Tag: "BIll White"

Thursday, March 21, 2019

| March 21, 2019

Sam Shane Named KFBK, Sacramento Morning Co-Anchor. Sacramento news/talk KFBK names market news pro Sam Shane co-anchor for its “The KFBK Morning News” program, beginning April 1.  Shane – who has served with KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV in Sacramento, KGO-TV, San Francisco; KCPQ-TV, Seattle; and MSNBC – will work alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendonsa.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Sam’s deep roots in our community and his connections in the Capital City mean that he has a wealth of experience, perspective and views to draw upon that will give clarity and perspective to the day’s events.  It’s that wealth of experience, intellect, and analysis that will help make ‘The KFBK Morning News’ so much more than just a utility and download of daily data.”   Shane assumes the role left open when Dan Mitchinson exited.

Laurence Holmes Gets New Midday Show at ‘The Score.’ Chicago media writer Robert Feder breaks the news that WSCR “The Score” evening personality Laurence Holmes is moving to a new, daylight hours show at the station.  Effective March 28, Holmes will be on the air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  In order to carve out a couple of hours for Holmes’ show, program director Mitch Rosen is trimming the end of the late morning Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight show and the beginning of the Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins afternoon drive program.  Rosen tells Feder, “This really expands our ‘Score’ brand and highlights Laurence’s tremendous strength of interviewing different personalities.  I really feel what the expansion does is make ‘The Score’ brand bigger and better, while giving our consumers more options over the air and through all digital platforms.”  The evening daypart is often affected by play-by-play.  The station says weekday morning update anchor Joe Ostrowski will handle the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show when there are no games.

Hoffman to Lead Sales Effort at Entercom Minneapolis. Radio exec Ben Hoffman continues his career with Entercom, taking on the vice president of sales role for the company’s Minneapolis stations that include legendary news/talker WCCO-AM, country KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.”  Hoffman was most recently serving as SVP and market manager for the company’s Indianapolis stations being acquired by Cumulus Media.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Ben has a great track record within our company and we are looking forward to a continued trajectory of success for our sales team.”

Will Cox Sell Its Remaining Radio Assets? The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s David Allison is reporting that Cox Enterprises Inc. is considering selling off its radio properties. After the consummation of the recently announced deal for Cox to sell a majority stake in its Dayton media properties – including news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO, and classic hits WZLR – to Apollo Global Management, Cox will own 58 radio stations in markets such as Atlanta; Athens, Georgia; Miami; Orlando; Jacksonville; Tampa; Long Island; Houston; San Antonio; and Tulsa.  Allison reports sources say the company is “exploring options” for the radio group.

Newsmax TV Inks Carriage Deal with WOW! Broadband Provider. News/talk cable channel Newsmax TV signs a deal with internet, cable, and phone provider WOW! to be carried across the network’s 19 markets.  WOW! serves an area that encompasses more than 3 million residential, business, and wholesale consumers. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “We are honored that WOW!, one of the most respected broadband carriers in the nation, decided to add Newsmax TV to its news lineup.”  Newsmax TV says it is currently available in 65 million U.S. homes and it expects to be in 80 million homes by year’s end.  Newsmax TV personalities include radio talk hosts Chris SalcedoBrett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe Pags, as well as Newsmax hosts Nancy Brinker and John Bachman.

KVOI-AM, Tucson Adds ‘Creative City Show’ to Weekdays. The Bustos Media-owned news talk station is promoting Zach Yentzer’s ​“Creative City Show” to full-time status, airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, beginning April 1.  KVOI operations manager Ray Alan says, “Zach has established himself as a strong emerging voice with his Saturday show.  Zach is very involved in the Tucson community and will do a great job bringing together many diverse voices.”  The move means “A Morning Affair” with host Mark Bishop is canceled.  Bustos Media chief Amador Bustos says, “We are very thankful to Mark Bishop, he was an integral part in launching the newest version of ‘1030 ​The Voice.’  We wish him the best.”

Westwood One to Present NCAA Action on Google Assistant. This year’s presentation of the NCAA March Madness play-by-play action by radio syndicator Westwood One will also happen on the Google Assistant, thanks to a collaboration between WWO and Google LLC.  Westwood One is the Official Network Radio partner of the NCAA.  Google is the Official Public Cloud provider of the NCAA. A press release from the companies says, “Bringing the live NCAA live stream to listeners together breaks new ground for both companies, coming just as Triton Digital released new data that 19% of total listening hours to AM/FM radio streams occurred on smart speakers in January 2019.”  Cumulus Media and Google will promote the integration across multiple owned-and-operated properties for the duration of NCAA March Madness through the Final Four games.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Mitch Henck is launching a new talk show on Woof Boom Radio’s WHBU, Anderson, Indiana.  Henck, who served for years as a host on iHeartMedia’s Madison, Wisconsin progressive talker WXXM-FM, will be on WHBU from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Radio news pro Matt Pieper is named overnight anchor for CBS News Radio.  Pieper’s on-the-hour newscasts will be heard daily starting at 12:00 midnight ET on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country.  Pieper has served as a reporter for CBS News Radio since 2015.  He’s covered such major news events as the sexual assault cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein; the 2016 presidential race; 9/11 anniversaries; and terror related-incidents in New York…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Trump’s appearance at the Lima, Ohio operations of General Dymamics.  Clugston served as the “pool” reporter for all networks on Air Force One. He also filed exclusive reports for Salem’s 24/7 news services SRN News and TOWNHALL News.

Mueller’s Trump Investigation, NZ Gun Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Release of Migrants in Texas, Boeing Criminal Investigation, Conway-Trump Spat, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19). The status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; New Zealand bans military-style semi-automatic guns and large capacity magazines in the aftermath of the deadly mosques attacks; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; ICE releases migrants into Texas due to overcrowding at detention facilities; Boeing under criminal investigation for certification process; the spat between George Conway and President Trump; the devastating floods affecting the Midwest; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Florida on-air and programming pro Jeff Zito is named afternoon drive host and APD at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WPBB, Tampa “98.7 The Shark.”  Zito was most recently program director and midday host at the company’s WRXK, Ft. Myers “96K-ROCK.”  He also programmed the old WBRN-FM, Tampa for Beasley back in 2016.  Zito says, “I’m excited to join my mentor, [program director] Ted Kamikaze, back in Tampa at ‘98.7 The Shark.’  I want to thank Justin Chase, Travis DailySteve Triplett, and the Beasley family for allowing me this incredible opportunity to grow within the company I’ve had the privilege to work for over the past 20 years.  I can’t wait to get started, but, will miss my radio family in Ft. Myers.”….Cumulus Media and PD Duane Shannon sign a multiyear deal for Shannon to continue his role programming country WGKX “KIX 106” and adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” in Memphis.   He is also co-host of WGKX’s “Duane and Abby in the Morning” program.  Cumulus Memphis VP and market manager Morgan Bohannon says, “Duane has become part of the fiber of both ‘KIX 106’ and Memphis.  He has exhibited a great knowledge, appreciation, and passion for what is a historic, heritage, and leading brand in Memphis.”…..In Philadelphia, Angel Donato moves from overnights at adult contemporary WBEB “B101” to the evening show at sister classic hits WOGL…..Air personality Shay Lewis, a.k.a. Shay Shay, exits Beasley Media’s rhythmic AC WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” in order to take a gig outside of the radio business.  She was co-host of the original morning team “The Morning Bounce with Bigg & Shay Shay” when the station flipped to urban from sports talk back in 2017.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  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.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Three straight negative moves by Alpha Media news/talk KXL accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+) but “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” erases 60% of that deficit in January/February with a +.9 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains four-tenths in January/February (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+) and continues at #19. Off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” slips from #23 to #25.

Four consecutive decreases by Entercom sports talk KFXX led to an overall -1.4 (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), but “1080 The Fan” bounces back with a January/February +.4 (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #22, 6+). Three-tenths behind is Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” is unchanged from January in 6+ share (1.0) and 6+ market rank (#23). After logging a .7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” drops two-tenths to .5 (#27 to #28, 6+).

The +1.2 that KOPB posted in January vanishes as the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by -1.6 (9.3 – 7.7, 6+). Moreover, KOPB segues to second after a one-month (January) stay at #1. It previously was on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and -1.6 (February).

Portland Music Formats – Dislodging KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” which follows January’s +1.7 with a February +1.0 (7.1 – 8.1, second to first, 6+). Furthermore, KLTH, which was -1.6 in “Holiday” 2018, reaches the eight-share level (6+) for the first time in nearly eight years (May 2011, 8.1, as well). In addition to “The Eagle,” Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” posts a February improvement of +1.0 (2.6 – 3.6, #18 to #13, 6+). On the heels of January’s -9.2, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW answers with a gain of seven-tenths (16.2 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and advances from third to a second-place tie. In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9); KKCW was on top in April 2018, September, December, and “Holiday” 2018. Recapturing in its entirety the collective seven-tenths it lost in three straight down or flat trends (4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” cracks the top ten (4.4, +.7, #12 to #8, 6+). Adding one-half share to January’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1, #13 to #11, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” has its highest 6+-stat (4.1) in exactly one year (4.7, February 2018). A cumulative +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON surrenders all but two-tenths of that increase (4.8, -1.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). While it is without a loss the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” backslides from seventh to eighth. Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland,” which has been a collective -1.7 (October 2018/November); +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Up seven-tenths in January, Entercom-owned KNRK “94/7 – Portland Alternative” surrenders one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk WBT replicate January’s +.4 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), the Carolina Panthers flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Conversely, by dropping four-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #18, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Charlotte Hornets key station WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” suspends seven straight positive or flat moves that nearly tripled (+1.1) its 6+ share (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to January’s +.9 (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” repeats at #16. Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fifth straight time and is down one-half share in that October 2018 through February 2019 timeframe (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Faltering by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG responds with a January/February +2.1 (3.9 – 4.8 – 6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+); “Power 98” has its best 6+-stat (6.0) since August 2015’s 6.5. Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” jumps from third to a first-place tie. It is deadlocked with cluster-mate WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits,” which – despite sputtering by one-half share following a January improvement of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) – advances from second to a share of the lead. Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Ousted from #1 (after a January-only stay on top), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO shifts to #3. The three most recent fluctuations for “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -1.4 in February (7.7 – 6.3, 6+). Immediately in advance of that -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Four consecutive negative or flat trends by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS resulted in a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+) but “Kiss 95.1” snaps that streak with a +.4 to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). After adding six-tenths in January, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” surrenders all of it (4.7 – 5.3 – 4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). The six most recent shifts for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #12 to #15, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is a collective +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship backslides from sixth to seventh. The July 2018 – February 2019 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (flat at #24, 6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” moves from #29 to #28.

A combined -.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+).    

San Antonio Music Formats – Seven recent shifts for Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); and now +.6 in February 6.9 – 7.5, steady at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Six-tenths ahead of “Y-100” and repeating at #1 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (8.0 – 8.1, +.1, 6+). Similar to KCYY, significant fluctuations are common for “KJ-97” as evidenced by +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and a monstrous +3.0 in January 2019 (5.0 – 8.0, 6+). Country rivals “KJ-97” and “Y-100” were tied in June 2018 and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Occupying the runner-up slot for the fifth straight time, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-tenth to January’s +1.9 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+). Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which was -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+) gains two-tenths to 2.4 (#19 to #17, 6+). Posting an August 2018 through January 2019 topline high of 1.4 and low of 1.0 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio classical KPAC breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#22, 6+). A one-half share increase to 4.5 (eighth to sixth, 6+) by Cox Media Group-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” pulls the plug on three straight downturns that resulted in a -1.4 (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” forfeits nine-tenths to 2.4 (#15 to #17, 6+). Erasing nearly half of January’s +1.2 with a February loss of one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” tumbles from fifth to ninth. “Magic” was down six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Owing to five consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -2.2 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” drops from #12 to #13.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative -.9 in three straight October – “Holiday” 2018 declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK has since been +1.5 (January) and -.6 in February (7.6 – 7.0, 6+); “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” slips from a first-place tie to second. Returning the two-tenths it scored in January (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Even though it is unchanged at 1.2 (6+), Bonneville’s KHTK enters the top twenty (#22 to #20); “Sports 1140” gained three-tenths in January. In four successive down or flat reports, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” erodes by more than 50% (-.9) but stays at #25, (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Skidding from sixth to ninth, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ spirals by -2.5 in three consecutive decreases (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through February 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +1.0 to 8.6 (6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” breaks January’s first-place tie with KFBK (see above) and has sole possession of the top spot. In the lead ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.0 (February 2019). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB a combined +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), “92.5 The Breeze” enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Up until early-November (2018), KBEB was “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country.” It was up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. One of the country stations it competed against is Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” whose recent history includes a combined -.9 in August/September; an overall +1.5 in three straight September–October–November-December gains; -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and now +.8 in February (4.7 – 5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Having lost nearly half (-1.1) its 6+ AQH share in three straight setbacks (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), Entravision Communications’ KXSE “La Suavecita 92.7” rebounds with a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #17, 6+). Off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is a combined +1.6 in January/February (4.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, steady at #4, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.7 (November 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KGRB “94.3 Radio Lazer” falters by six-tenths to 1.1 6+) and fades from the top twenty (#17 to #23). After logging three upticks in succession for a +1.1 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” drops one-tenth to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent moves by Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”  are -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (5.1 – 4.6, seventh to ninth, 6+).

A combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by six-tenths (7.1 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Flat at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has a September 2018 through February 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Anchored at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is +1.2 in January/February (3.1 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – There is major news at the top of this Pennsylvania market’s leader board as iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW – Pittsburgh’s pacesetter the past 24 ratings periods – is a combined -5.9 in January/February (13.6 – 8.1 – 7.7, 6+) and segues to the runner-up position. Prior to January’s -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), “94.5 – 3WS” was up or flat three successive reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Taking over at #1 is co-owned rocker WDVE (7.6 – 8.4, +.8, third to first, 6+). Its December loss of one-half share suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE plummeted by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. As a result of three straight improvements (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” jumps from tenth to seventh with its best 6+-number since July 2018 (4.9, as well). Dropping from second to third, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is down by -1.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Separated by one-tenth are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (unchanged at 5.2 and #6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 5.1, +.4, steady at #7, 6+). KSL was -.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January, while KNRS obliterated “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January +1.4.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted for the second straight month.

Steady at #12, University of Utah news/talk KUER adds two-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and has its largest 6+-stat (3.1) since August 2018’s 3.5.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Owing to three positive spikes in a row (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP is an overall +1.3 as “103.5 The Arrow” advances from third to second. Logging three successive gains as well is  Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93,” which is +1.7 in that timeframe (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.8, unchanged at #8, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KUBL was an overall -2.8 via five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Co-owned CHR KENZ was trending 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.4 (November 2018 through January 2019), but “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#15 to #13, 6+). Still in that Cumulus Media cluster, KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah,” which more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), forfeits seven-tenths to 2.0 (#13 to #16, 6+). Despite eroding by -14.4 in just two (January and February) sweeps (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” is the market leader for the fourth consecutive ratings period. Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the heels of gaining eight-tenths in January (1.9 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” relinquishes one-half share to 2.2 (#13 to #15, 6+). Entering the January sweep, KBER was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to building onto January’s +.6 with a February +.2 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” progresses from #17 to #15 with its best 6+-performance (2.4) in exactly two years (2.8, February 2017). It doubles the 6+-stat of Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which is a combined +.3 in January/February .9 – 1.1 – 1.2, flat at #23, 6+).

Unchanged at #25, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is in a repetitive sequence of .8 – .7 – .8 – .7 (6+).

Even though it adds one-tenth to January’s +.7 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from #10 to #11. KNPR was a combined -.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – The +1.2 by Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) coupled with an eight-tenths shortfall by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” (7.5 – 6.7, 6+) results in KKLZ moving from second to first and “Sunny” dropping from first (where it had been the past six sweeps) to second. This (8.3) marks the first time in its PPM-history that KKLZ, which was +1.0 in January, has reached the eight-share level (6+). The last time KKLZ hit #1 was in August 2018. A combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), “Sunny” is now -6.1 in January/February. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. After regressing by eight-tenths in January (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” regains 75% of that deficit with a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). With a (6+) December 2018 – January 2019 topline of 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.9, iHeartMedia’s country KWNR “95.5 The Bull” spirals by nine-tenths to 4.0 (fifth to ninth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.2. In January, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” each gained six-tenths; however, in February, “Hot” is down eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+) and KUNV forfeits one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). “Hot” was a combined +1.1 in November/December and -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. In addition to KUNV, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.0, steady at #4, 6+) and co-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+) regress by one-half share. In eight straight up or flat survey periods, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). Owing to February’s -.5, KOMP continues its recent “one-half share” theme: It gained one-half share in January which curtailed a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Via three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS was an overall +1.1 but the streak concludes as “SOS Radio” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) but stays in sixth-place.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from eighth to seventh, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), following a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.6  (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+). Following five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is up seven tenths in January/February (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+).

A January/February +1.0 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+) lifts news/talk cluster-mate WFLF from #15 to #14. Its January gain of four-tenths applied the brakes to three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

After a January increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+), Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” has its 6+-stat sliced in half (.8 – .4, #20 to #22, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly 70% (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share in six consecutive down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

A January/February +.8 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+) by Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE erases all of its “Holiday” 2018 -.8; “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” climbs from #13 to #12.

Orlando Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” makes that disappear with a February +1.2 to 5.4 (tenth to eighth, 6+). On the heels of January’s robust +2.0 (4.9 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” tacks on an additional +1.0 to 7.9 (fourth to third, 6+), officially clearing out its cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” result in a +1.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4, steady at #2, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WRUM roars back with a January/February +1.7 (7.8 – 9.3 – 9.5, 6+) as “Rumba 100” repeats at #1. The Spanish tropical outlet spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top, before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7,” which replaced WRUM at #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018, is -8.4 in January/February (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). That follows its combined +8.5 in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. After racking up a January/February +1.3 (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” surrenders all but three-tenths of that increase (5.4, -1.0, sixth to eighth, 6+). A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – It is just a one-month (January) stay at #1 for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW as the flagship of the Reds and Bengals drops two-tenths (9.9 – 9.7, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. The two previous sweeps were quite volatile for WLW: -2.1 in “Holiday” 2018, followed by a +2.4 in January. In a slight statistical oddity, co-owned WKRC was up one-half share in January yet slipped from #10 to #11, while in February, “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” drops one-tenth yet improves from #11 to #10.

Likewise, sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” returns the two-tenths it picked up in January (1.0 – 1.2 – 10, 6+) but climbs from #18 to #17; it was up two-tenths in January but fell from #17 to #18.

In five successive sweeps without an increase, WVXU lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+); however, the Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk facility is now +.6 in January/February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – By gaining eight-tenths to 4.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” wipes away in its entirety the -.8 it squandered through three straight losses (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Adding six-tenths to January’s +1.5 (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” marches from second to first. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR eroded by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). This (10.2) is the highest 6+ stat and first time in double-digits (6+) for “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” since March 2018’s 10.4. In addition to entering the top ten (#12 to #9), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is +1.0 as a result of three straight upticks (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+) and records its best 6+-number in roughly two years (3.6, as well in March 2017). Improving by one-half share as well in February is Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country 105.9 & 106.7,” which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, flat at #15, 6+). Following January’s +1.0, Hubbard-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” returns 70% (9.4 – 8.7, -.7, 6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) dispatches Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” out of the top ten (#9 to #13). While steady at #6, co-owned classic rock WOFX  surrenders roughly one-third of January’s +1.4 (5.7 – 5.2, -.5, sixth to sixth, 6+). Prior to January, “92.5 The Fox” had a collective loss of nine-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase, (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the seventh time in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective downturn of six-tenths (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Spiraling by -1.2 (5.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from eighth to tenth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After swapping “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is in 6+ share (3.2) and 6+ market rank (#13).

Cleveland Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); and +.8 (9.0 – 9.8, February, 6+). “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third sweep in succession. Logging a February +.8 as well is Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (6.0 – 6.8, sixth to third, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +4.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+) but plummeted by -4.3 in January. In four successive losses, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ was a collective -1.0 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+), but “Z-107.9” recaptures 60% of that decline with a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fifth, 6+). A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive setbacks (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” answers with a January/February +2.2 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) and repeats at #4. While it remains at #11, Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” is an overall -1.6 owing to three successive negative moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 in “Holiday” 2018; +.8 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (6.9 – 6.4, third to fifth, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October 2018, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” is unlisted for the second consecutive month.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” answers in January/February with a +2.2 (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, seventh to fourth, 6+). KMBZ-FM was +.7 in October/November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #18, co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) is up nine-tenths in January/February (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). After trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” doubles January’s .7 (1.4, +.7, 6+) and carries on at #22. The last time “Talk Radio 710 AM” reached the one-share level (6+) was in March 2018 (1.0).

The market’s (6+) sports talk share shrinks by -1.8 as Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” erodes by -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, #6 to #11, 6+), while Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is off by half as much (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, #16 to #17, 6+). A combined -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), WHB erupted in January with a +1.3. In three consecutive decreases, KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but was +.3 in January.

The -.7 that University of Missouri news/talk outlet KCUR logged in “Holiday” 2018 is wiped away with a January/February +.7 (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7, #14 to #12 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – The wild ride continues for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, which was +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); and +1.2 in February (5.4 – 6.6, fourth to third, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” curtailed eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Registering positive spikes of seven-tenths (each) are Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” (steady in the runner-up slot) and Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which is back in the top ten (#15 to #10, 6+). Enjoying its fourth uptick in a row for a collective +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), “Hot 103” notches its highest 6+share (6.9) since July 2018’s 7.1. A combined +2.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), KCKC cratered by -3.8 in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. While it is on top for the tenth straight time, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” plummets by -1.9 (10.1 – 8.2, 6+), the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decline by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. January’s 10.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (4.9, third to sixth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” (4.2 – 3.4, #10 to #14, 6+). An overall -1.6 in three straight dips (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+),“Q-104” was a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Magic 107.3,” which was +2.0 in four consecutive gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), lost one-half share in January. CHR sibling KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to January, “The Vibe” was +1.4 through five consecutive positive or flat moves (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dialing up a +1.3 (5.7 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN relinquishes all but two-tenths of that increase (5.9, -1.1, flat at #5, 6+). “News Radio 610” was off a combined six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+).

Repeating at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). For the second month in a row, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted. Among fluctuations for the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship since reappearing in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December); and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+).

Ohio State University news/talk WOSU follows January’s +1.1 with a gain of two-tenths (4.5 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Trending 7.2 – 6.8 – 7.2 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” erupts with a +.9 to 8.1 (6+) and advances from fourth to second. Adding seven-tenths to January’s eight-tenths’ increase (10.6 – 11.4 – 12.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 15th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January +.8 halted six straight setbacks that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); and +.7 (February). Recording a February +.7 as well is One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #8, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat (4.0) since October 2018’s 4.1. Following a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +3.7 (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is -4.6 in January/February (8.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its December positive spike halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

| March 2, 2017

PPM Analysis: Commercial News/Talk. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presented an analysis of the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey. Today, Kinosian takes a look at commercial news/talk stations. Rebounding, from the Holiday 2016 survey in which news/talk stations have historically seen a dip in ratings, more than nine of every 10 stations improve (92%); only 4% are down; and the remaining 4% are flat. If the implication is that the new Trump Administration is having a positive effect on the size of the audience tuning in to news/talk (and all-news) stations, comparisons to the January 2016 survey could support that. Kinosian notes that “only about one of every three of our qualifying commercial talk panelists is down year-to-year (34%), while 62% improve; the other 4% are flat.” See all the data in the full report here.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Hits Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money event to Sacramento last night (3/1).  Ramsey packed the Adventure Christian Church with fans who learned how to “win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.”  Best-selling author and speaker Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage.  iHeartMedia-owned talk station KSTE “Talk 650” partnered with Ramsey to promote the event.  KSTE and KFBK program director Bill White states, “Each time Dave and the Ramsey team come to Sacramento it’s an exciting, special, and positive experience for KSTE listeners to take the principals from his daily radio show and expand them even further into managing their money and their lives.”  The tour stop in Sacramento continues today as Ramsey joins nationally recognized speaker Christy Wright for the Business Boutique 1 Day event – a brand-new event designed to equip attendees with what they need to successfully start and run their own business.  Pictured above are (from l-r): White, iHM Sacramento SVP of sales Ann Postell, Cruze, Ramsey, and iHM Sacramento VP of sales Darren Mounts.

NRHOF Is Open to Suggestions.  This coming November, the 2017 class of the National Radio Hall of Fame will be inducted at a ceremony at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  The NRHOF nominating committee announces that it is accepting suggestions for 2017 nominees.  This year people can visit www.radiohof.org and click on the nominate tab to submit their picks for consideration.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “It’s always our priority to engage as many people possible in this process because there’s such a wealth of talent to be represented.   By streamlining the communication through the website, we’re anticipating more feedback than ever.”

Trump’s Congressional Address, Obama Administration’s Preservation of Russian Intel, Sessions-Russia Allegations, U.S. Immigration and Deportation Policy, French Obama Petition, Status of Affordable Care Act, Oscars Snafu Fallout, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/1).  Praise and criticism of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress; reports that the Obama Administration moved to preserve intelligence on the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents; allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had conversations with a Russian diplomat while working with the Trump campaign; the state of U.S. immigration policy and how far the Trump Administration will go with its deportation program; a petition circulating in France requesting Barack Obama to run for president there; the status of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s plans to overhaul the law; the aftermath of the “Best Picture” snafu at Sunday’s Academy Awards show; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Making Battle Plans in Fight Against Cancer.  Pictured here in the Oval Office with President Trump (center) are former Ambassador Nancy Brinker (left), who is also founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and Newsmax TV CEO Christopher Ruddy (right).  Brinker hosts an interview program on Newsmax TV and longtime Trump friend Ruddy helped organize the meeting to discuss initiatives for cancer research and finding a cure.

Compass Media Networks Presents Exclusive Coverage of Big Ten Men’s Hoops Tourney.  This will be the 9th consecutive season that Compass Media Networks has broadcast exclusive, national audio coverage of The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.  This year’s tourney is at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC and begins Wednesday, March 8 and concludes with the championship game at 2:30 pm ET on Sunday, March 12.  Thirteen games will be broadcast over five days.  The rotating play-by-play crews will be Matt “Money” Smith & Rick Mahorn and Drew Bontadelli & Mike Wozniak, along with studio host Tim Cates.

‘The Raven Effect’ Podcast Moves to the ‘Jericho Network on PodcastOne.’  Former WWE star Scott “Raven” Levy is bringing his podcast to Chris Jericho’s The Jericho Network on PodcastOne.  “The Raven Effect” will feature discussions about “current events, conspiracies, pop culture, politics, pet peeves and anything else Raven thinks of.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris has brilliantly mastered the balance of wrestling content with other topics like music and sports, and even a great new show, ‘Beyond the Darkness,’ that focuses on the paranormal.  We expect ‘The Raven Effect’ to be another winner for The Jericho Network on PodcastOne.”

 

 

Brown University Likely to Sell Alternative WBRU, Providence.  This past weekend, the station membership of Brown University’s alternative rock WBRU, Providence voted in a straw poll to follow a resolution by the university board of directors to begin the process of selling the license and assets of the station.  An official vote of the station membership will take place on March 11.  Station general manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama says in a letter to Brown alumni that the reason for the probable sale is economics and changing media habits.  “Despite extensive efforts to remain sustainable, we’ve reached this point due to a decade of decline in the Providence radio market compounded with national decline in standalone radio stations…We’ve arrived at this point only after exploring a wide range of financial options, yet the challenges we face are more than just financial.  We’re also faced with the reality that broadcast radio may not be the most engaging content distribution technology for the student workshop in the 21st century.”  WBRU is a class B FM at 95.5.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Digital platform iHeartRadio has a general manager of digital programming.  Kavi Halemane takes on the role, moving there from his recent post as vice president of Premiere Digital Media.  In this position, Halemane will work with iHeartRadio’s marketing, editorial and sales teams to connect music fans, partners and artists with exclusive iHeartRadio Original Stations, playlists and podcasts.  He will report to Chris Williams, chief product officer for iHeartRadio…..As the result of corporate restructuring at Entercom’s Charlotte cluster, hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” program director Darla Thomas exits the station as her position is being eliminated…..At Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey hot AC WMGQ “Magic 98.3,” morning personality Joel Katz gets a co-host as Maryann Morgan joins the program…..When the iHeartRadio Music Awards air on TBS, TNT and TruTV this Sunday night, viewers will see the American television debut of the Chris MartinChainsmokers collaboration “Something Just Like This.”  Celebrity award presenters for the “fan-fueled” music awards will include: Ansel Elgort, Daya, Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Florida Georgia Line, Halsey, Jason Derulo, Joe Jonas, John Legend, Karrueche Tran, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore and Miley Cyrus…..Yesterday, Red Bow Records artist Brooke Eden (center) paid her first in-studio visit to Cumulus Media’s “NASH Nights Live” program.  She chatted with show hosts Shawn Parr (left) and Elaina Smith (right) about her new song, “Act Like You Don’t.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

| March 31, 2015

mitchinsondaniHeartMedia Brings News Pro Dan Mitchinson to Mornings at KFBK, Sacramento.  Saying that Dan Mitchinson “brings a unique combination of experience and success in the news/talk format, along with a passion to evolve our appeal to the next generation of listeners,” iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Don Parker announces the radio and TV news pro will join Amy Lewis as co-host of the KFBK Morning News, effective Monday April 6.  In a press statement, the station notes thatkfbklogo “Mitchinson’s radio work has been heard on the FOX and CBS networks.  His TV credentials include stories appearing on ‘ABC‘s World News Tonight’, ‘Nancy Grace’ and ‘Geraldo.’  He’s covered presidential visits, natural disasters as well as some of the biggest names in Hollywood.  Mitchinson has received the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Best Newscast,’ a Golden Mic award for Best News Special, and the Best Newscast and Single News story award from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.  KFBK program director Bill White adds, “We’re very fortunate to have someone of Dan’s talent and his credentials speak to his passion for covering and delivering news.  He’ll be a great partner with Amy Lewis as the ‘KFBK Morning News’ continues to inform Sacramento and Northern California.”

kcmo logoLooking to the Future at KCMO, Kansas City.  TALKERS magazine observes that heritage news/talk outlet KCMO, Kansas City has been gradually adjusting the “attitude” of its programming to reflect the style of issues-oriented talk that a younger audience are reported to be demanding these days.  Just two months ago, the station brought in Rob Carson to host the daily morning show.  Carson’s hiringcarsonrob knappgregappears to dovetail well with Greg Knapp’s afternoon drive show, the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show in early afternoons and the late morning Chris Plante program.  Carson (who’s been in and around the business for the past 26 years, ironically writing for Rush Limbaugh during a portion of those years) tells TALKERS, “I really believe there is a quantum shift happening in talk radio, and it involves a move away from purely political monologue and phone call talk shows and more towards a conservative-style ‘The Daily Show.’”  Note that Carson uses the word conservative.  He adds, “Some are moving completely away from politics and I believe they do so at their own peril as plantechrispolitics is such a massive part of the popular culture.”  Still, Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey tells the tale of the tape and KCMO-AM ranked 18th (1.7 share, persons 6+) in the February PPM survey, well behind talk leader KMBZ-FM (10th place with a 4.2 share, persons 6+) and non-com runner-up KCUR-FM (12th place with a 3.9 share, persons 6+).  Only time will tell if KCMO’s programming strategy will pay off, but it’s apparent that Rob Carson is going to keep swinging from his position in morning drive and that something new and interesting is afoot.

brady billOpinion: Radio in 2015 – Getting Back to the Basics.  Radio sales and management pro Bill Brady writes in an opinion piece published in TALKERS magazine today (3/31) that owners and operators must deal with the fact that it’s not 1988 anymore and adjust their programming accordingly.  Brady writes, “For the most part, the talk format has devolved into a niche within a niche within a niche.  Today’s talk product is not mass appeal ‘topic A’ stuff.  It’s not even mass appeal politics – just conservative politics which severely limit the format’s appeal.  The answer to the problem is very simple: play the hits.”  Read more from Bill Brady here.

ackermanchrisAckerman Retires from Coleman Insights. Vice president Chris Ackerman exits Coleman Insights following a 22-year run at the Raleigh-area research company. President and chief operating officer Warren Kurtzman comments, “Chris is going to be missed on so many levels. Our clients will miss his advice and counsel. We will miss his presence as a fabulous mentor to employees at every level of our organization. Most of all, however, I am going to miss having my good friend for the last 20 years down the hall. Everyone at Coleman Insights wishes nothing but the best for Chris and we thank him for his incalculable contributions to the success of our company.” Ackerman remarks, “[My wife] Kathy and I are deeply grateful for the opportunity [founder and chief executive officer] Jon Coleman and Warren Kurtzman have provided us, and for the support and friendship of all our Coleman colleagues. I am also grateful for the many clients I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve through the years.” Prior to joining Coleman in August 1992, Ackerman was vice president and general manager of Capitol Broadcasting Orlando’s WSTF “Star 101.” The Miami University (of Ohio) graduate previously held the same vice president and general manager title at Renda Broadcasting Pittsburgh; WJYE, Buffalo; and WKQQ, Lexington, Kentucky.

blumhagenlarryCBS Radio Transfers Blumhagen to Los Angeles. Nine-year general sales manager of CBS Radio San Francisco hot AC KLLC “Alice@97.3” and CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7” Larry Blumhagen will relocate in three weeks (4/20) to become vice president and director of sales for the company’s six-station Los Angeles cluster. CBS Radio Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Dan Kearney states, “Larry has been successful since the day he joined the company in 1992. He has developed great relationships internally as well as throughout the advertising community. We are very fortunate that Larry is bringing his strategic and creative expertise to Los Angeles.” Blumhagen remarks that he is “very excited” to have the opportunity “to work with some of the most legendary brands in broadcasting,” and that he is “fortunate to continue to work with CBS Radio.” Past credits for University of Oregon alum Blumhagen include being general sales manager of Portland adult alternative KINK (2001 – 2006). CBS Radio Los Angeles properties include mainstream CHR KAMP “Amp Radio”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; alternative KROQ; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; and smooth AC KTWV “The Wave.”

Odds & Sods.  Last weekend, Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters presented its annual awards at a luncheon in Charlottesville and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington picked up five honors – four superior and one meritorious.  WTOP reporter Andrew Mollenbeck was awarded superior in the Best Documentary or In-wtop logo NEW 1-15Depth Report category for “New Arrivals,” reporter Megan Cloherty meritorious in the Best Feature or Human Interest category for “A Typical Day Turned Deadly,” and Chris Core superior for “Core Values” in the Best Editorial or Editorial Series category.  The WTOP Newsroom also received superior awards for the following: Best Coverage of a Spot News Story – “The Bob McDonnell Verdict”; and Best Coverage of a Continuing News Story – “The Search for Hannah Graham.”…..The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS wiplogoRADIO-owned sports talker WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” renew their deal for the station to serve as flagship for Eagles play-by-play for years to come.  The agreement also includes new elements such as an HD Radio station devoted exclusively to the Eagles 24/7 with year-round programming.  CBS RADIO Philadelphia stations have carried play-by-play coverage of the Eagles since 1992.  Eagles radio announcers Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest tenured play-by-play announcer, and former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick will continue to provide commentary of the games…..All-Pro receiver Steve Smith, currently with the Baltimore Ravens – is joining the roster of expert hosts on SiriusXM NFL Radio.   Smith will host “The Opening Drive” alongside co-host Bob Papa every other Wednesday live from 7:00 to 11:00 am ET.

koh logoCool Job Opportunity.  KKOH, Reno needs a full-time talk show producer and on-air operator with mad skills who can do it all: run the studio, screen calls, schedule guests, research topics, locate/edit audio, post content to social media, update the website, maintain podcasts, create promos and work with a well-established team.  The ideal candidate has on-air experience and passion for the news and important issues of the day, plus the ability to multi-task, handle stress and deadlines.  We’re a conservative talker, but it isn’t just about politics.  It helps if you don’t mind crazy hours, too.  Reply with resume and air check to renoradio.jobs@cumulus.com. EOE.

wltl logoWCKG, Elmhust, Illinois Teams with High School Station to Create ‘Study Hall Radio.’  An award-winning Chicago-area high school radio station – WLTL, La Grange (serving Lyons Township) – is working with commercial talk radio station WCKG, Elmhurst to produce: Study Hall Radio” that will air on WCKG on Saturdays at 2:00 pm.  Student broadcasters, under the guidance of faculty advisor Chris Thomas, will feature student reporters, interviewers and more.  Thomas says, “WLTL’s student broadcasters are generating the topics, researching and reporting the stories and conducting the interviews.  I am just the person helping to put all of the pieces together and making connections for the listening audience as to why adults should care about what is on the minds of students today.”  The April 4 premiere episode will focus on driving and teenagers.  Additional programs are planned to cover topics such as prom and dating, graduation and summer plans, jobs and activities for teenagers.  The purpose of each program will be to inform Suburban Chicago listeners of what is happening at the high school level, and how and why it affects our community.

Religious Freedom Act Controversy, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Hillary Clinton Email Case, ISIS Violence, Germanwings Flight 9525 Investigation, and NCAA Hoops Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30).  The political controversy in Indiana over the implementation of that state’s religious freedom act; the strained relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email for State Department business; the battle against ISIS; the state of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and the downing of Germanwings Flight 9525; and March Madness were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Preparedness, Vigilance and Training Important in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack.  The horrific assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo serves as a sad reminder that attacks on media outlets are not only possible, they happen on an all-too-frequent basis.  In a piece published in TALKERS magazine, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that “even with the best security resources and procedures in place, no broadcast facility is immune from criminal acts or terrorism.  And being in a small place doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk.  But, there are common sense things we all can do to help deter such incidents, mitigate their impact and help assure an investigative trail in the event one takes place.”  Read Price’s very important piece here.

whitebillBill White Named KFBK and KSTE, Sacramento Program Director.  It’s official: news/talk programming pro Bill White is the new PD at iHeartMedia’s KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento, effective January 20.  White – who’s programmed such storied talk outlets as WGN, Chicago; KDKA, Pittsburgh; and WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – most recently served as PD at Journal Broadcast Group’s KQTH and KFFN in Tucson.  White comments, “These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day.  I’m honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK/KSTE and look forward to building on their successes.”

frantzbobBob Frantz Adds Cleveland News/Talk Duties.  Longtime WTAM, Cleveland personality Bob Frantz exited that station in July of last year and in October began hosting an afternoon sports talk show for Cumulus Media on WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket.”  Now, Frantz is adding a daily news/talk program on Salem Communications-owned WHK, Cleveland “AM 1420 The Answer” to his responsibilities.  Frantz has been producing commentaries for the Salem station and now begins the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program.  Salem Cleveland GM Mark Jaycox comments, “There has been a very loud cry from Clevelanders to hear Bob Frantz on the air once more, since his mic went silent five months ago.  His straightforward, honest approach to news, sports and politics has earned him a strong following among conservatively minded listeners who want more in-depth perspective on news stories that affect our daily lives.”

charleskenKen Charles Exits iHeartMedia.  News/talk pro Ken Charles – after a long career with iHeartMedia programming stations in Houston, Miami and Sacramento, to name a few – exits the company.  Charles had been serving as the company’s national brand manager for news/talk and sports before his sudden exit.  iHeartMedia has been very quiet about this and has, so far, not announced any plans to fill Charles’ corporate post.

podcastone logoHollywoodLife Signs with PodcastOne.  What it calls “another, in a series of previously announced partnerships, merging editorial and audio media,” PodcastOne unveils the arrival of the HollywoodLife podcast to its roster of advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio programs.  The weekly podcast is hosted by HollywoodLife.com’s renowned president and editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller and delivers “discussion, debate and the inside scoop on all the biggest, breaking celebrity news.”  It will also feature candid conversations with top TV, music and movie stars.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bonnie’s track record of success in editorial content and audience engagement is extraordinary, and we are excited to expand that from the website to the podcast.  Providing the best in entertainment and celebrity news, she knows how to connect with the female demographic and affect lifestyle interests in ways no one else can.”

cookehollandCES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting for TALKERS magazine from the giant Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas and today (1/8) he focuses on the disruption TV is feeling at the hands of technology that has made about half of television program viewing delayed or on demand.  “The linear feed” means live programming in the order that it’s broadcast and Cooke writes that as consumption of media continues to change, radio must address that “the linear feed” only isn’t going to be good enough.  Read his piece here to find two ways radio stations can deal with this conundrum.

flintaaronAaron Flint Continues to Build State-Wide Montana Talk Show.  Thirty-four-year-old Montana National Guard officer Aaron Flint began hosting Northern Broadcasting System’s “Voices of Montana” radio talk show five years ago.  Since then the KYYA, Billings-based program has expanded from 10 signals to more than 20 with KLTZ, Glasgow being the latest station to begin airing the program.  Flint states, “It’s pretty clear that listener and station demand for local, interactive, engaging content on both AM and FM radio is strong.  I went on another military deployment back in 2012, and I was, frankly, a little worried that we may lose some affiliates due to the disruption.  But the support for all service members shown by our radio affiliates has just been incredible.  The fact that the show has doubled is a strong testament to the support for the community and local programming by independent and corporate-owned stations alike.”  Flint has served three tours of duty: in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  A former staffer on The Hill, he is also a political blogger publishing The Flint Report – a blog the Washington Post has listed as one of the best state-based political blogs.

sharpejimUSA Radio Networks Adds Jim Sharpe to Lineup.  The latest addition to USA Radio Networks’ “rapidly growing syndicated programming lineup” is media pro Jim Sharpe who will host “AMERICA CONTINUES,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2.  USA says the show “will advance the significant news stories of the day with a different insight: the kind of insight that only comes whenusaRadioNetworks America has had a chance to digest the events of the day and put them into true perspective.”  Sharpe’s resume includes winning awards for his work as a war correspondent, and hosting radio shows in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  Sharpe says of his new syndicated show, “The name of the program serves two purposes: We will continue to update America’s truly important stories even as people put their workday behind them.  And, we will continue to work on this grand experiment called America.  Too many people have given up on the ‘American Dream,’ but ‘AMERICA CONTINUES’ will acknowledge and honor that America is still the planet’s best hope.”

wwwe logoAtlanta’s WWWE Converts to Women’s Radio Network. After having aired Spanish-language music and religious programming as well as sports, Beasley Broadcast Group‘s WWWE, Atlanta transitions to the Women’s Radio Network as “1100 WRNW1.” WWWE general manager Greg Cooper remarks, “Beasley and WWWE are committed to serving the concerns of the Atlanta community. A format focused on the lifestyle of today’s woman gives us a great opportunity to drive our vision for the market forward.” The Women’s Radio Network was previously available only as an online stream: The WWWE affiliation represents the company’s first experience in delivering content on an over-the-air broadcast facility. Hapeville, Georgia-licensed Class D WWWE has not appeared in a monthly Atlanta Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report in recent memory.

nyfest smallEntries Being Accepted for “World’s Best Radio Programs.” Several new categories have been added to the 30-plus-year-old international competition, including “Best Innovation,” “Best Journalist,” and “Best Music Program Host.”  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson remarks, “Our categories for ‘Sound Art’ and ‘Best Innovation’ recognize the limitless advances of creativity.  Our ‘Best Journalist,’ and ‘Best Music Program Host’ categories honor the artistry and dedication of the individuals at the mic.”  Advisory board grand jury member/Geller Media president Valerie Geller works with broadcasters in 35 countries “to become more powerful storytellers and communicators.”  Geller comments, “Stories are how we track our lives, learn about others, and develop empathy and understanding of the world.  At its best, broadcasting informs, entertains, inspires, and persuades. Most importantly, it connects people to one another through our stories.  It is satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to hear the amazing work that news, documentary and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating.”  NYFIRPA entries are received from radio stations, networks, and independent producers.  Among the 2014 winners were the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“Broadcaster of the Year”) and TBI Media UK (“Production Company of the Year”). Deadline for entering the competition is a little more than two months away (3/19); the awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 22 at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

cadeauxavierpaulCreative Talent Inc. Signs Xavier Paul Cadeau.  The voice of the Brooklyn Nets – Xavier Paul Cadeau – signs with talent agency Creative Talent Inc.  The firm, founded and led by radio pro Steve Gallagher, announces the inking of the actor, comedian and voice-over artist to a management contract encompassing broadcast on-air hosting, live sporting events announcing and corporate and industrial hosting and voiceovers.  Cadeau will be appearing on the upcoming HBO television series, “Crime.”  Gallagher says, “You’ve heard his promo voice on HBO Sports, narrating on the History Channel‘s ‘UFO Files’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ week on SyFy and he’s been multiple characters on the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series.  Xavier Paul is an incredible talent.”

lowysloanewendyTalk Host Wendy Lowy Sloane Celebrates Radio Show’s Fifth Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated “What’s Up with Wendy” radio show – hosted by Wendy Lowy Sloane – prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary tomorrow (1/9).  The BizTalkRadio program is based at WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and “showcases interviews with the biggest names in television, movies, music, comedy, fashion, literature, and sports, in addition to self-help segments.”  Celebrity guests who will help Lowy Sloane recognize the anniversary include “Parenthood” actress Monica Potter, “Awkward” star Greer Grammer, and Michael Dinan, owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com.  The program airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Fridays on WGCH and nationally on BizTalkRadio Fridays at 7:00 pm ET.

harrisonCCraneradio15C. Crane Catalogue for 2015 Chock Full of Interesting “Radio” Units.  As the role of the AM/FM “airwaves” appliance (commonly referred to as a “radio”) continues to struggle for a place of prominence within contemporary 21st century digital society, the remaining manufacturers and distributors of traditional radios – and still out there aggressively marketing them — play a very important role in the fabric of the broadcasting industry and hold a largely untapped key to its longevity.  That being stated, the TALKERS editorial board continues to pore through the annual catalogue of products released by Fortuna, California-based C. Crane, an independent provider of radios who champions the concept of using the airwaves as a ground for mass communications.  As C. Crane president Bob Crane puts it:  “The freedom of radio listening is truly magical with its huge educational and entertainment benefits.”  Crane continues, “Traditional radio and cell phones are dependent on radio waves.  The invisible waves deliver mobility without a connection to wires.  Radios will be here forever because they are devoted to the act of listening.”  Crane sums it up: “When we started this company over 30 years ago, radio waves were broadcast over the air.  For the most part, no matter what you listen with, they still are.  Receiving radio waves better is what we specialize in.  We are here to build the best radios we can to serve [our customers] now and in the future.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) adds, “Ever since someone asked the audience of radio professionals at one of our recent New York Seminars, “How many of you have a small AM/FM radio in your possession at this moment and the only one who raised his hand out of several hundred in the room was Art Vuolo, I resolved that as long as I am in the business of serving the radio industry, I will always have a simple AM/FM unit nearby – like my keys, cell phone and wallet… if for nothing more than just principle.”   One of the C. Crane units in Catalogue 2015 that Harrison has been carrying around lately is a neat little 5.5 ounce device dubbed the “CC SKYWAVE.”  It is a travel pocket radio that features intuitively easy on/off AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation bands (you can listen to pilot/control tower conversations to amuse or inform yourself while waiting for a plane) that retails for $89.95.  For more information about C.Crane visit www.ccrane.com.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre, New GOP Controlled Congress, Bitter Cold Across U.S, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  The murder of 12 at the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo presumably by Islamic radicals and the world’s reaction; the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress and reports of John Boehner’s revenge on those who voted against him for House Speaker; the extreme cold hitting much of the U.S.; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the sinking oil prices, euro concerns and the effects on the world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

| April 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150By Popular Demand, “Talkers New York 2014” is Bringing Back the Talk Rumble!  After several years on hiatus, the legendary (and original) “Talk Rumble” will return to the annual TALKERS conference at Talkers New York 2014.  The session features a large group of local and national talk show hosts – representing a variety of ideologies, genders and ethnicities — in a fast-paced, smokin’ debate of the hottest issues of the day.  It is moderated by an individual sworn to uphold the principles of political non-partisanship and philosophical even-handedness.  This year’s choice to serve in that capacity is WPIX-TV Channel 11, New York commentator (and TalkersRadio host) Lionel.  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio Network, Thom Hartmann of WYD Media, Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Kevin McCullough of XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware of WDBZ, Cincinnati, and David Webb of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.    Talkers New York 2014 will take place on Friday, June 20 at the India House Club located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  More than 60 speakers will be participating in this year’s 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important convention.  The event is always an early sellout and only open to communications industry professionals working in or closely associated with talk media.  Registrations ($249 per person) are only taken with credit card by phone.  Call 413-565-5413.

justicejonJournal’s KQTH, Tucson Re-Brands; Shifts Jon Justice to Late Mornings.  Leaving the station brand “The Truth” behind, Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH, Tucson is making a few adjustments to its air schedule as well.  As per John Schuster’s piece in Tucson Weekly, the station is taking the slogan “104.1 KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk.”  Jon Justice, who’s been heard in morning drive since the station debuted on the FM dial seven years ago, is moving to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot where he’ll compete with Rush Limbaugh, heard on Clear Channel’s KNST from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Taking over the morning show on KQTH is program director Bill White, who will host a news wheel show.

ramseyRaleighDave Ramsey Presents Live in Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh on tax day presenting his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  Ramsey’s presentation focuses on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey worked with Clear Channel affiliate WTKK “106.1 FM” to promote his appearance.  WTKK program director Brian Taylor comments, “When Dave comes to town it’s a reminder that our format is not inherently niche.  Build it and they will come.  Listeners turn out for Dave.  Identifying issues and concerns is one thing — it’s quite another to offer practical and actionable solutions we can all accomplish.  At WTKK Raleigh, all three numbers are solid: Ratings, revenue and attendance.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cruze, Clear Channel Raleigh market manager George Allen, Ramsey, program director Brian Taylor and general sales manager Dave Beecher.

krxa logoKRXA, Carmel Valley Signs Consent Decree in Sponsor ID and Indecency Case; to Pay $15,000.  Progressive talk radio outlet KRXA, Carmel Valley, California is owned by Harold S. Ginsberg and is currently in negotiations to be sold to El Sembrador Ministries (which has filed a contingent application to convert it to a non-commercial station).  The Consent Decree which will have Ginsberg pay $15,000 revolves around a brokered show that aired in 2009 that the FCC ruled was not properly identified as a sponsored program.  Also, the Commission ruled that the same program violated indecency regulations.  Though Ginsberg initially argued against both allegations, he reversed course and, due to financial hardship, is paying the fine and exiting the broadcasting business.

millerhannityWelcoming Sean to Boise.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity (left) at the recent 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Both Miller and Hannity worked at WVNN, Huntsville early in their careers and now are both part of the lineup at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise as Sean Hannity’s program is heard there in afternoon drive.  Miller tells TALKERS, “Sean has always been great to me since our days at WVNN.  It was a pleasure to welcome him to KIDO.”

mccollummaryMcCollum Promoted at Idaho Media Group.  Local sales manager Mary McCollum is promoted to director of regional and national sales at IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc.  McCollum began her career in media as a marketing manager for Ubiquitel (Sprint Wireless), in 2000.   She moved to neighboring Clarkston, Washington in 2009, taking a position in Lewiston as sales manager at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation.  In 2011, McCollum moved to nationally recognized IdaVend Broadcasting as the sales manager for Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL, Inc. in Moscow.  In addition to national and regional sales, McCollum also specializes in political advertising and sponsorship promotions.

Tax Day, ObamaCare Criticism, Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary, Russian Ukraine Aggression/Obama-Putin Talks, and Harry Reid and Nevada ‘Cattle Battle’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The deadline for filing federal and state tax returns and the increased tax rates many Americans are facing; the anniversary of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon; the ongoing tensions in Ukraine as pro-Russian factions press for return to Russian rule and President Obama’s talks with Vladimir Putin; Harry Reid’s involvement in the controversy between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

| August 22, 2013

cclogoSeven AEs Sue Clear Channel Claiming Civil Rights Violations.  In a suit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana by seven current and former AEs working at Clear Channel’s New Orleans stations, the group charges that after the economic downturn of 2008, accounts were redistributed at a meeting in Gonzales, Louisiana in February of 2009 in such a way that helped ease the financial hit Caucasian AEs were taking through the redistribution.  The complaint alleges many of the redistributed accounts had been built up by African American AEs.  The complaint – filed jointly by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gaines, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell, and Brandin Campbell – details salaries before and after the redistribution and concludes, “As a result of the redistribution of accounts, whether intentional or negligent, African-American account executives were disparately, and negatively, impacted, to their severe economic detriment as compared to their Caucasian counterparts…Overall, African-American account executives lost on average more than 40% of their 2008 income in 2008-9.  On information and belief Caucasian account executives lost no more that about 15% of their 2008 income, on average, during the same period of time.”  Three of the seven were fired, they allege, after complaining about the practices.  The seven seek relief, punitive damages, general damages, attorneys’ fees and statutory remedies.

weei logoIt’s Official: Kevin Graham Named Brand Manager at WEEI, Boston.  As rumored late last week, sports talk programmer and personality Kevin Graham is leaving his PD and co-host role at Cumulus Media’s KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” to become brand manager at Entercom’s WEEI.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the architects of KFNZ as the station was built in 1996.  He’s worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the “Gunther & Graham” PM drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Graham has extensive experience in the digital sports arena assisting in building grahamkevinArizonaSports.com in Phoenix and as the founder/editor of SportsMashup.com.  He’ll begin work at WEEI in September, taking over for longtime programmer Jason Wolfe.  Entercom Boston GM Jeff Brown states, “WEEI is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem.  From our on-air talent to Red Sox play-by-play to WEEI.com, where we had 1.4 million unique visitors just last month, WEEI is a more complete sports brand than ever before.  We are thrilled to announce today that Kevin Graham will lead WEEI as our new brand manager.  His background both in front of and behind the mic, along with his years of digital sports experience made him the best choice to lead WEEI.  Kevin will bring a fresh perspective to the entire WEEI team and our complete package of digital sports assets.”  Speaking about his new gig, Graham comments, “I am honored and excited to join the WEEI team.  WEEI is one of the most recognizable and powerful sports radio brands in the country.  With great resources, amazing talent, and one of the best digital brands in sports, the sky is the limit.  I can’t wait to get started, especially with the Red Sox in the midst of such a great season.”

TalkersLA2013“The State of News/Talk/Sports Programming” Panel Set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  A diverse and powerful panel of front-line programmers has been set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013 that will explore the major issues of programming within the present-day news/talk/sports realm.  Participating panelists include (in alphabetical order): Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, director of news programming, KNX/KFWB, Los Angeles; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media & Entertainment; Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; and Bill White, PD, KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey who states, “This will be a fast-moving discussion that will really capture the flavor of today’s talk radio programming scene and do so with a solid Western states perspective – which makes this California edition of our two-part national conference so valuable.  It will present a diverse array of formats including news/talk, all-news, and sports talk, as well as company types ranging in size and varied styles of corporate culture.”  This third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention is set for Thursday, October 10 and is already shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some six weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.  More agenda details coming in the immediate days ahead.

wctc logoNew Jersey’s WCTC, New Brunswick Makes Big Local Moves.  Saying “there is a thirst for local content in this market,” WCTC, New Brunswick “The Voice of Central New Jersey” PD Bert Baron announces that the longtime news/talk station will debut a new and completely revamped on-air lineup starting Monday, August 26.  The Greater Media-owned station is making mass changes to its weekday programming, moving Baron from his two-hourbaronbert afternoon slot to morning drive, where he will host “Jersey Central with Bert Baron” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Baron says his show will include “everything you need to know in New Jersey – news, sports, events, entertainment, politics, lifestyle, traffic and weather.”  Following Baron will be the Courtside Entertainment-syndicated Laura Ingraham, who moves up one hour from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  From 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, WCTC will carry “The Tommy G Show,” the first time a terrestrial radio station will simulcast a daily internet radio show in New Jersey.  “Tommy G is very unique and brings a Jersey angle to what is happening here.  He’s a radio name with a great presence in the market.  He gets Jersey,” says Baron.  Tommy G, who was also named to this year’s TALKERS magazine Frontier 50 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters – tommygtells TALKERS his show is “all about New Jersey and what Jerseyans are talking about,” and says his show could change the face of local talk radio.  “I’m introducing ‘syndi-local’ to talk radio and consulting others on the process, showing thatingrahamlaura companies can save money while talent can build their own business and brands.  It’s a win-win,” says Tommy G, who will be joined on Mondays by the New York Times best-selling author of “The Soprano State,” Bob Ingle.  Following Tommy G and replacing the syndicated Mancow is another new show hosted by longtime New York metro area talent Steve Malzberg.  Malzberg’s show is syndicated by Newsmax, and will be carried live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Says Baron, “Steve is a name in the area,” and despite being a national show, it’s expected Malzberg will discuss “a fair amount of local and regional news and topics.”  From 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, WCTC, which is the flagship malzbergstevestation for Rutgers University sports, debuts “BTN Live,” a sports talk show about the Big Ten, the NCAA conference Rutgers begins competing in this fall.  Baron, who along with Tommy G, is well known for his community involvement, says he believes the changes are not only necessary but that stations must embrace how local content will make them stronger.  “We will be much more local in our approach to serving our listeners – from our shows to remote (broadcasts) and our community involvement.  For us it will be cost effective.  We will make noise in the radio landscape.”

feinburgtoddTodd Feinburg Subs in Boston and Louisville.  Boston-based talk show host Todd Feinburg is filling in for WBZ-AM, Boston’s Dan Rea on the evening program tonight and tomorrow (8-22/23).  Next week he’ll be heard 829 miles away on Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville sitting in hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on both Thursday and Friday, August 29 and 30.  The multi-faceted Feinburg spent many years working full time at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia Announces Howie Roseman Show.  CBS Radio sports talk outlet “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is announcing Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will make weekly appearances on the afternoon drive show with Anthony Gargano – accompanied by Eagles play-by-play voice Merrill Reese – every Monday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm live at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station states, “In addition to discussing each week’s game with Gargano and Reese, Roseman will take calls and talk with fans on site at Chickie’s and Pete’s.  The show is the first of its kind.  It is the only live weekly interactive radio show with an NFL general manager.  The show, sponsored by Miller Lite, can be heard live on 94WIP, online at www.cbsphilly.com and via the Radio.com application for a variety of mobile devices.  The show will debut on Tuesday, September 3 due to the Labor Day holiday and be heard on Tuesday, September 10 due to the Eagles-Redskins Monday Night Football debut on September 9.  From 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm a leading Eagles player will join the show each week.

mohrtysonHangin’ with Mike Tyson.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr (l) poses for a shot with former boxer Mike Tyson (r) in the Fox Sports Radio studios in Los Angeles.  Tyson visited Mohr’s program to talk about his life after boxing, being a dad and much more.  They also chatted about a recent run-in at a frozen yogurt shop, as well as Tyson’s upcoming FOX Sports 1 cable TV show, “Being Mike Tyson.”

losttrailersCountry Act The Lost Trailers Cuts Custom Theme Music for Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Football.”  The theme music to Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Footbal” this season is a tweaked version of The Lost Trailers’ single “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” that features football highlights, sound bites and customized lyrics.  The company announces, “The new theme music, performed by The Lost Trailers and powered by Early Shares Music, will debut during the first regular season NFL broadcast on Thursday, September 5 which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET.  The highly anticipated season opener between the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos will feature Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason behind the microphones.”  The band’s founding member Stokes Nielson states, “We are truly excited to be a part of the NFL broadcasts on Dial Global.  We are huge sports fans and we can’t wait to help the announcers kick off every Sunday night game, because it’s goin’ down tonight, every Sunday night, all over America!”   The band previously collaborated with Dial Global Sports, customizing their top 10 single “Holler Back” for the network’s opening montage in Super Bowl XLIII.

Bradley Manning Verdict/Gender Issues, OK Thrill Kill Case, Averted Georgia School Shooting, NSA Surveillance Program, U.S.-Egypt Tensions, Syria Chemical Weapons Allegations and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The 35-year sentence handed to Bradley Manning and his desire to begin gender change procedures; the case of three Oklahoma teens suspected of slaying Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane; a Georgia School staffer talks an armed man out of firing and averts a tragedy; the scope of the NSA surveillance program; the U.S. policy regarding Egypt; allegations Syria is using chemical weapons against citizens; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

| June 5, 2013

cumulusCumulus Names New Market Manager, Sales Chief for San Francisco.  Cumulus Media announces Steve Sklenar has been appointed market manager for the company’s San Francisco stations and Kevin Crespo has simultaneously been installed as national and regional sales manager for the cluster.  Sklenar comes to Cumulus Media from his most recent post as assistant vice president and director of sales at Lincoln Financial Media’s San Diego stations.  Sklenar says in a statement, “To be tapped as the leader of Cumulus San Francisco is both exciting and humbling.  This is without question one of the most coveted positions in all of broadcasting, not just radio.  The history and prestige of these stations in the San Francisco community comes with great responsibility.  We will not take that lightly.”  Sklenar is in charge of talk KSFO, news/talk KGO, sports talk KNBR and KTCT, triple A KFOG and KFFG and classic rock KSAN “The Bone.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Steve and Kevin are well-suited to take leadership and sales development roles at this legendary cluster of stations.  They will round out a solid team that’s contributing significantly to our growth in San Francisco.  After meeting with numerous qualified candidates, John Dickey and I are confident that these two gentlemen will have immediate positive impact on our business moving forward.”

moodys logoMoody’s Cumulus’ Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating to SGL — 2 from SGL – 3.  Moody’s Investors Service announces it has upped Cumulus Media’s Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating from SGL – 2 to SGL – 3 “reflecting improved access to the senior secured revolver due to the recent amendment of the 1st lien credit agreement. The amendment reduces the revolver commitment to $150 million from $300 million, but replaces the total net leverage test with a 1st lien net leverage requirement enabling full access to the cumulusrevolver.”  Moody’s says the B2 Corporate Family Rating remains unchanged and explains why: “Leverage remains elevated due to revenue and EBITDA falling below expected levels for the six months ended March 31, 2013 which prompted the downgrade in the corporate family rating earlier this year. Management indicated that pro forma revenues decreased $5.6 million or 2.5% in 1Q2013 compared to 1Q2012 reflecting lower political revenue, the winding down of unfavorable legacy Citadel barter transactions, and challenges related to its syndicated talk segment.”  However, Moody’s cites the turnarounds of a number of Cumulus’ “10 underperforming stations” for the upgrade and goes on to state, “Looking forward, revenue growth is expected to be flat in 2013 due in part to the absence of significant political advertising.  Moody’s expects Cumulus to generate roughly $175 million of annual free cash flow versus our prior estimate of $200 million to reflect management’s comments that it expects to invest roughly $25 million annually in CBS Sports Radio, Nash FM and related country format branding, its Traffic network, as well as SweetJack.”

steinhauercharlesCharles Steinhauer Ascends to Chief Operations Officer at Dial Global.  Moving up from his most recent position as president of operations with Dial Global, Charles Steinhauer is promoted to chief operations officer.  The company states that in this new position, Steinhauer will be responsible for overseeing the management of the company’s day-to-day operations — including technology, distribution, research, compliance, and strategy.  He will continue to be located in New York City and will report directly to CEO Paul Caine.  In his previous post, he managed all sales support divisions for Dial Global.  The company also notes that Steinhauer “is one of the leads on an industry-wide research initiative working to improve how radio is incorporated into Marketing Mix Models, which are widely used by advertisers to evaluate how product sales are influenced by advertising.”  About his promotion, Steinhauer says, “I’m very excited to be working with Paul Caine and to continue to move the company forward with all of the Dial Global family.  I look forward to working even more closely with our staff and our outstanding content and distribution partners to create optimum value for our audiences and advertisers.  I couldn’t be more fortunate.”

nms2013logoTora Fisher to Perform at Talkers New York 2013.  At the tender age of 23, she is both a rising pop star and a humanitarian.  Tora Fisher of the Fisher family that spearheads Fisher House Foundation – the charitable organization that provides housing around the country for the visiting families of hospitalized American servicemen and women wounded in battle – will be appearing at Talkers New York 2013 tomorrowtora (6/6).  The young singer/songwriter, whose heartfelt song “Finally Free” currently sits at number 29 and number 21 on the RadioInfo pop songs and rock songs charts respectively, will open the event’s Freedom of Speech Award Ceremony with an a cappela performance of the Lee Greenwood anthem “Proud to Be an American.”  Ms. Fisher, who is a spokesperson for Fisher House, will be backed up in the performance by two female cadets from West Point, Mary Kay Messenger and Alexis Cole.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Even though this annual event is geared to talk radio, we have a tradition of presenting some of the world’s greatest up-and-coming singers performing inspirational music at key moments in the proceedings.  Having Tora Fisher perform this powerful song at Talkers New York 2013 is extremely meaningful and certainly in keeping with this tradition.  Not only is this beautiful young woman one of the most talented female singer/songwriters I have heard since the golden days of the great ones like Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro – she has a powerful personal story of courage and will that is both touching and compelling.  As a child of 13, she survived a terrible plane crash that took the life of her father and set her on the road to becoming mature beyond her years and a powerful artist of both words and music.  Add to that her dedication to the families of America’s brave young service people and…well, you have a very, very special young lady indeed.  Everyone who sees her perform at this event will be touched and certainly remember where they first heard and saw Tora!”

trn logoTRN Sues Former Attorney in Anti-Trust Case.  Talk Radio Network has filed suit in Oregon against California attorney Joseph Alioto alleging that he did not move with the speed promised and in a time frame that would prevent TRN from suffering further damages in its anti-trust suit against numerous sales rep firms and radio programming syndicators.  TRN is seeking more than $10 million in damages and relief.  In the claim, TRN alleges that after making a $125,000 retainer payment, Alioto repeatedly failed to file the complaint in a timely fashion and when Alioto decided to withdraw from the matter, he caused TRN further losses due to the time that had passed.  TRN claims Alioto did not have good cause to withdraw from the matter.  Allegations include fraud and legal malpractice.

whitebillProgrammer Bill White Exits WGN, Chicago.  One of the first moves on the part of WGN, Chicago’s new president and general manager Jimmy de Castro is to make a change in program directors for the heritage news/talk station.  Talk programming pro Bill White leaves the station after two years in the director of programming and news position.  White states, “Having the opportunity to work with such a tremendous team at one of America’s legendary radio stations has been a privilege and an honor.  I wish the staff and WGN Radio much success in the future.”  Bill White can be reached at wwhite989@aol.com.  In a memo to staffers, de Castro wrote, “Sometimes managers have to make difficult decisions on behalf of a few to build a brighter future for many.  Today, we are losing the services of a friend and delightful professional, Bill White.  Please join me in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”  There’s no word who will replace White but industry watchers believe de Castro will go with someone who either currently works in the Chicago market or is very familiar with it.

newsmax logoNewsmax Reports #1 Online Reading Status.  Conservative media firm Newsmax announces that according to digital measurement firm comScore, during April, of the 65 million Americans using all digital platforms, Newsmax sites led all other sites in web traffic with over 14 million monthly unique visitors.  comScore notes that Newsmax exceeded such competitors as HuffPost Politics and Fox News Politics with these recent April numbers.  Newsmax also was #1 in the same category for personal computer users who read News/Politics online.  According to comScore, Newsmax received 14.4 million monthly unique visitors in April — up from 13.3 million the previous month.  HuffPost received 14 million monthly unique visitors from the News/Politics category and Fox News received 10.9 million monthly unique visitors in April, respectively.  comScore’s top 10 breaks down this way:  Newsmax Sites – 14.4 million monthly unique visitors; Huffington Post Politics – 14 million; Fox News – 10. 9 million; CNN Politics — 9 million; NBC News.com Politics — 7.5 million; Politico.com — 6.5 million; Current TV — 6.3 million; The Economist Group — 3.7 million; The Hill.com — 3.2 million; and Mother Jones.com — 2.9 million monthly unique visitors.  Speaking about Newsmax’s achievement, CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “We are once again honored to be the number one digital political news site for the second month in a row.  It is a testament to quality of our digital content that consumers online, on smartphones and on tablets continue to look to Newsmax for the latest political news.”

fccnewFCC Has New Acting Chief of Enforcement Bureau.  The Federal Communications Commission announces that FCC acting chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn has appointed Robert H. Ratcliffe to the position of acting chief of the commission’s enforcement bureau.  Currently, Ratcliffe is the deputy chief of the media bureau.  The position opens as P. Michele Ellison moves to the chief of staff post.  Ratcliffe is a longtime staffer at the FCC having spent more than 35 years at the agency including as acting chief of the media bureau and as deputy chief of the enforcement bureau.  In a statement, Clyburn says, “I am pleased that Mr. Ratcliffe has agreed to serve in this critical role.  Bob is a top-flight lawyer who will bring his vast experience, sound legal judgment, and overall sense of fairness to this effort.”

Sexual Assaults in U.S. Military, Looming MLB PEDs Suspensions, Lung Transplant Controversy, Susan Rice National Security Adviser Nomination, and IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4).  Testimony of military chiefs addressing the high rate of sexual assaults in the U.S. military and Senator Saxby Chambliss’ associated comments; the reports of numerous suspensions coming from Major League Baseball for PED violations; the controversy over a 10-year-old girl’s need for a lung transplant and the government’s transplant program; Susan Rice’s nomination for national security adviser; and the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profit groups were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

| June 4, 2013

stillwellfrostyFrosty Stillwell Returns to Talk at CC’s KKSF, San Francisco for Middays.  Hot AC KIOI, San Francisco “Star 101.3” morning show co-host Frosty Stillwell will continue his work alongside Sandy Stec on the Sandy & Frosty program until a replacement is named but today (6/4) he begins immediately hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on the company’s talk KKSF “Talk 910.”  Stillwell was part of the Frosty, Heidi & Frank trio that spent years at hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles.  He also had worked at Clear Channel’s KYSR, Los Angeles and filled in at talk KFI.  Frosty says, “I am thrilled to get back to what I’ve done for the past two decades, talk radio.  ‘Talk 910’ dominates the format in San Francisco.  While I loved being part of the music and personality show on ‘Star 101.3,’ there was just no way I could pass up this enticing opportunity right down the hall to get back to my true passion.”

boylespeterPeter Boyles Officially Out at KHOW, Denver.  Less than two weeks after being removed from the air on Clear Channel Denver’s talk KHOW, station management officially cuts the ties between the longtime Denver personality and the station.  Peter Boyles was taken off the air on May 24 after an altercation between Boyles and his producer Greg Hollenback that reportedly escalated into a physical attack on Boyles’ part.  The incident made the news immediately as local media was in the building to cover a press conference with politician Tom Tancredo.  KHOW program director Dan Mandis wrote an email to the Denver Post notifying the paper Boyles is no longer with the company.  Guest hosts have been sitting in on the morning show since that time and no permanent replacement has been announced.

foxnewsradioProgramming VP Mike Elder Exits Fox News Radio.  One of the most respected programming executives in talk radio, Mike Elder, has left Fox News Radio after serving the past eight years as the company’s VP of programming.  Elder, a veteran PD of such great stations as WRKO, Boston; WLS, Chicago; WCCO, Minneapolis; eldermikeKTOK, Oklahoma City and KMBZ/KCMO, Kansas City tells TALKERS, “It was an amicable parting of the ways.  My contract was up, cuts were being made to the staff, and we both agreed to move on.  And this was the longest tenure of a more-than-40-year career, so I was living on borrowed time anyway.”  Elder continues, “This has been one of the best jobs I’ve had, or that radio still had. [Fox VPs] Kevin Magee and Bob Finnerty were very supportive of our efforts and our channel on SiriusXM as well as the internet and affiliates.  They allowed me to put together a great staff and I appreciate their support over the past eight years.”  What next for the 40-year veteran of talk and music radio?  He tells TALKERS he will probably move back to his home in Boston and believes he has at least one more job in him.  He will take the time to explore his options as a programmer and talent coach. “I still feel I have another gig left in me, so I am not shutting the door on radio.  I would welcome the chance to work with great talent and production staffs again.  But I’m open to something new as well.  There is a whole new world on the internet that will require content, and not the same ol’, same ol’.  I’d love to work on something new, exciting, challenging and dynamic that would allow me to put my over 40 years of experience and skills to use in a new and different way.”  Mike Elder can be reached at Mikeelder@me.com or 646-256-5653.

thomasjoeJoe Thomas Puts ‘The Afternoon Constitutional’ on Hiatus.  WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia program director and morning drive host Joe Thomas announces that “after two-and-a-half years of independent conservative analysis of the news and events for Virginia’s great cities of Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville,” he’s taking the regionally syndicated afternoon show off the air.  Although Thomas says of “The Afternoon Constitutional,” “It’s more like a ‘dry docking’ of a great ship that has taken you to amazing places but now needs to be refitted with some new things for her future voyages.  Stay tuned!”  Thomas continues his roles as morning host and program director at WCHV.  He can be reached at joe@theafternoonconstitutional.com

ktnf logoProgressive Talker KTNF, Minneapolis Sold to Chad Larson.  Sales manager Chad Larson believes in progressive talk and he’s agreeing to pay current owner JR Broadcasting (Janet Roberts) $1.5 million for the AM signal.  JR Broadcasting paid $3 million for the station in 2004 from CBS Radio.  Currently, the station airs local morning host Matt McNeil’s “The Morning Grind” plus WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz and Compass Media Network’s Norman Goldman.

moranjessicaOdds & Sods.  The Boston Globe reports that rumors are flying in town that Entercom’s sports talk WEEI is contemplating a change to its midday show by moving Mike Mutnansky out and replacing him with Comcast SportsNet New England’s Jessica Moran.  Mutnansky co-hosts the “Mut & Merloni” show with former Red Sox player Lou Merloni…..At ESPN Radio, the NBA Finals are the hot topic as Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and former NBA head coach Doug Collins join “Mike & Mike” as co-hosts.  Love will join Mike Golic and Ryan Ruocco, who will sub for Mike Greenberg, on Thursday, June 6 – the morning of Game 1 of the Finals.  Doug Collins, who most recently coached the Philadelphia 76ers, will join Golic and Greenberg the morning after Game 3, Wednesday, June 12.  Both guests will be part of an NBA-centric programming block from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.

beasleyhonoraryGeorge Beasley Receives Honorary Doctorate.  Beasley Broadcast Group chairman and chief executive officer George G. Beasley is pictured here at Appalachian State University’s recent May commencement receiving Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from the school’s chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock.  A native of Patrick County, Virginia, Beasley has deep ties to Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, NC receiving both his undergraduate (’58) and graduate degrees (’60) from ASU.  Most recently, he contributed the lead gift making a new broadcasting and media facility on campus possible – the George G. Beasley Media Complex, which is scheduled to open later this year.  Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik tells us that education was a first love of George Beasley’s.  “Prior to broadcasting, George was a teacher and ultimately a high school principal.  In fact, while building his first radio station he was a principal until the school bell rang, then a radio station owner late afternoons, evenings and weekends.”

Michael Douglas Oral Sex Flap, Senator Lautenburg Dies, IRS Scandal, DOJ Journalists Investigation, Obama Administration Secret Email Accounts and Syria Chemical Weapons Charges Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Michael Douglas’ public statement that oral sex caused his throat cancer; the death of Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg; the ongoing scandal involving the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups; the Department of Justice’s investigation of journalists; the controversy over some Obama Administration appointees using secret email accounts; and the chemical weapons use charges against the Syrian military were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

| November 28, 2012

“The Answer” Gets Manhattan Street-Level Presence.  Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” has Manhattan street-level presence as the PM drive show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are now hosting their show from a studio in the department-store type window setting at the historic Hotel Pennsylvania in Midtown Manhattan.  Pictured here are  Sliwa (r) and Lichtman (l) hosting a recent edition of their program.  Salem Communications vice president director of spoken-word format Phil Boyce states, “This not only gives our hosts a bird’s-eye view of Midtown Manhattan, but allows literally thousands of daily passersby to see ‘Curtis & Jeffrey’ and ‘WNYM AM 970 THE ANSWER’ prominently displayed in the heart of our listening area.  This marquee location on 7th Ave and 33rd Street, is located across from the Long Island Railroad, Penn Station, a subway hub, Macy’s and is around the corner from the NJ PATH train.  The value of this degree of exposure and publicity for our station and two of our best known hosts is incalculable.  It’s also across from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, which on any given night might host the Knicks, the Rangers or innumerable other sporting and entertainment events.”

Russ Rollins and Dirty Jim Re-Up with WTKS, Orlando; Daniel Dennis Exits.  The Monsters in the Morning program at Clear Channel’s hot talk WTKS, Orlando is one talent fewer after co-host Daniel Dennis declines to sign a new three-year contract with the station.  Program founder and host Russ Rollins, along with co-host Dirty Jim, both signed new three-year deals to continue broadcasting the AM drive program on the station but Dennis tells the Orlando Sentinel he didn’t want the contract but would rather have continued as an at-will employee.  He hosts a weekly internet talk show called, “A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan” that can be heard at tomanddan.com.

Alan Eisenson Exits Clear Channel Sacramento.  Talk radio programmer Alan Eisenson leaves his position as operations manager for Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster where he served as operations manager for news/talk KFBK-AM/FM and talk KSTE.  Eisenson was also in charge of programming at CC’s San Francisco talk outlets KKSF and KNEW.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM brings iconic film star and polarizing historical figure Jane Fonda to its “Town Hall” series.  The actress will be part of the “SiriusXM Town Hall” on Thursday, December 6 at 10:00 am when she’ll sit down with journalist Perri Peltz and speak about her new yoga DVD and take questions from the audience…..On Thursday, November 29, radio pro Turi Ryder will sit in for John Williams on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program…..ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” is preparing to do something it hasn’t done in 17 years: Win the coveted November sweeps.  Broadcasting & Cable reports the show is beating NBC’s “Today” in both total audience and viewers 25-54 as the end of the sweeps approaches.

CNN Has a New Chief: Jeff Zucker.  That’s not official but The New York Times and Deadline.com are reporting that Time Warner has agreed to terms with former NBCUniversal CEO and current executive producer of Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show, Jeff Zucker.  The official announcement is expected to be made very soon.  Zucker would replace Jim Walton at CNN.  Walton announced he would leave the cable news channel at the end of the year.  CNN has been roundly beaten up in the consumer press for its woes in the prime time ratings race but it should be noted that, ratings aside, CNN continues to be a profitable operation for Time Warner.  Still, Zucker’s charge would be to revitalize its prime time ratings that have fallen farther behind Fox News Channel and are regularly challenged by MSNBC.

ESPN Begins Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research; Announces $1 Million Donation to the Cause.  Yesterday began sports entertainment broadcaster ESPN’s Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research and the company announced it is committing $1 million to the fundraising effort for the endowment fund.  ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer made the announcement on Tuesday, November 27 and Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg made it public via their radio and TV program that day.  ESPN’s sixth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research – a multiplatform initiative which drives awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research – tipped off yesterday at 7:00 pm ET with a simulcast of former NC State coach Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech across ESPN domestic media networks, as well as on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square.  The week will conclude with the Jimmy V Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona Extra on Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4.  For more information on Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, visit ESPN Media Zone.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Holiday Giving Campaign.  The organization that exists solely to assist broadcasters in need is announcing the start-up of its Holiday Giving Campaign.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America – which disbursed more than $675,000 in assistance last year – is urging broadcasters to become members and to spread the word about this campaign.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The Broadcasters Foundation exists solely to provide financial relief to broadcasters in need.  These are individuals who we have worked with over the years, and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances.  Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases.  I urge every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”  Over the past 60 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to hundreds of broadcasters who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  In addition, one-time emergency grants are provided in the aftermath of a devastating circumstance or natural disaster, like the Joplin tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year and can make a difference in the life of a colleague who has fallen on desperate times.  To become a member, make a personal donation to the Guardian Fund, or a corporate contribution to the Angel Initiative, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, info@thebfoa.org, or visit the website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, OECD Global Economy Report, Black Friday/Cyber Monday Numbers, Benghazi Attack/Susan Rice-GOP Meeting, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27).  The battle in Washington over tax hikes and entitlement program changes; the OECD global economy report that predicts slow growth over the next two years; initial numbers from holiday season’s two big shopping days; the spat over U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s meeting with GOP leaders; and the $500 million Powerball jackpot in Wednesday’s drawing were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

| October 24, 2012

Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment Group forms Podcast Giant Launchpad Digital Media.  Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz (pictured below at left) enters into a partnership with digital, online and podcast sales pioneer Kit Gray (below at right) to form a new division of Courtside Entertainment Group called Launchpad Digital Media.  Courtside states that the podcast platform includes some of the biggest names in digital entertainment including: Adam Carolla, Bill Burr, CBS News, Afterbuzz TV with Maria Menuounos, Jay Mohr, Dr. Drew, Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), Mark & Lynda, Brian & Jill, and Penn Jillette.  Launchpad will also be home to the Sideshow Network, The Fake Mustache Network, Riotcast Network, Splitsider Network and the Toad Hop Network making Launchpad one of the industry’s largest players.  Kit Gray will serve as president and COO of Launchpad Digital Media.  In a statement announcing the new company, Pattiz says, “Podcasts represent one of the fastest growing segments of digital media.  Kit Gray has a great track record of success in this important space and brings with him not only knowledge and energy, but the revenue and cash flow to prove it.  He brings Courtside instant access not only for our existing programs but for the development of future programming that will live on the Launchpad platform.”  Gray states, “Forming a partnership with Norm Pattiz, the founder of Westwood One, with his incredible vision and history of working with the top talent is an unbelievable opportunity.  This partnership, as a division of Courtside, allows us to offer all of our existing clients more resources to expand their products and deliver more audience to develop the advertiser support that will benefit us all.”  Speaking about this new effort, Patty Newmark of Newmark Advertising says, “The digital space for audio is growing exponentially and has allowed us to extend additional opportunities to our clients.  Having a highly respected leader of the radio industry like Norm Pattiz form a new venture with Kit Gray, an expert in the area of digital media, is very exciting.  These two innovators working together will create important opportunities within the changing media landscape.”  Courtside notes that Kit Gray has represented programming that exceeds a half-billion podcast downloads annually.  He’s worked with media agencies throughout the nation, served as a division manager for Clear Channel (Katz 360 Digital), was the director of advertising for Verizon’s EV-DO networks Amp’d Mobile and was the recipient of the “Seller of the Year” award for Katz Media Group.

Mel Karmazin to Leave SiriusXM in February.  Just how and when Mel Karmazin was going to leave SiriusXM was really the question – that he was leaving was pretty much a foregone conclusion to most industry watchers.  Now we know Karmazin will exit his CEO role with the satcaster and he will resign from the company’s board of directors on February 1, 2013.  In a public statement, Karmazin says, “SiriusXM is an extraordinary company with an incredible team.  It is an honor to come to work here every day where we truly deliver the best radio on radio.  I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.  Given where we started, it is amazing that SiriusXM has grown to become the largest radio company in the world.  With a deep bench of corporate talent, a roster that includes the most in-demand on-air personalities and a wide range of exclusive programming, SiriusXM has never been better positioned than it is today.  We continue to grow our subscriber base to record levels and our financial position has never been stronger.  Importantly, the commitment to delivering innovative new products and technologies is very strong.  SiriusXM has a strong foundation to build on for the future and there is a great team in place to keep the company moving forward.  I am confident that SiriusXM’s best years are ahead.”  The press release includes a statement from SiriusXM board chairman Eddy Hartenstein.  He says, “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Mel for his significant contributions to the company.  Under his leadership, the company underwent a transformative merger and a financial restructuring that has enabled SiriusXM to deliver significant value for shareholders.  Our record breaking financial results are a testament to Mel’s leadership and strategic planning and we continue to exceed our expectations with all-time high subscriber numbers.  Thanks to Mel, we are well positioned for long-term growth and value creation.  We will miss Mel – and the board wishes him the very best in his future endeavors.”

More Changes at WGN, Chicago as John Williams to Leave Midday Show.  John Williams will continue with Tribune’s WGN, Chicago through the end of the year but, beginning in January, he and his family will return to the Minneapolis area and Williams will give his full attention to his afternoon drive show at CBS Radio’s WCCO which he’s been doing from Chicago for some time.  WGN program director Bill White states, “John is a great broadcaster and has been a valued member of the WGN Radio family.  While we are sad to see him go, we are happy for John and his family that they are able to return to Minneapolis, where they lived before moving to Chicago.  We wish him all the best and know that he will continue to shine in his role at WCCO.”  Williams indicates this is a decision he’s been considering for a while.  “I decided some time ago to do just one show – as well as I can – and that one will be at WCCO. Both stations and staffs deserve as much.”  WGN is seeking his replacement and expects to name the new host of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program in the coming weeks.

Shamrock Communications Officially Announces Today’s Launch of KNEWS in Reno.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported the debut of one of four new FM signals Shamrock Communications is putting on the air in the Reno market.  The company officially announces the launch of KNEZ-FM “107.3 KNews” today and 13-year radio veteran Sean Patrick is a big part of the station.  Patrick, who is the station’s news director, will also host the PM drive show as well as serve as the voice of Wolf Pack football and the Reno Bighorns.  Director of broadcast operations for the station is Willobee Carlan.  Sean Patrick states that with the ever-changing political climate, people want something new, “There’s too much confrontation on the airwaves and not enough conversation. We will bring a much more level-headed conversational tone to political talk.  Neither side is 100% right nor 100% wrong.  We want you to be a part of the conversation.  KNEWS Reno is ‘The Conversation Station!’”  The station will air Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck in AM drive followed by Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee, WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish and Talk Radio Network’s Rusty Humphries in the evenings.

Mark Levin-founded Landmark Legal Foundation to Sue EPA.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Mark Levin explained the Landmark Legal Foundation’s intent to sue the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency on his program on Monday.  Levin stated the suit centers around new environmental rules set to kick in for which the public has not been given notice.  According to The Examiner, the Landmark Legal Foundation requested the documents through the Freedom of Information Act months ago but the records have not been turned over.  The organization also petitioned the federal court to block administrator of the EPA Lisa Jackson and her agency from issuing any new regulations until the agency releases the documents.

WEEI, Boston Debuts New Baseball Show.  Playing the “hits” in New England on a sports talk station means talking about Red Sox baseball no matter what time of year it is.  To that end, Entercom Boston vice president of programming and operations Jason Wolfe announces a new weekly program hosted by Kirk Minihane and WEEI.com Red Sox insiders Rob Bradford and Alex Speier called “Red Sox Hot Stove.”  The one-hour program debuts tomorrow night and airs from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Thursdays through February 14.  Wolfe says the program will be focused exclusively on the Red Sox and will include regular interviews with Sox GM Ben Cherington as well as many other Sox beat writers and columnists who will provide unique information and insight.  “This is has been a very difficult season for Red Sox fans, but it also means that the off season will be incredibly meaningful.  There will be more Red Sox talk this off season than in any other in recent memory given the needs of the team, and this show will provide listeners with the most up to date information as it happens.”

Nationally Syndicated Host Dr. Ken Kronhaus Featured in AARP/Crest Health Campaign.  As host of the nationally syndicated Stephan Multimedia weekend production “Good Day Health” and frequent contributor to Doug Stephan’s daily “Good Day” syndicated morning show, Dr. Ken Kronhaus is a well-known voice in health media.  Now, he is working with AARP and Crest on a campaign featuring Dr. Kronhaus that includes custom content provided by him promoting the idea that the mouth is the gateway to your overall health.  Dr. Kronhaus also serves as AARP health-editor-at-large.

Post-Debate Analysis, Presidential Race Polls, Libya Attack Controversy, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  Analysis of the candidates’ performance in the final presidential debate; the most recent polls of the presidential campaign, new information indicating the White House knew the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was terrorist related; and the turbulent week of activity in the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 24, 2012

| September 24, 2012

Phoenix Programmer Neil Larrimore Joins Speaker Roster at LA New Media Seminar.  Sellout Expected by Wednesday.  The lineup of outstanding industry speakers scheduled for the forthcoming West Coast installment of the TALKERS New Media Seminar continues to grow as Phoenix broadcaster Neil Larrimore, PD of NewsTalk 550 KFYI and XTRA Sports 910 KGME joins the roster.  The total number of speakers for the power-packed, one-day event has now surpassed 50.  Seminar organizers state that it will be completely sold out by the end of business on Wednesday – perhaps sooner.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky, making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  A detailed up-to-the-minute agenda will be posted here tomorrow.

Greater Media to Sell WPEN-AM, Philadelphia to Harold Camping’s Family Stations.  The simulcast of Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-AM/FM will continue until the deal is complete but Greater Media clearly sees no need to have its “97.5 The Fanatic” heard on both the AM and FM bands.  The sale price for the Philadelphia-licensed outlet has not been made public yet.  In a statement, Greater Media’s Philadelphia vice president and market manager John Fullam says “Greater Media looks forward to focusing on the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic,’ the best sports talk station serving the market and the new home to Sixers and Flyers play by play.”

John Gehron to Leave Merlin Media.  As reported by Time Out Chicago’s Robet Feder, radio management and programming pro John Gehron  — who serves as the chairman of the advisory board of Merlin Media – will step down from that role at the end of this month.  Gehron, who also serves as COO of AccuRadio, tells Feder, “It was a fascinating experience.  I worked with some wonderful people.”

WGN, Chicago Moves Dean Richards to Sunday AM Slot.  With Tribune columnist and WGN talk host Rick Kogan leaving his radio show to take the PM drive slot at Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ, WGN program director Bill White announces the station is moving Dean Richards’ Sunday program into the early morning slot held by Kogan’s “The Sunday Papers” program.  “Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” will air from 6:30 to 11:00 on Sundays beginning October 7.  White states, “Dean’s show has been a staple on Sunday mornings since 1994, and this new timeslot will give him an earlier start — avoiding sports broadcast pre-emptions — while still airing during part of his longtime timeslot.  As a Chicago native, Dean truly embodies the WGN hometown quality and we’re excited to expand the show.”  Addressing Kogan’s new role on WBEZ, White says, “Rick is a true Chicago legend and has been a mainstay on WGN for the past 13 years. We expect him to have a great experience in his new endeavor, but the door is open for future projects down the road at WGN.”

Three Steps to Digital Power.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller says that part of radio’s beauty is that it is the original targeted medium and radio brands can use their digital components to even further capitalize on the value of radio’s targeted nature.  Miller states, “Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message.”  But Miller believes there are three steps stations should follow to effectively work the digital medium: build for it, commit to it, and train for it.  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership 1 Day Event Simulcast to 200-Plus Locations.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio star Dave Ramsey presented his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event live from the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee last week.  The program included author Jon Acuff and speaker Chris LoCurto, speaking about how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  This particular presentation was also simulcast to more than 200 additional locations across the country.  The Dave Ramsey show reports that flagship station WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” reaped big benefits.  Station GSM Timothy Meagher states, “It’s a win for our clients by providing an excellent business-to-business marketing opportunity at the event; it’s a win for our listeners by providing a great way to learn and be educated on sound financial principals from Dave and his team; and it’s a win for ‘Super Talk 99.7’ by providing a solid branding opportunity in the market for our community of listeners and station brand.”

Alex Cohen Replaces Madeleine Brand on SCPR Talk Show.  Southern California Public Radio announces personality Madeleine Brand exits the 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk shot she co-hosted with A Martinez to pursue other professional endeavors.  Her spot on the show will be filled by Alex Cohen who has been serving as KPCC, Pasadena’s anchor for the afternoon block that includes “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”  Vice president of content Russ Stanton says, “We are very fortunate to have in Alex a co-host with the combination of news judgment, experience and a lively, energetic on-air presence.  She has a range of experience in public broadcasting and journalism that few can match; she is smart, tenacious and insightful.”

Pasta Promotion.  The 29th Newsradio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast was held on Friday, September 21 in downtown Pittsburgh.  Thousands of Pittsburghers stopped by the annual hosted by the CBS Radio station event to feast on spaghetti before continuing on to work.  Pictured here at the serving line are (from l-r): KDKA personality Vinnie Richichi, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Ernie Ricci and KDKA talk show host Mike Pintek.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

| December 28, 2011

Iowa Political Ad Money a Sign of Things to Come?  Radio and television broadcasters sure hope so as the Republican candidates for president spent some $10 million in Iowa this month in advance of the state’s caucuses next month.  Jennifer Jacobs’ article in the Des Moines Register doesn’t give a complete breakout of TV and radio ad spending so it’s difficult to know exactly how much radio has benefitted from the blitz, but here are some of the totals:  Rick Perry spent $2.86 million on TV; the super PAC pushing Mitt Romney spent $2.85 million on radio and TV; Ron Paulspent $1.37 million; a pro-Perry PAC spent $1.33 million; and Romney’s campaign spent $1.1 million.  That tally is not a complete total of all money spent but keep in mind that more cash will come to radio and TV in the days leading up to January 3.  The photo of Mitt Romney reading TALKERS in New Hampshire depicted above appeared on the February 2008 cover of TALKERS magazine’s print edition reflecting polticians’ strong interest in the election-charged medium of talk radio.  Let us hope that 2012 brings even more such interest as talk radio looks to precious campaign money as a form of relief from the financial struggles still facing most advertising-based media.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for continuing coverage and analysis of the advertising/financial component of Election 2012 all the way through November.

Walter Sabo Honors Lynn Samuels with Exclusive TALKERS Tribute.  Noted spoken-word programmer, radio executive and broadcast consultant Walter Sabo played a significant role in the discovery and career of the late Lynn Samuels filling in some of the information missing in most of the press coverage of her untimely death and further analyzing her unique talent.  He writes, “Lynn Samuels died and you will never hear anyone like her. That’s why she was a star…You could pull ANY part of her show and make a promo.  You know how long you have to hunt for a quote for a promo from most airchecks?  No trouble with Lynn; pick a random minute and you’d have a promo…”  Read the entire Walter Sabo tribute to Lynn Samuels here.

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago to Adjust Weekend Schedule in the New Year.  Chicagoans will hear more of WGN’s daily stars on the weekends in 2012.  Program director Bill White tells Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder that, when the station is not airing sports, highlights of Jonathon Brandmeier’s and Garry Meier’s programs will air on Saturday afternoons while Sunday afternoons will feature the week’s best of John Williams and Mike McConnell.  “We think it will be a great alternative to the infomercials and paid programs that air on Chicago’s other talk stations.  Of course we continue to provide live and local news, weather and traffic reports 24/7,” White tells TOC.  Other new weekend fare includes a 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sunday program hosted by Brian Noonan and “WGN Weekend Late Night” featuring weekly highlights from Bill Leff’s overnight program.  “Legally Speaking,” hosted by attorney Karen Conti, is one casualty and has already aired its last program.  White says Conti will still contribute to the station but her show has ended at WGN.  Conti hosted the program with her late husband Greg Adamski for years.  Adamski passed away suddenly last February.  Conti tells Feder she’s disappointed but is exploring other local media opportunities.

Cumulus Des Moines Swaps Morning Shows; Lou Sipolt and Heather Burnside to FM News/Talk.  The current AM drive shows at Cumulus Media’s classic rock KGGO-FM and news/talk KWQW-FM are trading places on January 2.  Premiere NetworksBob & Tom move to KGGO-FM while Lou Sipolt and Heather Burnside move across the hall to the company’s news/talk “98.3 Wow FM” (KWQW) to host “The Des Moines Morning News with Lou and Heather.”  Cumulus Media SVP of programming Mike McVay says, “We’re excited to be able to bring 20-plus years of morning success to our news/talk station and can completely eliminate the music on their show in favor of more of why Des Moines-area listeners want to listen to Lou and Heather.  It’s for them and what they have to say.”

CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM, Washington, DC Airs Rock History Prior to All-News Flip.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes notes CBS Radio Washington began airing the special “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” after the Christmas music ended.  Just when the all-news format debuts is not known, but it’s expected to hit the air in mid- to late-January.   Hughes also reports the rumor that WJLA-TV, Washington senior assignment editor Gregg Micklos is taking the position of assistant news director at the soon-to-be FM news outlet.

2012 Presidential Race/Iowa Caucuses Run-up, al-Qaeda Iraq Attacks, Kim Jong Il Funeral and Bill Maher Tebow Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/27).  The run-up to the Iowa Caucuses for the GOP candidates for president, the Christmas Day bombings in Iraq whose responsibility was claimed by al-Qaeda, the funeral of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and the flap over Bill Maher’s criticism of Tim Tebow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, December 19, 2011

| December 19, 2011

Filling in for the Holidays.  Today marks the beginning of “holiday fill-in season” on talk radio which pretty much runs through the rest of the year.  It is the time when a significant percentage of full-time hosts working at individual radio stations (and even syndicated hosts for that matter) take all or part of their annual vacations.  This process provides fill-in hosts and part-time weekend and bench hosts with the opportunity to get out there and hopefully shine.  It also has the potential to provide listeners with fresh voices and perspectives.  And it always presents already overworked programmers with the challenge of keeping their schedules flowing and appealing.  They want someone who is professional and interesting – but they also want someone who won’t upset the applecart of stationality or listener expectations.  WGN, Chicago PD Bill White explains, “I equate a fill-in host to someone hosting a dinner party in someone else’s home.  Fill-in hosts should be respectful of the regular host’s audience but not rearrange all the furniture.  We also look for fill-in hosts who will be comfortable and compliment the regular host’s audience.”  Thus, qualified substitutes are a valuable commodity at this time of year when the demand for their services is drastically increased, especially when most stations’ air staffs have been cut back or depleted due to the economy and PDs must look for help from outside.  For example, one of the industry’s most popular substitutes, former congressman and KFYI, Phoenix talk host J.D. Hayworth is subbing for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on 12/20 and 12/28.  He’ll be heard on hosting local shows on KXNT-FM, Las Vegas on 12/23 and 12/29-30; WLS, Chicago on 12/24, 28-30; WGST, Atlanta on 12/26; KOGO-AM/FM, San Diego on 12/27; and WPHT, Philadelphia on 12/28-30.  Demand for quality substitutes is so high that some hosts already doing full-time work use it as an opportunity to pick up extra income and exposure.  As if he is not already doing enough on his “regular” gigs, hard working and extremely talented Clear Channel talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (KPRC, Houston; WOAI, San Antonio; KOA, Denver; and “The Weekend”) fills in for Premiere Networks syndicated star Glenn Beck on 12/20, 23, 28 and 30. This year’s holiday season coming in the thick of the big election cycle creates even more pressure to keep stations on track.  Greater Media-owned WTKK-FM, Boston PD Grace Blazer tells TALKERS, “It’s important at 96.9 FM-WTKK to provide our audience with relevant shows throughout the holiday season that are timely and topical.  Our host vacation schedules are scattered and their fill-ins are often regular participants to their shows and share similar philosophies.  Since January 2012 is a huge month for presidential politics and New Hampshire is our neighbor, I think it’s imperative to keep 96.9 Boston Talks ‘primarily’ intact and compelling.”  At Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ, Fresno, PD Skip Essick likes to avoid throwing curves to listeners, “I try and keep programming as normal as possible.  This year it will not be as much of a challenge with Christmas Eve and Day on the weekend – same thing over New Years.  But, for instance, the day after Thanksgiving – which was designated as a company holiday – I ran full staff with regular programming.  I’ll do the same for Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, and the numerous Monday holidays throughout the year.  In a nutshell – if our listeners are at work, so are we.”  Some hosts prefer to work over the holidays and at Buckley Broadcasting’s WOR, New York, program director Scott Lakefield tells TALKERS that’s the case.  “For instance, John Gambling began a ‘tradition’ of sorts of taking his ‘holiday’ vacation in January.  He will be live 12/27-30.  Generally speaking, though, my theory is to try to do ‘best-of’ compendium shows during vacation times, with the exception of drive-time when information is a bigger component and it is thus necessary to be live.  Guest hosts in my experience drive far more listeners away than hearing some ‘classic’ moments from their favorite hosts does.”  In the sports talk radio world this situation can be particularly compelling since so many outlets have a high percentage of local full-time hosts and thus more slots to fill.  Plus, opinions and personality categories in sports talk are often more idiosyncratic than general news/talk, making it more challenging to find the proper fit.  CBS-owned Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh PD Terry Foxx tells TALKERS, “Holiday fill-in for us is very important.  I match up our part-time hosts based on how I feel they will entertain and incite opinions from our fans in certain day parts.”  Some stations have fill-in hosts with a history at the station such as veteran TV/radio personality Wayne Powers who subs for Keith Larson on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte 12/26-30…  and the list goes on.  J.D. Hayworth, who is looking to get back into the business on a regular basis as either a local or syndicated host, tells TALKERS, “As a genuine ‘broadcasting baby boomer,’ I remember the ubiquitous Robert Q. Lewis on TV game shows: most frequently, a panelist…but quite frequently, a guest host…and eventually a regular host!  So, I’m being ‘Lewis-like’ over the holidays!  During my years at N.C. State, the joke was Lou Holtz recruited me at right tackle, but I ended up ‘left out!’  So…I’m used to waiting on the the bench, but very happy to get loads of holiday airtime. I’m certain these appearances will help me leave the bench and get back in the game full time!”

John Thompson Ends Regular Talk Show at WTEM, Washington.  The iconic former Georgetown University basketball coach and talk host in the DC market since 1999 will step away from his regular show on Red Zebra’s WTEM in February to pursue other interests.  Red Zebra director of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “While a sad day for the station, we fully support Coach Thompson’s decision to move on to other projects.  As Coach and I discussed at the time of his decision, this is not a retirement.  His fans will still hear Coach Thompson on ESPN980 from time to time.  Thompson’s program airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daily with co-host Doc Walker.  Sapienza doesn’t state what the station’s plans are after Thompson steps down.

Chattanooga’s Brewer Media to Drop News/Talk on WPLZ-FM Citing Expense of the Format.  It’s been three years since the locally owned Brewer Media put a news/talk format on WPLZ-FM, Chattanooga.  Owner Jim Brewer II tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press he would have needed more staff to be competitive in the market.  “I think we offered a good product and I will miss having news/talk in our building…being a small, single market cluster, it’s exceedingly difficult to compete against national broadcasting companies who have so much syndicated programming and infrastructure.”  The station will flip to an unspecified music format in the new year and will lay off talk hosts Robert T. Nash and David Karnes as well as PD Gary Poole, news director Louis Lee and a couple other employees.  Brewer Media owns three other FMs in the market including sports talk WALV – ESPN 105.1.

Birach Broadcasting Flips WWCS, Pittsburgh to Sports; Affiliates with Fox Sports Radio.  Birach Broadcasting has been airing a Spanish music format on the signal but flips to sports on January 1 as Fox Sports 540.  It’ll take most of the Fox Sports Radio Network-distributed lineup – Zakk & Jack, the Dan Patrick show, “Loose Cannons,” Petros & Money, “Fox Sports Tonight” and JT the Brick plus Premiere NetworksJim Rome.  FSRN vice president and general manager Don Martin states, “After a short hiatus, Fox Sports Radio is thrilled to be heard again in the great city of Pittsburgh!”  The network was previously affiliated with Clear Channel’s WBGG.  In addition to CC’s WBGG, CBS Radio operates sports KDKA-FM in the market.

Dr. Jenn Berman to Host New VH1 Program “Couples Therapy.”  Los Angeles-based psychotherapist and host of the Sirius XM talk show, “The Love and Sex Show with Dr. Jenn,” is the host of a new cable TV show produced by Irwin Entertainment, the producers of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”  The program will follow the travails of five celebrity couples and they go through therapy with Dr. Jenn Berman.  Shows hit the air in the spring.  Dr. Berman tells TALKERS magazine, “It’s such a pleasure to be a part of this exciting venture on VH1.  I’m looking forward to being that connecting link between viewers and the process of examining the challenges of a celebrity relationship.  I think people will be very surprised by how much they identify with these celebs and their personal struggles.”  Couples taking part in the program are: DMX (Rapper) & Tashera Simmons, Linda Hogan (“Hogan Knows Best”) & Charlie Hill, Chris Nirschel (“The Next Food Network Star”) & Angelina Pivarnick (“Jersey Shore”), Kasey Kahl (“Bachelorette”) & Vienna Girardi (“The Bachelor”) and Reichen Lehmkuhl & Rodiney Santiago (“The A-List: New York”).

Michigan Talk Host Michael Patrick Shiels Named to State Travel Commission.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announces WJIM, Lansing-based talk host Michael Patrick Shiels – heard throughout the state via the Michigan Talk Network – will serve on the Michigan Travel Commission.  “One of the key components to building a better and stronger Michigan is to continuously promote all the attractions our state has to offer, including our beautiful lakes and great landmarks.  Michael Patrick Shiels is a great addition and uniquely positioned to be a great asset to the commission.”  In addition to his radio work, Shiels is a travel writer and founder of TravelTattler.com.  Subject to approval by the Michigan Senate, Shiels will serve the remainder of Jim Berryman’s term through September 2014. Berryman recently resigned.

Ira Weintraub Takes PD Role at WTKA, Ann Arbor.  Cumulus Media Ann Arbor names APD and morning show producer Ira Weintraub program director for sports talk outlet WTKA – The Ticket 1050.  Market manager Matt Spaulding says, “Ann Arbor is a market with a tradition of providing compelling, passionate and relevant broadcast products to the listeners of southeast Michigan.  Ira Weintraub has absolutely earned this promotion and we are confident that he will help lead WTKA to many more years of broadcasting success.”

WGN, Chicago’s Milt Rosenberg Hosts 2011 Retrospective Tonight.  “Extension 720” host Milt Rosenberg hosts a special edition of his program this evening (12/19) titled, “WGN Year in Review” with fellow WGN personalities Garry Meier, John Williams and David Kaplan.  The hosts will look back on the stories that made the year 2011 from the Rod Blagojevich case to the death of Osama bin Laden to the hiring of Theo Epstein as the Cubs’ general manager.  The program airs at 10:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

| September 20, 2011

WGN Informal Tour Now Playing on TALKERS TV.  While TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in Chicago last week attending the NAB/RAB Radio Show, he ducked out briefly and headed across the street to the headquarters of the Tribune Company to pay a visit to his friends at WGN.  With video camera in hand, and upon extremely short notice, Harrison was graciously given an informal, off-the-cuff, tour of the facility by the station’s program director Bill White.  The video of that tour makes its TALKERS TV debut today.  Although it offers just a quick and limited slice of the rich world that is WGN – a radio station with a historic pedigree stretching back to the early 1920s – it does capture a provocative glimpse of the heritage station’s unique specialness.  Bill White takes us into the locked and almost forgotten — but still intact – record album and 45 rpm singles library, a fascinating reminder of big time radio as it was back in the day.  We visit the green room where today’s news/talk radio air guests are greeted, seated and offered beverages…a room that has hosted an endless list of the powerful and famous including heads of state.  We watch Leslie Keiling of WGN Traffic Central doing traffic reports and share a few words with her.  We talk with Jackie Paulus, WGN director of marketing & digital strategies about the station’s digital sales initiatives.  We meet assistant program director Alex Quigley in the WGN radio newsroom — situated against the dynamic backdrop of the main newsroom of the Chicago Tribune, located in the same building.  We peek in on the huge main studios of the iconic radio station.  A highlight of the visit is chatting with John Williams during a break during his midday show in the WGN street level Showcase Studio and barging in on the staff prep meeting conducted by afternoon drive star Garry Meier. View this must-see video in the TALKERS TV box on this page.

It’s Official: George Plaster Exits WGFX-FM, Nashville.  Speculation over whether sports talk host George Plaster would stay with the company he sued for his freedom eight years ago (Cumulus) when it became owner of WGFX-FM is over.  Plaster tells The Tennessean he made the decision on Friday, “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in radio.  It was very emotional for me because of the people that I’ve worked with.  The people at 104.5 The Zone are as professional as any radio station that I have ever dealt with.  These are friends and we’ve had unbelievable success at this station.”  The new crosstown sports talk station owned by Cromwell Group – WPRT-FM – is a possible destination for Plaster but he says he’ll take some time to decide what he’s going to do next.  There is probably a non-compete that Plaster will have to wait out before going back to radio in Nashville.  At WGFX-FM, “The Allstate Sports Zone” continues on with Willy Daunic and Chad Withrow.

Premiere Networks Announces Goldline Exclusive Precious Metals Dealer Sponsor of Sean Hannity Show.  Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show – heard on more than 500 affiliate stations – reaches an extremely dedicated core group of conservative talk radio listeners.  That target demo must be exactly what Goldline International Inc. is looking for as it announces it is the exclusive precious metals sponsor of the Sean Hannity show.  Goldline CEO Scott Carter states, “Sean Hannity clearly represents the pinnacle of talk radio with millions of loyal listeners following Sean’s unique take on politics, culture and current events.  Goldline is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Sean Hannity show and help Americans across the country learn more about diversifying with precious metals.”  Speaking about the exclusive advertising deal, Sean Hannity says,I am looking forward to working closely with a gold company that has such a stellar reputation in the industry.  For those who are thinking about investing in gold, the place I highly recommend is Goldline.”

KIRO, Seattle Extends Contracts of Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore.  Bonneville’s 710 ESPN Seattle (KIRO) adds an hour to the Kevin Calabro show – now airing from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily – and gives contract extensions to host Kevin Calabro and co-host Jim Moore.  Station GM Dave Pridemore notes the program is currently the #1-rated show in the Men 25-54 demo and says, “We are thrilled to have Kevin and Jim continue to anchor our afternoon drive into the future.  Kevin’s connection to the Seattle sports audience, dedication to the craft and loyalty make him a true professional and advocate for this entire region.”

WTKK-FM, Boston Adds Pollster Scott Rasmussen for Weekly AM Drive Appearance.  Rasmussen is the founder of Rasmussen Reports – the public opinion polling firm – and a frequent guest on cable news/talk TV shows as well as a talk show host in his own right.  Now, Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston announces Rasmussen will make a weekly appearance on its AM drive show with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan every Wednesday at 7:45.  Braude says, “Scott Rasmussen is as good as they come, his insight on topics that Bostonians and New Englanders care about is unmatchable.”  Eagan notes, “He knows what Americans are thinking about, everything from politics to laundry detergent.”

Pop Culture AM Drive Hosts Chaz and AJ Simulcast in New Haven and Norwalk, Connecticut.  Cox Media Group gives talk-intensive rock WPLR, New Haven morning drive hosts Chaz and AJ another market as the duo’s program begins a simulcast on the company’s classic rock WFOX, Norwalk, Connecticut.  The show is described as a mix of humor, politics and water cooler talk.  Keith Dakin, who programs both stations, says, “This move just makes sense.  I am extremely excited to extend the reach of Chaz and AJ to the residents of Fairfield County who have never been able to hear the show.  These guys really deliver for Connecticut and I expect big things from them on WFOX.”

Marty Basch Joins CBS Radio Las Vegas as VP/Director of Sales.  Basch has worked for CBS Radio in the recent past.  He left two years ago to take the EVP/GM position with Kemp Broadcasting.  Now he returns to the company as vice president and director of sales for the six-station cluster that includes news/talk KXNT-AM/FM.

Obama Deficit Reduction Plan, Palestinian-U.N. Issue, European Economic Jitters and 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  President Obama’s plan to cut the nation’s deficit, the Palestinian plea to the U.N. for statehood, continued jitters in Europe over Greek debt and the GOP contenders for president in 2012 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Talkers TV visits WGN

| September 20, 2011

WGN Informal Tour Now Playing on TALKERS TV. While TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in Chicago last week attending the NAB/RAB Radio Show, he ducked out briefly and headed across the street to the headquarters of the Tribune Company to pay a visit to his friends at WGN. With video camera in hand, and upon extremely short notice, Harrison was graciously given an informal, off-the-cuff, tour of the facility by the station’s program director Bill White. The video of that tour makes its TALKERS TV debut today. Although it offers just a quick and limited slice of the rich world that is WGN – a radio station with a historic pedigree stretching back to the early 1920s – it does capture a provocative glimpse of the heritage station’s unique specialness. Bill White takes us into the locked and almost forgotten — but still intact – record album and 45 rpm singles library, a fascinating reminder of big time radio as it was back in the day. We visit the green room where today’s news/talk radio air guests are greeted, seated and offered beverages…a room that has hosted an endless list of the powerful and famous including heads of state. We watch Leslie Keiling of WGN Traffic Central doing traffic reports and share a few words with her. We talk with Jackie Paulus, WGN director of marketing & digital strategies about the station’s digital sales initiatives. We meet assistant program director Alex Quigley in the WGN radio newsroom — situated against the dynamic backdrop of the main newsroom of the Chicago Tribune, located in the same building. We peek in on the huge main studios of the iconic radio station. A highlight of the visit is chatting with John Williams during a break during his midday show in the WGN street level Showcase Studio and barging in on the staff prep meeting conducted by afternoon drive star Garry Meier.

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