Tag: "Boston"

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

| October 31, 2018

Sports Talker Kirk Minihane Headed to Barstool Sports? Based on recent cryptic Tweets combined with last week’s post by WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane, he may be joining Barstool Sports – which has been producing sports talk shows on SiriusXM since last February – instead of returning to the Entercom sports talker. Minihane took a leave of absence in early September to seek treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts.  Last week, he Tweeted that he’s been ready to return to the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show but has been kept away by WEEI management.  But, yesterday’s Tweet from Barstool Sports president David Portnoy hints at changes. “BREAKING: Barstool Radio shakeup is coming in 2 weeks, McAfee’s slot will be filled and there will be new shows added per @stoolpresidente.”  Minihane responds, “Really?” It’s unclear what the issue is between WEEI and Minihane but Portnoy has publicly offered Minihane a presence on Barstool Sports.

Prosecution Lays Out Case Against Craig Carton. On Monday, the federal government began presenting its case to the jury against former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton as his trial on multiple fraud charges began.  The New York Post reports that the prosecution is saying that Carton used his popularity as a media celebrity to convince investors to give him millions of dollars to operate a secondary market concert ticket business but that the money actually went to personal expenses such as landscaping, repaying casino debts, and to reimburse previous investors.  Carton’s lawyer told the jury that Carton was the victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud in a ticket-selling scheme the prosecution alleges overlapped with Carton’s.  The defense also blames film financier David Molner, who is named in a civil suit of being part of Meli’s ticket re-sale operation.  However, one of the first pieces of evidence introduced was an allegedly doctored email from Carton to hedge fund Brigade Capital (which lent him $4.6 million) that the feds say shows Carton was aware of the nature of his business.

Ex-Congressman Jolly Debuts Midday Show on ‘News/Talk Florida.’ Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly is the newest talk show host on Genesis Communications’ Florida news/talk duo “News/talk Florida” WWBA, Tampa Bay and WIXC, Titusville.  Jolly represented Florida’s 13th District from 2014 through 2017 before losing his re-election to former governor Charlie Crist.  He’s been a critic of President Trump and an “advocate for common-sense bipartisanship.”  His show, “David Jolly: Unbiased and Unplugged,” airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily and replaces the Erik Kuselias program.  Jolly comments, “I’m excited to join the Genesis lineup.  Florida, especially the I-4 corridor, is an increasingly important political landscape, and it’ll be great to reach it through the Genesis network.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Phil Valentine has released a video tribute to America’s servicemen and servicewomen to mark Veterans Day on November 11.  The WWTN, Nashville-based Westwood One personality explains, “I was invited to Texas for a market visit for one of our affiliates.  On the last day, I was to make a speech to a group of veterans on Veterans Day [last year].  I sat in my hotel room the night before wondering what in the world I could say to so many who had given so much for this country having never served myself.  As I began to jot thoughts down on paper, a poem emerged.”  You can see Valentine’s production titled, “I Never Served,” here…..Jackson, Tennessee radio personality Bill Way is returning to the air on the market after “retiring” a year ago.  Beginning tomorrow (11/1), Way begins hosting a daily, one-hour program on Grace Broadcasting’s WTJS-FM at 8:30 am. Way spent almost 25 years as a personality on The Wireless Group’s crosstown talk outlet WNWS-FM.  Way comments, “I called it a retirement when I left, but I always knew I couldn’t retire. My mind works at a high rate of speed and when I see issues happening, I have commentary that is different from conventional opinions.”  The program will be re-broadcast at 3:00 pm each day…..Comics Jim Norton (left) and Sam Roberts (right) have re-upped with SiriusXM to continue hosting the “Jim and Sam” show on the Faction Talk channel for another three years.  The program airs from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET with an extra hour from 10:00 am to 11:00 am that will feature bonus content consisting of special interviews, replays, and other content unique to the show.  It will also replay from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am during the week…..ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Podcasts returns for a fourth season with five all-new audio documentaries.  The first three episodes are: “Juiced” about Jose Canseco’s best-selling memoir, “All In: Sparking the Poker Boom” focusing on the rise of poker and a deep dive into The 2003 WSOP, and “Six Who Sat” about female endurance athletes who staged a sit-down strike for 10 minutes at the 1972 New York City Marathon to challenge unequal treatment of women in their sport.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Midterm Elections/Trump Campaigns, Migrant Caravan/Birthright Citizenship Issue, Dow Rallies, Mail ‘Bombs’ Case, Indonesian Jet Crash, Apple Unveils New Products, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  The aftermath of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the November 6 midterm elections and President Trump’s campaigning; the caravan of Honduran migrants and President Trump’s claim he can eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive signing; the Dow gains 400 points after suffering losses last week; the case of mail “bomber” Cesar Sayoc; the crash of Lion Air’s brand-new Boeing 737 in Indonesia; Apple unveils new computer and iPad products; and NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  As the just-concluded 2018 World Series indicated, so many things about sports are changing – the way the games are played, the way we root for our favorite teams and players, the way we bet on them, and the way we cover them in the media.  Thirty-year WFAN, New York veteran sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Neer have been friends and colleagues going all the way back to their days together in the formative years of the album rock format at WLIR, Long Island and WNEW-FM, New York.  Neer wrote the milestone book about that era titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard 2001).  In this podcast, these prolific conversationalists take a thoughtful, deep dive into the X’s and O’s of the changing culture of sports in our rapidly accelerating society.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, programmer and air personality Haynes Johns exits Alpha Media’s hot AC WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois where he’s been since 2005.  Johns tells Feder that the parting was amicable – “just a difference in programming philosophies” – and that he would like to continue working in the Chicago market…..Morning personality Broadway, a.k.a. Bill Bert, exits Entercom’s country WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh “Y108” after a year on the job.  He came to WDSY from his previous gig at iHeartMedia’s country WWYZ, Hartford…..Long Island oldies outlet WLNG, Sag Harbor is trading hands.  Main Street Broadcasting is selling the station to Bark Out Loud Dogs Media for $3.9 million.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss for the fourth month in succession, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is +1.5 in that timeframe (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+) and continues at #6. October’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March (5.0, as well), which is when WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era. Immediately prior to July, WMAL was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). After completely erasing July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats September’s 3.6 (6+), but departs the top ten (#10 to #11). July’s decrease ended three gains in a row by the Washington Nationals’ flagship that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” exits the top twenty (#20 to #22). “The Team” had a lengthy hiatus from Nielsen Audio; reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared again in July (0.0); returned in August with a .9 (6+); repeated that .9 (6+) in September; and dips to .7 (6+) in October. Within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the seventh successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the tenth straight ratings period. Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU note its third straight increase for an overall +.7 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” is in the runner-up slot for the ninth time this calendar year. The only exception was in July, when WAMU finished third. By gaining four-tenths in August, WAMU curtailed three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Flat at .4 (6+), Entercom business news WDCH nonetheless moves from #24 to #23. An August gain of two-tenths to .5 (6+) ended three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – On the heels of September’s improvement of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” doubles it in October with a +1.4 to 5.8, its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 9.7. Prior to September, WASH had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for an overall loss of -1.1 (4.8 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). An increase of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) takes co-owned CHR WIHT to its highest 6+-stat since January (4.1, as well). Moreover, “Hot 99.5 – DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA posts its fourth positive spike in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “Classical 90.9” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 22 ratings periods. A loss of one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #15, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” pulls the plug on three successive up or flat reports that netted four-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 11th consecutive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” continues at #16. Following five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -.9 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM picks up one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). There’s generally good news for one (if not both) of the market’s two urban ACs, but such is not the case in October 2018, as the format takes a combined -1.9 hit. That erosion is virtually equally divided between Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, 6+) and Howard University’s WHUR (6.8 – 5.8, -1.0, 6+). Even so, the two rivals repeat at third and fourth, respectively, with WHUR at #4 for the seventh sweep in succession. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 was the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June). In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating September’s +.3 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO continues at #13. This (3.0) is WRKO’s best 6+-stat since March (3.0, as well). When “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notched a gain of two-tenths in July, it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Two-tenths of a share separated this market’s two sports talk behemoths in September and that’s the same margin in October. The difference is that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (eighth to fourth, 6+) overtakes WEEI-FM (4.6 – 5.1, +.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that WEEI-FM regained the half-share it lost in September, the Entercom property backslides from seventh to eighth. As it entered the September ratings period, WEEI-FM had been an overall +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). A +1.0 in April cut in half a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Meanwhile, WBZ-FM was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but bounces back with three straight increases for a cumulative +1.5 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins; WEEI-FM is the key station of the Boston Red Sox radio network. Given that the Red Sox set a franchise record for most wins in a season and won the 2018 World Series this past Sunday (10/28), it should be interesting to see the station’s November stats. As noted above, the October 2018 survey period ended October 10. Despite returning the one-tenth it gained in September (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM manages to progress from #6 to a three-way tie at #4; “News Radio 1030” declined by one-half share in August. An April loss of nine-tenths ended three straight improvements that produced a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+); 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Flat at 5.5 (6+), Boston University’s news/talk WBUR nonetheless jumps from fifth to third. In June, WBUR forfeited half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths; it was +1.0 in March. The June 2018 – October 2018 topline for WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH is 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 (unchanged at #12, 6+). Prior to August’s +.1, WGBH was an overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – With a gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” has its best 6+-stat since May (3.0, as well). Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WXKS-FM is on top for the tenth consecutive ratings period, but “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the third report in a row for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Kiss” since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.4. Its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#14 to #16), has a “Holiday” 2017 – October 2018 topline trending of 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 (6+). University of Massachusetts-owned triple A/folk/blues hybrid WUMB forfeits six-tenths (.8 – .2, #32, 6+). Recording October 2018 deficits of one-half share each are Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (5.8 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (5.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th straight sweep, WZLX rhythmic CHR sibling WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.3 – 2.6, +.3, 6+) backslides from #14 to #15. Following five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO slips three-tenths to 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). With a 2.1 in September, WXLO reached the two-share level for the first time in nearly four years (2.0, November 2014). Down for the fourth successive sweep for a combined -.9 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” continues at #9, while iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is off by an overall half-share in September and October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline pattern of 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up two-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Entercom’s WQAM backslides from a five-way logjam at #25 to #27. A May gain of two-tenths by “Sports Radio 560” suspended five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+). Its May through October stats are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 . 9 (6+). One-tenth behind WQAM is cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #29, 6+). Its +.3 in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). Tied with WIOD at #19 is Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which is up a collective four-tenths via three (modest) gains in succession (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ on top for the fifth straight month, “Easy 93.1” is a collective +1.0 in three consecutive improvements (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy 93.1” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. A collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” falters by six-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase, WLYF was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has a March – October (6+) topline of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7. By adding one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (level at #18) applies the brakes to four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.1 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). It’s been a wild ride recently for Univision Radio-owned Spanish tropical WRTO which was  +.5 in August; -.5 in September; and now -.8 in October (3.5 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 2.7), with “Mix 98.3” freefalling from #10 to #17. In July, WRTO surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to WLYF (see above), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (6.1 – 5.5, 6+) regress by six-tenths; “Hot” and “Zeta” remain at #3 and #4, respectively. A collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+), WHQT picked up one-tenth in September. In a nearly even split, the market’s (6+) share for mainstream CHR swells by one-half share. Specifically, Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up three-tenths (3.0 – 3.3, #14 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI logs a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) as “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately prior to October, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). “Y-100” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (March – October, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to reentering the top ten (#11 to #10), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a combined +.9 through three upticks in a row (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Its +.2 in August suspended three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Erasing its -.7 in three downward moves in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) with a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” climbs from sixth to fifth. “The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Unchanged at #3, co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” is an overall +1.6 through three consecutive positive spikes (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 7.4. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; and was then frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Returning the one-tenth it gained in September (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM falls from #18 to #20. Its +.1 in September curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Owing to four straight gains, Wayne State University news/talk WDET (level at #22) has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last six sweeps (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (fifth to fourth) dials up a +.5 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing since 6.9 in March. In four consecutive decreases, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ was -1.0 (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “93.1 Nash FM” is up two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17. When WDRQ slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Despite picking up one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” backslides from sixth to seventh. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. Even though Beasley Media Group’s WCSX is a cumulative -1.0 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+), “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” segues from second to first. WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being ousted in September. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The station that replaced “Detroit’s Classic Rock” at #1 in September – Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” – sputters by six-tenths (7.5 – 6.9, 6+) and shifts to third. A collective -1.3 in three consecutive negative moves (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and advances from tenth to ninth. The aforementioned streak came immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight positive spikes (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is a collective +1.5 and continues at #2. Prior to its -.7 in June, KIRO-FM had an October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. By posting a gain of six-tenths to 2.9 (6+), co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” jumps from #20 to #16. KTTH had been within 2.0 – 2.4 range the past six months (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Steady at #24, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) and is up three-tenths in that timeframe. Off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM applies the brakes by adding three-tenths to 3.7 (6+); “ESPN 710” leaps into the top ten (#13 to #10). As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). In three straight gains, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” has nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4, #26 to #23, 6+). Level at #19, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in August (2.3 – 2.5, 6+); up another two-tenths in September (2.5 – 2.7, 6+); but now down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Even though Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW is a collective +.9 in four consecutive up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (6.3) since April’s 6.5, it actually slips from first to third. August’s increase concluded three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1.

Seattle Music Formats –

There’s another huge shift for Hubbard-owned CHR KQMV, which was +1.7 in July (6.1 – 7.8, 6+); then -1.4 in August; -.6 in September to 5.8, its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 5.6; and now +1.0 (to 6.8, 6+) in October. “MOViN 92.5,” which finished on top in June, July, and August, progresses from third to first. The market’s still new adult contemporary skirmish has become quite interesting. It became a two-way battle in early-December 2017 when Entercom jettisoned country on KMPS and debuted KSWD “The Sound” in its place. This time last month, “The Sound” overtook longtime incumbent – Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” – for the first time since KSWD’s format shift to AC. With a +.7 in October, KSWD (4.2 – 4.9, eighth to fourth, 6+) lengthens the (6+) lead over “Warm” (#9 to #14, 6+) from .2 in September to 1.5. In August, “The Sound” posted a one-half share increase to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “Warm” is currently -1.6 in four successive setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Immediately after dropping seven-tenths in September, Classic Radio’s KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” bounces back with a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #21); September’s 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since 1.6 in November 2017. No sooner did Seattle’s 6+ hot AC share balloon by +1.3 in September, it sinks by -2.0 in October, split precisely between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5” (4.7 – 3.7, -1.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM Seattle’s New Hit Music” (3.2 – 2.2, -1.0, #16 to #21, 6+). In September, “Star” was +.7 and “Kiss” was +.6. Off by six-tenths in addition to KRWM (see above) are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (fourth to fifth) and Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” (3.5 – 2.9, #12 to #16, 6+). “The Jet” is a collective -1.8 in three straight declines (6.4 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) six survey periods in a row (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), “Spirit 105.3” dialed up a +1.0 in September to 3.5, its strongest 6+-performance since December 2017 (3.5, as well). Without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” moves from fifth to sixth. Continuing at #20, co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in five consecutive reports without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). One Seattle country station improves by four-tenths (Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf,” 3.8 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+), while the other falters by four-tenths (Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull,” 3.2 – 2.8, #16 to #18, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +.7 in four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM enters the top ten (#11 to #10). KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. Faltering by four-tenths in September, iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains half that loss in October with a +.2 (2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). Prior to September, “News Talk 550” logged four straight gains that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). After its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” drops one-tenth to 3.0 but stays at #13 (6+). September 2018 marked the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0. Jumping from #15 to #12, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ adds three-tenths to September’s +.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.1) since April’s 3.6. Its July increase of six-tenths halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – A one-half share increase (to 6.6, 6+) by KESZ applies the brakes to four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). Moreover, it sends the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet from second to first. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. The station’s 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Off two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” – which was +.8 in August – segues from first to third. As the result of July’s -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Furthermore, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which occupied the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. In addition to KESZ, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power 98.3” (#20 to #19) notches a one-half share increase and is an overall +.9 in three positive spikes in succession (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KALV “Live 101.5” falters by seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).  Having been within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) from January through September (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” erodes by -1.3 to 4.6 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. Its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – follows September’s -.2 with an October loss of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and remains at #9. Without an increase for the third straight month, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 in that stretch (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, #13 to #19, 6+). A cumulative -2.1 (or roughly -50%) in seven successive down or flat trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #11, Entercom-owned WCCO logs a 4.4 (6+) for the fourth successive month. Prior to August, the four previous fluctuations for “News Radio 830” were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). Bouncing back from a September loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) with an October gain of seven-tenths (to 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” progresses from #14 to #13. In advance of the June ratings period, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Repeating at #16, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” erases September’s -.2 with a +.3 (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Zooming from ninth to third, iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is an overall +2.8 in three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5, 6+). This streak directly follows four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February through October topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #22 to #24. Up one full-share in three straight upticks (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW advances from tenth to ninth. Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). Several of its recent fluctuations include: -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and +.7 (August).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Following four consecutive increases for a cumulative +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KTCZ “The Cities” dropped six-tenths in August; was flat in September (at 3.6,  6+); and now regains August’s -.6 (3.6 – 4.2, steady at #13, 6+). Having posted four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KSTP-FM is up a combined four-tenths in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). On top of that, “KS-95” marches from second to first. KSTP-FM held the lead position seven straight sweeps before being ousted in August. Its -.7 in May suspended four successive progressive moves that netted a +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Exiting the top spot (after just one month) in dramatic fashion is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, which erodes by -1.3 (8.0 – 6.7, 6+); “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” shifts to the runner-up slot. Its September increase of nine-tenths halted three straight negative moves that generated a -.6 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+); 8.0 in September is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 14.2. Slumping by seven-tenths each are co-owned CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.5, flat at #3, 6+) and Entercom’s KMNB “Minneapolis Country Music – Buz’n @ 102.9” (#12 to #14). KDWB occupied the top spot for just one month before being replaced by KQQL. August’s 7.8 is the highest 6+-share for KDWB since September 2016’s 8.1. Prior to August 2018, the last time KDWB claimed the top spot was August 2017. Meanwhile, “Buz’n @ 102.9” is down a collective nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+). Despite gaining two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4, 6+, after September’s -.8), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” backslides from sixth to seventh. A loss of six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, sixth to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to its lowest 6+-share since November 2017 (4.6, as well).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO picks up three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, 6+). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); and -.6 (August). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. With a gain of three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, #23 to #22, 6+), its similarly-formatted Los Angeles sibling, KFI “AM 640,” overtakes Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is flat at 1.6 (#22 to #23, 6+), after being down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). KFMB-AM’s June increase of one-tenth interrupted three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three sports talkers finish one after another: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (.9 – 1.2, +.3, #25 to #24, 6+), its highest 6+-stat since April’s 1.2; iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – .9, +.1, #27 to #25, 6+); and Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #26, 6+). San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS continues an amazing journey. It shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth in July; returned to first in August; segued from first to second in September; and returns to first in October (6.2 – 6.7, +.5, 6+). KPBS was up seven-tenths in August.

San Diego Music Formats – Seven consecutive ratings periods without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS yielded a  collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips two-tenths to 6.1 (6+). As a result, it is a short one-month stay at the top for KHTS, which drops to second. On the heels of posting a +1.1 in September (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ relinquishes seven-tenths (3.0, #10 to #14, 6+). In September, San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom’s KSON “103.7 New Country,” which is an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Having posted a 2.5 (6+) in three of the past five survey periods (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” sputters by one-half share to 2.0 (#18 to #21, 6+). There is a tie between the market’s alternative competitors as Entercom’s KBZT “Alt 94.9” is down four-tenths (2.7 – 23, #17 to #18, 6+), while XETRA Communicaciones’ XTRA-FM “91-X” gains three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, #21 to #18, 6+). A collective +1.6 in July and August (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV is an overall -1.2 in September and October (5.3 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) slipping from seventh to ninth. In August, “Que Buena 106.5” crossed the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. In five downward or flat moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, steady at #20, 6+), Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.9 (approximately -50%).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline of 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA explodes with a +1.1 to 6.2, marching from fourth to second. “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first, but exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Continuing an up/down pattern, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW was +.3 (June); -.2 (July); +.1 (August); -.4 in September; and now +.1 in October (1.7 – 1.8, 6+) as “Talk Radio 630” repeats at #21. Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” sputters by seven-tenths (1.0 – .3 #29, 6+). Advancing from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-stat (4.0) since December 2017’s 4.2, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is an overall +1.5 via three gains in a row (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). KKFN dropped one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Similarly, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR is +1.5 as the result of three consecutive upticks (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+), with KCFR repeating at #1. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. Previously this calendar year, KCFR was #1 in January and March. After registering a one-half share increase in September to 1.3, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC loses one-tenth to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – This marks the third consecutive improvement for Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD, which has more than doubled (+1.9) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 3.4, #19 to #14, 6+). Directly after registering three straight upticks that netted a +1.7 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KQMT “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.8, 6+). On top in June, July, and August, “The Mountain” fell to second in September and fades to seventh in October. Without a loss the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” forfeits nine-tenths to 4.1 (sixth to tenth, 6+). At the same time as Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” gains two-tenths (4.3 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+), its format rival – KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” – surrenders four-tenths (4.6 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). The (6+) April – May – June – July – August stats for “Alice,” which was up one-half share in September – were 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8; “Mix” was +.7 in September. Immediately after registering three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL followed with a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In September and October, “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is +.5 (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and leaps from eighth to fifth. May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. Since debuting in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (#16 to #17) is trending 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 (6+). Unchanged at #6, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is a collective -1.1 in three negative moves in a row (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet was up or flat five consecutive months for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Following August’s +.6, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #15, 6+). In January and February, WFLA was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, 6+); and -.6 in October (3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” wipes away September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths (3.6, #14 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “The Bone” was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Four consecutive down or flat reports by iHeartMedia-owned WDAE resulted in a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is up a collective six-tenths in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+). While flat at #20, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up four-tenths (1.6 – 2.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.0) since February’s 2.8. When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – The last three fluctuations for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (#2 for the third month in a row) are +.7 (August); -.8 (September); and +.6 in October (6.3 – 6.9, 6+). In August, “The Eagle” registered its highest 6+-stat since July 2017 (7.1, as well). Two-tenths behind “The Eagle” is Beasley Media Group’s WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits,” which – with a +.5 to 6.7 (steady at #3, 6+) – pulls the plug on three straight (modest) decreases that led to a one-half share loss (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+). With a July 2018 – October 2018 topline of 8.8 – 8.9 – 8.6 – 8.9 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for the 74th successive ratings period. After four straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), WDUV slipped three-tenths in July but picked up one-tenth in August. A collective -1.7 as the result of three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” skids from third to sixth. Following five straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP recorded a +.6 in September, but “95.7 The Beat” forfeits eight-tenths in October (4.2 – 3.4, 6+), fading from #8 to #14. Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is -1.0 in three consecutive slips (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is up or flat for the third consecutive sweep for a +.6 (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to seventh, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” answers September’s one-half share loss (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) with a full-share increase to 3.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). The Hearst Television news/talk property adds another one-tenth in October (to 2.6, 6+) and advances from #14 to #13. Without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a +1.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” jumps from ninth to sixth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). While flat at #12, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” gains four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+). WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. American University-owned news/talker WAMU adds four-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+) to proceed from a four-way tie at #18 to #15. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report. The March through October topline for Entercom business news WDCH is .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – After racking up eight successive up or flat trends that produced an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA was off one-tenth in September to 4.9 (6+), but “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” roars back in October with a +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), vaulting from eighth to third. A collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF answers with a combined +.8 in September and October (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). Co-owned gospel WLIF-HD2, which more than tripled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share in August and September (.6 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+), surrenders nine-tenths to 1.0 (#15 to #20). Albeit that it erases September’s +.1 with October’s -.2 (8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the tenth successive sweep. In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it responded in June with a +.3. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in March. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ (7.6 – 7.9, +.3, 6+) occupies the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row; “92-Q Jams” was up nine-tenths in August. Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” was -.8 in July; a collective +1.1 in August and September (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+); and now -.6 in October (4.9, fourth to eighth, 6+). September’s 5.5 is its best 6+-stat since August 2017 (5.5, as well). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Off a combined nine-tenths in three successive months without an increase (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips from seventh to ninth. For the second month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk KMOX repeat at #1, “The Voice of St. Louis” registers its third increase in a row for a collective +1.0 (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March and was +2.3 in April. A gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#16 to #17, 6+) Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four straight up or flat moves (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” carries on at #11. This streak was immediately preceded by three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+); 4.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). Even though it is without a decrease in each of the last five ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU backslides from #14 to #15.

St. Louis Music Formats – By gaining one-half share to 3.8 (#15 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that resulted in a collective -1.2 (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). Its format rival – Hubbard-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” – is a collective +1.0 in three upticks in a row (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+) and is unchanged at #4. Without a gain the past five sweeps for a collective -1.2 (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” dials up a +.4 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). The three most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” are -.5 (August); +.5 (September); and -.7 in October (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its August loss ended six consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Following five consecutive increases for a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” falters by four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), but carries on in sixth-place. Its 5.9 in September is the highest 6+-performance for “The Point” since March 2016’s 6.1.

October 2018 PPM Ratings

| October 30, 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

| October 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Friday, September 7, 2018

| September 7, 2018

Kirk Minihane Goes on Leave from WEEI, Boston Morning Show. It was early last month that WEEI-FM, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane announced he’d hospitalized himself after experiencing suicidal thoughts.  He spoke openly on the radio about his battle with depression.  But now he Tweets that he’s again taking time off from the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show on the Entercom sports talker as he goes on indefinite leave of absence.  He writes, “I’m going on an indefinite leave from the show.  Still battling mental health issues.  Truth is I came back to work too fast.  Wish I could be there with @GerryCallahan, @ChrisCurtis and @KenLairdWEEI – I love those guys very much.  I’ll be OK and sorry I’m leaving you all with Mut [Mike Mutnansky].”

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Wraps in Washington, DC.  The 2018 edition of the two-day “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC wrapped yesterday (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  This was the 12th year of the annual broadcasting/political event, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  FAIR says a record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation participated via live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  Pictured above is WINA, Charlottesville talk show host Rob Schilling interviewing Arizona ranchers Fred and Peggy Davis.

Twitter Permanently Suspends Alex Jones and InfoWars. After being recently suspended from Twitter for a week for conduct that violates Twitter’s policies, radio personality Alex Jones and his InfoWars organization are being permanently banned from the social media platform for “abusive behavior.”  Austin, Texas-based Jones was in Washington this week covering congressional hearings about social media policy and allegations of conservative censorship and got into an exchange with CNN reporter Oliver Darcy that was live-streamed via Twitter-owned Periscope.  (He got into a verbal spat with Senator Marco Rubio in a separate exchange.)  Twitter’s statement said, in part, “We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case.”

Compass Media Networks Names Jim Chesko New ‘Your Money Now’ Anchor. News radio pro Jim Chesko is named the new anchor for the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Your Money Now” business reports, effective Monday (9/10). He’ll anchor the 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm reports.  Chesko says, “I’m really excited to join the amazing team of broadcast professionals at Compass Media Networks.  I’ve worked with all of the ‘Your Money Now’ and ‘This Morning’ staff previously during our Wall Street Journal Radio days and being reunited with them is truly a dream come true.  My passion for money news remains strong and I’m sure listeners around the country will pick up on that.”  Chesko served for seven years with Bloomberg News.  He takes over for the retiring Bruce Vale.

Westwood One Launches Female Targeted ‘The Empow(h)er Podcast Network.’ The content creator and syndicator announced the launch of this new podcast network at yesterday’s IAB Podcast Upfront in New York. Westwood One says “The Empow(h)er Podcast Network” is getting off the ground with nine podcast series that will “inspire the medium’s rapidly growing female audience. Growth in time spent by women listening to podcasts weekly is 6x faster than that of men over the last year — and for the same time period, women’s average weekly time spent with podcasts is up 20%, according to the recently released ‘Westwood One’s Podcast Download — Fall 2018 report.’”  Podcast series in the network include: “Run Like a Girl” a series that shines a non-partisan light on women running for office; “On Her Turf,” from NBC Sports Group; Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” show; “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Pop Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith”; “Bad Mamas with Jayde”; “40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan”; and “BLK + in Grad School,” hosted by Allanté Whitmore.

VSiN Strikes Network Deal for Pre-Game Gambling Show with Sports USA. Already providing one-minute “Action Updates” to some 40 AM/FM radio stations, Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) inks its first network deal with sports play-by-play syndicator Sports USA.  Under the terms of this deal, VSiN will create a sports gambling pre-game show to air ahead of Sports USA’s presentation of its weekly NFL doubleheader, carried by close to 500 radio stations.  The one-hour “VSiN Sunday Preview” will air at 11:30 am ET, prior to Sports USA’s play-by-play coverage of its early Sunday NFL game.  VSiN CEO Brian Musberger states, “As expanding legalization introduces more Americans to sports gambling, those fans need credible, actionable news, and exclusive insights to help inform their betting decisions.  We’re thrilled to partner with Sports USA to get that credible information to millions of NFL fans just ahead of kick-off.”

Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The highly innovative editor-in-chief of the Boston Herald, Joe Sciacca, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Sciacca discuss changes taking place at the major New England daily in the aftermath of an ownership change. The newspaper has accrued a number of major journalism awards and distinctions for its innovative leadership in integrating digital platform technology into its multimedia approach to news reporting. Harrison and Sciacca go deep in a discussion about the state of newspapers, media, and journalism in the digital age and Trump era. This is a must-listen! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. When Sid Rosenberg’s new weekend program, “Sid Sports Sunday,” debuts Sunday (9/9) morning at 8:00 am on WABC, New York, he’ll have two special guests on the program – New York Giants rookie running back Sequon Barkley and former FOX News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly.  This new program is in addition to his work co-hosting morning drive with Bernard McGuirk on 77 WABC…..Entercom’s Bay Area sports talk duo KGMZ-FM and KGMZ-AM inks a deal to air Westwood One’s Sunday NFL play-by-play broadcasts.  The stations will air select regular season games as well as playoff games and Super Bowl LIII.

New York Times Anti-Trump Op-Ed Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 4-7. The publication of an anonymous op-ed piece critical of President Trump that The New York Times says was penned by a Trump Administration official was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House.  Coming in at #3 was the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, followed by the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Lani Q takes over the midday show on Cumulus Media’s rhythmic CHR simulcast KWNN, Stockton-Modesto/KWIN, Lodi.  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says, “Lani Q is the definition of what KWIN is about.  She’s a local, homegrown talent that lives the rhythmic lifestyle and wants to be better every day. I’ve watched Lani grow in leaps and bounds since she started at our sister station KHOP-FM five years ago.  I couldn’t be happier with our new lineup at KWIN!”…..Cumulus classic rocker KGGO, Des Moines adds the nationally syndicated evening program “Nights with Alice Cooper” to the station’s program schedule.

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Flat at 8.1 (6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB remains on top – as it has been each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”). KOPB was +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Securing the #5 spot for the third month in succession, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” has a May 2018 – August 2018 topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 (6+). KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). An April improvement of two-tenths by iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” suspended three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Its January 2018 through August 2018 trending is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 (#20 to #18, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2016). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO dropped three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July, but “Freedom 970” regains that three-tenths in August and is back at 1.0 (#27 to #24, 6+). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 to #20, 6+) ending six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” drops two-tenths to 1.2 (#21 to #22, 6+), terminating three straight up or flat trends (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits seven-tenths (1.1 – .4, #23 to #29, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Logging a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) enables KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” to reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February (5.0). Moreover, the Alpha Media triple A cruises from ninth to fifth. Down in each of the past four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erases the entire deficit with a +.8 to 2.5 (#19 to #17, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.7 – 4.3, #12 to #8, 6+) and All Classical Public Media-owned KQAC “All Classical Portland” (2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+). “Live 95.5” faltered by six-tenths in July. Flat at #15, its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” – has its fourth decrease in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by its adult contemporary sibling KKCW is followed by back-to-back gains totaling seven-tenths (7.2 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+) as “K-103” continues at #2. KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). It proves to be a rough sweep for the market’s two country FMs as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” erodes by one full-share (#11 to #16, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) as it departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, “The Bull” is -1.1 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9, 6+). August’s 2.9 is its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (2.9, as well). Down or flat in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “The Bull” wiped out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. Meanwhile, “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June to 4.6, its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well); KWJJ was then locked on 4.6 (6+) in June and July. A loss of one-half share (4.6 – 4.1, seventh to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” to its lowest 6+-share (4.1) since February 2017’s 4.0. A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is off two-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall +.7 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE “WE-96.3” – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#17 to #19, 6+). July’s 1.9 is KWEE’s highest 6+-share since November 2017’s 2.0. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop,” which is a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.1 in July and August (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE slips from #12 to #13. The very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending for WFAE, which was up one-half share in June, was 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (May – June – July – August, 6+) and progresses from #17 to #14. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it curtailed three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Unchanged at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by four-tenths to 1.0 (6+), snapping four successive down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEND is up nine-tenths in July and August (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Moreover, “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Four positive spikes in succession by adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (sixth to fifth) have produced a +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). At #8 for the third straight month, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” notches its fifth uptick in a row for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-share (4.9) in exactly one year (5.9, August 2017). While repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for an overall +1.3 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). While unchanged with a 6.2 (6+), its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” progresses from fourth to a third-place tie; “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), before gaining two-tenths in July. Albeit down three-tenths (7.9 – 7.6, #1, 6+) and holding a slim one-tenth lead over country sibling WSOC, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” makes a little bit of history by staying at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods. Prior to this (August 2018) sweep, no Charlotte station had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July); and WBAV again in August. “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March, iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#14 to #15) is a combined -1.2 in that stretch. After not suffering a loss between March 2018 – July 2018 netting one-half share in the process (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” surrenders four-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” since its 3.4 in July 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from July’s -.5 with August’s +.3 (3.5 – 3.8, 6+), +), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” climbs from #12 to #11. July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 enabled WOAI to have its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). An increase of four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+) takes Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX from #17 to #14. A July loss of seven tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” gains three-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but is flat at #22. KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Erasing its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3 to .7 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” advances from #27 to #30.

San Antonio Music Formats – The four-tenths of a share lead that Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” had in July over iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” triples to 1.2 as “Y-100” hauls out a +.9, while “KJ-97” improves by one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+). The country adversaries that were locked together in the runner-up slot in June remain at #2 and #3, respectively, in August. This is the third straight gain for “Y-100,” which reaches the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0, and is a cumulative +1.5 in that stretch (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Slipping one-tenth in May halted four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). After logging a 4.2 (6+) in each of the last four sweeps, its adult contemporary sibling – KQXT “Q101.9” – gains three-tenths to 4.5 (6+) and proceeds from eighth to fifth. Owing to a half share increase to 4.5 (6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT not only pulls the plug on three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), “98.5 The Beat” jumps from ninth to fifth. Posting a gain for the third sweep in a row is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM, which is +1.2 since May (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8, 6+). Moreover, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” sets the pace in San Antonio for the eighth successive sweep. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). KONO-FM spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride though for hot AC sibling KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” which lost nine-tenths in three March through June downtrends in succession (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); regained seven-tenths in July; but is now -.9 in August (4.9 – 4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). This (4.0) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Magic” since 3.8 in “Holiday” 2017. Having recorded a 3.1 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits” spirals by nine-tenths in August (2.2, #14 to #19, 6+). Off six-tenths to 4.3 and dipping from fourth to eighth (6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” interrupts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (flat at #7) is now -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). In that same vein, following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -1.7 in four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3, April – May – June – July – August, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – It is more of a wild ride for Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); and now +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, sixth to fourth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. By contrast, the March 2018 – August 2018 topline for co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” (ninth to tenth) is very steady: 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). June’s +.2 pulled the plug on four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Similarly, a +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Answering July’s -.6 (2.6 – 2.0, 6+) with a +.4 to 2.4 (6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA remains at #13. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). After eight straight times of notching a .2 ( 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG drops to .1 (#17 to #18, 6+). Immediately preceding that streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” had logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPGB, which is a collective +1.9 as the result of six straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” enters the top ten (#11 to #9) and reaches the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. Despite being down one-tenth after July’s -1.0 (10.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), “3WS” forfeited -1.3 in May and lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). This (9.3) is the lowest 6+-stat for WWSW since 9.1 in February 2017. On the heels of July’s +.6 (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” relinquishes nine-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Even though it records its third consecutive improvement for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9 backslides from #11 to #12. Within 4.6 – 5.0 range between January 2018 – July 2018 (4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), its format foe – Entercom’s  WBZZ “Star 100.7” – regresses by one-half share to 4.4 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In the runner-up slot for the eighth successive sweep, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) and CHR cluster-mate WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fourth to fifth, 6+) decline by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and now -.8 in August. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). “Kiss” is a collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+). The last time WKST fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the second straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – An August +.6 by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ wipes out July’s -.5 (4.5 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). It posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the seventh straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK shifts from second to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first in March (tied with KSEG); back to second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August. KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Meanwhile, the February 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#16 to a three-way tie at #13) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 (6+). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #20 to #22, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” loses 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, #22 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +.9 (2.9 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KSFM enters the top ten (#13 to #10) and logs its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (3.8, as well). Adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” dials up a one-half share increase to 6.1 (third to second, 6+), applying the brakes to three straight downward moves that led to a loss of six-tenths (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). “Mix” is three full-shares behind cluster-mate KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (9.0 – 9.1, +.1, 6+), which is on top for the seventh successive sweep. “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; and -.9 in July. A January gain of +2.0 essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Despite picking up one-tenth to 3.7 (6+) which suspends three straight decreases that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), hot AC sibling KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” backslides from #10 to #12. An August -1.1 by iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#12 to #13) erases July’s +1.0 (2.4 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). A similar story of a Sacramento country outlet returning a sizeable July increase in August involves Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which forfeits seven-tenths of its July +.8 (5.1 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). Before surrendering two-tenths in April, “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” was off one-half share in in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and is now flat in August (2.1, #17, 6+). As a result of three successive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady at #7, Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” picks up four-tenths to 5.0 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL – #1 in April – was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). The bookend May 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). KNRS was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 and +.7 in January. In four successive sweeps without a decrease (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (flat at #11) is up seven-tenths. This immediately follows an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). After posting four consecutive positive or flat moves for a collective gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” dips two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – At the same time that Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gains one-half share to 6.4 (6+) and marches from third to a first-place tie, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to August, “FM 100.3” was a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), with 3.3 its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.5. Sharing the #1 slot with KSFI is iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down a total of one-half share in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. It was #1 in June 2018 and July 2018. Broadway Media adult hits KYMV tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.6 (1.0 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+) as “Rewind 100.7” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #19) and crosses the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 2.3. Flat at #13, Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” logs its fourth increase in a row for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks” falters by seven-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #18, 6+). Off one-tenth to 3.9 (6+), co-owned hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” (ninth to tenth) concludes at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). Steady at #3, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” drops two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus snapping three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) – adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and climbs from #12 to #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #15, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is up eight-tenths as a result of three upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.8) since March (2.9). A -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” adds two-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and continues at #20. Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#24 to #23 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is up one-tenth to .6 (flat at #27, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In tandem with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” gaining eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.5, second to first, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” eroding by -1.3 (7.6 – 6.3, first to second, 6+), KKLZ succeeds KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. This is the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top the last three months with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In addition to KKLZ, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID notches a +.8 (3.9, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9) as it roars back from July’s -1.3 (4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times; however, that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Increasing by six-tenths each are Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), which joins the top ten (#13 to #10) and Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point #1 For Classic Rock” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). When KSOS added six-tenths in July, it pulled the plug on three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (1.4 – .8, 6+) takes Entravision Spanish contemporary KRRN “La Suavecita 107.1” (#25) to its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (.8, as well). Nearly negating the +.6 it gained via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” falters by one-half share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11); July’s 4.0 is its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 4.7.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Piling on one-half share to July’s +.8 (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). July’s increase halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). When WKRC gained three-tenths in January, it ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned news/talk and Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW is #1 for the third month in a row and is +2.8 in as many successive upticks (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. August 2018’s 10.5 is its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.5, #13 to #12, 6+) takes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU to its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530,” which had its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), is up one-tenth to .9 (#20). Co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past five months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2, flat at #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” answers with a one-half share increase to 4.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+). “Mix” was stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June. Registering a .8 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” breaks out a one-half share gain to 1.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5. There is no change from July in the AQH share (8.1, 6+) or AQH rank (#3) for WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On.” The Hubbard-owned station gained four-tenths in July. In June, “B-105.1” was -.9, which halted five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+). After three flat or down trends that led to a -.6 (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is up two-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #15, 6+). After notching a .8 (6+) in May, June, and July, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” improves to .9 (6+) and moves from a five-way deadlock at #19 to a four-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #6, Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” is off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” has lost a collective nine-tenths as the result of four straight monthlies without an increase (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, seventh to ninth, 6+), while CHR sibling WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in four straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – A +1.0 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” pulls the plug on three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Despite gaining one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” backslides from #10 to #11. Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). “News 96.5” is three-tenths ahead of Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 (flat at #12, 6+). After being locked on 1.5 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF adds four-tenths to 1.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via six successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #19 to #18, 6+), while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off one-tenth (.8 – .7, #21 to #22, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Tied with San Diego CHR KHTS for registering the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.4 – 6.9, +1.5, 6+) rockets from eighth to third. The last time “Sunny” reached the six-share level (6+) was in September 2017 (6.4). Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+). Whereas WOCL is +1.5 in August, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” is -1.5 (11.6 – 10.1, 6+) but is #1 for the eighth month in a row. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Faltering by six-tenths each are its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at #2) and WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.1, third to sixth, 6+). “XL-106.7” is a collective -1.7 in three downward moves in a row (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, it was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). “Magic” was locked on 6.7 (6+) in June and July, after notching a 6.2 (6+) in May. A collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” forfeits one-half share of that increase (4.3, -.5, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth. After sputtering by six-tenths in July (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom-owned WQMP regresses by an additional one-half share to 2.8 (6+) but “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” stays at #14. Hot AC cluster-mate WOMX “Mix 105.1” is -1.1 in four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops six-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh. June’s -.1 suspended three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). A combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up four-tenths in July and August (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and carries on at #12. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Cleveland’s “Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps that netted +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Steady at #13, Ideastream-owned WCPN is up one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), curtailing three straight sweeps of a 2.6 (6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Six-tenths of a share separates August 2018’s top three Cleveland finishers. Four successive positive spikes by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) generate a +2.4 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). While not quite matching July’s +1.0, iHeartMedia’s WGAR tacks on a +.7 (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), with “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” remaining in third-place. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June. Picking up seven-tenths in August and jumping from eighth to fifth is Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9,” which is an overall +1.9 in four straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Not only does iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” fully erase July’s -.6 with an August +.6 to 6.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+), the increase halts five straight decreases that led to a -1.5 (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). In addition to notching three straight upticks for an overall +.9 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third consecutive sweep. Nine recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Radio One urban AC WZAK (fourth to seventh) is -4.1 or a roughly 40% loss of its 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, it fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. The consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of Entercom hot AC WQAL (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) gets a bit of an August jolt with a one-half share loss to 4.8 (6+); nonetheless, “Q-104” remains at #9.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining seven-tenths to 4.6 (6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM not only applies the brakes to five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Prior to that streak, KMBZ-FM had six successive September 2017 through February 2018 increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) between December 2017 and June 2018, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR is locked on 3.0 (#13 to #14, 6+) in July and August. Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Separated by two-tenths are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up six-tenths in three straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, +.2, #17 to #18, 6+), and Entercom’s KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #19, 6+). WHB was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .6 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM remains at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Storming back from July’s -.7 with a +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC leaps from sixth to second. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the third month in a row, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +.8 in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +1.9 it garnered in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” spirals by -1.1 to 6.0 (second to fifth, 6+). “Hot” was off nine-tenths as the result of three January through April downward trends in a row (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). Having set the pace in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.7 in five successive March through August dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4, 6+) and remains at #3. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that deficit (+.3) in March. Without a loss in each sweep between December 2017 and June 2018 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” is off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 -5.8 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). After improving by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” returns half that increase in August (6.2, -.3, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). Anchored at #8, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.9 (6+) in June and July, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (flat at #7) erupts with a +.6 in August to 4.5, its strongest 6+-stat in exactly one year (4.7, August 2017). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), it dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; and surrendered three-tenths in June. WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Anchored at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN has a very consistent March – August topline of 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 (6+). “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). Regaining the four-tenths it squandered in July (.9 – .5 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” continues at #15. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Four consecutive positive spikes by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC generate a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” travels from fifth to third with its highest 6+-share (6.7) since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017. While co-owned WCOL is on top for the eighth consecutive sweep, its consecutive string of upticks for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+) ends at five as “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” returns 30% of the increase (15.1, -1.2, 6+). After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017 and most likely has the largest 6+-stat (16.3, July 2018) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” just this calendar year has been: +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and now 1.2 (August). Directly following June’s +1.3, mainstream CHR WNCI is -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the eighth time in succession. The loss of seven-tenths in July pulled the plug on three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well); “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). A loss of three-tenths to 6.0 (third to fifth, 6+) by Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” halts three straight April through July up or flat trends that netted one-half share (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+).

Friday, August 17, 2018

| August 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omarosa Recording and Book Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 13-17.  The secret White House recording made by former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Marigault Newman and her tell-all book were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing Trump-Russia Investigation and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok.  Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primaries, followed by the Pennsylvania Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a morning show change at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM, Cincinnati “WARM 98.5” as Jim Day and Amanda Orlando launch “The WARM Morning Show with Jim and Amanda” on Monday (8/20).  They take over for Bob Goen and Marianne Curan who exit the station.  Day has hosted morning shows on WHKO-FM, Dayton; KWEN-FM, Tulsa; and WSM-FM, Nashville.  Orlando comes to WRRM from sister country outlet WNNF “NASH FM 94.1.”  WRRM program director Brian Demay says, “Sometimes you just know!  Jim and Amanda have obvious chemistry.  They have both been a part of very successful morning shows. It’s time to put them together on ‘Warm 98.5.’…..Entercom is putting Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM format on the HD2 channel of WMYX, Milwaukee.  This format is syndicated by Envision Networks and is heard on flagship WRME-LP, Chicago.  The format has been making news in the radio industry since achieving very good ratings for a signal at 88.7 FM…..Cumulus Media and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” announce the NASH Next 2018 New York City Country Challenge Showcase – a live country music talent competition – taking place Tuesday (8/21) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Opry City Stage in Times Square.  NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Katie Neal will host Tuesday night’s competition with live music performances by 10 area country artists.  The NASH FM 94.7 judging team includes: Country artist Jessie Chris; Dolly Chandler, talent buyer, Opry Entertainment Group; Leslie Slender, VP, brand partnerships, Cumulus Media; NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Kylie Keene; and NASH FM 94.7 producer and on-air personality Jason Goldstein.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

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

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case.  Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones.  According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed.  Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.”  Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money.  Read the American-Statesman piece here.

Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas 
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left).  A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.”  Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community.  We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape.  We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”  Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign.  But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.”  Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.”  The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.

Gallagher Mingles with Fans at Film Premiere.  Pictured above being photographed with a listener is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher.  He was at the Camelot Cinema in Greenville, South Carolina for the standing-room-only screening of the new Dinesh D’Souza film Death of a Nation.

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between United Stations Radio Networks and celebrity and entertainment news website TheBlast.com results in the availability of exclusive content for affiliated radio stations.  USRN says that to kick off this new relationship, the majority of the content will be delivered as customized live reports from top producers at The Blast.   “Eventually, USRN and The Blast will expand their collaborative coverage of celebrity and entertainment news to include pre-recorded reports and feeds that allow stations to maximize the share-ability of this exclusive content.”…..Univision Deportes and SiriusXM announce the launch of the Univision Deportes Radio channel on the SiriusXM satellite service.  Spanish-language content is also available via the SiriusXM app and on the streaming web player at SiriusXM.com…..Podcast and talk show producer Joel Meyer joins pubcaster KUER, Salt Lake City – the statewide NPR affiliate – as its director of programming and promotion.  Meyer was most recently an executive producer at WNYC Studios.  Prior to that, he was an executive producer of talk programming at WBEZ Chicago, a managing producer of podcasts at Slate.com and the executive producer of Soundcheck at WNYC.

L.A. Newsman Dave Zorn Passes at 73. Longtime KNX, Los Angeles news anchor Dave Zorn died recently at a hospice in Michigan at age 73 after a battle with liver cancer.  Zorn served with the station for 25 years and for many of those years was afternoon drive anchor.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Giuliani’s CNN Interview, Manafort Trial, Religious Liberty Task Force, Child Immigrant Order, ICE vs Portland Mayor, ‘Quiet Skies’ Monitoring Program, North Korean Rocket Program, the California Wildfire, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with the related Rudy Giuliani interview on CNN regarding the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian delegation; the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of new “religious liberty task force”; a California judge rules on policy for authorities’ handling of immigrant children; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents criticize Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for ordering Portland police not to assist ICE agents; the revelation of the government’s “Quiet Skies” programming monitoring airline passengers who are not on watch lists or suspected of anything; new information indicating North Korea is continuing its ICBM program; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and imaging pro Chris “Fish” Shatek moves from Entercom’s WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country 99.9” to the company’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N @ 102.9” as midday personality and imaging director, effective August 1. Shatek says, “I am so grateful to not only be back in the Twin Cities, but also back on ‘BUZ’N @ 102.9,’ a station I helped to get started. I get to work in my hometown, at a station I love, and with an incredible group of people. I couldn’t be more excited.”…..In Charlotte, morning drive co-host Meg Butterfly is exiting her full-time position at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat” for a gig outside the radio business.  She’ll continue to pull a weekend shift and host her blog on the station’s website.  She has worked for the past nine years on the station alongside morning personality Paul Schadt…..Philly rock personality Debbi Calton is celebrating 25 years as host of the midday program on Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  On Friday, August 17, the station will mark the occasion with a live broadcast with Andre Gardner celebrating Debbi’s big day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Tap 24 in Calton’s hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. Calton says her favorite aspect of her gig at WMGK are the listeners.  “I’ve formed 25-year relationships with so many of them.  We talk on the request line or see each other at concerts. Yes, we’re still going to plenty of rock concerts.”…..Programming pro Scott “Lugnut” Dwyer joins Max Broadcasting Group’s rhythmic CHR KFCO “FLO 107.1” and rhythmic AC KJHM “JAMMIN’ 101.5” in Denver as program director.  Dwyer comes to the Mile-High City after serving most recently at Ohana Media in Anchorage.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

| June 13, 2018

Hannity Gets First Post-North Korea Meeting Sit-Down with Trump. On his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program yesterday afternoon, Sean Hannity aired excerpts from his sit-down interview with President Trump after the president’s historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  The full interview was aired on Hannity’s FOX News Channel program later in the evening.  Pictured above is a still shot from the interview.  Hannity traveled to Singapore to cover the meeting and is hosting his programs from Singapore this week.

Rob Sanchez Appointed Regional VP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia Boston.  Spoken-word radio pro Rob Sanchez joins the iHeartMedia Boston as vice president of news, talk and sports programming, effective July 1.  In this position, Sanchez will be responsible for overseeing all programming for all-news WBZ-AM “NewsRadio 1030,” and news/talk outlets WRKO “The Voice of Boston” and WXKS-AM “Talk 1200 Boston’s Conservative Talk.”  He’ll report to iHM Boston VP of programming Dylan Sprague.  After beginning his radio career in Miami, Sanchez joined CBS RADIO’s WINS-AM, New York in 1996 as a news production assistant, writer and producer.  He moved over to the company’s WCBS-AM “NewsRadio 880” in 2000.  For several years, he served as a director of news and programming for news, talk, and sports, as well as Spanish CHR stations, in Washington. Sanchez comments, “I can’t wait to join the extraordinary team of journalists and talk show hosts at iHeartMedia Boston.  The more I learned about iHeartMedia’s bold vision for their iconic Boston brands, the more it became clear that this is where I needed to be.”  In conjunction with Sanchez’s appointment, iHeartMedia Boston names Bill Flaherty director of operations for news, talk and sports and will work closely with WBZ “NewsRadio 1030” and other Boston Region brands.

Entercom Asks Court to Dismiss Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Hosts Jamie Allman’s Breach of Contract Suit. Regular TALKERS readers remember that morning talk show host Jamie Allman was let go from (at the time in question) Emmis-owned and Entercom-operated news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis in the aftermath of his Tweet expressing the desire to “ram a hot poker up (Parkland, Fla. student) David Hogg’s ass.”  Allman is suing both companies – Entercom has since closed on the station and owns it – for breach of contract related to his firing.  Not surprisingly, Entercom just filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Allman’s contract clearly gave the company the right to terminate him, saying it “unambiguously permitted his termination for indecent or immoral conduct, or any other conduct that brought the station into ‘public disrepute, scandal, contempt, or ridicule,’ or which ‘disparage[d] or reflect[ed] adversely upon Station or any of its advertisers.’ The substance of the tweet is not in dispute, nor are the consequences.  The primary question presented is one of contract interpretation, which is particularly well-suited for an early dispositive motion.”  Since his firing, Allman has been streaming a daily morning talk program on his own website.

Tillotson Named OM/PD at Cumulus Pensacola. Radio programming pro Greg Tillotson joins Cumulus Media’s Pensacola station group to serve as operations manager for the five stations and as program director for news/talk WCOA-AM, adult contemporary WMEZ-FM, and classic hits WJTQ.  Tillotson was most recently station manager/OM/PD at Mapleton Communications’ Spokane cluster.  Cumulus Media Pensacola VP and market manager Jackie Rinker says, “We are thrilled to have Greg Tillotson joining the programming team of Cumulus Radio Group Pensacola as our operations manager/program director. Greg’s track record of success and his drive and expertise will perfectly serve the needs of our market.”

Jack Lessenberry Joins WFDF, Detroit. Motor City journalism pro Jack Lessenberry is hosting a two-hour talk show on Kevin Adell’s WFDF “910AM Superstation,” beginning July 9.  Lessenberry recently resigned from his positions with Michigan Public Radio and the Metro Times in May after more than a dozen women publicly alleged that Lessenberry engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.  He also serves as head of the journalism department at Wayne State University and the school says it is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior during his time there.  Adell tells the Detroit Free Press that the allegations against Lessenberry “were from some time ago.  Also, in our city, our state, our country, we give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Regarding his hiring, Adell adds, “I’m excited to have Jack, the father of journalism, who taught many of my staff here at my media companies, join the ‘910AM Superstation’ family.  Jack will bring a wealth of in-depth knowledge and expertise to the station.”  Lessenberry says, “For my part, I am excited to be part of the exciting future that Kevin and his team are building at 910.  We’re going to be doing some things you might never expect, shake people up and make them think, and the goal is never to be boring.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee sports talker WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” re-ups its deal with Learfield’s Marquette Sports Properties to continue to serve as the flagship for Marquette University men’s basketball.  The Good Karma-owned station has aired Golden Eagles play-by-play since 2006…..Hubbard Radio’s WFED-AM and FederalNewsRadio.com are expanding their “Ask the CIO” franchise. Hubbard calls it “the longest running federal IT program in the industry,” and reveals the new website, AskTheCIO.com, features audio of the program as well as an expanded look at federal IT and CIO news, podcasts, plus a new feature – “Ask the CIO Insider” – which allows users to register to receive federal IT-specific news and events.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, G-7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Tuesday Primaries, Trump-Russia Investigation, DeNiro Tony Awards Speech, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; last weekend’s G-7 Summit and Trump’s social media feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech at Sunday’s Tony Awards; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Janda Lane is joining Hubbard Radio’s Windy City classic rock WDRV “97.1 FM The Drive” to work alongside afternoon personality Steve Seaver, beginning July 9.  Lane will also have other duties in the programming department.  She was most recently with Fender Musical Instruments Company serving as content director…..Delmarva’s country WXCY, Havre de Grace “New Country 103.7” ups Jeff Hunt, tasking him with music director duties.  Hunt will continue hosting the evening program he’s been doing for the past year.  Station OM/PD Brad Austin says, “With the ever-increasing demand on my time, it makes great sense to bring someone into the decision-making process who is passionate and experienced.  Jeff has worked with many in the Nashville music community and is a great advocate for new and established artists.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” officially adds Spanish to “The Big Mistake with Ashley O and Spanish” morning program.  The change comes after Toast exited his on-air roles with the station earlier this year.

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 2.4 (6+) in January, February, and March, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” is now +1.0 in April and May (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), as the Washington Nationals flagship repeats at #13. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital for the fifth time in a row, Hubbard all-news WTOP rebounds from April’s -.8 with a +.1 (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). Although down two-tenths (8.5 – 8.3, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU is anchored in the runner-up slot for the fifth successive sweep; “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -1.1 in March. A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Having reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0, March 2018), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is now a combined -1.1 in April and May (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). WMAL was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since surfacing in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – At this time last month, Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” pulled ahead of Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top. In April 2018, however, “Majic” picked up two-tenths to 5.8 (fourth to third, 6+), while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+). The momentum continues for WMMJ in May as it surges by eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+), while WHUR is flat at 5.7 (unchanged at #4). “Majic” was locked on 5.6 (6+) in January, February, and March. As the result of four straight reports without a gain (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR is -1.4. Not only is Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “Mix 107.3” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” – is trending 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+) and continues at #14. Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of more than half (-5.4) of its 6+-share (9.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety of the 80s, 90s, and Today” notches a one-half share increase to 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Following four successive positive spikes that netted a +1.3 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” is off three-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+); April’s 4.2 is its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Having registered a 3.8 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS drops one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). In the nine survey periods that it has appeared in print prior to May 2018 (September 2017 – April 2018), Signal Above Spanish contemporary WDCN-LP has posted either a .4 or .6 (.4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+); however, in May, “La Nueva 87.7” is off one-tenth to .5 (#20 to #21, 6+). Four (modest) gains in succession by iHeartMedia alternative WWDC produced a +.5 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but “DC-101” falters by three-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #17, 6+). New to the top twenty (at #20) is Hubbard regional Mexican WBQH “La Mera Mera 1050,” whose only trending thus far is .3 – .3 – .3 – .6 (+.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Boston University-owned WBUR improves by six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, fourth to third, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by that same margin (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). WBUR was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH had been off by two-tenths in both February and March and (as was the case with WBUR) improved by seven-tenths in January. Finishing back-to-back at #5 and #6, respectively, are Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.5 – 5.7, +.2, #3 in April, 6+), which was -1.5 in February, and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. News/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is trending 2.9 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Faltering by four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM slips from seventh to ninth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.0 in April, as it bounced back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that co-owned/similarly-formatted WEEI-AM is without an increase (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Owing to a one-half share gain (4.7 – 5.2, steady at #7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX notes its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in September 2017. With a +1.2 in January, “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). Dusting itself off from April’s one-half share decline with a May gain of two-tenths (7.6 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+), CHR sibling WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is on top for the fifth straight sweep. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, WXKS-FM was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The “Holiday” 2017 – May 2018 topline trending for its format challenger – Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” – is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). One full-share behind “Kiss” and repeating at #2 is Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is up nine-tenths in four successive upticks (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 6.2 (flat at #3, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” records a move of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, #18 to #16, 6+). An overall +1.1 via four consecutive up or flat trends that nearly doubled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WAAF “107.3 The Only Station That Really Rocks” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.8, -.5, #16 to #20, 6+). April’s 2.3 marked the first time WAAF reached the two-share level (6+) since May 2017’s 2.0.

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight positive or flat trends by iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), but “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” surrenders approximately half that increase in May (1.9, -.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). It trails Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN by two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, -.2, flat at #20, 6+). Prior to a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Notching its fifth consecutive .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is anchored at #25, where it is tied with co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.9, +.2, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a total loss of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a full-share increase (2.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety from the 80s, 90s, and Today” catapults from #20 to #12 with its best 6+-showing (3.3) since September 2015’s 3.5. There is no May 2018 movement in this market’s always-tight CHR battle, with one-tenth again separating the two participants. Specifically, WMIA sibling WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” stays at 3.2 (#12 to #13, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (#13 to #14) is without an increase for the ninth sweep in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). “Y-100” was stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February and eroded by eight-tenths in March. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Adding three-tenths to April’s +.4, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” advances from second to first (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+). Its February +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). “Hot” spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Displaced from the top spot and segueing to second is co-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which is flat at 7.3 (6+). By adding an April +.6 to March’s +.3 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3, 6+), “Easy” (ironically) replaced “Hot” at #1. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. It is nine-tenths ahead of fellow AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, unchanged at #3). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” is flat at #5. An overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” forfeits all but two-tenths of that increase (3.7, -1.1, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to March, the last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-tenth uptick (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) is enough to elevate Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” from fourth to third. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. “News Radio 950” was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #5, sports talk cluster-mate WXYT-FM drops one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was a collective -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Albeit off one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” remains at #10. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). After three successive times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM has posted a 1.8 (unchanged at #19, 6+) for the third straight month. Down two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET remains at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to recording its third straight uptick for a combined +1.1 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” zooms from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.5) since January 2017’s 5.9. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” improves by eight-tenths as well (3.0 – 3.8, April – May, #14 to #12, 6+). “Bounce” was stuck on 3.5 (6+) in four sweeps in succession before regressing by one-half share in April. Within 2.3 – 2.8 range since October 2017 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+) independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” registers a +.5 to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+). This (3.2) is the highest 6+-share for “Hot” since September 2017’s 3.5. After four straight months at #1, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falls to #2. In addition, a loss of eight-tenths (to 7.1, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). Succeeding “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” at #1 (up from the runner-up slot in April) is Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” which is +2.5 in five straight progressive trends (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which was -.5 (February); +.8 (March); -1.0 (April); and is now -.6 in May (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. As a result of a one-half share decrease (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” drifts from fifth to ninth.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – The three upticks in a row by Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM have been by +.7 (March), +.6 (April), and +.5 (May) for a combined +1.8 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+) as “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #7). The last time the Seattle Mariners flagship reached the four-share level (6+) was October 2015 (4.3). The nine most recent (6+) trends for news/talk sibling KIRO-FM (fifth to fourth) are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8. It is just a one-month stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which takes over the runner-up slot (6.5 – 6.0, -.5, first to second, 6+). On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO adds three-tenths to 2.6 and continues at #19. While flat at 2.0 (6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” falls from #21 to #22. As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” drops the one-tenth it gained in April (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” picks up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #31 to #27, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – In five straight sweeps without a loss, Hubbard country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) has nearly tripled (+1.8) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best performance since October 2017 (2.8, as well). Registering an uptick for the sixth time in the last seven sweeps for an overall +2.5 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” progresses from second to first. Consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the last nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), public KNKX falters by seven-tenths to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0. “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” spirals from the top ten (#10 to #17, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.0 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” skids from #10 to #16. At the same time, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star” picks up three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). An overall +2.1 via five straight positive spikes, (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (third to fifth, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2015 (5.7, as well). Albeit steady at #7, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” is -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). In early-December (2017), Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound” (calls and imagery formerly used in Los Angeles). Having posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), “The Sound” surrenders a combined eight-tenths in April and May (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Falling from #11 to #14, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is a combined -1.2 in April and May (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM drops two-tenths after April’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), KTAR-FM was a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Prior to this streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” (2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #19 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Co-owned KGME “Fox Sports 910” is flat at .5 (#32 to #33, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Not only does KESZ boast the second-largest (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been highlighted thus far, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property is #1 for the seventh time in a row (7.3 – 9.0, +1.7, 6+). A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was an overall +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Notching a sizeable month-month increase as well is KOOL “94.5 – The Valley’s Greatest Hits” (4.8, +1.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet was off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Two streaks continue for Hubbard’s KSLX: It is secure in the runner-up slot for the seventh consecutive sweep and “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a +.7 (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+). By duplicating its April +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). In five straight improvements, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” has precisely doubled (+3.0) its 6+-share (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. As a result of an eight-tenths erosion (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since December 2017, Hubbard’s KDKB “Alt 93.3 – Arizona’s Alternative” regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (6+) but continues at #14.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” is an overall +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained in April (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” slips from sixth to eighth. The Minnesota Twins flagship was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. With an identical (to WCCO) 5.5 – 4.7 (-.8, sixth to eighth, 6+) April 2018 – May 2018 profile is iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN; “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. The four most recent fluctuations for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW are -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) and +.7 in May (5.4 – 4.7, flat at #8, 6+). Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Down four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” slips from #15 to #16. Its loss of three-tenths in March stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #22 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB erupts with a +1.3 to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. This (7.3) is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” since last July’s 7.5. Unchanged in the runner-up slot, co-owned KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” registers its third straight improvement for a combined +1.4 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s best 6+-stat since 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Jumping from eighth to fifth, cluster-mate KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +2.3 via five upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). A collective +2.8 in four successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” regresses by seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+), but is on top for the fifth sweep in a row. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). This is the third down or flat move for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “98.8 Twin Cities Christian Radio” for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing April’s -.4 with a May +.6 (4.7 – 5.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” to elevate from sixth to third. KOGO was -3.0 in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and is now +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. The ping-pong game plays on for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which shifted from first to second in April and now returns to #1 (5.9 – 6.4, +.5, 6+). Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. As the result of three straight negative moves (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, flat at #22, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM is a combined -.7. Earlier, “AM 760” netted one half-share in three straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Tied at #24 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #23 in April, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – 1.0, +.2, #25 in April, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in April, the flagship of the San Diego Padres – Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – drops one-tenth (.8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Recapturing in full the six-tenths it squandered in April (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” jumps from seventh to fourth. Despite regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (6.1 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaves the top spot after a one-month stay and segues to #2. Its -.1 in April ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Significant ups/downs continue for classic hits-oldies sibling KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5, but is now -.7 in May (5.6 – 4.9, 6+), falling from third to sixth. Up one full-share via four consecutive positive or flat trends (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” hands over 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #14 to #19, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) takes iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” from #14 to #16. After three upticks in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – A news/talk station again occupies the top spot in the “Mile High City,” but in May, it’s Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, second to first, 6+); KCFR was #1 in January and March, as well. When it lost six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Departing the penthouse after a one-month visit is iHeartMedia news/talk KOA, which shifts from first to fifth (5.8 – 5.0, -.8, 6+). After January’s one-half share loss, the flagship of the Colorado Rockies picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first. Prior to April, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” last reached the five-share level (6+) in October (5.2). January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Regaining half the four-tenths it lost in April (3.3 – 3.5, +.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN inches up from #14 to #13. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was +1.0 in March – its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off four-tenths in that stretch (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, #19 to #20, 6+). Flat at #27, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC records a .7 (6+) for the third month in a row.

Denver Music Formats – Since appearing in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KBWL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” has racked up three straight increases for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, #18 to #15). Holding a nearly two-to-one (6+) advantage though is Bonneville’s KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 For New Country” (5.3 – 5.7, +.4, third to second, 6+). Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD wipes up roughly half the deficit with a +.5 to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat trends (4.6   – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from sixth to third. This (5.6) is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. While May 2018 represents the third time in succession without a loss for Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI for an overall +.7 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” moves from a three-way tie at #3 to #4. Carrying on at #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” loses two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), thus ending three straight time sweeps without a loss for a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. In the market’s hot AC contest, KQKS sibling KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but stays at #10, whereas Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” is right behind continuing at #11 (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, 6+). A combined -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” slips from #14 to #16.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – For the fifth sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); and now +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Although backsliding from #17 to #18, co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Tampa Bay Rays flagship) is up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). Flat at 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” carries on at #16+. Its -.1 in April stopped three straight (modest) increases that netted one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January gain of three-tenths applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of six successive ratings periods without an increase, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, unchanged at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – For the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia’s WFUS is without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.3) is the strongest 6+-stat for “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” since 6.0 in December 2017. Meanwhile, as the result of three straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned WXTB is a combined +.7 as “98 Rock” has its best 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.7. Setting the pace for the 69th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” posts its third straight up or flat trend (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0, 6+) and is +.6 in that timeframe. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After three positive spikes in succession that yielded a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” forfeits approximately half that bounty (3.0 -.7, 6+) but stays at #15. Off one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” slips from #13 to #14.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s a seesaw lately for Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” which was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and is now -.5 in May (5.0 – 4.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Tied at #12 are Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (flat at 2.8, #14 in April, 6+) and independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #11 in April, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, WBAL’s (6+) topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. Flat at #11, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” has its third decrease in a row for a cumulative -1.1 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). This is the third consecutive time that American University-owned news/talk WAMU records a 1.1 in Baltimore (#16 to #15, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February in March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); and disappears again in May.

Baltimore Music Formats – Major ups/downs are nothing new for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; and now +.6 in May (4.9 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other hand, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+) from May 2017 through November. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive ratings period for a collective +1.5 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” climbs from seventh to sixth. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN is an overall -2.2; nonetheless, “Magic 95.9” is #1 for the fifth month in a row. It occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. Entering the November 2017 ratings period, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four monthlies for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). In a bit of an odd topline, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” hasn’t had an increase the past four sweeps yet is down just one-tenth (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, eighth to tenth, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, 6+) propels Entercom news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120 The Voice of St. Louis” from second to first. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April. This (8.3) is the most potent 6+-stat for KMOX since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. An October loss of four-tenths ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Bunched together in the May 2018 report are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, flat at #14, 6+); Entercom-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #16 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, steady at #15, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, KFTK ends three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), “101 Sports” posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth sweep in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” repeats in third-place. By logging a one-half share increase to 6.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+), rock cluster-mate KSHE pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9      – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (3.4 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. After being #1 the past four months, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” sputters by one-half share (8.4 – 7.9, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was down or flat the previous three monthlies for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Directly on the heels of April’s +1.3, Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” coughs up nine-tenths (6.7 – 5.8, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Prior to April, “The Arch” was within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) in each of the previous four survey periods. April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (6.7, as well).

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

| May 22, 2018

Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington.  Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum.  The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows).  Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017.  Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues.  Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM).  We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.

Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart.  Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc.  He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC.  He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear.  The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”

Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.”  Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN.  About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”

Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk.  After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge.  Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger.  A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”

Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM.  Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio.  In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales.  Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years.  She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey.  Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience.  The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday.  The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group.  First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.”  Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11.  At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program.  iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family.  With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level.  Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.”  Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

| April 25, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey.  Today’s report focuses on all-news stations.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+).  Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM.   The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share.  Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.”  Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa.  A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot.  A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.”  Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January.  The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.

Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program.  Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.”  Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech.  Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license.  The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.”  Read the story here.

SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%).  It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time.  Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st.  We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62.  The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25).  On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones.  Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.  She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media.  “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.”  Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.”  Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030.  Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.

TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.  As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair.  Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8.  This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28.  The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland.  The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.

Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3.  Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix.  He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP.  Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve GeofferiesRameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP.  David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.  He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.”  Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines.  Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director.  Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience.  The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois.  Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications.  This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert.  The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale DoddsRyan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Friday, April 20, 2018

| April 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Round Four of March PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

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

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

Raleigh

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

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

Indianapolis

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

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

Milwaukee

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

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

Nashville

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

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

Providence

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

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

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

Greensboro

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

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

West Palm Beach

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

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

Jacksonville

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

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

Memphis

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

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

Hartford

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

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

Monday, April 2, 2018

| April 2, 2018

Will Entercom Add News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee to its Brew City Cluster?  According to industry rumors and now picked up by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Entercom is the leading contender to acquire Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and sister country outlet WKTI-FM.  E.W. Scripps recently announced that it is selling its 34-station radio group and will focus on its television business.  Currently, Entercom owns three stations in the market: CHR WXSS “Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX, and sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  The addition of WTMJ and WKTI would not violate the FCC ownership cap.  If this rumor becomes reality, Entercom would add WTMJ’s play-by-play rights for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball to its sports offerings and be an excellent complement to the sports talk on “105.7 The Fan.”

WABC, New York Adds Juliet Huddy to ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’  Journalist and television personality Juliet Huddy joins the cast of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The show made its debut as the morning program replacing the “Imus in the Morning” show today. The station says that Huddy – former host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5” and former FOX News Channel personality – joins Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on the new morning show.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Juliet is a natural performer and is equally comfortable talking entertainment and life as she is talking politics.  Juliet is an amazing addition to the show and to 77 WABC.”

Talk Pro Pete Mundo Joins KCMO-AM, Kansas City for Mornings.  News/talk and sports talk pro Pete Mundo joins Cumulus Media as assistant program director and morning air personality on the “KCMO Morning Show” on KCMO-AM/K279BI.  Mundo began his career in Woodward, Oklahoma.  He moved to New York in 2013 and served with CBS RADIO at WCBS-AM, WFAN-AM/FM, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosted shows on FOX News Radio.  Cumulus Media Midwest Regional VP and Kansas City market manager Donna Baker states, “In our extensive national search for the right talent to connect with our loyal KCMO news/talk audience, Pete emerged as the clear choice.  We are excited to welcome him back to the Midwest to lead 103.7-710 KCMO to a new level of success for our listeners and advertisers.”  Mundo adds, “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to return to the nation’s heartland to host mornings on the legendary KCMO and to assume programming responsibilities as assistant program director.  Bringing a fresher perspective to news, political, sports and local topics and how they affect the Kansas City community on KCMO-Talk Radio 103.7/710 is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kevin Klein Remains MIA on KEGY, San Diego. As of Monday morning, it remains unclear just what the status of KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” morning personality Kevin Klein is.  Though the station’s website lists Klein as the morning host, he was not on the radio today (4/2).  His show was supposed to launch on MLB Opening Day (3/29), but the station has continued to air the mix of comedy bits and rock music in AM drive that is the overnight programming.  As we reported previously, the San Diego Padres – for which the station serves as its flagship for play-by-play – took issue with Klein’s Twitter promotion that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history of being the site of hundreds of suicides throughout its history.  The team is also reportedly not thrilled with the general tone of the station. It’s assumed that Entercom officials and the Padres are in talks about where the two sides go from here and Klein’s status may be part of that.

Alex Jones’ Son Rex Challenges Parkland Student to Gun Laws Debate. The son of Internet and radio personality Alex Jones is challenging Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg to a gun control debate. Hogg is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, along with fellow student Emma Gonzalez, has become the media face of students seeking gun control measures in response to the deadly shooting.  Jones’ son Rex is 15 years old and, according to Inquisitr.com, has been provided by his father with “a platform to express an alternative view of gun control from a teenager’s perspective.”  See the Inquisitr.com story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the February 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Approximately 45% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ AQH shares rise from the January survey to February, while 28% are down and 27% remained flat.  Year-over-year comparisons indicate that 42% of stations realized 6+ gains from the February 2017 survey to February 2018.  Forty-eight percent saw their 6+ number dip.  While 12 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the February survey, just two stations – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” – ranked #1 in their respective markets.   See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas conservative media figure Heidi Harris has a busy week of events that will feature her new book, Don’t Pat Me On The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.  Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head.  I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”  This week, Harris is speaking at the Vegas Does Business luncheon at Gordon Biersch, Flamingo and Paradise on Thursday (4/5).  Later that evening she’ll be signing books at the Sun City Siena Conservatives meeting. On Saturday (4/7), she’s doing a book signing at Avery’s Coffee.  That evening she’ll appear on the “Jesus and Tim” show on KKVV, Las Vegas…..The Boston Globe reports that market news pro Rod Fritz exits iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030.”  The paper reports that an internal memo from the station’s Jon MacLean stated, “Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ.  We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.

Trump DACA and NAFTA Statements, Russia Diplomatic Breaks, Trump-Russia Investigation, Author Claims Conway White House Leaker, Trump Tariffs, Parkland Students vs Ingraham/Nugent, Ready Player One Film, Final Four, MLB Season Opens, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s statement on no DACA deal and the threat to NAFTA if Mexico fails at border security; Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; author Ronald Kessler suggests Trump aide Kellyanne Conway is the biggest White House leaker; China hits back at U.S. with tariffs on U.S. goods; the feud between Parkland students seeking new gun laws and FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Ted Nugent’s attack on them; the new film Ready Player One; the weekend’s Final Four games; the opening of the Major League Baseball season, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom names DreX, a.k.a. Kevin Buchar, and Nina co-hosts of the new morning drive show on its CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  The “DreX and Nina” show will also feature Gabe Ramirez, who was a cast member on the station’s previous morning program, “The J Show.”  DreX says, “I’m honored, privileged, and humbled for this opportunity to come home to the Chicago audience.  I’d like to thank Entercom, Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah, Erik Bradley and the entire ‘B96’ crew for welcoming me with open arms.  I am very much looking forward to teaming up with my two new partners Nina and Gabe in America’s greatest city.”  DreX previously worked in Chicago at WKSC-FM from 2002 to 2010.  Nina most recently worked mornings at WBMP-FM, New York City…..Radio pro Larry Wilson is the new morning host on Marc Radio’s country WPLL, Gainesville-Ocala “I Am Country.”  Wilson will also serve the company as host of the afternoon show sister classic hits outlet WXJZ.  Wilson had been hosting his “Livin’ Large with Larry” in the Billings, Montana market. He says, “After half of my 36 years on the air spent up north, Marc Radio is a ‘sunny’ change that I am looking forward to.  My show will stream online, so I can still share the sunshine with my Montana friends.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

| March 6, 2018

Will Tomorrow Be the Day iHeartMedia’s Future Becomes Clearer? On Sunday, iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders entered into a Forbearance Agreement that put off iHM’s defaut on an interest payment on 14% Senior Notes until midnight tomorrow (3/7).  That gives both sides more time to work out a solution to the company’s $20 billion in debt and avoid putting the matter into the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  Analysts watching this case are taking note of the fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media purchased $400 million of iHM’s debt last week and now becomes a creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.  Just how important Liberty’s involvement as a creditor becomes remains to be seen but, remember that Liberty came to the aid of SiriusXM when it needed cash and now controls a majority interest in that company.  A lot of the consumer press stories covering the iHeartMedia debt saga that TALKERS editors have seen imply the company is on the verge of “failure.”  But the reality – borne out by its quarterly financial reports – is that the company is making money.  It’s just not making enough to cover interest payments on the massive debt.  The latest term sheet from iHeartMedia summarizes a proposed restructuring of the company that would reduce its debt (in exchange for equity) to $5.75 billion.  As part of the proposed terms, it would spin off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

And ‘The Loop’ in Chicago Goes to…Educational Media Foundation!  At first, today’s FCC filing to transfer classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago from Merlin Media to non-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million seems surprising, but EMF did recently acquire KSWD, Los Angeles from Entercom and, unlike many secular, commercial broadcasting companies, it has money in the bank.  If approved, it’s expected that EMF will install its “K-Love” Christian contemporary format on the station.  Unfortunately, the deal means the current staff – including morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – will be out of work.  The other Merlin Media station still on the block in Chicago is alternative rock WKQX.

Salem Media Group LMAs KPAM, Portland.  In a press release issued Monday (3/5), Salem Media Group acknowledges that it is operating news/talk KPAM, Portland and adult standards KKOV “Sunny 1550” – both stations in the process of being sold by Pamplin Broadcasting to Intelli LLC.  The presser is titled, “KPAM is Alive and Well” and notes that KPAM airs “live and local drive-time programs – ‘First Edition’ from 6am to 10am and ‘Afternoon Northwest’ from 3pm to 6pm – and syndicated programs such as ‘The Clark Howard Show,’ ‘The Schnitt Show,’ ‘The Michael Medved Show,’ and ‘The Joe Pags Show.’  Hourly news, weather, and sports as well as drive-time traffic are also featured.”

WRKO, Boston Adds Joe Pags Show for Evenings.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo – is joining the program lineup of iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston.  The Joe Pags show – heard in more than 100 markets across the country – airs in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says “We are thrilled to have Joe join the WRKO weekday line up.  Joe does so much more than just political talk.  He entertains, makes you think, makes you laugh, heck he even sings.  This makes him the perfect addition to the WRKO family.”  Pagliarulo states, “When you hear the call letters WRKO, you hear heritage – and a station most hosts can only dream of being on.  I’m psyched beyond words that my show is coming to this amazing station.  It’s an opportunity I cherish and simply cannot wait to talk with the great people of Boston on a daily basis.  Thank you so much to the management team for the trust and support!”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 2.3%.  During 2017, Saga Communications executed the sale of its television stations and purchased radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Those transactions resulted in net income increasing $9.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and $36.5 million for the year.  Saga reports that net revenue increased 2.3% to $31.5 million during Q4.  For the entire year, net revenue decreased 0.7% to $118.2 million.  For the fourth quarter, operating income decreased $433,000 to $5.3 million when adjusted for the $1.5 million charge for impairment of intangible assets.  Station operating expense increased 5.4% to $23.2 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) primarily due to the acquisition of the Charleston and Hilton Head radio stations.  Free cash flow was $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million last year.  Same station net revenue decreased 4.2% to $29.5 million primarily due to a decrease in gross political revenue of $1 million and same station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $21.5 million for the quarter.

Urban One Reports Q4 2017 Net Revenue Down 4%.  The silver lining in this fourth quarter 2017 financial report from Urban One is that broadcast and digital operating income increased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2016.  But overall, net revenue was approximately $109 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period in 2016.  Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $38.7 million for the quarter, compared to $30.9 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of 25.6%.  Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall, we produced a strong quarter from an Adjusted EBITDA standpoint, and as a result we were able to show full year Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite the challenging market conditions.  Our core radio revenues were up slightly for the quarter, excluding the impact of political revenues.  Our TV advertising revenues suffered from weak ratings delivery, which was somewhat offset by growth in affiliate revenues.  Our digital business benefitted from the integration of our acquisition of the Bossip, Madame Noire and Hip Hop Wired brands, and was up significantly in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA compared to prior year.  We were able to control costs, most notably at TV One and Corporate.  During the quarter, we repurchased a further $20 million of our 9.25% notes at a discount, and we remain strongly committed to reducing net leverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports giant ESPN announces James Pitaro is the company’s new chief, taking over for John Skipper, who suddenly stepped down from his position in December in order to address what was termed a long-time substance abuse issue.  Pitaro has been serving the Walt Disney company in an executive capacity in the digital realm.  Pitaro will also serve as co-chair of Disney’s television segment…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio 103.9 FM” is presenting a “Spring Back to Business” event designed to be a “networking social get-together” on March 26 at its studio operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.  Station personality Frank MacKay will introduce FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade who will take part in a Q&A with attendees.

Bill Lally Dies After Battle with Cancer.  Family, friends and the Southern California radio community are mourning the loss of Bill Lally, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.  Lally was a longtime operations manager and APD at KFI, KLAC and KTLK in Los Angeles who exited the company in 2009 during the massive round of layoffs that took place at then-Clear Channel that year.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lally had also served with WABC, New York; Westwood One; WMCA; and CBS RADIO during his career.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Financial Reforms Rollback, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Trump Tariffs/Trade War, Senate School Safety Bill, Netanyahu-Trump Meeting, the Oscars, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposes rolling back reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean officials; President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to block them; the U.S. Senate proposes a school safety bill in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting; embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his meeting with President Trump; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The morning show at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia “Power 99” adds Roxy Romeo to the cast.  She’ll join the “Rise & Grind Morning Show” featuring Mikey Dredd and Mutha Knows, effective March 12.  iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “To be able to add a talent the likes of Roxy to our staff is phenomenal.  She’s an incredible personality who has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve known her for years upon first listen. We’re excited to be able to share her voice with the city of Philadelphia, and that she’s chosen to make ‘Power 99’ her new home.”  Romeo was most recently midday jock, APD and music director at the company’s “REAL 103.9” in Las Vegas…..Nate Bell is named program director at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3” in Detroit.  EVP of urban/hip hop programming Doc Wynter says, “We are so excited to have Nate back in our urban programming brain trust.  He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.  Things are about to heat up in Detroit!”…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Brooke Morrison afternoon personality for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1.”  Station PD A.J. says, “We are very excited about what Brooke will bring to Charlotte.  Her high level of engagement, work ethic and passion for music and entertainment make her a superstar on and off the air.  I look forward to her joining the team as we build the next chapter of ‘Channel 96.1.’”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing w