #17 to #20); sports talk sibling KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #18 to #21, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” (flat at 2.2 and continuing at #22). KRLD-AM’s -.2 in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Before a +.5 in April, Texas Rangers flagship “The Fan” posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Although flat at 1.1 (6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” progresses from #32 to #30. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #33 to #34, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is flat at .6 (steady at #35, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned KHKS #1 for the fifth straight month, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is an overall +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. In five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6, steady at #3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” is a +.7. Co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” slips by one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, flat at #5, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE was up six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” is off four-tenths in May to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 (February – March – April, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” regresses by one-half share to 3.0 and exits the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Having recorded a 3.9 (6+) in February, March, and April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL adds one-tenth to 4.0 as “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” continues at #7. Co-owned hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” is a collective -.7 in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH rockets from #16 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at 3.6 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF – which was +.6 in January – remains at #15. After recording a .7 (6+) in four ratings periods in a row, iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” nearly doubled it in April to 1.3, but the flagship of the Houston Astros drops one-tenth in May (to 1.2, flat at #22, 6+). Tied at #25 are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (flat at .8, #26 in April, 6+) and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (.7 – .8, +.1, #27 in April, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In five of the last seven reports, Liberman regional Mexican KTJM has notched a 2.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), but “La Raza” busts out a +.7 in May to 2.8 (#20 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing since September 2017’s 2.9. Meanwhile, a gain of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) takes Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” to its best 6+-stat (4.8) since 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Its urban AC sibling KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” improves by two-tenths (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), but iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” gains twice as much (7.0 – 7.4, +.4, 6+), thus breaking April’s #1 tie between the two; “Majic” shifts to #2. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny” segued to second in March. It answered March’s -1.1 with an April +.8 to return to the top spot tied with KMJQ. KODA, which finished second in October and November, was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Majic” was stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, dropping to 6.8 (6+) in March. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ was +1.7 but “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is now -1.1 in April and May (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+), drifting from fourth to ninth. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” surrenders roughly half that gain in May (5.7, -.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). As the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7, #13 to #14, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” tumbles by a cumulative -1.5.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to seven successive sweeps without a decrease (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is +.8 as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #20. On the heels of April’s +.7, Entercom sports talk WZGC surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (3.3 – 2.7, -.6, #14 to #18+); “92.9 The Game” was -1.1 in February. In advance of February’s loss, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). On top for the 30th successive ratings period, WSB-AM is nonetheless -2.7 in three consecutive negative moves (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk facility – which was +1.6 in January – notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WSB-AM. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.5 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE remains at #8. A loss of two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” from the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. Up one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS moves from #29 to #28.

Atlanta Music Formats – Due to three downward trends in succession (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR was a cumulative -1.4, but “Star 94.1 Today’s Hits” wipes out all but three-tenths of that deficit with a +1.1 to 3.6, jumping from #17 to #11 (6+). Three consecutive positive spikes by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WVFJ “The Joy FM” account for a +1.1 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9, #18 to #16, 6+). At the same time, this is the fifth negative move in a row for Salem Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+), which is -4.5 in that stretch (more than a 50% loss). “The Fish” was a combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+). Steady at #2, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” has its fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is this (7.1) WVEE’s best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016), “V-103” now trails frontrunner WSB-AM by just four-tenths of a share. A one-tenth gain by iHeartMedia alternative WRDA “Alt 105.7” (1.6, steady at #22, 6+) halts four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). In five straight positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ was +.5, but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” returns all of that and one-tenth more (4.0, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Flat at #11, Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” is off for the third time in a row for a collective loss of nine tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After generating a +2.0 via five up or flat trends in succession (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), its adult contemporary sibling, WSB-FM “B-98.5,” slips by one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) but remains at #4. Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” also drops one-tenth (to 4.6, 6+), curtailing four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). In a continuation of the theme, Cumulus Media-owned country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” loses one-tenth as well (to 3.5, #12 to #14, 6+), thus pulling the plug on four successive up or flat trends that accounted for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+)

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s FM sports talk format erodes by -1.3 as Entercom’s WIP is -.8 (6.9 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is -.5 (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+). Huge shifts have been common lately for Phillies flagship WIP, including an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); and now -.8 (May). “The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. Public news/talk WHYY sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+) but remains at #9. WHYY chalked up a +1.0 in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Down three-tenths (5.0 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KYW falls from seventh to eighth. The all-news outlet was +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” gains one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #23 to #20, 6+), while Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” loses one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, flat at #21, 6+). WPHT was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March before dropping to 1.5 in April. Meanwhile, WKXW was a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) but lost two-tenths in April.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The winning ways continue for Entercom-owned WXTU, which posts its fifth straight improvement for an overall +2.1 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). The last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). There is a seven-tenths April 2018 – May 2018 surge in the market’s (6+) urban AC share, basically equally split between Radio One’s WRNB “100.3 RNB” (2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is #1 for the third straight month. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline is an ultra-consistent 8.3 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 8.4 (6+). WBEB was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though it is a combined +1.9 in four upticks in succession (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” shifts from second to third; this (7.2) is its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 7.4. As the result of eight consecutive up or flat trends, Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, steady at #24, 6+). An April increase of six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) gave Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM its best 6+-showing since October 2016 (3.4, as well), but “95.7 BEN-FM” stumbles by -.8 in May to 2.6 (#12 to #14, 6+). The dry spell continues for Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station,” which is -.9 is 14 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #26, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a +1.1 in April (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” follows with a +.7 to 4.7, leaping from seventh to third (6+); the New York Yankees’ flagship was -1.1 in February. Meanwhile, the key station of the New York MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – forfeits all of April’s +.6 and two-tenths more (3.1 – 2.3, -.8, #13 to #17). WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), before returning three-tenths in March. Five consecutive upticks by Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (+1.2) more than double its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #17, 6+). Bouncing back from April’s -.5 with a May gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS is once again ahead of co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #14 to #17, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. Without an increase in Long Island for six successive survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WINS was +.4 in March. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #23. Flat at 1.4 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #25 to #26.

Long Island Music Formats – Trending 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+) in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), iHeartMedia New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU breaks out a +.8 to 4.2 (tenth to eighth, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) enables Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 for R&B” to crack the top ten (#12 to #10). While it is #1 for the eighth consecutive time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is -6.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. As a result of dropping eight-tenths (3.7 – 2.9, #9 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” has its lowest 6+-share in Long Island since November 2017 (2.9, as well), while a loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” from the top twenty (#16 to #21). Off one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” dips from third to fourth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 43rd consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” regains the one-tenth it lost in April (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #13, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+). Immediately prior to February, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – May 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” finishes at #17. Part of a four-way pileup at #20 is the former KUBE – iHeartMedia’s KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” – which is flat at .3 (6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Following five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” erases more than half the deficit with a +1.8 to 6.4 (fourth to second, 6+). It now trails Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA by a mere one-tenth. While the market pacesetter for the fifth month in succession, KOLA is -1.9 via three downward trends in succession (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January (2018), KOLA last occupied the #1 slot in January 2016 with a 6.9 (6+). Even though it is an overall +1.3 as the result of four positive spikes in a row (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” falls from the runner-up slot to #3. Unchanged at #12, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is an overall +.5 in three (modest) gains in a row (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+). On the heels of April’s -.5, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB surrenders another six-tenths (3.0 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+) but carries on at #10. “Que Buena 96.1” was +.9 in March and 3.0 in March is its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. This is the fourth straight sweep without an increase for All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” (flat at #14), which is -.5 in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Although down in April and May by a combined -1.9 (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED is #1 for the fifth straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April 2017. One-half share behind KQED is Entercom’s KCBS-AM, which finishes second for the fourth time in a row (6.3 – 6.4, +.1, 6+). The all-news operation was -.8 in February and up one-half share in April. After posting a +1.6 in April, Cumulus Media sports talk and San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by three-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+). In April, KNBR reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Cumulus Media-owned news/talk KSFO is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). On the other hand, cluster-mate KGO is down for the third time in a row for a -1.1 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” remains at #29. Frozen on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, the key station of the Oakland A’s gained two-tenths in February but dropped one-tenth in March and April.

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the San Jose report makes a larger (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase than Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” nearly triples April’s .6 to 1.7 (+1.1) and finishes at #26. Replicating April’s +.8 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” surges from fifth to third. Gaining eight-tenths as well in May are Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (4.4 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” (2.3, #16, 6+), which was down four-tenths in three (slight) decreases in a row (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in four straight decreases (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned hot KEZR recaptures one-half share to 4.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM “Radio Lazer 93.7” falters by eight-tenths, roughly cutting its 6+-share in half (1.5 – .8, #30, 6+). A combined +2.6 in six successive up or flat sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders one-half share to 5.3 and carries on in third-place. Forfeiting one-half share as well in May is iHeartMedia-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #15, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility and New York Yankees flagship is an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Trending 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+), all-news sibling WINS breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#25 to #24, 6+). Off nine-tenths in April, co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM drops another two-tenths to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), WCBS-AM answered with a +.7 in March. It is tied at #22 with iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.8, -.5, #18 in April, 6+). The New York Mets flagship had been without a loss the past four Middlesex sweeps for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+). After being on top in each of the previous four ratings periods, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and segues to #2. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. The five latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 (#24 to #25); WABC was +.4 in January. Down three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM falls from #16 to #19. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), the public news/talker was a cumulative +1.2 but was -.8 in March.

Middlesex Music Formats – Not only does this represent the third successive Middlesex-Somerset-Union uptick for Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH for a +1.8 (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+), “94.7 Nash FM” enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Moreover, 4.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for WNSH in this New Jersey market since June 2016 (4.0, as well). A gain of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ from seventh to fifth; this (4.9) is the best 6+-stat for “Q-104.3” – New York’s Classic Rock” since 5.3 in November 2017. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (2.9 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.1 – 2.6, #20 to #15, 6+). After trending 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+), “Mega 97.9” regressed by one-half share in April. When WPLJ picked up two-tenths in April, it ended five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.2 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -5.3 as the result of five straight down or flat trends (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” advances from second to first. Returning in its entirety the one-half share gained in April (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WBMP “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” drops from #12 to #15; April’s 3.4 is the best 6+-share for WBMP since June 2017 when it was a mainstream CHR (“Amp”).

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS 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 public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

| February 13, 2015

cbsradioCBS RADIO Q4 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That’s about as much detail as was reported yesterday (2/12) from CBS Corp. about its radio business.  Radio is lumped into the Local Broadcasting category that also includes CBS Corp’s O&O television stations.  During yesterday’s investor’s conference call, there was no talk – as there has been from time to time – about CBS selling its radio assets en masse.  As for the current quarter, CBS chief operating officer and CFO Joseph Ianiello told analysts the radio division is pacing up in the low single digits.

CORRECTION.  Earlier today TALKERS magazine inadvertently ran a year-old story about the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of James Crystal Radio.  Included in the story was a report that the company was unable to meet payroll.  Again, the story ran by mistake and TALKERS regrets the error.

gallaghermikeSRN’s Mike Gallagher to Receive Honor from NYPD’s Sergeant’s Benevolent Association.  In recognition of talk radio personality Mike Gallagher’s ongoing support of law enforcement and his charitable work via the Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officer’s Fund, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the Police Department of the City of New York will present him with its 108th annual SBA Heroism Award on April 9.  SBA president Ed Mullins says the award is “presented annually to people who dedicate or have dedicated themselves to protecting the liberties and freedoms that so many of us take for granted.  Your supportive actions as a member of the media exemplify all of the virtues that make our country the greatest in the world.”  Gallagher says, “I am honored to be given this special award, since it further cements the connection the Mike Gallagher show has with the men and women serving in law enforcement from coast to coast.”

bertrandmarcBertrand Partnered with Zolak at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Taking over for Andy Gresh as co-host of the midday show at CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” is Marc Bertrand.  He’ll co-host the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Scott Zolak beginning Tuesday, February 17.  Bertrand has been with the station serving as sports headline anchor for the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show.  Bertrand will also co-host the station’s New England Patriots pre- and postgame shows.  He’s been with the station since it launched in 2009 after working at Metro Traffic.  CBS RADIO Boston VP of programming Mike Thomas comments, “Marc’s unique opinion on the topics of the day, his local background, and his sense of humor will bring a new, entertaining twist to the midday show.  Partnered with Scott’s never-ending energy level and interesting former pro athlete take, the duo will make for a solid combination.”  Andy Gresh remains with the station in other capacities.

proftdanDan Proft to Take AM Drive Gig at WIND, Chicago.  The former WLS-AM, Chicago personality – who exited the station in December – is the new permanent host of the morning show at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer,” according to Chicago media writer Robert FederDan Proft has been hosting the program since Big John Howell exited WIND and jumped across town to the morning show at WLS-AM.  Proft made the deal public while emceeing a Republican fundraiser in suburban Chicago.  He’ll work alongside Amy Jacobson on the program as did Howell.

vanpooltanyaNAB Names Van Pool VP/Research. Four-year NAB staffer Tanya Van Pool succeeds Sharon Warden as vice president of research; Warden retired from the NAB at the end of last year. Van Pool has managed broadcast industry-related research projects for use in the NAB’s public policy advocacy work before congress and the FCC. In addition to conducting/analyzing surveys of NAB members and conference attendees to help provide direction for future events, she represents the NAB on committees such as the Media Ratings Council and Nielsen‘s policy guidelines committee. Van Pool previously developed research and analysis for Discovery Communications; prior to that, she worked in various capacities for Washington, DC television outlet WDCW.

cbspittsburghEatDrinkCBS RADIO Pittsburgh Presents Second ‘Eat.drink.Pittsburgh.’  The four CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations are presenting a local festival of food and drink with the support of media sponsor WHIRL Magazine called “eat.drink.PITTSBURGH” at the Wyndham Grand Hotel on Saturday, February 21.  Attendees purchasing tickets can enjoy “samples from dozens of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, wines, beers and more — all under one roof.”  Additionally, there will be exhibits, information on local cooking and wine classes, and live music by Pittsburgh local band Nameless in August.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The “Ground Zero” show, hosted by Clyde Lewis and syndicated by Premiere Networks, is added to the program schedule at KNSS, Wichita…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the lineup at WZON-AM, Bangor; WSRQ, Sarasota; and WLSC, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Brian Williams Case Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The controversy surrounding Brian Williams’ embellishment of his experience covering the Iraq War and his subsequent six-month suspension from NBC News was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of February 6-13.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential prospects.  Coming in at #3 was the ISIS violence and the death of hostage Kayla Mueller followed by Jon Stewart’s announced departure from “The Daily Show” 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

| January 12, 2015

howellbigjohnCumulus Names Big John Howell Morning Host at WLS-AM, Chicago.  The arrival of longtime Chicago market personality Big John Howell at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago had been rumored for some time and now it becomes official as Howell will assume the morning show duties effective next Monday (1/19).  Most recently, Howell was morning host at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  He also was a jock at CBS RADIO’s country WUSN for many years as well as morning personality on CBS’ WCKG.  For seven years he hosted the Westwood One-syndicated “Country Gold” request show.  Howell comments, “I’m looking forward to joining WLS-AM.  It has been a longtime professional, as well as personal, goal. Growing up in West Michigan and listening to WLS influenced my initial decision to give the radio business a try.  Now, all these years later, and on the heels of many WLS broadcast legends, including Larry Lujack and Don Wade, it is truly an honor and a privilege.  I’m also looking forward to sharing the WLS airwaves with Steve Dahl, who taught all of us to ignore management and hate disco.”   Howell takes over for the team of Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf.

connroeRoe Conn to PM Drive at WGN, Chicago.  There’s no official word from Tribune Media on this…yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WLS-AM afternoon host Roe Conn will take over the afternoon drive show on WGN, Chicago from Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – both of whom have been in the post since last May.  Conn even appeared on WGN’s Steve Cochran show this morning (1/12), but chatted about issues and there was no mention of his joining the station.  The hiring of Leff and Snyder was part of the makeover of the station orchestrated by president Jimmy de Castro.  Feder reports that it’s expected that Leff and Snyder will stay on in some capacity.

rothlaurieDr. Laurie Roth Show Joins USA Radio Networks.  As part of a series of program rollouts, the USA Radio Networks announces Dr. Laurie Roth becomes part of the syndicated lineup, airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET effective February 2.  USA Radio Networks describes the show as an “issues-driven program known to tackle politics, crime and corruption.  Dr. Roth often visits with survivors and family membersusaRadioNetworks affected by crimes and conspiracies.  How do they survive and come back after losing a family member, being smeared or a being a victim of crime in some way?  Listeners learn the answers to such questions.  Roth says, “I expose the bad guys, stand for the good guys and don’t get caught in-between.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA’a parent company – Cross Platform Media Group – and he comments, “Dr. Roth covers the issues driving the conversation in America like no other radio host.  Her life experience brings a realness to the radio that, sadly, is uncommon in the network industry.  She is a welcome breath of fresh air.”  Recently, USA Radio Networks announced the launch of new shows including “AMERICA CONTINUES with Jim Sharpe,” and the syndication of the Steve Deace show, “DAYBREAK USA with Angie Austin,” and the hourly USA Radio News.

brooksericBrooks Promoted at WTMJ, Milwaukee.  At the Journal Broadcast Group-owned news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee, Eric Brooks is upped to assistant program director.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Eric has grown tremendously as a leader at WTMJ.  As producer of ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,’ Eric has helped the program leapfrog into the top news/talk position with both listeners 6+ and 25-54.  Eric has also deftly handled many day-to-day responsibilities in the programming department in his role as executive producer of WTMJ programming.”  Brooks joined WTMJ in 2011 as a news anchor and producer before being elevated to executive producer, WTMJ programming in 2013.

Odds & Sods.  This Friday (1/16), New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella will sit in for morning drive personality Harry Hurley on Townsquare Media’s Atlantic City, New Jersey news/talker WPGG…..Here’s an interesting show, now available to radio stations across the country that draws on Americans’ interestrotellapaul in the Old West: Dakota Livesay’s “Chronicle of the Old West.”  It’s both a three-and-a-half minute show delivered five days per week and a weekly, one-hour show that features friends, authors and experts who chat with host Livesay about this romanticized period of American history.  Check out OldWestRadio.com…..The WYD Media-syndicated “Huckabee Report” with Mike Huckabee and the Stephanie Miller program are both joining the lineup at CRN Digital Talk Radio.  CRN states that “The Huckabee Report” will air throughout the day on CRN effective today (1/12) and CRN 4 channel will broadcast encore presentations of the Stephanie Miller show Tuesday through Saturday, beginning January 13.

beckaliveeventTalk Pro Tom Becka Does ‘Friday Night Live.’  Longtime Omaha (not to mention Kansas City and Fargo) talk radio personality Tom Becka rhetorically asks TALKERS magazine, “What does a talk show host do when he’s on the beach?  He keeps talking…”  And that’s what you see in this photo.  Recently let go from KOIL, Omaha in a cost-cutting move, Becka reports on his latest venture – a live version of the Tom Becka Radio Show.  He says, “We set up a stage at a local watering hole, charged admission, and did an interactive audience participation show just like it was on the radio.  A sold-out crowd came to talk about the hot issues of the day with ‘Honesty, Integrity, and a Sense of Humor.’  It was spirited, entertaining, and profitable.  I used social media and my daily podcasts to promote the event and it turned out great.  I’ll be doing these on a regular basis.”  Becka can be reached at: 402-321-9590 or via Tom@TomBecka.com.

ferraranickRemembering Nick (Bazoo) Ferrara. Word and condolences spread throughout social media on Saturday, January 10 about the passing of noted CHR programmer Nick Ferrara. Conspicuously absent though were specific details of when, where, or even if Ferrara had indeed passed. The Harrison County (Mississippi) coroner though has unfortunately confirmed that 59-year-old Gulfport resident Ferrara was killed Friday (1/9) in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. According to officials, Ferrara was not wearing a seatbelt while driving his 2013 Honda Accord sedan; he died at the scene from blunt-force trauma. According to a report in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, police responded at 6:05 pm to a report of a crash with injuries. Ferrara’s car apparently rear-ended another vehicle. The Gulfport Fire Department and American Medical Response were at the crash scene. Eerily, a Friday Facebook posting ostensibly made by Ferrara – known to many from his earlier top 40 programming days as Nick Bazoo indicated simply that at approximately 5:30 pm, he was at Biloxi’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  The previous day (Thursday, 1/8), Ferrara made 17 original Facebook posts. Tony Gray had the most succinct – yet possibly the most powerful comment on Ferrara’s home page, with the noted consultant simply writing, “B-97 New Orleans.” Specifically, WEZB “B-97” is the New Orleans station (then owned by EZ Communications) at which operations manager Ferrara (Bazoo) rose to prominence in the early-1980s.  He was famously linked to that Louisiana metro.  NBC Sports Radio programmer Jack Silver though first met Ferrara in Mill Valley, California in 1984. “He was coming in to flip KMEL from rock to top 40,” Silver recalls. “He and Keith Naftalyhad the vision – I was in the right place to help them as well.  Heaven is full of great program directors who touched us all – God rest your soul.”  Media Monitors music manager Anita Bonita writes, “Godspeed Mr. Bazoo – you will be missed.” Renowned talk radio consultant Valerie Geller is “so sorry to hear this news – RIP.”  According to Giant Records vice president Jean Johnson, Ferrara was, “The consummate Facebook poster. I shared many of your hilarious posts. Rest in peace Mr. Bazoo – taken way too soon.” Legendary voiceover/imaging talent Howard Hoffman sums it up perfectly by stating, “This hurts. Selfless, strong, and just a real honor to work with you, Nick.  One of the best field marshals ever and you deserved so much better. I am glad you knew that before leaving us way too soon. Godspeed, friend – thanks for everything.” Longtime industry executive Rob Sisco laments, “Oh my dear sweet Bazoo. I am so profoundly sad to hear this news. You were one of the true good guys. I am proud and honored to have called you friend. You will be missed forever. Rest in peace, Nick.” Former New Orleans programmer Pat Matthews recalls, “Met you when you were just 18 and starting out at WIXO. A funny, talented, caring guy – wow, this is so unbelievable.” Veteran programmer Joel Burke remarks, “You were one of the smartest radio people I knew and had such a contagious laugh – RIP.” Consultant Dan Vallie comments, “Good man – good heart. Rest in peace my friend. Heaven is going to enjoy your sense of humor and big smile.” Yet another twist: A “Life Event” posted on Ferrara’s Facebook page less than two weeks ago – New Year’s Eve (12/31) – states he “started working at retired.” Commencing in 2001 and lasting approximately through 2013, Ferrara was an operations manager in State College, Pennsylvania at Forever Broadcasting and then doing similar duties at cross-town Results Radio (2006 – 2013). In addition to WEZB “B-97,” Ferrara (Bazoo) held the operations manager title at several other New Orleans outlets, including WLMG, WLTS, and WWL. In the mid- and late-1980s, he spent time in California as an OM for KMEL, San Francisco and then Gannett Broadcasting‘s properties in San Diego. Sandwiched between those stops was a two-year stint as operations manager in Pittsburgh for EZ’s WBZZ “B-94.” Information is not yet available regarding Ferrara’s funeral arrangements.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

| December 24, 2014

top stories - generic BTop News/Talk Stories of 2014.  As is the tradition at TALKERS magazine, the end of the calendar year provides the opportunity to look back and present the industry with a list of talk radio’s most-talked-about stories and people of 2014.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that we present the Talkers TenTM each week – a chart that shows the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio based upon ongoing research from TALKERS.  This year-end chart uses that data.  The accompanying graphic presents the charts for 2014.

howellbigjohnBig John Howell to Exit WIND, Chicago.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Big John Howell is exiting his morning drive gig with Salem Communicatons’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “560 The Answer.”  Feder writes that Howell was offered a contract renewal but he turned it down.  Feder says Howell’s contract runs out at the end of this month but Howell may work into January while the company decides how to replace him.  But the rumor is that Howell may jump across the street to join Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  Howell has hosted the morning show for the past eight years and currently works with Amy Jacobson as co-host.

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Tweeting that his contract offer from CBS RADIO to remain afternoon host on sports talker WIP-FM in Philly was a “lowball” offer, Anthony Gargano exits.  He Tweets, “Thanks to WIP and all of the Philadelphia fans for 15 great years! On to the next chapter.”  It’s rumored that the station’s Josh Innes will assume Gargano’s role in afternoons where Gargano had been co-hosting with Rob Ellis.  There are also rumors that Gargano may pop up at Greater Media’s crosstown competitor WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  According to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Rick Sessa-hosted “American Biker Talk Radio” show is moving from its current station – WSVU, West Palm Beach – to rock-formatted WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida “93.5 The Bar” beginning in January.

medvedElwesInconceivable Guest Appearance!  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk star Michael Medved (right) poses for a photo outside the studio after interviewing actor Carey Elwes (left) – star of the classic film, The Princess Bride.  Elwes stopped by the show’s Seattle studios to chat with Medved – a noted film critic as well as talk personality – about his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone 2014).

marketwatchfarewellStaff Recognizes End of MarketWatch Radio Network.  The air staff of the MarketWatch Radio Network held a farewell party last week to celebrate one last time together.  Dow Jones’ exit from the AM/FM radio business at the end of the year spells the end for the business news network founded by Frank Barnako in 1999.  Barnako made a special appearance at the party joining staffers (from left to right, also noting stations they served) back row: Tracy Johnke (WBZ-AM, Boston), Andrew O’Day (WINS, New York and WBZ-AM), Alisa Parenti (WBZ-AM and WBBM-AM, Chicago), Joan Doniger (WBBM-AM), Steve Potisk (KNX, Los Angeles and KYW, Philadelphia), Adrienne Mitchell (WBBM-AM, KRLD-AM, Dallas and KCBS-AM, San Francisco), Ann Cates (WCCO, Minneapolis, WBBM-AM, KCBS-AM). Front row: Barnako and WSJ Radio executive editor John Wordock.

bfoa logoBFoA Creates Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  The recent passing of beloved radio pro Bill Burton is recognized by The Broadcasters Foundation of America as it establishes the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  Burton, known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous,” died last weekend from head injuries suffered after a fall at his home.  He was 85.  Former BFoA executive and long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum states, “Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business.  Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”  Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing info@thebfoa.org.

Sony to Release ‘The Interview,’ New York Police Killings Protests/Obama Racism Remarks, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Joe Cocker Dies, Christmas Holiday, ISIS Violence, and NFL Playoffs Push/Possible Coaching Changes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/23).  The decision by Sony to go ahead and release the movie “The Interview” on Christmas day after all; ongoing police killings protests in New York City and the slaying of two NYC cops over the weekend, plus President Obama’s comments on racism in America; chatter about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the death of rock icon Joe Cocker; the coming Christmas holiday; ISIS violence in Iraq; and the NFL playoff scenario and talk of potential coaching changes after the season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.