Tag: "Brad Shepard"

Monday, January 29, 2018

| January 28, 2018

Afternoon Personality Carl DeMaio Renews with KOGO, San Diego. Former San Diego City councilman Carl DeMaio signs a new deal with iHeartMedia to continue hosting his “The DeMaio Report” afternoon drive show on news/talk KOGO, San Diego.  DeMaio had been co-hosting a midday program with Bob “Sully” Sullivan from April of 2015 through August of that year, shortly after losing a Congressional race.  Sullivan scaled back his work with the station and DeMaio continued to host the show solo.  In November of 2015, he was moved to the afternoon drive slot.  DeMaio says, “When we started ‘The DeMaio Report,’ we wanted a forum for San Diegans to share dialogue about important issues and also a vehicle for taking action on problems.  I’m thrilled we are accomplishing both goals.  I’m excited by the impact we’ve already had on important issues like the California gas tax and look forward to tackling many more issues in the years to come.”

Former KLZ, Denver Talk Host Convicted of Voter Fraud.  A man who was the one-time chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and a talk show host on news/talk KLZ, Denver was sentenced to four years’ probation and 300 hours of community service on January 26 after being convicted of voter fraud and forgery.  Steve Curtis was charged with using his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote in the fall of 2016.  He also signed the ballot by forging her signature.  Curtis’ defense was that he was suffering from being in a “confused state” due to diabetic issues and doesn’t remember signing the ballot and mailing it.  According to CBS Denver, he also testified that it was normal in his house for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and mail it.

Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status, The Grammy Awards, Trump State of the Union Address, Russian Protests-Navalny Detained, Deadly Kabul Terror Attack, 5G Nationalization Plan, Steve Wynn Allegations, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump Administration’s policy regarding the DACA Act; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and the controversy over political messages during the telecast; the build-up to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; protests over Russia’s March 18 elections take place and Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny is detained by Russian police; a deadly terror bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan kills more than 100 and injures hundreds more; the Trump Administration considers nationalizing America’s 5G wireless network in an effort to provide security from Chinese hackers; politicians distance themselves from casino mogul Steve Wynn after allegations of sexual misconduct are revealed; 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.

TALKERS News Notes. WEEI, Boston personality Alex Reimer has been suspended indefinitely by Entercom for calling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s daughter Vivian “an annoying little pissant” – referring to her appearance in the documentary film Tom vs Time.  Brady made known how he feels about the comment by cutting short his regularly scheduled interview on WEEI with morning hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane this morning (1/29).  Whether Reimer returns may be dependent on Brady.  He said he would be re-assessing his commitment to appearing on WEEI because of this.  The station recently signed a new deal with the Patriots for exclusive access to Brady and coach Bill Belichick for its “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” program segments…..During this week’s build-up to Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group’s Boston and Philadelphia sports talk stations are side-by-side on the radio row in Minneapolis.  WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be originating more of their show from radio row and will also be doing live breaks and cross talk between the stations.  WBZ-FM’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand will go live with WPEN-FM’s Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus.  WBZ-FM’s morning drive “Toucher & Rich” show will go live from WPEN-FM’s Anthony Gargano and Bob Cooney…..Entercom presented a special weekend edition broadcast of “The Taz Show” that aired across CBS Sports Radio.  The program followed wrestling’s big event in Philadelphia and featured Pete “Taz” Senerchia hosting a live show and talking with listeners from 11:00 pm Sunday to 2:00 am Monday…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington is being honored with the NAB Crystal Heritage Award by the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award will be presented during the new “We Are Broadcasters Celebration,” on Tuesday, April 10 during the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Only six other stations have received this honor in the 31-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.

Senior Moment.  One of the innovators of the hyper-local, online radio movement in America, Brad Shepard – GM and morning show host of Western Massachusetts-based Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) – is pictured celebrating the third anniversary of the station (1/26) by belting out the standards at the Pleasant View Senior Center in the town of East Longmeadow.  Accompanied on the keyboards by Western Mass music legend Richie Mitnick, Shepard treated the audience to a selection of great American songbook tunes, such as “Mack The Knife,” “Try To Remember,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “My Foolish Heart,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and many others.  Live performance and music has long been the “other side” of this veteran broadcaster’s repertoire.  This one-hour show is the first of a tour of many that Shepard will be bringing to other senior centers and retirement homes in the Pioneer Valley.  He tells TALKERS, “They are wonderful audiences and it is a pleasure to perform for them!  More importantly, we are not restricted by the tyranny of ratings and agencies that make it difficult for talk radio to provide service to upper demos – people who are affluent, active and grew up knowing how to use and appreciate radio.  At Pioneer Valley Radio we have an unlimited menu of programs for people of all ages and walks of life as well as enthusiastic local sponsors to support them.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Cindy Spicer moves across Florida to join iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay country outlet WFUS “US103.5” as program director, effective February 19.  She’s been with the company’s WQIK, Jacksonville as on-air host and program director.  iHM Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I could not be more excited for Cindy to join our team at ‘US103.5.’  Cindy has a track record of incredible success and I am excited to watch her dominate Tampa Bay!”…..In Austin, Texas, iHeartMedia ends the LGBT-focused format “97.5 Pride” on KASE-HD1 and translator W248CU and installs its alternative rock format with the brand “ALT 97.5.”  The lineup consists of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Woody Show” in mornings, followed by Wendy Rollins in middays, Klinger in afternoon drive, and Mike Jones in evenings.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Brian Gann comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ALT 97.5 to the Austin airwaves.  We know this format will resonate with our listeners, and we are beyond happy to show Austin the ‘New Alternative, ALT 97.5.’”…..Atlanta radio personality Ryan Cameron is saying good-bye to Entercom’s urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” after reportedly receiving offers to stay, but rejecting them.  Cameron told listeners he’s not leaving for another radio station but is pursuing other endeavors…..Radio personality David Mueller – known during his time as morning drive co-host on KYGO, Denver as Jackson – is back on the radio with Delta Radio Network’s WMYQ, Greenwood, Mississippi “Kix 92.7.”  Mueller is, of course, notorious for having been fired by KYGO for allegedly groping Taylor Swift at a backstage meet-and-greet and then suing her for causing him to be fired and losing that suit.  Mueller maintains his innocence in the Swift case and WMYQ owner Larry Fuss believes him.  Fuss offered Mueller a job on his new country station several months ago and many in the industry assumed it was a stunt.  But, the two had numerous conversations over time and Fuss says he thinks Mueller – who is going by Stonewall Jackson on “Kix 92.7” – will be a good fit for the station…..Beasley Media Group names Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson assistant program director for hip hop WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98-FM.”  Robinson has been with the station since 1997, serving as the music director and co-host for the “No Limit Larry Morning Madd House” morning show.

 

Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – More than doubling December’s +2.1, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” improves by +4.8 (7.6 – 12.4, 6+) in “Holiday 2017” to march from second to first. This is the highest 6+-share for Austin’s “Majic” since its 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016; KKMJ was -.8 in November. It succeeds Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which had been at #1 the past ten sweeps, but with a -1.7 – segues to #2 (8.4 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” was within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for six straight months. A November gain of one-half share took “Bob” to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). This is the first time that KBPA is below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for a +1.4 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 advances from #13 to #11. Ending its 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 October – November – December (6+) topline trend with a +1.2 to 3.1 – its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.7 – Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” leaps from #18 to #12. Immediately following December’s one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio’s Spanish adult hits KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” plummets by -1.3 to 2.3 (#11 to #16, 6+); December’s 3.6 was its most powerful 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). A combined +1.6 in November and December (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -1.0 to 5.2 (6+), sliding from fourth to fifth. May through September, “Kiss” trended 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December 2017’s 6.2 was the station’s best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. Its country-formatted siblings are each off by six-tenths: KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.6, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seventh to ninth, 6+). Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the eight sweeps March through October, KVET-FM was +.9 in November, but -1.3 in December. Prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). In its third straight decrease, KASE is an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Down by six-tenths this sweep as well is Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.1 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+), while news/talk sibling KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” posts its fourth decline in a row for a collective -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains in tenth-place. While flat at #3, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is -1.4 in 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+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. More than doubling its 6+-share in four consecutive uptrends through December (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), triple A sibling KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

2) Raleigh – The “Holiday” 2017 sweep has a rare tie at #1 and it’s here in “The Triangle” between Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul,” which is on top for the eighth straight month, and Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (third to first). Ironically, each station is riding three straight upticks in succession. Not only is WFXC an overall +1.7 in its winning streak (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4, 6+), “Foxy” registers its best-ever (6+) PPM stat, joining Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (15 times); WRAL (eight times); and iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (twice) as the only Raleigh stations to ever reach double-digits (6+). A loss of one-half share in October by WFXC halted six straight spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Mix” is +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. In an up/down pattern that began in August, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (fifth to fourth) is trending 6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 (6+) for an overall gain of nine-tenths. In addition to “K-97.5,” Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” is up six-tenths from December, as well (1.5 – 2.1, #18 to #16, 6+), reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.2. Through December, aforementioned iHeartMedia CHR WDCG was an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), however, “G-105” inches up from seventh to sixth; 5.0 (in November and December) matched its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Also referenced earlier, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), adds one-tenth to 6.8 (6+) but backslides from fourth to fifth. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Spiraling by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” (sixth to eighth) falls below a five-share (6+) for the first time since May’s 4.9. Classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.7, #10 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” (ninth to tenth) each tumble by nine-tenths. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, “Kix” was trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+); WTKK is -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Following four months in a row in the runner-up slot, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” sputters by six-tenths and falls to third-place (8.0 – 7.4, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” (5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9” (4.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY (2.4 – 1.9, #15 to #18, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Tacking on +5.6 to December’s +2.3 (7.8 – 13.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” continues at #1 and enjoys a more than two-to-one advantage over its runner-up. 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+). This (13.4) represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). Roughly one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media jettisoned the urban-rhythmic oldies format on WRWM “93.9 The Beat” in favor of CHR, renaming it WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” In six successive sweeps without a loss, that 93.9 Indianapolis frequency is +2.5 virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+), with “Energy” already cracking the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, more than tripling its 6+ AQH share in three straight gains (.4 – 5. – .7 – 1.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 checks in at #18. Slumping by -1.8 (7.7 – 5.9, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK – which had been on top in September, October, and November – drops from second to fourth. When WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, it halted three straight progressive moves for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era, while 5.9 in “Holiday” 2017 is its lowest in nearly two years (5.8, January 2016). Both Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” (6.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.1 – 4.8, seventh to ninth, 6+) erode by -1.3. This is the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016; December 2017’s 6.4 by WTLC-FM, which was a combined +2.1 in November and December, was its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. The market’s (6+) country share eroded by -1.6 in December and it’s nearly a carbon copy in “Holiday” 2017, as the format is down by -1.5. Specifically, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” is -.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is 6.6 – 6.0, -.6 (fourth to third, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Meanwhile, October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. It is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). Co-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regresses by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+); November and December’s 3.1 (6+) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Off by six-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (4.8 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” dips from #11 to #13, while Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falters by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is unchanged at #16. In four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), moving from #21 to #22.

4) Milwaukee – Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” improves by +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 and is on top for the 34th consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” has been in double-digits (6+) in six of the last 12 ratings periods and this (11.6) is its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Rebounding from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is now +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+). Moreover, “B-93.3” jumps from seventh to second with its best 6+-stat (7.4) since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.3. It is tied in the runner-up slot with iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which drops one-half share (to 7.4, 6+), thus curtailing five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+); WISN finished second in November and December, as well. Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” regains 60% of December’s full-share loss (4.5 – 5.1, +.6, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Prior to December, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Following four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+), Saga Communications’ WKLH surrenders nine-tenths to 6.7 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print three years ago (December 2014). Declining by -.9 as well is co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is down for the third sweep in a row for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). This Wisconsin market’s two country outlets continue to struggle. Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Immediately prior to its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). In five successive downward moves as well, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” and WKTI are tied at #12. Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). In December and “Holiday” 2017, however, “Now” is a combined -1.0 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the fourth straight ratings period for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). This is the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel,” which has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, flat at #21, 6+). Positive streaks conclude in “Holiday” 2017 for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station.” Off by two-tenths to .4 (#23, 6+), WMSE halts eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.5 (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), while “The Big 920” drops three-tenths to .3 (#24, 6+), ending five sweeps without a loss for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+).

5) Nashville – Winning ways continue for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Surpassing the 13.1 (6+) it registered in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to this particular run, “Mix” last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to posting a decrease for the fourth consecutive time for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) and slipping from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, “107.5 The River” has its lowest 6+-share in exactly seven years, matching the 5. 3 in “Holiday” 2010. Remaining at #15, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (sixth to a fifth-place tie) and Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (flat at #10). A December 2017 +1.4 to 6.2 took “The Zone” to its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016, but when the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Now a cumulative -2.4 in three straight losses (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), WPLN-FM was up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. While unchanged at #13, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” has its third loss in succession for an overall -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). There is mostly bad news for the market’s three FM country players, as WWTN cluster-mate WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is an overall -1.4 owing to three straight dips (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, flat at #9). “Nash Icon” has its lowest 6+ showing since July’s 4.1; likewise “The Big 98” has its weakest 6+-share since July 2016’s 4.0. On the positive side for the format, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+) and progresses from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-showing since May’s 4.3. Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the seventh consecutive sweep. Down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -1.9 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from third to fourth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+).

6) Providence – In a rare case of a PPM-market adult contemporary outlet showing a December decrease, Cumulus Media’s WWLI dusts itself off from that particular half-share dip with a “Holiday” 2017 +1.4 (10.9 – 12.3, 6+). Moreover, “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 28th consecutive ratings period; in double-digits (6+) for the seventh month in a row; and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Continuing its slow and steady climb at #7, co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.8 in its fourth straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM posted an 8.2 (6+) for the next three months in a row and now adds one-tenth to 8.3 as “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” carries on at #3. After a lengthy hiatus, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB appears in print for what is now its eighth report in a row, and aided by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), “Latina 100.3” returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). In this specific (albeit brief) ratings history (June 2017 – “Holiday” 2017), the station has a high of 2.4 (June, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Since surfacing in print in June, co-owned WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.8 – .9, +.1, #14, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (7.2, flat at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.9, unchanged at #6, 6+). WCTK was off by one-half share in December as well (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), but in November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share; “Coast” was a combined +.6 in November and December (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), public news/talk WGBH-FM slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (#10 to #12, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Stacking a “Holiday” 2017 +4.4 onto December’s +2.8 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” advances from third to second, registering its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). From June through November, “2WD” logged a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Precisely quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains since October (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” advances from sixth to fifth. This (5.0) represents its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Notwithstanding that it has eroded by a combined two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL remains at #1 for the 13th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 21st time in the last 22 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “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 in September. 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+). Progressing from #12 to #11, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” adds one tenth to (1.3, 6+), pulling the plug on six negative or flat moves in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” move from ninth to eighth. Returning in full the eight-tenths it gained in December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” drops from second to third (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2, 6+); December’s 9.0 was the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4. After trending 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. This is its softest 6+-share in exactly one year (6.0, as well in “Holiday” 2016). Dropping from fifth to sixth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Also in that Saga Communications cluster, adult standards WJOI is up one-tenth to .3 (flat at #13, 6+), ending four consecutive sweeps without an increase in which “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” lost 80% (eight-tenths) of its 6+-share (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” returns two-two-tenths to 2.7 (flat at #8, 6+).

8) Greensboro – A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8. Now, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary tacks on +4.3 to 16.1 (6+) as “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” advances from second to first, surpassing its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. December’s nearly six-share increase stopped three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0 – 11.5, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is -1.2 and slips to second, following seven straight months on top. The Entercom urban AC was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May and records double-digits (6+) for the 14th sweep in a row. Recapturing the one-half share it lost in December, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) carries on at #9. A one-half share gain (to .9, 6+) by Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” ends three successive down or flat trends (.6 – .5 – .5 – .4, 6+). After being in double digits each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017, falling to 9.0 (6+, flat at #3). December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. This though is its lowest 6+-mark since June’s 8.8. Down for the fourth month in succession for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #6 but has its weakest 6+-stat in one year (4.7, “Holiday” 2016). Format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – regresses by seven-tenths as well (6.0 – 5.3, 6+) and remains four-tenths ahead of “Q-104.1” at #5. When “The Wolf” added two-tenths in December, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately after December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July – rhythmic CHR sibling WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” surrenders all but three tenths of that gain (7.8, -1.2, flat at #4, 6+). Unchanged at #11, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” returns in full the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to logging a +3.9 (matching “Holiday” 2016’s 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” progresses from fourth to first. By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Dislodged from #1 – after 12 consecutive months there and dropping to the runner-up slot – is co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now,” which is without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). A one-tenth loss in September by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). This (8.2) is its lowest 6+-showing since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, seven to fourth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1 – #1 en Hits Latinos” (1.6 – 2.2, #13 to #12, 6+). In three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX lost a total of six-tenths, but “X-102.3” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in December, Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB surrenders all of it and two-tenths more (2.1 – 1.2, -.9, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to December 2017, “Moody Radio” last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). It is tied with JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm,” which nearly doubled its 6+-share in five sweeps in a row without a loss (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 to 1.2 (6+). Fading from fifth to eighth, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” returns in full December’s +.7 (3.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Following a +.8 in December, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” sputters by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to fourth). 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. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at #10, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” forfeits four-tenths to 2.3 (6+), halting three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) that netted one-half share. With a loss of four-tenths to 2.9 (steady at #9, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” curtails three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – This Florida market’s adult contemporary share balloons by +5.1 as Renda Broadcasting-owned WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.9 as it marches from second to first, while Cox Media Group’s WEZI improves by +2.2, with “Easy 102.9” cracking the top five (#11 to #5). Owing to four straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ practically doubles its 6+ AQH share for an overall +5.8 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and registers its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is a somewhat similar scenario for “Easy,” which is +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+). After being on top in each of the last 12 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK segues to #2. In three straight decreases, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” has eroded by three full-shares (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6, 6+), including back-to-back losses of -1.3. 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. It has been a rollercoaster ride for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.1) is its best 6+-showing January’s 5.4. Spiraling by -1.7 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” slips from third to fourth. Off by a total of two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, #13 to #15, 6+), co-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” has its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), recording its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Even so, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” inches up from fourth to third. In September, WOKV was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, CHR WAPE is an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+); in November, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” departs the top ten (#7 to #11), logging its lowest 6+-share since July 2014 (3.6, as well). A cumulative +.8 in November and December (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+), adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” is off by one-half share to 4.5 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJBT “93.3 The Beat” remains at #8. Public WJCT is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+).

11) Memphis – Not only is WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary property progresses from second to first, eclipsing its 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Exiting the top spot after four consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which shifts to #2 (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), but is in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time in a row. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” returned one full-share in December. Unchanged at #3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” boasts its fifth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+). By being up eight-tenths (6.2, steady at #5, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” ends an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” until it became “Christmas 98.9” on Halloween, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM transitioned to adult contemporary the day after Christmas (12/26). Adopting “98.9 The Bridge” as its handle, WKIM, a direct challenger to WRVR “The River” (see above), gains six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). A +.9 in November halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Finishing with identical profiles (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) are iHeartMedia news/talk WREC and co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Prior to this “Holiday” 2017 -.8, WREC was an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In December, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had its best 6+-share (3.4) since February’s 3.6. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” drops from ninth to tenth. After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” is now a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+) but stays at #13. In four consecutive down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 and is flat at #6.

12) Hartford – Coming within a whisker of the 18.4 it logged in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” flaunts its sixth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+) and is on top for the 17th successive ratings period. This is the 14th time in the last 16 sweeps – and sixth in a row – that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +2.4 as a result of four increases in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+); this (8.0) is its strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the seventh month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” (+.6, sixth to third) is no higher than a 6.8 and now lower than a 6.2 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and is up four-tenths in that timeframe. Down or flat for the seventh ratings period in succession for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” slides from sixth to seventh. This marks the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ is below a five-share (6+). Eroding by -1.3 from December as well is Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” (6.3 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Both Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (6.9 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+) slump by nine-tenths. Following five straight gains for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” surrenders just under half that gain to 3.2 (-.7, 6+) and remains at #10. This is the third sweep in a row without an increase for Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” for a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -1.4 in three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Monday, October 16, 2017

| October 16, 2017

Former FCC Chairman Wheeler Criticizes Ajit Pai on Silence Regarding Trump License Revocation Comments. During an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program yesterday (10/15), former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler criticized current Chairman Ajit Pai, saying Pai’s silence regarding President Trump’s tweet about revoking broadcasters’ licenses makes him complicit in the president’s attempts to coerce the media.  Wheeler stated, “He is making himself complicit in the coercion that the president was engaging in when he was trying to send a message to broadcasters saying, ‘We’re watching, and we control your right to be alive.”’  Also on CNN, current Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel added, “History won’t be kind to silence.  It’s important for all the commissioners to make clear that they support the First Amendment, and that agency will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensee’s coverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Friday (10/13), Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham (pictured above at right) broadcast her program from Liberty University’s Convocation, which kicks off the school’s homecoming weekend.  Ingraham’s show was co-hosted by author and Eternal Word Television Network news director and lead anchor Raymond Arroyo (above, left).  Ingraham is also scheduled to begin her nightly FOX News Channel program, “The Ingraham Angle,” on October 30…..Bonneville’s Seattle talker “KIRO Radio 97.3 FM” announces the addition of a new, weekly lifestyle show called “Cask Club Radio” created with partner Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.  The program launched on Saturday (10/14) at 3:00 pm and focuses on the growing craft spirits, cocktail, beer and wine culture. It’s being hosted by Heritage co-founder and CEO Justin Stiefel, co-host Lydia Cruz, and producer Maura Dooley.  Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Heritage Distilling has earned its reputation as a big-thinking innovator.  With this new audio project, Heritage once again takes the broad view of how its products fit into the overall lifestyle and passions of people around the Pacific Northwest.  We’re proud to partner with Heritage, and to help them blaze another new trail as a forward-thinking marketer.”…..Media sales pro John Fitzgerald returns to the ESPN Audio team as vice president, ESPN Audio ad sales.  Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire 21-year career with The Walt Disney Company, will oversee all aspects of ESPN Radio national network ad sales, including talk programming, event play-by-play and Audio on Demand, which includes podcasts.  He will report to ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller.

Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Saber Rattling, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Deadly California Wildfires, Kaepernick Files Suit, College Football, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs, Happy Death Day Film, Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The state of the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s intent not to certify compliance; the ongoing saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal; the battle against California’s deadly wildfires; Colin Kaepernick files a suit against NFL team owners alleging collusion to keep him unsigned; Saturday’s college football games; the weekend’s NFL action; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the new horror film, Happy Death Day were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hyper-Local High School Football Play-By-Play.  It was a scene out of “Friday Night Lights” (10/13) as hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), serving Springfield and its surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, launched its new sports department with live play-by-play coverage of high school football games.  Pictured above in the press box calling the PBP between the home team Longmeadow High School “Lancers” and visiting Chicopee Comprehensive High School “Colts” is TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (c) joined by color callers Eddie Garibian (l), a Longmeadow senior, and Graham Topor (r), a Chicopee junior.  TALKERS magazine is headquartered in Longmeadow, MA.  Pioneer Valley Radio was launched in 2015 by publisher Michael Harrison and former WHYN, Springfield morning personality Brad Shepard as an experiment in local “personality-oriented, hyper-local public affairs radio.”  Since then it has gained tremendous traction and become what Shepard describes as “a serious business and an important local media platform that is making a difference.”  The expressly non-partisan station has expanded its menu to include a wide variety of programs covering local politics, civics, business, education, public health and safety, arts and entertainment and now, sports. According to Casey, who heads up the new sports department, “One of the most satisfying aspects of this project is giving local high school students the opportunity to sit in the broadcast press box and call color on the radio.  These two great kids, Eddie and Graham, were fantastic!  We plan to expand our coverage beyond football to include basketball and other sports and get lots of kids from area schools involved in our broadcasts.”  All Pioneer Valley Radio live broadcasts are powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.

NOT TO BE MISSED: Alex Jones and Michael Harrison Engage in Candid Dialogue About the State of Media and the Talk Industry. Prolific conspiracy theorist and mega-successful independent broadcaster, Alex Jones is this week’s guest on the newly-posted (10/10) installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” During the fascinating, uninterrupted hour of fast-paced conversation, the two discuss Jones’ role as a pioneer in the rise of digital, spoken-word broadcasting touching upon the balance between news and entertainment, the corporate effect on broadcasting, the influence of Hollywood on popular culture, Jones’ relationship with Donald Trump, 21stcentury entrepreneurism, the value of direct marketing as a method of generating revenue and much more. Harrison states, “Like him or not, there is no denying the fact that Alex Jones is one of a select handful of the most influential and important talk broadcasters of the modern era and has been for years. I am glad to have the opportunity to present him to the media world from that perspective.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At classic hits WRBQ, Tampa “Q105,” radio and television pro Rich Fields is named the new afternoon drive personality.  Beasley Broadcast Group says in announcing the addition that Fields most recently served as a meteorologist at KCBS-TV, Los Angeles.  His radio resume includes stops at KCBS-FM, Los Angeles; WCOF, Tampa; KODJ, Los Angeles; WFJO, Tampa; KNX-FM, Los Angeles; WYUU, Tampa; WSUN, Tampa, and KRTH, Los Angeles.  He also served as Bob Barker’s announcer on “The Price Is Right” for nearly a decade…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes today that Windy City radio personality Gary Spears did his last show on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK on Friday, taking calls from Chicago listeners and from fans across the country.  Spears is retiring from the station and plans to relocate to Florida.  Feder notes that Spears “was one of the original jocks when CBS RADIO turned WBBM FM 96.3 into a Top 40 station.  His first run there from 1982 to 1984 was followed by a second from 1990 to 1994.”…..Country station WCKN, Charleston, South Carolina “92.5 Kickin’ Country” names Jess Jennings program director.  She comes to the Charleston Radio Group station from her most recent gig at country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Group operations manager Stephen Crumbley says, “After an intense search, we are very happy to have Jess join our team here at CRG.  Her on-air talent and programming skills are a perfect fit…..Denver radio personality Kendall B is back on the air in the Mile High City at Max Media’s rhythmic AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” in the morning drive daypart.  Kendall B had most recently been at Entercom’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Max Media Denver general manager Jeff Norman says, “Kendall B has been waking the Denver market for over 15 years and I couldn’t be prouder to have him apart of the Max Media and ‘Jammin’ 101.5’ family.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that iHeartMedia names Bo Money program director at hip hop WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3.”  Money is also hosting afternoons on the station and will serve as a regional urban programmer for the company…..Also from Indiana Radio Watch, the price tag for WKHL, West LaFayette that Woof Boom Radio is paying for the class A FM station is $608,000.  The seller is non-profit operator Educational Media FoundationIRW reports that “once the sale closes, Woof Boom Radio Lafayette will own 90% with managing partner Jim Ducey, a.k.a. Jim Stone, owning 10%.  Ducey will become GM of WKHL.”

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the September 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Comparing September performances to data from the August 2017 survey, Kinosian notes that “only one of every three eligible adult contemporary facilities in our sample (33%) improves between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+), while 57% are down; the remaining 10% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Going back to the September survey a year ago, “approximately four of every 10 stations (39%) on this particular adult contemporary sample improve year-to-year, while 56% regress; 5% of the panel is unchanged from September 2016.”  A total of seven AC-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the September survey: WLTW, New York; WBEB, Philadelphia; WNIC, Detroit; WDUV, Tampa; KSFI, Salt Lake City; WWLI, Providence; and WRCH, Hartford.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

| September 19, 2017

It’s Official: Laura Ingraham to Host FOX News Channel Show.  As has been previously reported but now confirmed by FOX News Channel, conservative media figure Laura Ingraham will begin hosting the 10:00 pm ET hour on FOX News Channel with a new show called, “The Ingraham Angle,” beginning October 30.  Beginning Monday (9/25), Sean Hannity moves to the 9:00 pm ET hour (putting him up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow).  That means “The Five” returns to its original 5:00 pm ET start (that hour opened up with the dismissal of Eric Bolling and the cancellation of “The Specialists”).  The Los Angeles Times reports that Ingraham has been making about $2 million per year as a contributor to FNC and her full-time salary will be much higher than that.  The question left unanswered for now is whether or not Ingraham will continue to host her Courtside Entertainment-distributed, daily national radio talk show.

Dave Ramsey to Emcee NRHoF Induction Ceremony.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is hosting the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re honored to have Dave, a world-class speaker who regularly addresses audiences of 10,000 at his live events, serve as our master of ceremonies.”  The 2017 inductees include: Tom Barnard, Bobby Bones, Joseph M. Field, Bill Handel, Sean Hannity, John Records Landecker, Robin Quivers and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers.

TALKERS News Notes. With the sudden departure of conservative Jedidiah Bila from ABC-TV’s “The View,” CNN is reporting that former Premiere Networks radio host and former FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is in talks to join the daytime TV talk show.  McCain recently exited FNC and the “Outnumbered” program she co-hosted there…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-news KNX shifts some of its talent into different dayparts.  The morning drive daypart is still hosted by Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.  New to middays is Brian Ping, who leaves the nights and overnights he’s been working for the past six years to handle the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The one-hour “KNX In Depth” show with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson airs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Simpson and Chris Sedens handle the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart and Diane Thomson hosts the 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Evening News.”…..TuneIn is debuting “First Play,” what it calls “a first-of-its kind podcast program offering early releases of new episodes from new and popular podcasts from networks like WNYC Studios, Gimlet Media, HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Feral Audio and StarTalk.”  New episodes will be available early, up to one week before they’re available on other platforms, and they will be free to all TuneIn users.  The company says, “With the launch of First Play, TuneIn enables podcast super fans to hear episodes early from a selection of more than 30 podcasts, produced by the most popular podcast creators.  Participating shows will debut their early releases throughout the initial run of the program, concluding December 31st.”…..Entercom sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets renew their partnership for the station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play.  Entercom Charlotte market manager Matt Hanlon says, “The Hornets are an outstanding organization in a great sports town. It makes so much sense for WFNZ to be the flagship station for the Hornets’ radio network.”

TalkersRadio Marks its Fourth Anniversary.  This Fall marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of TALKERS magazine’s experimental platform, TalkersRadio.  The station serves as both a workshop and industry showcase for new ideas in talk programing.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes it as “a vehicle for broadcasters to try out new concepts for talk shows, both long and short form, that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be exposed to industry decision-makers, as well as real listeners, at this moment in time.”  Commenting on the milestone, TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein states, “This has been one of the most exciting projects in which I’ve ever been involved as a programmer and manager.  As we begin our fifth year, I am pleased to say we have a fascinating line-up of shows and talent with more in the pipeline about to debut.”  Bernstein adds, “The system at TalkersRadio keeps shows up and running for as short or long a time as they need development or receive enough feedback to know what their next steps should be.  We’ve had some major properties get their start in this ‘experimental theater.’  For example, ‘American Family Farmer’ hosted by noted talk host Doug Stephan began on TalkersRadio as a laboratory project in which Doug – an independent farmer in addition to being a talk host – created a new forum in which he could act as an advocate for the beleaguered independent, small farmers across America.  Today, the show is a terrestrial radio weekend smash heard on about 150 stations around the country.”  The late Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel was working on a project titled “Healed Planet” – an exploration into the human consciousness movement and significant departure from his usual news/talk style – that was about to find a home on terrestrial radio at the time of his unexpected passing. (“Healed Planet” is still available for listening in the TalkersRadio archive section.)  The husband/wife chat show “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) found a home on terrestrial radio shortly after launching on TalkersRadio when it was picked up by WPG, Atlantic City and GCN.   Current shows include “London Calling” – a weekly magazine hour hosted by internationally-known British broadcaster Graham Mack connecting popular culture in Great Britain and the United States that has developed a worldwide audience.  Veteran radio and TV star Claire Carter is heard discussing a variety of eclectic issues ranging from politics to health to changing cultural patterns in her feature called, “Good For You Radio.”  This week, she kicks off a new series of short form commentaries with a powerful warning about national security titled, “The Importance of Protecting the Grid.”  The aforementioned Meg McDonald has a new short form feature in which she discusses her observations of the common “everyday” situations of life titled “MEG!”  Michael Harrison describes McDonald as a female version of the late Andy Rooney.  This week also marks the debut of “The Animals’ Voice” hosted by animal rights activist and award-winning Voice of America and NPR news reporter, Lori Lundin.  World-renowned record producer Robbie Stevens is set to launch his new radio show titled “I Don’t Do Radio” in October.  For more information about TalkersRadio contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Renewed ObamaCare Repeal Move, Trump’s UN Speech, Hillary Clinton Book/Election Challenge, California Sanctuary State Bill, Climate Change Debate, Hurricane Maria Threatens Caribbean, Georgia Tech Student Killed/Protests, Rolling Stone for Sale, Toys ‘R’ Us Files Bankruptcy, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The GOP revives its move to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the Cassidy-Graham Plan; anticipation of President Trump’s Tuesday address before the UN General Assembly; Hillary Clinton’s book tour supporting What Happened and her statement she’d consider challenging the election results; California’s legislature passes bill making California a sanctuary state; the renewed debate over climate change; Hurricane Maria hits the Caribbean and threatens Puerto Rico; the shooting death of a Georgia Tech student and the resulting protests; iconic magazine Rolling Stone is up for sale; retailer Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy protection; the Major League Baseball playoff push, 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Chris Randolph is named afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis, effective October 2.  Randolph comes to WFMS from his recent position with Alpha Media hosting morning drive at hot AC WXMA, Louisville.  He’d also served with iHeartMedia at crosstown WMXL, Louisville.  WFMS program director Stephen Giuttari comments, “We’re very excited to have Chris join the team here in Indy. He’s one of the top talents in our industry and I’m confident that he will be a great addition to our team at WFMS and that ‘Indy Country’ listeners will love him!”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Sound Management, LLC has sold three signals to Artistic Media Partners for $3.4 million.  The Indiana stations are: CHR WNDV, South Bend; rock WYXX, Goshen; and 80s-pop WYET, New Carlisle (102.3fm, New Carlisle)…..In Atlanta, morning show personality C.J. Lusk has exited Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where he’d been part of the “Cadillac Jack and Ali Mac Morning Show.”…..Rowdy Yates has left E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa where he co-hosted the morning drive show with Sunny Leigh…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is releasing volume nine of its “Radio 104.5 Studio Sessions” albums, sponsored by Blue Moon.  The annual benefit album features the best live-recorded studio sessions from Radio 104.5’s Performance Theater.  The project will benefit Delaware Valley hunger relief organization Philabundance.  Artists on this year’s CD include: Vance Joy, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Weezer, AWOLNATION, alt-J, Kaleo, Grouplove and more.

Radio One Sues Former Jock and Twitter; Alleges Hijacking of Twitter Account.  In a case filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Radio One is suing former WCDX, Richmond “iPower 92.1” air personality Amir Shabazz, alleging that he, immediately after being let go from the station, illegally used its @iPowerRichmond Twitter handle to promote his own business ventures, Tweeted pornographic images, and changed passwords.  Saying that the Twitter account is a valuable business tool for the station – by some standards worth $2.50 for each follower – it values the account as being worth more than $31,000 per month.  The complaint says Shabazz, who went by the air name Henny Hardaway, is taking these actions willfully and maliciously.  It’s suing Twitter, alleging that the company has taken no action to stop Shabazz.  Radio One is asking the court to stop Shabazz from “squatting” on the @iPowerRichmond account and is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

| August 17, 2017

Hotchkiss Named to North Ohio Region President for iHeartMedia. This promotion takes Keith Hotchkiss from his regional SVP of sales for the company’s Virginia/Carolina region back to Northern Ohio to take on the region president role.  Hotchkiss started his radio career as an intern on rock WMMS, Cleveland more than 20 years ago.  Now, he’ll oversee iHeartMedia’s Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Lima, Ashland, Mansfield, Marion and Defiance markets. iHeartMedia president Midwest/Southeast division Tom McConnell states, “Keith is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success.  His experience as a market president and as a regional senior vice president of sales in iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region, combined with his first-hand knowledge of the Northern Ohio markets makes him the perfect choice for this important role.”

KXTG, Portland Parts Ways with Dino Costa. Some two months after he made comments on his afternoon drive show on Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG, Portland “750/102.9 The Game” suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protestors who block roadways, Dino Costa has been let go by the company, according to The Oregonian.  Earlier this week, the MLS’ Portland Timbers (whose games are carried on KXTG) issued a press statement distancing itself from Costa and his comments.  This drew renewed attention to the incident.  For its part, KXTG says at the time of Costa’s remarks, it took “immediate and aggressive action” against Costa.  But, the delayed blowback apparently forced Alpha Media’s hand and it has fired Costa.

WHLM, Bloomsberg Host David Reilly Resigns.  Embattled WHLM, Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania talk show host David Reilly resigned from the Columbia Broadcasting Corporation-owned news/talk station yesterday (8/16).  Reilly – whose father Joe Reilly serves as general manager for the station – had posted a video of the “UnitetheRight” march on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville that critics say had all the trappings of a Klan rally.  When the video got attention in Bloomsberg, the station endured protests and a number of advertisers reportedly cancelled their buys.  Reilly was suspended without pay earlier this week.  Now, Reilly has tendered his resignation and his father has accepted it.  In the resignation letter, David Reilly disavows any sympathy for neo-Nazis or white supremacists.

CBS Las Vegas Has Change of Heart; Will Cover New NHL Franchise. It appears a case of sour grapes caused CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager J.B. King to memo the staff that it was to cease all coverage – including reporting scores – of the market’s new NHL franchise, the Las Vegas Knights.  Several companies bid for the rights to be radio partners with the NHL expansion club but Lotus Communications won.  CBS RADIO Las Vegas market manager Tony Perlongo told the Washington Post, “With six radio stations in Las Vegas we have always prided ourselves on informing, educating and entertaining listeners and supporting the local communities we serve. However, we missed the mark in an internal email that instructed our stations to no longer report on certain aspects of the Golden Knights, the city’s first and only major league sports team. This was an error in judgment on our part and we deeply regret it. We will of course cover the team, first and foremost on Sports Radio 1140 and on our music and news/talk stations as it makes sense for those formats and audiences. We apologize to the Golden Knights, their fans and our listeners and look forward to rooting the team on when the puck drops in a few weeks.”

Beasley Partners with SonicAi for Alexa Skills.  The goal of this partnership is to make it easier for listeners using Amazon Echo to bring Beasley Media Group content into their homes.  Beasley is partnering with SonicAi – a partnership between mobile developer jācapps and Amplifi Media – to design the skills that represent more than just a way to play the station stream, highlighting specific station features.  Beasley says they will be heard across most of its 63 stations over the upcoming months.  Beasley Media Group executive vice president of digital Steve Meyers says, “Innovation in the smart speaker device space is critical for Beasley and our industry as a whole.  I’m excited to be partnering with SonicAi to extend the reach of our brands across the company and open up new opportunities in this space.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is being honored as its “Broadcaster of the Year.”  He’ll be honored at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 19, at the Javits Center in New York City.  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “Bob Pittman is a true industry leader and perhaps the most creative, visionary and dynamic executive in broadcasting.  His views not only shape the radio industry, but the future of all media in this country.  We are deeply honored to recognize him as the “New York Broadcaster of the Year.”…..Rising from general sales manager to general manager of the Omaha cluster for Salem Media Group is Sue Garrett.  She’s been with the station group for the past seven years.  During her career, she’s been a market manager and sales manager for Cumulus Media and was a sales manager for iHeartMedia.  In Omaha, Salem operates news/talk KOTK “The Answer,” Christian teaching KCRO, and Christian contemporary KGBI-FM…..Today is the 19th annual Kicks 4 Guns event – a collaborative effort by iHeartMedia Orlando’s WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” and non-profit organization Crimeline.  The program allows anyone to anonymously trade in unwanted firearms in exchange for a gift card.  Kicks 4 Guns is the brainchild of “The Monsters” ringleader Russ Rollins who got the idea for the event after he saw a news item about a boy who was murdered for his shoes.  Rollins hoped to create a gun buyback program that offers brand-new shoes in exchange for guns.  Over the past 19 years, Kicks 4 Guns has collected more than 10,000 unwanted guns, including illegal and stolen guns, pipe bombs, grenades, and a missile launcher…..Cumulus Media inks a renewal with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for KESN-FM “ESPN 103.3 FM” to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station through the 2022-2023 season.  The ESPN O&O is operated by Cumulus.  Chuck Cooperstein continues as play-by-play voice and Mike Peasley hosts the “Dallas Mavericks Insider” pre-game show as well as the “Mavs Postgame Show.”…..PodcastOne promotes Jim Ballas to vice president, technology and operations.  Ballas now oversees network digital initiatives and sales operations, including the website, app, dynamic insertion, virtual reality and reporting metrics.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “Jim Ballas has been with PodcastOne since its earliest days and his leadership in technology and sales operations has well-earned him a place on our executive team.”…..The Weekly Standard announces the re-launch of Tuesday Morning Quarterback – the celebrated weekly NFL column by Gregg Easterbrook.  It will debut on The Weekly Standard website on August 22.  Easterbrook says, “There will be a total eclipse of the sun, and the next day the football gods will smile as Tuesday Morning Quarterback returns.  I am very excited about TMQ on TWS.”  In addition to the column, TMQ will be featured on a weekly podcast starring Easterbrook and occasional guests, hosted by TWS editor-in-chief, Steve Hayes.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Making Gains in Western Massachusetts.  Launched by Springfield radio legend Brad Shepard, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) celebrated the beginning of its third year of service by making a splashy presence at the annual Hampden County, MA Sheriff’s Picnic – the preeminent regional political/social event in Western Massachusetts (8/16).  The station’s format consists of 100% “personality-oriented public affairs programming” offering a growing menu of on-demand talk shows covering local politics, civics, education, public safety, business, health, dining, recreation, and arts & entertainment as well as live streaming remote coverage of news events, public forums and school sports.  The picnic hosted this year by the newly elected Sheriff Nick Cocchi drew several thousand local political, civic and business figures to the Elks Lodge in Springfield.  Pioneer Valley Radio provided seven hours of uninterrupted broadcast coverage from a prominent table-display at the event interviewing a parade of more than 35 public officials and figures.  Pictured, Pioneer Valley Radio GM/morning host Brad Shepard (l) interviewing recently retired Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe (r) who founded the annual picnic decades ago during his 42-year run as sheriff.

Charlottesville Aftermath, Confederate Statue Removals, Manufacturing Council Shuttered, Google Firing Protests Canceled, Sessions Addresses Sanctuary Cities, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16).  The criticism of President Trump’s Charlottesville analysis and the conservative media’s suggestion the “alt-left” is to blame for the violence; the movement to take down monuments celebrating Confederate leaders; President Trump disbands the American Manufacturing Council after numerous CEOs quit; the cancelling of planned protests at Google offices over the firing of an engineer who questioned the company’s diversity policy; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ address in Chicago criticizing sanctuary city policies; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity 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. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder – morning radio personality Kathy Hart has broken her four-month silence about her absence from WTMX’s highly ratedEric & Kathy” program.  Hart wasn’t forthcoming about why she’s been gone and why she’s been silent, but she did say in a statement to the media, in part, “It has been challenging, mentally and physically, to be away for this long, especially on days like Friday for the live broadcast from Lurie Children’s for “Eric & Kathy’s Kids.”…I have always considered the ‘Mix’ and our listeners as family, and want to express my infinite gratitude to everyone who has reached out to me personally and supported me publicly. Please stay tuned as I fully intend to be back on the air!”  Read Feder’s piece here…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Danni Bruns to the operations manager post at its four-station Memphis cluster.  Bruns has been serving as program director and afternoon personality for rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”  Now, she’ll also handle operations for sister stations country WGKX “KIX 106,” rhythmic oldies WRBO, and hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe.”…..YEA Networks brings Scott Kerr aboard as director of affiliate sales and content.  He’s responsible for servicing and growing affiliates for “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” “The Bert Show,” “The Hollywood 5,” “Love Letters with Kellie & Matthew” and the socially connected Simple Booth…..SiriusXM is bringing two shows from its streaming platform to the satellite radio service. Turbo showcases hard rock from the 1990s and early 2000s from artists such as Linkin Park, Korn, Papa Roach, Godsmack, System Of A Down, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit and Disturbed.  PopRocks presents pop rock from the ’90s and 2000s, including The Killers, Coldplay, Sheryl Crow, Goo Goo Dolls, Train, No Doubt and Matchbox 20.

 

 

July PPM Takeaways. Below are TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Twelve Takeaways” based on the July PPM ratings information released by Nielsen Audio last week.  The 12 markets addressed today are: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  You can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – As a result of making up in totality the seven-tenths it lost via four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Emmis-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” elevates from #12 to a three-way tie at #8 (4.3, +.7, 6+). In the process, it happens to leapfrog co-owned KLBJ-AM, which extends to seven its string of consecutive up or flat trends that has accounted for a cumulative +1.1 (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); the news/talk property, however, drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Another player in that three-way logjam at #8 is Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7 – Today’s Best Mix,” which regains all but two-tenths of the -.7 it squandered this time last month (4.3, +.5, (up from #11, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “Mix” consistently registered a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.6 in each of the previous 11 sweeps but fell to 3.8 (6+). Up a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” climbs from #14 to #12. In addition to “Mix” and “Que Buena,” iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” picks up one-half share as well (4.5 – 5.0, eighth to sixth, 6+). Following three straight 4.6-showings (6+), KASE dropped one-tenth in June. On top for the sixth successive month, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” adds two-tenths to June’s +1.1 (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Its regional Mexican cluster-mate KLZT “107.1 La Z” though forfeits all of June’s half-share increase and three-tenths more (5.4 – 4.6, -.8, 6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. Faltering by seven-tenths each are co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin,” which falls out of the top ten with its third straight decrease (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, #10 to #14, 6+) and The University of Texas-owned KUT (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Locked on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT followed with a 5.8 (April, 6+); 6.2 (May, 6+); and improved by six-tenths in June to 6.8 (6+). Flat at #16, Emmis triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 17th time in a row (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

2) Raleigh – Granted, it might be a bit of a technicality, but the entry making the largest 6+ June 2017 – July 2017 increase in all 48 PPM-markets is the stream of Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music,” which debuts at #14 with a 2.4 (6+). The actual FM signal of “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registers its third successive increase for an overall gain of two full-shares and inches up from sixth to fifth (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of six-tenths in May halted three consecutive (modest) downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Down a collective eight-tenths in three straight dips (8.0 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), co-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” recaptures more than half that loss with a +.5 to 7.7 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row. In addition to repeating as the market’s pacesetter, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is +1.4 in four straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+) and matches the 8.2 (6+) it posted last October. Following six straight gains that netted a +2.1 (2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “The Pulse” surrenders nine-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #12). At the same time, a loss of seven-tenths takes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fifth to sixth) to 6.2, its lowest 6+-share in exactly two years (6.2, as well, in July 2015). Thus, the market’s (6+) CHR erodes by -1.6 to 10.2. Dislodged from the penthouse in June (after four consecutive months there) and remaining in third-place in July is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a combined -1.8 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+). While it remains at #4, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). A quartet of Raleigh outlets have decreases of one-half share: iHeartMedia FM news/talk WTKK (#9 to #10, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” WNNL (3.8, #12 to #13, 6+); Capitol Broadcasting sports/talk WCMC “ESPN 99.9 – The Fan” (flat at #14, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (#15 to #16, 6+). This is WTKK’s fourth straight down or flat monthly for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). After posting three straight increases for a combined +1.2 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), “The Light” spiraled by -1.7 in June. In back-to-back sweeps (June 2017 and July 2017), “The Fan” is a combined -1.1 (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). This is the third straight half-share fluctuation for “La Ley 101.1,” which wiped out May’s half-share loss in June only to forfeit it in July (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Off by three-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” (#16 to #17) halts at six its consecutive streak of up or flat trends that more than quintupled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (.4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Off by a combined nine-tenths in May and June (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH roars back with a +1.1 to 4.4 – its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 5.0; “Hot 96.3” climbs from #13 to #11. In a somewhat similar scenario, Emmis’ WLHK wipes out an overall -.6 in May and June (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a July improvement of seven-tenths to 6.1, its highest 6+-share since May 2016, as “Country 97.1 Hank FM” progresses from seventh to fifth. Having plummeted by -2.8 as the result of five consecutive down or flat trends (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. Advancing from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its seventh successive improvement for an overall +2.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+). Major ups and downs continue for WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” As the result of three straight January through April downward trends (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian station was off by one full-share. It bounced back with a +1.1 in May only to falter by -1.2 in June (6.3 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+); however, “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” adds six-tenths in July to 6.8 (6+), marching from sixth to third. Despite being off by one-half share (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL is #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep; June’s 8.2 matches its highest 6+-stat since December 2015. By dropping one-tenth to 4.9 (6+), hot AC cluster-mate WNTR has its string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) halted at five; nonetheless, “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” actually improves from ninth to eighth. Eroding by nine-tenths each are Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.8, third to seventh, 6+) and Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” (1.7, #14 to #16, 6+). WFMS was a combined +.8 in May and June (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), while “The Fan” picked up a collective half-share via four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are its adult contemporary and news/talk siblings WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (6.5, second to fourth, 6+) and WIBC “Indy’s News Center” (4.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). By replicating May’s seven-tenths’ increase in June (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), WIBC reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2016’s 5.0; “B-105.7” is below a seven-share (6+) for the first time since January’s 6.7.

4) Milwaukee – Notwithstanding that a wide ranker and AQH share gap currently exists between them, both iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (9.9 – 10.7, #1 for the 28th consecutive time, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” (#18 to #14, 6+) register spikes of eight-tenths. It is the fourth straight gain for WZTI, which has more than tripled its 6+-share since March (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+). As for “Big FM,” is rebounds from a combined -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 10.3 – 9.9, 6+) and returns to double-digits (6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps. Recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); and now +.8 (July). An interesting development has occurred in the CHR scrum, following a June increase of three-tenths (6+) by both iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97-3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” and Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.” Via four straight improvements, “Now” is up by an overall full-share (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) and shifts from #14 to #12, but “Kiss” – which was 4.9 and ninth in June (6+) disappears from print. Advancing from seventh to fifth, co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a net gain of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” posts its second straight (modest) gain (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and matches its 4.0 in March to climb from #13 to #11. Having notched a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last four survey periods, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” regresses by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. The down/up pattern that Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB began in January (4.6 – 4.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+) ends in July as “B-93.3” is off by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), but remains at #10. Not higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 18 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through July 2017, public triple A WYMS (#17 to #15) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4.

5) Nashville – Part of a three-way June logjam for the runner-up slot, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” doubles June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) and marches to #1. Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). Not only does the station that “Jack” dislodges at #1 (after a brief one-month run) – iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ – segue to #2, “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” drops four-tenths to 7.4 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three straight improvements that netted a collective +1.4 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 7.8). Owing to a spike of nine-tenths to 2.5 (6+), Nashville Public Radio classical WFCL ends at four its skein of down or flat monthlies that generated an overall loss of one-half share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #15. Entering the June sweep, co-owned WPLN was down in each of the previous three survey periods for an overall -1.3 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “News 90.3” is a combined +1.5 in June and July (4.1 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), climbing from eighth to seventh. Simultaneous with Cromwell Group urban AC WPRT-HD2 improving by one-half share (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+), co-owned WPRT-FM “The Game” spirals by nine-tenths to .9 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). When “The Game” dropped six-tenths in June, it curtailed at four a successive string of up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk arena, Cumulus Media’s WGFX regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, 6+) to slide from #13 to #14. In June, “104.5 The Zone” returned in its entirety May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) share for CHR erodes by -1.5 as Midwest Communications-owned WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” forfeits twice as much of its one-half share gain in June (3.3 – 2.3, -1.0, #13 to #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” (second to third) follows up June’s -.6 with a -.5 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). The loss of six-tenths in June ended at three WRVW’s consecutive string of increases which netted a +1.8 (5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). February’s 5.9 was the first time “The River” had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Off by an overall nine-tenths in three successive downward moves (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” has an identical 6+ profile as “The River”: 7.1 – 6.6, second to third. Nine-tenths is the collective margin of decline as well for Cromwell alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz,” which dips in back-to-back sweeps (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+).

6) Providence –  Owing to four (modest) increases in a row (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” gains a cumulative one-half share and carries on in sixth-place. After dropping six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” bounces back with a gain of two-tenths to an even 10.0 (6+) and is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. Frozen on 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY picked up a combined nine-tenths in three consecutive progressive trends (8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+). “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” though surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase in July (8.3, -.8, 6+) and falls from second to fourth. June’s 9.1 represents the highest 6+-share for WHJY in just over one year (9.2, May 2016). As a result of replicating June’s -.7 for a combined -1.4 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” all but wipes out May’s +1.5. In advance of the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). For the fifth time in the last ten survey periods and second time in a row, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WWKX notches a 2.5 (6+) as “Hot 106.3” continues at #9. While steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+) and its lowest 6+-share since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for an overall increase of seven-tenths since January (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Boston public news/talk WGBH-FM drops six-tenths to 1.6 (6+), but remains at #10.

7) Norfolk – Without a loss for the seventh time in a row for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” continues in seventh-place. In a classic case of the rich get richer, Entercom urban AC WVKL “95-7 Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” trots out a +1.4 (12.0 – 13.4, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh successive sweep, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. It has registered a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 15th time in the last 16 ratings periods. Furthermore, 13.4 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, with WVKL accomplishing the feat several times, the most recent in January 2015. The only other station in the market to do so is co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD,” which logged 13.4 (6+) once. There is a little more history from this Virginia metro in the July 2017 sweep: Over and above marching from third to second by notching a gain of six-tenths, Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” hits 7.4, the highest 6+ share in its history as a PPM subscriber. Meanwhile, following its 7.4 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV has recorded a 6+-share within 2.2 – 2.8 range, but “Movin’ 107.7 The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” drops six-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as it segues from eighth to ninth. After being in the runner-up slot the past five sweeps (the last three with a 7.3, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” trades places with WNOR by slipping to #3 (7.0, -.3, 6+). For the fourth straight month, aforementioned WWDE “2WD” (flat at #6) fails to make an increase and is -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Continuing on a seesaw, Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” adds seven-tenths (6.3 – 7.0, 6+) to advance from sixth to fifth. It was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); eroded by seven-tenths in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. This is the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 7.1 in January 2015. It helps enable WPAW to pull ahead of iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1,” which is off three-tenths (7.3 – 6.9, fourth to sixth, 6+), snapping at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). On the heels of three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG answers with a combined June and July +1.4 (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+), allowing “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” to inch up from fifth to fourth. Ahead of it (continuing) at #3 is Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything,” which wipes out June’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.3, 6+). While it repeats at #1 and achieves double-digits (6+) for the eighth straight sweep, urban AC cluster-mate WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” hands over roughly half of the whopping +1.5 it notched in June (11.6 – 10.9, -.7, 6+); 11.6 is its most potent 6+-share in over three years (11.9, March 2014). In addition to placing first in June and July, WQMG occupied the top spot in January, February, and March, as well. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. Spiraling by seven-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM,” which has its third decrease in a row for an overall loss of -1.2 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and its softest 6+-share since January 2014’s 2.9. Unchanged at #7, rock sibling WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” sputters by four-tenths to 4.3 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six consecutive increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) that netted a +1.7. Having strung together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (flat at #2) follows with an equal number of consecutive losses that has accounted for a collective -1.1 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6, 6+). “Jamz” had been in double-digits (6+) 10 times in the previous 12 survey periods.

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to posting its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the seventh consecutive month and has its strongest 6+-share since November 2015’s 11.3. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. A collective +1.3 in three straight gains entering the June sweep (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI is now an overall -1.6 in back-to-back monthlies (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+) as “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” drifts from fifth to eighth. Having posted a 3.1 (6+) in three of the past four ratings periods, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN sputters by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and segues from ninth to tenth. Over the last two sweeps, Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 – South Florida’s Country Music” is a combined -1.4 (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Surrendering one-half share is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (flat at #5) which – in the last eight survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March); +1.4 in April; -.5 in May; +.7 in June; and now -.5 in July (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (#13 to #15), which is down or flat for the fourth straight time for a roughly 50% loss of its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Simultaneous with co-owned adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” losing three tenths after June’s -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+, iHeartMedia-owned and similarly-programmed WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” rebounds from June’s loss of eight-tenths by adding three-tenths (5.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) to jump from eighth to fifth. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 4.6 in November 2015. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), “Today’s Kool 105.5” was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). The market’s other AC – JVC Media’s WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm,” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row and down approximately 50% in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7, 6+), yet actually improves from #16 to a tie at #15.

10) Jacksonville – Wild fluctuations continue for iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL, whose April -.6 put an end to its 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence. “V-101.5,” bounced back with a +.8 in May, only to surrender -.7 in June; and now erupts with a massive +1.7 in July (4.4 – 6.1, seventh to sixth, 6+). This is its highest 6+-performance since 6.3 in May 2016. In recapturing in totality the one-half share it lost in June, Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” moves into the top ten (4.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #9, 6+). Prior to June’s -.5, “X-102.9” had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps netting seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Albeit down by six-tenths (12.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” is nonetheless the market pacesetter for the seventh straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The five most recent stats for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” are 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9 (March 2017 through July 2017, steady from June at #4, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5” (#13 to #12) is trending 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+) since April. Within 4.1 – 4.5 (6+) territory the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WKSL plummets by nine-tenths (4.3 – 3.4, 6+) and not only exits the top ten (#9 to #11), “97.9 Kiss FM” has its weakest 6+-showing since November 2013’s 3.3. Faltering by one-half share each are Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” (9.6 – 9.1, unchanged at #2, 6+) and public news/talk WJCT (3.1 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “The Eagle” was up nine-tenths in June and while its urban contemporary HD2 side channel floundered by one-half share in May and June (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), it picks up three-tenths to 2.2, but stays at #14 (6+).

11) Memphis – Adding nine-tenths onto the three-tenths it picked up in June, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” registers a 6.9, its best 6+-stat since 7.4 in March, to jump from sixth to fourth. As the result of three straight sweeps without a decrease (6.5 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK is a collective +1.8 and “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is in third-place for the fourth month in a row. Not only is urban AC cluster-mate KJMS up or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective gain of +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+), “V-101” is #1 for the sixth successive time. It held that same position for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016; “V-101” was up by two-tenths in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The last time it was in double-digits (6+) was in September 2016 (10.2, as well). Up (modestly) or flat the last three survey periods for a net gain of three-tenths (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) – and with a 6+-share consistently between 4.2 and 4.8 since last December – Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max, Maximum Rock” freefalls by one full-share to 3.8, but carries on in eighth-place. In eight straight down or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KWNW has lost one full-share (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+) but “101.9 Kiss FM – All The Hits” manages to move from #17 to #15. It is a mixed-bag for the market’s country outlets as Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is off by four-tenths to 5.5 (flat at #7, 6+) after back-to-back increases produced a +1.0 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” adds two-tenths to June’s +.8 and continues at #11 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

12) Hartford – By dialing up a gain of seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth with its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 6.5. At the same time that co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” (off eight-tenths in June) improves by one-half share (7.8 – 8.3 third to second, 6+), its news/talk sibling WTIC-AM plummets by -1.6 (fifth to eighth, 6+). When “Hartford’s Best Variety” lost four-tenths in May, it stopped at six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends that produced a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). In what is now WTIC-AM’s sixth consecutive decline, it has spiraled by a collective -3.7 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (4.8, 6+, August 2015). Down one tick (10.0 – 9.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH “Lite 100.5” remains at #1 for the 11th successive ratings period. It had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. “Lite” was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+). Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Its online stream remains at .5 (6+) although it rises from #15 to #14. A combined +1.7 in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (7.1 – 76 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in June for the first time since last December’s 8.2, but “Country 92-5” returns one-half share (8.8 – 8.3, 6+) and is in a second-place tie with WTIC-FM. Fading by one-half share as well (to its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.9) is Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Hartford’s Classic Rock” (5.7 – 5.2, 6+), which carries on in seventh-place.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

| July 5, 2016

Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show.  Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7”burkeshannon wyay logo newduring the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.”  As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY.   Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.”  Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke.  The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of marrtomcomplications from recent back surgery.  WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers.  Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station.   Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.

Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch.  Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi rhodesSandler16Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014.  Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.”  The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com.  Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign.  Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.

Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station.  For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth ofshepard4th16 July Parade yesterday (7/4).  Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’  We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community.  This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens.  It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”

haskewgaryWGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74.  Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack.  Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station.  WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters.  In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people.  We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”

talkers16MillennialsTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing.  TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order):  Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags”pagliarulojoe Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade.  Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary.  As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs.  CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming.  StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network.  This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their wwweMoH16agrowing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award.  This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September.  This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others.  Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

| June 14, 2016

fccnewDC Court of Appeals Affirms Internet as Utility; Victory for ‘Net Neutrality’ Advocates.  This ruling from a three-judge panel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is not likely to settle the matter once and for all, but this is a huge victory for the Federal Communications Commission which had wanted broadband declared a common carrier utility service in order to put under its purview.   Supporters of the ruling say this paves the way for the federal government to prevent broadband providers from creating tiers of services that would give advantage to some at the expense of others.  Critics of the ruling will argue that the common carrier utility aspect of the decision puts control of the Internet into the hands of the FCC.  Regardless, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last legal challenge to this.

rtdna logoRTDNA/Hofstra: News Not Primary Responsibility for More Than One-Third of Radio News Directors.  The sixth report in the RTDNA Newsroom Research Project – a survey of local radio and television news – has been released by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper and this report focuses on the state of television and radio news directors.  It’s probably no surprise to radio people that most news directors have other duties at their station besides news.  Papper’s research indicates that 38.3% of news directors say that news is not their primary station responsibility.  What duties constitute not news?  Forty-six percent stated that other administrative duties made up their non-news responsibilities, 22.4% said on air/DJ/hosting were their primary roles and 5.6% said production or sales came first.  Read more from the RTDNA/Hofstra University study here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Steve Weisman Discuss the Dark Side of the Digital Era.  In an intense conversation that pulls no punches, Michael Harrison and noted media attorney and cyber-scam expert Steve Weisman talk about the dangers to privacy and property presently lurking on the Internet.  In the latest installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” such topics as the recent hacking of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s accounts are explained and analyzed, covering a variety ofweismansteven dangers spanning identity theft to fraudulent advertising.  Harrison and Weisman illuminate the problems being caused by criminals Harrison describes as the “dastardly bastards” who prey upon innocent victims (meaning the rest of us) who are becoming increasingly dependent on the Internet for its obvious benefits in all aspects of day to day life.  Harrison also goes off on a rant about his extreme distaste for the widespread and still-growing practice of so-called legitimate websites selling “native” advertising (paid-for editorial content), not to mention the purposely deceptive clutter that leads to unintentional clicks and consequences for the user.  This conversation is not-to-be missed.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

wgn logo 16WGN, Chicago and ABC News Radio Extend Relationship.  Chicago news/talk WGN and ABC News Radio announce they’ve extended their affiliation agreement through May 2018.  At the same time, reporter and multimedia journalist Ryan Burrow is continuing asburrowryan the ABC News Radio national correspondent based out of the Tribune station.  The renewed partnership will bring expanded coverage from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this July.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with WGN Radio, one of America’s iconic media brands!  We’re also proud of the excellent journalism Ryan Burrow has produced as he’s traveled the country for both ABC News and WGN.”

Orlando Club Massacre Aftermath, the Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Paris Cop and Wife Killed in Terror Attack, NBA Finals and Penguins Win Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13).  The aftermath of the slaying of 49 and wounding of dozens more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the matter of gun control and radical Islam; the activities of the candidates for president; the battle against Islamic State and the push by Iraq to reclaim Fallujah; the fatal stabbing of a Paris police officer and his wife by an ISIS sympathizer; the Pittsburgh Penguins claiming the 2016 Stanley Cup; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

whynreunion16WHYN, Springfield Morning Personalities Reunite.  An impromptu “reunion” of the cast of the extremely popular “Brad & Bo Morning Show” that ran for many years on iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts talk outlet WHYN recently took place at New England’s legendary “Big Mamou” restaurant. Pictured (l-r, top): Mary Orr, Bo Sullivan; bottom (l-r): Denise Vozella, Brad Shepard.  The picture reportedly received hundreds of “likes” on Facebook from former listeners.  Brad Shepard is now the GM and star performer of the region’s online, hyper-local media station, Pioneer Valley Radio.

Friday, July 11, 2014

| July 11, 2014

weismanstevenDid SiriusXM Have the Right to Fire Anthony Cumia?  A week after satellite broadcaster SiriusXM terminated Anthony Cumia of the “Opie & Anthony” show, TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the underlying legal aspects of the case.  Weisman explains that – although he hasn’t read Cumia’s contract – most performers who sign a contract these days have a morals clause in their deals that give the employer the right to fire employees who do things while off duty that reflect badly on the company.  Weisman offers some history of the morals clause and explains what employees finding themselves in Cumia’s situation might have in their arsenal with which to fight back.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento Gives Gubernatorial Nominee Talk Show Appearance.  In an effort to do what Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles says is “covering the biggest stories and the most relevant news for Sacramento and California,” news/talk KFBK welcomed Republican gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari to the airwaves, allowing him to host a three-hour show last night (7/10) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Charles said, “We invited both Kashkari and Governor Brown to host a show with us to provide them a unique forum to speak with the citizens of northern California.  We look forward to Kashkari’s appearance tonight and hope we hear from the governor very soon.”

wrightadamWHYN, Springfield to Name Adam Wright Morning Drive Co-Host.  Two weeks after parting company with longtime morning drive co-host Brad Shepard, Clear Channel Springfield, Massachusetts is prepared to announce Adam Hamada Wright will join co-host Bo Sullivan on air for AM drive duties.  Wright operates Westfield, Massachusetts based Advertus Media, a creative and media buying agency, and will continue that business in addition to his radio work.  He says, “WHYN is a heritage news/talk station and I look forward to carrying on an incredible tradition of broadcasting there.  This new additional adventure is the culmination of a lifelong dream of hosting a talk show and the ability to return to radio after 14 years.  I will forever be grateful to Sean Davey and Jerry Hyland for coming up with this insane idea and I will honor those who came before me on this storied station, especially Brad Shepard who I consider an amazing talent and friend.”

kwqw logoDianna Kelly Joins ’98.3 The Torch’ in Des Moines.  Taking on the role of news director for Cumulus Media news/talk outlet KWQW “98.3 The Torch” is Dianna Kelly.  Cumuluskellydianna states that the “experienced broadcast journalist and talk personality has held on-air positions for stations in Kansas City, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fresno, Jacksonville, Grand Rapids, and suburban Nashville.  She has been honored with six Associated Press awards for her feature reports.”  Kelly says, “What a pleasure to be working with the brightest minds in radio!  The future of radio is here and it’s at Cumulus.  I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

nielsen logoRound Three of June PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

costadinoDino Costa Moves Show Base to NYC.  Two months after the former SirusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa began his own internet-based sports talk show at dinocostashow.com, he announces he’s moving his base of operations from Cheyenne, Wyoming to New York City later this summer.  Costa explains on his website that he initially hated life in New York when he first went to work for SiriusXM but, to his own surprise, realized he missed the City after moving back to the West and settling in Cheyenne.  Costa says his show will be MIA for a week when he and his family make the move back to New York.

coxalanOdds & Sods.  Mixing it up a bit is Premiere Networks as the syndicator brings rock/talk WMMS, Cleveland and classic rock WDTW, Detroit personality Alan Cox in to sub for Andy Dean on the “America Now” program on Monday, July 14.  Though Dean is decidedly conservative, Cox likes to operate more in the pop culture/lifestyle arena.  This should be an interesting listen…..A Manhattan street was named for thebrooksstan longtime WINS, New York reporter who passed away last year at age 86, just two weeks after filing his last report for the station.  The New York Daily News reports that the corner of W. 43rd St. and 10th Avenue will bear the name “Stan Brooks Way” as a tribute to the journalist who worked for WINS for almost 50 years.  Brooks and his wife lived near the intersection…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX On Your Corner” series with a live remote broadcast from northern Orange County on Friday, July 25.  The station says the broadcast will include a series of special reports focusing on important issues in the cities of Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda and Placentia.  Additionally, local civic leaders will appear as special guests throughout the day as KNX gives listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area.  “Adding to the local flavor of the day, KNX will broadcast live from Arthur’s Coffee Shop in La Habra.  Free refreshments will be offered and the public is invited to meet the people behind the microphones of Southern California’s only all-news radio station.”

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations WAMT, Orlando; KMET-AM, Banning, California; WGRV, Greeneville, Tennessee; WNNG-FM, Unadilla, Georgia; and WFPA, Ft. Payne, Alabama…..Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program adds 10 new affiliate stations including KLAV, Las Vegas; WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida; KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WMXB, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Child Immigration Crisis Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The influx of minor immigrants from Central America crossing the Southwestern borders and the immigration policy controversy associated with it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 7-11, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the ISIS campaign in Iraq.  At #3 was the Israeli-Palestinian violence and at #4 was the state of President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

| June 25, 2014

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Go Public with IPO Hoping to Raise $144 Million.  The negative spin on this story is that by going public, Townsquare Media becomes another company that must serve shareholders first – with all that that implies.  But the reality is that Townsquare’s backers – Oaktree Capital and GE Capital (with 62% and 18% stakes, respectively) – have poured a lot of cash into building the company’s portfolio of 312 radio stations and number of digital publications.  The company is sitting on $645 million of outstanding debt and the IPO would help put a dent in that if it raises the $145 million it hopes for.  The one aspect of the company’s balance sheet that is turning radio industry watchers’ heads is that, according to its S1 filing, 26% of its revenue is coming from the non-radio end of its operations.  At this point, there is no timetable for the IPO or any report of how much shares will be sold for.

shepardsullivanNew England Radio Pro Brad Shepard Exits WHYN, Springfield.  For the past 11 years, Brad Shepard (left) has co-hosted the morning drive program alongside Bo Sullivan (right) on Clear Channel’s news/talk WHYN, Springfield, Massachusetts.  Now, the station appears to be going with Sullivan alone in the driver’s seat as CC’s Jennifer Powers confirms to Masslive.com that “Brad Shepard is no longer part of WHYN mornings.  We appreciate all of his contributions during his time with us and wish him well.”  Prior to joining Clear Channel Springfield in 2000, Shepard was morning host at crosstown AC WMAS-FM for seven years.  The move appears to be budget related like most of the talent cuts taking place at Clear Channel that TALKERS and RadioInfo have reported this week.

hummtomTALKERS Career Moves.  Las Vegas radio pro Tom Humm inks a new, five-year deal to remain in his vice president and market manager role at Beasley Broadcast Group’s station group there that includes four music stations and news/talk KDWN…..Nicky Sparrow is named the director of sales for the Clear Channel New Orleans station group that consists of six music outlets and news/talk WRNO-FM “Rush Radio 99.5.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Unveil ‘Walk of Fame.’  This Friday is the day Tribune Company’s WGN Radio will hold the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony at Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  The ceremony will be broadcast live on WGN with hosts Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott introducing the 2014 Walk of Fame inductees and interviewing them or their family representatives.  Being inducted this year are: Spike O’Dell, Orion Samuelson, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips (represented by wife, Barbara Phillips), Judy Markey, Quin Ryan (represented by his cousin, Justin O’Brien), Milt Rosenberg, Jack Brickhouse (represented by wife, Pat Brickhouse), Roy Leonard, and Bob Collins (represented by wife, Christine Collins).

nyfest smallThe New York Festivals Announces International Radio Program Award Winners.  Monday evening in New York City, the New York Festivals handed out honors to the winners in the 2014 competition The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The broad competition included entries from all over the world in a wide spectrum of categories.  Some of the winner from the United States included the American Forces Network; WGBH, Boston; Bloomberg News; and Gary Theroux Productions.  Follow this link and you can search for winners based on country or category.

PodcastOne Targets Young Demos with Brody Jenner Show.  The half-brother of the Kardashian sisters – Brody Jenner – is entering the world of podcasts with co-host andpodcastone logo relationship expert Dr. Mike Dow for a weekly podcast titled, “The Brody Jenner Podcast with Dr. Mike Dow.”  Brody – star of MTV’s “The Hills” – will focus on the love lives of celebrities and the podcast’s audience as they engage them through social media.  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Brody Jenner has an amazing connection with exactly the target audience we want to build at PodcastOne. We’re now doing business with over 100 of the nation’s biggest brands. We know where we need to go and we’re betting that Brody and Dr. Mike Dow can help get us there.”

deanandyOdds & Sods.  “America Now” host Andy Dean will appear on this Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO at 10:00 pm ET.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated talk host will be on with journalist Bobby Ghosh and MSNBC anchor Joy Reid…..Former WEEI, Boston sports talk host Glenn Ordway’s digital effort “The Big Show Unfiltered” makes a move on its SiriusXM platform where it is also heard liveordwayglenn from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The show moves from channel 108 to channel 220 for Sirius subscribers but remains on 206 for XM subscribers.  A press release from Ordway’s organization reports the show’s podcasts (which debuted on March 17) “have generated nearly 312,000 listener hours, up from over 252,000 individual listening sessions.  Each of those individual listening sessions, on average, has lasted 1:14, a critical factor in developing listener loyalty.”…..The internet video sports entertainment project 120 Sports debuts this evening at 6:00 pm ET.  120 Sports is collaboration between Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, MLB.com, the NHL, Campus Insiders and Silver Chalice.  120 Sports is described as “a first-of-its-kind network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties created for the digital generation and the devices it uses most.  In 120 Sports, today’s fans will have access to unauthenticated video programming through a new platform built to intuitively integrate video and data in ways they haven’t experienced before.  The 120 Sports product will debut as free native applications for mobile and tablet devices as well as a web experience at 120Sports.com and other distribution outlets.

Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Military Role, IRS Scandal Testimony, Influx of Illegals in Southwest, Primary Races/State of the GOP, Hillary Clinton Memoir-Financial Status, News Corp Phone Hacking Trial, LeBron James Watch, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The continuing march of ISIS toward Baghdad and the U.S. military’s potential role in the country’s security; the testimony surrounding the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails by the IRS; the massive influx of minor illegals in the Southwest and concerns about health problems and criminal activity; the primary races for the fall’s mid-term elections and debate over the state of the GOP; Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir and her statements about her financial status; verdicts in the News Corp phone hacking scandal; speculation about the future of NBA star LeBron James; and the hoopla over World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

| June 18, 2013

mayhemAMLincoln Financial Media Fires WQXI, Atlanta’s “Mayhem in the AM” After Mocking Bit About ALS-Stricken Steve Gleason.  The three sports talk personalities that made up the “790 The Zone” morning showwqxilogo “Mayhem in the AM” – Steak Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino – have been extremely contrite in the aftermath of their firing from the station by Lincoln Financial Media.  Although Nick Cellini initially told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho that his firing was, in a way, a relief and called the station a “sinking ship,” he later wrote to Ho saying his words were made “out of pure emotion” and said the station has been nothing but fair to him over the years.  Both via the AJC article and social media, all three have expressed their sorrow for their actions and have reached out to former New Orleans Saints player Gleason to apologize.  Still, many in the industry are shaking their heads and wondering how three grown men could , first of all, even come up with the idea to craft a bit that mocks an ALS patient and second, apparently, never think twice about it before going ahead with it on the air.

wolfenycspeechReflections on a Tragedy and the Fundamental Role of Radio.  That is the title of the closing keynote address at the recent Talkers New York 2013 (6/6) convention delivered by Jason Wolfe, VP programming for Entercom Boston.  In a serious, heartfelt speech, Wolfe — whose company owns and operates news/talk WRKO and sports talk WEEI in Boston, among others — recounts the events and emotions of the tragedy surrounding the bombing of innocent civilians at the Boston Marathon from the perspective of being a radio broadcaster.  He discusses the responsibility broadcasters have in dealing with unexpected hardships and crisis — in providing help, information and comfort to the population in their listening area.  Wolfe is introduced by WOLB, Baltimore morning host and longtime local African American community leader/facilitator Larry Young.  See Young’s introduction and Jason Wolfe’s entire speech on TalkersTV by clicking here.

seegerTALKERS Debuts New “Media Broker Spotlight” Feature Today (6/18). In support of the idea that the time is right for displaced radio station managers and first-time buyers to get into radio station ownership, TALKERS in association with its sister trade publication RadioInfo and Sandi Bergman‘s brokerage website RadioTVDeals.com, is launching a weekly feature titled “Media Broker Spotlight.” Each week’s installment will focus on an individual broker deemed small and independent buyer-friendly — profiling the broker, sharing their opinions of marketplace conditions and highlighting three or four listed opportunities that fall into this category. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We strongly believe many of the talented management veterans who presently find themselves on the beach due to the cutbacks plaguing the mega-corporate sector of the industry should consider going into radio station ownership. They should do so on a modest level going into local markets, rolling up their sleeves, working hands-on and breathing new life into properties that if purchased at the right price still have some tread on their tires. There are numerous sellers out there willing to play ball with buyers who show the will and know-how to operate a station properly, as well as numerous sources of local and non-traditional financing from investors who believe in the potential of community-oriented radio. Not every station in America is part of the Clear Channel/Cumulus/CBS complex… and they should not be overlooked. These independent “orphans,” if you will, can thrive with the proper amount of tender loving care. The future of AM/FM radio depends on this as do the careers of so many dedicated broadcasters who have a love for radio flowing in their veins.” This week’s opening installment features media broker Edward F. Seeger of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina-based Seeger Media, LLC. To read the feature, click here.

hendriephilPhil Hendrie Continues National Syndication of His Show Partnering with WYD Media Management.  There was no reason to believe Phil Hendrie was going to hang up his headphones when news broke that he and Talk Radio Network were parting ways at the end of their deal this month and now Hendrie will forge ahead partnering with Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Media Management beginning June 25.  Hendrie says, “Ron gets my show and has a highly talented and motivated team behind him.  Our longtime loyal affiliates and advertisers will appreciate the level of professionalism and sophistication they bring to the table.”  Starting on June 25, Hendrie’s show will be distributed in a new time slot from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with affiliates airing his “Comedy Gold” broadcasts through July 5.  On July 8, Hendrie will be on the air live “as he weaves his famous web of satire and comedy.”  Hartenbaum states, “Broadcast radio needs the breadth, depth and creativity of Phil Hendrie.  There’s a whole new generation of listeners ready to join the ranks for what Phil has to offer.  He’s a comic genius who’s going to grow in ways most people can’t even imagine…stay tuned!”

furmanronaldDial Global Brings Ronald Furman Aboard as Chief Revenue Officer.  Ronald Furman comes to Dial Global from his recent post as executive vice president and managing director of Insignia Sports/Entertainment where he led the go-to-market strategies across integrated television, digital, mobile, technology, social, event, live-game, and activation platforms for multiple content properties, including The Pro Football Hall Of Fame, The NFL Alumni Association, various NFL teams and emerging leagues such as dialglobal logo USEWSOF/MMA.  At Dial Global he’ll be responsible for the company’s overall revenue generation.  He will be based in New York City and will report directly to CEO, Paul Caine.  About Furman, Caine says, “Ron is a recognized industry leader who is proficient at building, developing, and leading high-performing sales teams across multiple media properties.  And the timing is perfect, as we announce that Dial Global will broadcast over 90 games this season, including all Monday Night, Sunday Night, and Thursday Night Games, the Thanksgiving Day Triple Header, a full slate of Sunday Afternoon Games, the entire post-season, and Super Bowl XLVIII.  His deep sports knowledge and client relationships are a perfect complement to our strength in the sports market, and we look forward to working closely with Ron as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in audio content and distribution.”  During his career Furman has also worked as senior vice president, sports sales at Comcast/NBC Universal, and held senior vice president positions at the NFL, Viacom and Univision Communications.

bloomquistmedia logoBloomquist Media Wins New York Festivals Gold in Community Service Documentary Category for ‘A Grateful Nation.’  Talk radio practitioners are by now well aware of Bloomquist Media’s work with the Fisher House Foundation – the organization that raises funds to provide housing for the families of American servicemen and women to be near their loved ones as they recover from injuriesbloomquistrandall sustained in battle.  In a cooperative effort, Bloomquist Media and Fisher House produced the Memorial Day radio special “A Grateful Nation,” which told four stories of service and sacrifice by members of the U.S. military and their families.  Because Fisher House Foundation played a role in all of these stories, the organization’s message was organically woven into the compelling content.  The program aired during Memorial Day weekend 2012 on news/talk radio stations, as well as Sirius XM satellite radio.  Bloomquist Media president Randall Bloomquist says, “This award has tremendous meaning for us.  We are always striving for excellence — to produce compelling radio that both entertains the audience and makes them aware of an important community cause.  To be honored for creating a truly world-class radio program is a testament to the caliber of our work.”

newyorkfestivalsAmerican Radio Programs Win Honors at New York Festivals 2013 International Radio Awards.  The competition for these prestigious awards is intense as broadcasters from around the globe submit entries.  Some of the American winners in the 2013 competition include: ESPN which won a gold medal in the News Reports/Features category for “Breaking the Silence” – an edition of “The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap” and pubcaster WGBH, Boston which took home the gold in the News Programs category for its “Underground Trade.”

shepardsullivanWHYN-AM, Springfield Morning Show Receives Local Accolades.  Brad Shepard (l) and Bo Sullivan (r) – morning drive co-hosts at Clear Channel’s WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts – were named the favorite local radio personalities in polling by the readers of the Springfield Republican for its “2013 Reader Raves.”  Sullivan has been with the station for some 15 years and Shepard was paired up with him for the AM show 10 years ago.  Shepard tells the paper, “I really have to say ‘thank you’ to our listeners and everyone who voted for us.  This was absolutely unexpected; we didn’t go out drumming up support.” Photo: Mark M. Murray, The Republican

Sports USA Adds Two Games to 2013 College Football Schedule.  The tally of college football games being offered to affiliate stations now hits 20 as Sports USA announces the “Cowboy Classic” featuring LSU versus TCU on August 31 and the Big Ten matchup of Wisconsin at Ohio State on September 28 are added to the schedule.  The Sports USA season begins on August 29 with USC at Hawaii.

wheelisbradBrad Wheelis to Exit ABC News Radio.  The news organization is moving the origin site of all of its newscasts to New York and that means Los Angeles-based Brad Wheelis will leave the network at the end of this month.  Wheelis has been with ABC News Radio since 2001 and he currently  anchors the 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm hourly newscasts.  Prior to joining ABC News Radio, Wheelis was an anchor at CBS Radio’s WCBS, New York.

mcconnelljohnRadio Executive John McConnell Teams with ACM to Form Broadcast Initiative.  Longtime ABC Radio executive John McConnell – now president of Entertainment Radio Network and founder of McConnell Media, LLC – teams with veteran talent agents Marc Guss and Phil Sutfin, co-founders of leading talent management company ACM, to launch and spearhead ACM Broadcast.  The New York City-based company aims to create “a unique business environment where established and burgeoning talent strategize on using radio and other audio broadcast platforms as the foundation to build their brand.”  McConnell states, “I’ve always believed in the power of radio and am a proponent of making that a priority in a performer’s career.  I look forward to working with talented individuals and helping them to realize their full potential as they soar to new heights.”  About their new partnership, Marc Guss says, “John has always been one of my main go-to radio programming executives because of his innovative thinking.  What a thrill it is to now be working together under the same roof with the same objectives.”

NSA Data Mining, Immigration Amnesty Proposal, Syrian Rebels Arms Aid Program, Atlanta Radio Hosts Mock ALS Patient, and Turkish Unrest Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17).  The ongoing controversy over the National Security Agency’s collecting phone and email records; the debate over amnesty to illegal aliens in the U.S.; the program to provide arms to Syrian rebels; the firing of Atlanta sports talk hosts for mocking former NFL player and ALS sufferer Steve Gleason; and the political unrest in Turkey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

| July 5, 2012

“Independence Day Wednesday” Provides Talk Radio with Interesting Programming Opportunities.  According to a TALKERS magazine survey of talk stations across the country, the rare occurrence of July 4th falling on a Wednesday this year and not lending itself to a convenient four-day weekend, gave talk radio programmers an array of options in filling the schedule.  Many gave their star performers the day off and replaced them with their own “best ofs.” Others used fill-in hosts – some cleverly taking it upon themselves to create their own Fourth of July “specials.”  Others just did their shows as per the usual schedule.  Almost all report that they spent extra time and attention revisiting the meaning of the holiday and the historic roots of American independence.  Independence Day gives radio stations the opportunity to become engaged with local military, public safety, emergency response, community service and charitable organizations in their regions.  WHYN, Springfield, Mass. morning co-host Brad Shepard performs his annual ritual of serving as master of ceremonies at the local East Longmeadow Independence Day Parade – a major two-hour regional tradition in Western Massachusetts drawing thousands of people.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, a resident of the area who attends the event each year, states, “Brad Shepard does a wonderful job announcing the details and color of this superb local parade for a large crowd of people who line the sidewalks and pack the town square in an idyllic New England small-town setting.  It is an example of a beloved hometown radio personality engaging in true community involvement and a joy to behold.”  Harrison (l) is greeted by Shepard (r) at the parade reviewing stand during a break in the action for a quick TALKERS photo.

When Is a Death Threat Free Speech?  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman explains some of the legal background in the murky area of free speech and language that can appear to be a threat to someone’s health or life.  In the wake of the case of Timothy Demeuse – a Milwaukee man charged with a misdemeanor for writing threatening language about WIBA, Madison-based talk host Vicki McKenna – Weisman says what is considered a punishable offense is not always easy to predict.  Read his column here.

Red Zebra’s Washington Redskins Radio Network Re-Inks Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen.  National Football League Hall-of-Famers Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen have both re-signed with the Washington Redskins Radio Network for the 2012-2013 football season.  The two will be in the booth with play-by-play man Larry Michael and WTEM, Washington’s Rick “Doc” Walker will serve as sideline reporter.  Due to the rigors of travel, the 78-year-old Huff will work 12 of the 20 games – all home games and two road contests.  Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff have been broadcasting Washington Redskins games together since 1981 – a span of over 600 broadcasts, including 25 playoff games and all three Super Bowl victories.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment promotes programmer Tony Travatto who moves from his post as OM and PD at CHR WNCI, Columbus to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the cluster that includes progressive talk WDTW and sports talk WDFN…..Spanish-language broadcaster Univision unveils the Univision America national talk radio network lineup that debuted on July 4.  The lineup – which is expected to be heard on all of the company’s AM talk stations – includes a morning drive news block; relationships expert Dra. Isabel; current events talk with Fernando Espuelas; political talk with Helen Aguirre; and a sports talk show featuring Rafael Hernandez Brito…..Carl Amari’s “Hollywood 360” weekly nostalgia and trivia show is being syndicated nationally via Syndication Networks Corp. and Salem Radio Networks.  The WIND, Chicago-based show is expected to be carried on many Salem Communications-owned stations.

Newspaper Decline Spells Opportunity for Talk Radio Sales.  The problems facing daily newspapers are opportunities for local talk radio sales executives writes H & H Communications president Al Herskovitz.  In this column, Herskovitz explains talk radio’s proven ability to drive traffic to the web combined with the unique personalities on the stations give it a one-two punch of marketing effectiveness.  Read Al’s column here.

Fourth of July Holiday, SCOTUS ObamaCare Decision Aftermath, 2012 Presidential Race, Mid-Atlantic Storm Damage, and National Malware Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/4).  Holiday topics discussed on news/talk radio on July 4th included the holiday itself; the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act; the 2012 presidential race; the lingering effects of the recent Mid-Atlantic storms; and the threat of a nationwide malware attack on internet users, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.