Tag: "Brian sussman"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; 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.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 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 Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 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. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. 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+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while 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 fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “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+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 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+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. 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+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

| November 30, 2017

Cumulus Enters Chapter 11; Move Will Erase $1 Billion in Debt.  This Chapter 11 restructuring between Cumulus Media and some secured lenders comes as little surprise.  In fact, many industry watchers and media experts believed it was imminent when Mary Berner was brought in as president and CEO, replacing Lew Dickey.  That’s because during her tenure as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, she led it through a pre-packaged bankruptcy.  Now, Cumulus announces the Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of its secured lenders, among others, holding, in the aggregate, approximately 69% of the company’s term loan to reduce the company’s debt by more than $1 billion.”  In its press release about this maneuver, the company says it “expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout this restructuring process.  The company has ample cash on hand, combined with funds generated from ongoing operations, to support the business during the financial restructuring process, and as a result, it does not intend to seek debtor-in-possession financing.”  Mary Berner states, “Over the last two years, we have focused on implementing a business turnaround to reverse the company’s multi-year ratings, revenue and EBITDA declines, create a culture that fosters motivated and engaged employees, and build an operational foundation to support the kind of performance we believe Cumulus is capable of delivering.  As we have demonstrated in many measurable ways – including increased ratings, revenue market share gains, improved employee satisfaction, reduced employee turnover and, over the last several quarters, our return to year-over-year EBITDA and revenue growth – that turnaround has not only been successful but is continuing.  However, as we have noted consistently, the debt overhang left by previous years of underperformance remains a significant financial challenge that we must overcome for our operational turnaround to proceed.  The actions we are taking today to address our balance sheet are a critical step forward for Cumulus.  We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth.  We have ample cash to support our operations and service our advertisers, vendors and affiliates during this period, and we look forward to becoming an even stronger partner to all of them when we complete this important phase of our turnaround strategy.  We appreciate the tremendous efforts of the Cumulus team throughout the business turnaround and thank our employees for continuing to be the true force driving our success.”

Garrison Keillor Latest to Fall Under Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  The longtime host of public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” is being taken off the radio by Minnesota Public Radio, which had been distributing Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and re-broadcasts of the Keillor-hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” (the current program hosted by Chris Thile will continue under a new, yet-to-be-announced name).  MPR president Jon McTaggert stated in a press release, “Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances.  While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”

Weisman: The Law Behind the Matt Lauer FiringTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the legal aspects of the firing of “Today” show host Matt Lauer.  Weisman states that Lauer, like most everyone working in media who is under contract, has a morals clause in his contract that allows employers to fire those who violate that clause, without having to pay out their contract.  Many contracts also provide for mandatory arbitration of disputes.  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next month, Rob Sussman – nephew of KSFO, San Francisco morning personality Brian Sussman – joins Delmarva’s WXDE, Lewes, Delaware “Delaware 105.9” to host a daily talk show.  For the past couple of years, Rob Sussman has been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director…..As reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, Cumulus Media signs a new 10-year lease to continue broadcasting from the historic Fisher Building in Detroit’s New City area.  News/talk WJR and sister stations country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and hot AC WDVD broadcast from the office tower.  Crain’s notes that WJR moved into the building in 1928…..Debtor-in-Possession Mississippi Valley Broadcasters, LLC and White Eagle Broadcasting, Inc. have retained Kalil & Co. to explore the sale of news/talk WLFN, LaCrosse, Wisconsin and sister stations country WQCC, classic rock WKBH, classic hits KQEG, and adult contemporary WLXR.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, NBC Fires Matt Lauer/MPR Cuts Ties with Keillor, Conyers/Franken Sexual Impropriety Allegations, Trump Anti-Muslim Re-Tweet, North Korea ICBM Test, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29).  The progress Republicans are making in bringing their tax reform plan to a vote; NBC fires longtime ‘Today’ show host Matt Lauer after allegations of sexual impropriety and the related firing of Garrison Keillor by Minnesota Public Radio; the effects of recent allegations of sexual impropriety involving Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; President Trump’s re-tweet of anti-Muslim videos; North Korea’s testing of a long-range ICBM and U.S. officials’ threats of war; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SRN’s Larry Elder Talks Anthem Protests on FOX Business.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder on FOX Business Network with Stuart Varney discussing the national anthem protests and the state of the ratings for NFL games.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Distributed More Than $1 Million in 2017.  By the end of this year, the Broadcasters Foundation of America will have hit a milestone distributing grants for more than $1 million in aid to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says this is a record-setting figure.  At the same time, it announces the launch of its year-end appeal for personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “What’s even more striking is that there are still broadcasters across our industry who need our help.  It is incumbent on everyone in our industry to help ensure that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to provide this much-needed financial assistance to our colleagues.”  Grants from the Broadcasters Foundation have risen from $61,000 in 2000 to this year’s unprecedented level.  Included in the 2017 figure is more than $200,000 in emergency aid that was distributed to broadcasters whose lives were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the California wildfires, or other disasters.  BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “Requests for aid have multiplied over the past several years, and we have been able to help every qualifying broadcaster who sought assistance from us.  As we enter the season of giving, I ask every broadcaster to review any good fortune that our business has bestowed upon them and consider donating to help our colleagues in need.”

Pioneer Valley Radio Continues to Brighten Western Massachusetts with Hyper-Local Coverage and Community Involvement.  Now in its third year of service to its region, hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio continues to gain traction as an online radio outlet and “media station” in Western Massachusetts.  Pictured at the recent opening ceremonies of the annual Springfield “Bright Nights” holiday lights spectacular in the city’s Forest Park are (l-r) local keyboard favorite Richard Mitnick, Pioneer Valley Radio GM and program host Brad Shepard, and Spirit of Springfield president Judy Matt.  Brad Shepard entertained the crowd singing a two-hour medley of Christmas and holiday favorites.  Shepard is a legendary local personality and “man about town” who is a favorite among area radio listeners in Greater Springfield where he has been heard for more than two decades as morning host on WMAS, WHYN, and now Pioneer Valley Radio. He is also a significant figure in local theater, stand-up comedy and serves as emcee of major community events.   (Photo courtesy of The Republican.)

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Orlando and Daytona Beach markets, Entercom flips another former CBS RADIO CHR to alternative rock.  This time it’s WQMP “AMP 101.9.”  The station is licensed to Daytona Beach but is a 90 kw class C FM that covers the Orlando market as well.  The new station is branded “ALT 101.9 FM, Orlando’s New Alternative.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city with a rapidly evolving demographic, we are thrilled to fill this void in radio in Orlando.  ‘ALT 101.9 FM’ caters to the tech-savvy, engaged and active Orlando audience and will provide an exciting and unique experience for listeners who are currently underserved with today’s radio choices in Orlando.”

Envision Networks Offers Holiday Programming. A full lineup of holiday programming is being offered by Envision Networks.  The company says there are “new and returning favorites to the Envision Networks lineup covering traditional offerings, contemporary shows, production assistance and holiday fun stuff.”  The shows include: “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time with Wink Martindale,” from a list of songs compiled through data collected from Billboard Magazine and listings of the Christmas tracks most played on radio over the past decade; “The Jim Brickman Show: A Joyful Christmas,” a program with no network commercials in a modular track format with or without music; “The Live Ride,” a holiday edition of this show with Nashville insider and host Johnny Stone; “Annual Chop Shop Christmas Special with Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” in which host Steve Black was recorded at the Council Bluffs, Iowa rehearsal for TSO’s 20th anniversary winter tour; plus more, including holiday imaging packages.

Elvis Duran Group’s 3rd Annual Carney Awards to Air on National TV on Saturday. Nationally syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran (center) is pictured with executive producer Jim Katz (left) and Elvis Duran Group CEO/executive producer David Katz (right) on the red carpet at taping of “The Elvis Duran Group’s 2017 Carney Awards” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California.  The awards honor Hollywood’s leading character actors for their outstanding achievements.  This year’s awards ceremony with be broadcast on NBC Universal’s COZI TV this Saturday (12/2) at 9:00 pm ET.  This year William H. Macy, Wendie Malick, William Fichtner, Richard Kind and Xander Berkeley were honored while Allison Janney, Jeff Garlin, Clark Gregg, Dan Lauria and Titus Welliver presented.  ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was host.

Round One of November PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s November 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The top two “Big Apple” finishers both post gains of four-tenths, with iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW tacking onto October’s one-half share surge (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the third straight time and has its best 6+-share since February’s 7.1. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). A one-tenth increase in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does CBS Radio all-news WINS, a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+), repeat in the runner-up slot, it crosses the six-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. When it notched a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Co-owned and similarly formatted WCBS-AM, which had notched a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 2.6 (6+), but is unchanged at #13. Sports talk sibling WFAN-FM is without a loss for the fifth straight month for a collective +1.7 since June (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. The 5.2 (in October and November) represents its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” registered a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. In the market’s rhythmic CHR contest, Emmis’ WQHT picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+), ending three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3), as “Hot 97” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In the process, it overtakes iHeartMedia’s WKTU, off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), slipping from #10 to #11. Having registered back-to-back gains of four-tenths in September and October (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” relinquishes all but one-tenth of that collective +.8 (4.6, -.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM repeats at #4. “New York’s Greatest Hits” exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Even though iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a combined loss of eight-tenths (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” actually improves from a seventh-place tie to sixth.

2) Los Angeles – Last year marked the end of an eye-popping 67 consecutive years that Vin Scully served as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The National League West team made it to the World Series this year for the first time since 1988 and its 1.7 (6+) in November 2017 matches the audience draw for KLAC in Vin’s swan song (1.7, 6+, November 2016) as the iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship trots out a +.7 (1.7, 6+). “AM 570 Sports” leaps from #31 in October to #25 in November. Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the fifth time in a row and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 since January (6+). In what represents its farewell ratings period, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” hauls out a gain of six-tenths (2.2 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from a three-way tie at #19 to #12. Just over a week after the November sweep concluded, Educational Media Foundation officially closed on “The Sound” and flipped it to contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The last song played by “The Sound” in an emotional November 16 finale that drew considerable social media and local television coverage was The Beatles’ “The End.” Despite being up or flat for the seventh ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – backslides from #28 to #30. With a gain of two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM pulls the plug on eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” advances from #17 to #13. After nine up or flat monthlies in a row for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), its format foe – CBS Radio’s KROQ – stumbles by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4), sliding from #14 to #18. September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Having been down or flat the past five monthlies for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), University of Southern California’s classical KUSC wipes out that deficit with a +.4 to 1.6 (#28 to #26, 6+). The #1/#2/#3 finish for iHeartMedia includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which – despite a loss of one-half share (6.4 – 5.9, 6+) – is on top for the tenth straight ratings period. In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths it squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, “My-FM” posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). In a three-way tie for second in October, mainstream CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” has sole possession of the runner-up slot in November. “Kiss-FM” gains three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at four a consecutive string of down or flat sweeps that produced a collective loss of one-half share (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Part of October’s three-way runner-up logjam as well was adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST, which drops one-tenth (4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and segues to third-place. When “Coast 103” picked up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In September, co-owned urban contemporary KRRL reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since January, but “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” falters by nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.5, 6+), drifting out of the top ten (#9 to #15). This marks the fifth successive sweep without an increase for CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which is off seven-tenths in that stretch (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), dropping from a second-place tie to third (with KOST). Following six straight sweeps in second-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in three successive declines (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+) and repeats at #5.

3) Chicago – Having fallen off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, #21, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” rebounds with an increase of six-tenths to 2.8, catapulting all the way into a four-way scrum at #12. Over and above repeating at #1, its format rival – Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” – registers its sixth straight improvement for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+). The last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). WTMX had finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Co-owned classic rocker WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” however forfeits seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, 6+), tumbling from fifth to tenth with its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.1. Along with WLIT, another player in that four-way logjam at #12 is Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN, which gains three-tenths to 2.8 (6+, up from #17 in October). In doing so, WGN applies the brakes to eight straight ratings periods without an increase for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, WGN posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). It is a mixed bag for the market’s two main sports talk outlets. On the plus side, WMVP picks up one-half share and is a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, #22, 6+); “ESPN Chicago 1000” reaches the two-share mark for the first time since March (2.1). At the same time, after posting a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” (fourth to sixth, 6+) surrenders -1.3 to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since March’s 2.2. Tied at #7 are iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” and CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96.” “Kiss” is off for the third straight sweep for an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+) yet is actually up from eighth in October, while “B-96” improves by one-tenth, (3.4, up from ninth in October 6+), ending five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+).

4) San Francisco – For the 11th successive time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM and CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM rank first and second, respectively. At this time last month, KQED-FM had a rather slim, one-half share lead over KCBS-AM. That advantage nearly quadruples, however, as KQED-FM rolls out a massive +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+), while KCBS-AM (up eight-tenths in October) drops one-tenth (6.8 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.8 by KCBS-AM is its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KQED-FM relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Doubling its 6+ stat since August via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO progresses from tenth to seventh. Co-owned KNBR picks up three-tenths to 3.1 (6+), halting six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) and “The Sports Leader” returns to the top ten (#13 to #9). Posting a one-half share increase and leaping from #18 to #12 is University of Southern California classical KDFC, a collective +.9 as the result of its sixth straight sweep without a loss (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each and both, as a result, departing the top ten are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, #7 to #12, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.3 – 2.6, #8 to #14, 6+). “Wild” had been in three-share territory (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. Varying only seven-tenths from October 2016 through November 2017, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (flat at #14) is nonetheless down one-tenth for the fourth straight time (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). This is the eighth month in a row that KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Albeit steady at #14, CBS Radio-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of nine straight up or flat trends, (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, #18 to #14, 6+). In 12 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#22 to #21) has been within a high of 2.4 (November 2017) and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). Off a collective six-tenths via six straight down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” is up four-tenths to 3.2, climbing from #15 to #13. Dating back to April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #9) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+). Eight-tenths of a share separates the top seven stations. At the top of the leader board is a tie between Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” (5.3 – 5.0, -.3, 6+), which is #1 for the 11th successive time and iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5 (4.8 – 5.0, +.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Owing to a +.3 in October, however, “Lone Star 92.5” progressed from sixth to third. Behind “The Wolf” and “Lone Star” at #3 (up from fifth in October) is iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” which gains three-tenths to 4.7 (6+); “Kiss” had been down in each of the past four monthlies for a combined -1.4 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). Trending 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 (6+) since July for a modest gain of two-tenths, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). A loss of one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to seventh, 6+) takes CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” to its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In addition to plummeting from the top ten as the result of a -.4 to 3.0 (#9 to #15, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” snaps at eight its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+).

6) Houston – When the Houston Astros won the team’s first-ever World Series, it proved to be a ratings bonanza for its flagship, iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which cracks the top twenty with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, #20, 6+). By way of comparison, “Sports Talk 790” logged a .7 (6+, #25) in November 2016. Improving by eight-tenths as well (to 3.8 6+) is CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL which hadn’t had an increase in the last three sweeps for a collective -.6 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Mega 101 FM” vaults from #17 to a three-way tie at #10 with its best 6+-stat since April’s 4.2. Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” (4.8, eighth to fifth, 6+) erases the six-tenths it lost through three straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Yet another Houston outlet putting an end to three consecutive down or flat moves is Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which picks up one-half share (4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). KRBE was a cumulative -.7 since July (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Conversely, Radio One urban AC KMJQ is off three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+), thus ending three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+), but “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” is #1 for the third time in succession. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January – February – March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; and now surrenders eight-tenths in November (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Displaced from the top in September and falling to third, “Sunny” repeats in the runner-up slot. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). Up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” fades by eight-tenths as well (3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Having lost eight-tenths in October, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” regresses by another seven-tenths in November (5.9 – 5.2, flat at #4, 6+). Up or flat for a collective +1.2 February through July (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” stumbled in August with a -1.1, but responded in September with a +1.3 to 6.7, the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. On the heels of October’s stunning +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN returns one-half share (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+) and carries on in third-place. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; and +.7 in August. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. Declining by one-half share as well is Liberman regional Mexican KEYH (.8 – .3, #32, 6+). Owing to seven straight up or flat trends, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KQBU more than quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .9, 6+), but “Que Buena 93.3” slips three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #28, 6+). Having improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times through eight consecutive sweeps without a decrease (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+) CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns four-tenths to 1.6 (#21 to #23, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In what proves to be a solid ratings period for urban ACs in “The ATL,” Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” advances by seven-tenths (5.8, 6+), while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” improves by six-tenths (4.9, eighth to sixth, 6+). The +.7 not only pushes “Kiss” from fifth to second, it applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that eventuated in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Meanwhile, “Magic” rebounds from a combined one-half share loss in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Regarding the market’s CHR contest, Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by that same margin (4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). “Q-100” was locked on 4.7 (6+) in September and October. Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Power” gained one-tenth in October. Those group owners are involved in another close skirmish between two of the market’s country properties, with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.0 – 4.1, +.1, three-way tie at #10 to #11, 6+) holding a four-tenths advantage over Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” (3.4 – 3.7, +.3, #15 to #13, 6+). At the same time, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, #30, 6+). A gain of two-tenths by Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY (1.7, #20 to #19, 6+) applies the brakes to four straight negative or flat trends that resulted in an overall loss of six-tenths (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). After registering three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM relinquishes two-tenths to 10.0 (6+), but is #1 for the 23rd successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. In addition to dropping from second to fourth (5.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” has its string of successive flat or progressive trends that netted a +1.8 end at four (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Frozen on 3.7 (6+) in June and July and then on 4.0 (6+) in September and October, Radio One gospel WPZE stumbles by one-half share to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.4, with “Praise 102.5” spiraling from the top ten (#10 to #15).

8) Philadelphia – Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #14, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX is a collective +1.5 via five consecutive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Philly’s Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. A combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk outlet/Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP establishes two milestones: It is #1 for the first time in the PPM-era and records its best-ever 6+-stat. Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. At 10 – 1, the Eagles have the NFL’s highest winning percentage; at this time last year, WIP was #7 (4.9, 6+, November 2016). The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its fifth straight up or flat trend for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+) as the key station of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers climbs from #18 to #15. Even though it adds two-tenths (7.6 – 7.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is dislodged from #1 and segues to #2. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. In addition to posting its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.5, CBS Radio-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fourth straight month for an overall -1.9 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6, fourth to fifth, 6+). Showing losses of one-half share each are Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.0 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99 – Philadelphia’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (4.1 – 3.6, #7 to #13, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.3, #19 to #21, 6+). When WMMR gained four-tenths in October, it halted five straight down or flat trends that resulted in a combined -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). This marks the first time “Power 99” is below a four-share (6+) since May 2016’s 3.7. WKVP was locked on 1.8 (6+) in September and October.

9) Long Island – Tied with KQED-FM (see San Francisco above) for largest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” shakes off October’s -.9 with a +1.3 (6.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to advance from second to first, which is where it was between June and September. After three consecutive surges that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; and surrendered six-tenths in September. A full-share decrease in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. It is a short one-month stay at #1 for iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is down three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, 6+) and shifts to third. “Z-100” had a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Sandwiched between WALK-FM and WHTZ is CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” (third to second), logging its fourth straight increase for an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (5.0 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), which has its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance; iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-formatted WAXQ “Q-104.3” (3.4 – 3.9, tenth to seventh, 6+); and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+). An October dip of three-tenths by “Q-104.3 halted at nine its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that WBLS has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” gains three-tenths (2.4 – 2.7, 6+) and inches up from #16 to #14. It is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 36th consecutive ratings period. As it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” adds two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase for a -1.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). After being up or flat for seven straight months for a cumulative +1.6 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.1 and departs the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths as well and also exiting the top ten is CBS Radio all-news WCBS-AM (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #12, 6+), which has a three-share showing (6+) in Long Island for the 13th consecutive sweep. This is the fourth time in succession that Cox Media Group CHR WBLI (flat at #6) records a negative trend (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) and it is an overall -1.9 since July.

10) Riverside – By doubling its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.4, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” jumps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Owing to its third straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” (seventh to fourth) has its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. This marks the fourth consecutive up or flat trend for LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, unchanged at #6, 6+), which is +.6 since July. Steady at #9, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +.5 in four straight ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Despite gaining one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), halting three straight dips for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI backslides from fifth to seventh. While it is on top for the 25th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” falters by eight-tenths (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. In October, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA was just two-tenths behind “Jose,” but KOLA fades by -1.5 to 6.0, nine-tenths off the pace, but is still in second-place. In back-to-back sweeps (September and October), KOLA gained a combined +2.4 (5.1 – 6.5 – 7.5, 6+). KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016 and was back at #2 between January and July (2017). A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. Slipping from third to fourth, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” is an overall -1.2 in its third straight decline (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times in three straight increases (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), but “Recuerdo” slips by three-tenths in November to 1.2 (#11 to #14, 6+).

11) San Jose – Within 3.0 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the past ten (10) survey periods, CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” breaks out a +1.0 (3.2 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to sixth. Improving by a cumulative +1.8 via four successive progressive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from fourth to third. Two Bay Area sports talk outlets improve by one-half share each: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#28, 6+). Regaining the one-half share it lost in October, KNBR was without an increase in San Jose the past six months for an overall -1.5 since April (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). In four straight upticks, “The Game” has nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+), which had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Setting the pace in San Jose for the fourth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM is an overall +1.3 in three consecutive gains (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. This represents its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Slipping from ninth to tenth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” is off one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), thus curtailing at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+); October’s 3.9 is its best 6+-share in San Jose since December’s 4.1. After being a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from fourth to eighth. September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report, whereas 3.7 is its weakest since July’s 3.7. Off by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (5.4 – 4.8, third to fourth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.2, flat at #6, 6+), which was locked on 4.8 (6+) in September and October. In addition to falling from a three-way tie at #19 to #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), ending three straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+).

12) Middlesex – A pair of adult contemporary outlets combine for a +1.6. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLTW “Lite-FM” hangs out a full-share improvement to advance from sixth to third, while Beasley Media Group-owned WMGQ “Magic 98.3” increases by six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to seventh, 6+). This is the fourth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for “Lite-FM” for an overall +1.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9, 6+) and its best 6+-showing here since February (5.9, as well). Unchanged at #5, CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” registers its third straight increase for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). For the eighth time in the last ten sweeps (and fourth straight), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU registers a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and stays at #15. Not only does it post a positive spike of nine-tenths (7.3 – 8.2, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the 11th consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to its third straight increase (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR is a collective +1.1, with “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” cracking the top ten (#13 to #10). Eroding by one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” drops from third to sixth with its lowest 6+-showing in Middlesex since February (4.3, as well). Having trended 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 (June through September, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improved by six-tenths in October to 4.4, its best 6+-stat in Middlesex-Somerset-Union since 4.5 in March. In November, however, “Z-100” surrenders nine-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Dropping by eight-tenths each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (6.8 – 6.0, repeating at #2, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (3.2 – 2.4, #11 to #16, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-share via eleven (11) straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” drops two-tenths to .8 (#25 to #26, 6+).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

| July 11, 2013

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Leaves KSFO, San Francisco AM Show.  This was radio and news pro Melanie Morgan’s second go-round with the Cumulus news/talker.  Morgan was a longtime fixture on KSFO alongside Lee Rodgers on the morning drive show when it was owned by ABC Radio (then Citadel) until her departure from the station in 2008.  She worked briefly with Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News” based in Washington, DC but was forced to return to San Francisco to deal with a health issue.  She joined the morning show at KSFO again – this time with Brian Sussman as co-host 18 months ago.  Morgan Tweeted to followers: “Breaking – Melanie Morgan leaves KSFO morning show. No more 2:45 alarms. Amicable parting. Thanks KSFO listeners. God Bless You!”

elleryjackWCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey Legend Jack Ellery Retires.  Greater Media announces that New Jersey radio legend Jack Ellery is retiring from WCTC, New Brunswick after a career that has spanned 50 years.  Ellery, most recently morning host at the station, has spent the better part of his career at WCTC.  Ellery began as a disc jockey but quickly turned his daily morning show into a forum for discussion on the latest news in Central Jersey and the state, providing insight, wit and humor, as one of the true pioneers of local talk radio.  Greater Media states, “Along the way, the radio veteran was also instrumental in helping WCTC raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Jersey charitable organizations through on-air radiothons and different drives for local residents in dire need.  Ellery capped off his career as one of Central Jersey’s iconic radio personalities with his inclusion in the New Jersey Broadcasters Association’s inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees last year.  He also received the NJBA’s Lifetime Achievement award at that time.”  WCTC station manager Dan Henrickson says, “Jack has served our community, our advertisers and our audience for multiple decades.  We wish him all the best in the ‘gone fishing’ portion of his life.”

wbz-fm logoBoston Globe Examines Local Sports Talk Radio Battle.  Boston Globe sports columnist Chad Finn takes a deeper look at the ratings war between CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” and Entercom’s WEEI-FM after the Arbitron PPM data for the June period were released late yesterday.  It turns out the NHLweei logo Stanley Cup push by the hometown Bruins – whose games are broadcast on WBZ-FM – was very good news for the station.  Finn digs into the Men 25-54 numbers average from the last three ratings periods (April, May and June) and reports the following: WBZ-FM was #1 in the demo with a 10.2 share and WEEI-FM was tied for 5th place with a 5.5 share; in morning drive WBZ-FM morning show Toucher and Rich were first with a 13.4 share.  WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan were fifth with a 6.0 though Finn notes that D&C were up in June with a 7.0 share.  Things got a little closer in the evenings when play-by-play for the Bruins and the Red Sox were happening.  Finn writes, “In the evenings (7-p.m-midnight), The Sports Hub, featuring the Baseball Reporters, the Adam Jones Show and Bruins game broadcasts, was first with a 13.4 share, including a massive 16.2 in June.  WEEI’s nighttime programming, including the Planet Mikey Show and Red Sox and Celtics broadcasts, was second (9.7, including a 10.2 in June).”  The next couple of surveys will be interesting as WEEI has the monopoly on play-by-play with Red Sox baseball.   Read Finn’s entire column here.

wscr logoChicago Sports Talk War Featured in Tribune.  The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman dives into the Men 25-54 PPM data for what he terms the spring ratings – April, May and June PPM averages – for the market’s major sports talk outlets CBS Radio-owned WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP.  Sherman reports WSCR finished fourth in the market with a 4.7 share against WMVP’s 16th place finish on a 2.4 share (Men 25-54 Mon-Sun 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight).  Breaking out some of the individualwmvp programs, Sherman reports in morning drive WSCR’s “’Mully & Hanley’ were third at 6.8; ‘Mike & Mike’ were 10th at 2.9 on MVP.  In the afternoon, ‘Boers & Bernstein’ were second at 5.2, while ‘Waddle & Silvy’ were 16th at 2.6 in the first three months of their new time slot for WMVP.”  Sherman also spoke with both program directors – WSCR’s Mitch Rosen and WMVP’s Adam Delevitt – in searching for reasons the stations, which were often very close in ratings in the past, have separated recently with WSCR pulling ahead.  Rosen tells the Tribune, “We’ve stuck with the same lineup for several years.  People get into habits when it comes to listening to stations.  Continuity makes a big difference in radio.”  Delevitt points out what his company sees as its strength in a multi-platform approach.  “With ESPN, you have to focus on all of our platforms.  Nobody can duplicate what we’re doing on every platform.”  You can read Sherman’s entire piece here.

conclaveMichael Harrison to Deliver Keynote Address at The Conclave – Says the Future of Radio Rests Upon the Shoulders of Talent.  The long-running annual industry learning conference, The Conclave, is coming up in just six days!  Set for Wednesday, July 17 – Friday, July 19 at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis, the 38th installment of this major, non-profit industry institution will feature a packed lineup of speakers from both music and talk radio (click here for the complete agenda).  TALKERS publisher Michaelharrisonmichael Harrison is set to deliver the event’s Keynote Address on Thursday, July 18 at 9:00 am.  The title of his speech is “Radio in the Digital Age: Where Does Talent Fit In?” His presentation will approach today’s key issues – immense debt, generational and cultural shifts, exotic new media, audience measurement shortcomings, plus the increasing importance of intellectual property, talent becoming entrepreneurial, and the humanity that radio should offer and has the potential to still do so well.  Looking ahead to his presentation, Harrison states, “The Conclave is designed as a platform for learning and I intend to use this opportunity to share the experience of my 45-year career in professional broadcasting and present-day insights accrued being the publisher of two leading trades with the young up-and-comers who are hopeful that radio can yet provide them with a rewarding career.  The past, present and future of radio is primarily a story about talent.  I will talk about the survival and ‘thrival’ of talent – upon whose shoulders rests the future of this industry.”

daultondarrenWPEN-FM, Philadelphia Baseball Talk Host Darren Daulton Diagnosed with Brain Cancer.  The former MLB star and host of “Talkin’ Baseball with Dutch” took a break from his regular 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm nightly baseball show on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic” to have tumors removed from his brain and the result of tests on those tumors showed they are cancerous.  Darren Daulton Foundation president Tony Perri posted a message on Daulton’s official website stating, in part: “Darren has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (“GBM”), a form of brain cancer.  He has returned to his Clearwater area home to continue recuperating amongst his immediate family and friends.  He will eventually begin treatments in Florida. Darren and his family wish to thank everyone for their loving support throughout this difficult time.  He is deeply touched. In typical fashion, he again said, ‘Right on; Fight on.’  Darren and his family request that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family during this period of time.  At his urging, I can report that the September 9, 2013 golf tournament that benefits the Foundation will continue as planned.”

wolfsoncarlFormer KPOJ, Portland Talk Host Building Online Progressive Talk Destination.  Carl Wolfson was the morning drive host at Clear Channel’s KPOJ, Portland before the company dropped the progressive talk format andsmithjefferson flipped it to sports talk in November of 2012.  Undaunted, Wolfson created a live, daily morning program on the internet and “Carl in the Morning” has been building a listenership on Wolfson’s internet station.  Now, he’s adding another program to the station as former Oregon State Representative Jefferson Smith begins hosting a program called “Thank You Democracy” two days a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am.  According to Willamette Week, Wolfson writes about the show, “Each episode of ‘Thank You Democracy’ will take a topic and cover that topic from various angles.  The show will benefit from Jefferson’s network of relationships, as well as his experience as an activist, nationally recognized non-profit executive, advisor to elected officials, as well as a candidate and office-holder himself.”

roggerjohnKRMS, Osage Beach, Missouri Host Saves Life of Guest.  It all started when “Ozarks Today” host John Rogger called author and scheduled guest June Barnhart by mistake on Monday July, 8 for an interview scheduled for a different day.  But when he spoke with her he noticed she sounded confused and hung up on him.  Fortunately the author’s publicist had his sister check in with the author’s sister who rushed over to her house to find her in bad shape.  She was dehydrated and confused and was taken to the hospital.  Rogger tells TALKERS magazine that he subsequently found out Barnhart had suffered a mild stroke but doctors say she is expected to make a full recovery.

hochmanburgerHealthy-Schmealthy, Tell ‘em You Want a Hochman Burger!  When WAXY, Miami “AM790 & FM 104.3 The Ticket” morning drive co-host Marc Hochman was asked by Miami Subs Grill to create a namesake burger to be sold at the restaurant, he was only too happy to comply.  Marc is pictured here prepping to dive into a Hochman Burger that is now available at all 32 Miami Subs locations.  (Miami Subs is partly owned by Miami-based rap star Pitbull.)  What’s in a Hochman Burger you ask?  It’s covered with cheddar and BBQ sauce and topped with Funyons!  Tasty…and crunchy, too!

wfan logoWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton to Captain Celebrity Softball Game.  Morning drive sports talk duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will choose their sides for the Major League Baseball’s Taco Bell Legends & Celebrities Softball Game during their show on CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York Friday morning at 8:00 am.  Boomer & Carton will be broadcasting live from the All-Star FanFest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  The celebrity game is now in its 9th  year as part of MLB’s All-Star Week and will be played before the All-Star Game Tuesday evening at Citi Field.  It will feature celebrities including Chris Rock, Mike Piazza, Kevin James, Darryl Strawberry, George Lopez, Dwight Gooden, Ashanti, Jennie Finch, Chord Overstreet and James Denton, among others.  Boomer Esiason is co-captaining the National League team alongside John Franco and Craig Carton and Bernie Williams will lead the American League team.

Immigration Reform, George Zimmerman Trial, Student Loan Bill, Asiana Airlines Crash Landing, Egypt Turmoil, and Canadian Rail Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10).  The battle in Congress over immigration reform and amnesty; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the bill that would address student loan interest rates; the investigation of the crash landing of the Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco; the civil and political turmoil in Egypt; and the deadly Canadian railroad accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 4, 2012

| June 4, 2012

Tom Leykis and Lionel to Discuss Their High-Profile Pioneering Digital Efforts at NMS.  Two questions (or variations thereof) regularly fielded by the TALKERS editorial staff these days are “How’s Tom Leykis doing with his new online talk show?” and “What’s Lionel up to these days with his online project?”  Both will be answered in detail straight from the horses’ mouths at the New Media Seminar’s Digital Workshop in New York City this Thursday, June 7.  As West Coast-based Leykis approaches the two-month mark into the launch of his “New Normal Network” online project and East Coast-based Lionel chalks up two years of operating “LionelMedia.com,” both individualistic graduates of the terrestrial talk show scene continue to gain traction on both the audience and revenue fronts as the industry watches with great interest.  Leykis tells TALKERS, “We had over 1.1 million sessions from our debut on April 2nd until April 30th. That number would most closely approximate cume. In our first week of 24/7 streaming, we had exactly 401,180 listeners. That was more listeners than the weekly cumes of 14 L.A./Orange County radio stations in March.”  On the revenue front, Leykis is also very pleased with immediate results saying, “At the current pace, we will make over 100K in revenue, but we are conservatively estimating 100K for the year.”  Leykis explains the key to making an online radio operation work is to provide specific listeners something they cannot get anywhere else.  He tells TALKERS, “You really have to super-serve your P1s…even in the process of selling advertising.  We go out into the marketplace and ask radio-friendly businesses the question, ‘Are you being priced out of radio?’  Because our operating costs are so much lower than radio we can offer these small businesses very affordable deals.  And when you specifically target business owners who are already in your audience as listeners, well it just makes a lot of sense.  This is what we are doing and it is working.”  Lionel describes his digital effort to TALKERS as follows: “This month is the second anniversary of the launch of LionelMedia.com, a paid subscription podcasting outlet. I podcast an hour daily of uninterrupted, unedited, commercial and break-free freeform-yet-structured spoken word. It, frankly, knows no peer. Every day I post news stories, columns, ideas, opinions and the like that supplement the subject or content of that day’s podcast. I’ll also attach a YouTube video of my latest PIX11 commentary on myriad subjects. To be most precise: I do exactly what I want. Let that sink in. My podcasts are not profane or blue in the least — in fact they could be played in their entirety on terrestrial radio. That, I feel, is a drawing point and basis for much of our success.”  Although Lionel no longer does a terrestrial radio talk show, he does regularly scheduled commentaries on Tribune television stations including New York’s WPIX channel 11 and Merlin Media’s all-news FMs in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago in addition to appearing as a regular guest on a number of terrestrial radio talk shows…exposure that helps drive traffic to his online media station.  The Digital Workshop will be moderated by Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News Service and Dan Patterson of KoPoint.  The June 7 industry-only New Media Seminar/NYC is an advance sellout.  For information call 413-565-5413.

Wisconsin Recall Spurs Question of “Equal Time” on Milwaukee News/Talk Outlets – and Beyond.  Progressive political groups are charging Clear Channel‘s WISN, Milwaukee and Journal Broadcasting‘s WTMJ, Milwaukee with violating the FCC‘s “Zapple Doctrine” which mandates “equal time” to all qualified political candidates within 60 days of an election under certain circumstances. TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that talk hosts often benefit from exemption from the “Zapple Doctrine” by qualifying as a “news interview program.” But that exemption is not always a slam dunk. Read Weisman’s column about how the courts tend to interpret this section of FCC regulations here.

WPLJ-FM, New York OM Tony Mascaro to Program WABC?  Some posts on the New York Radio Message Board indicate inside sources are reporting Cumulus Media New York is naming CHR WPLJ-FM operations manager Tony Mascaro program director of its news/talk WABC. As of the posting of this item, there is no confirmation or denying of the report from Cumulus. WABC APD Chuck Armstrong has been serving as interim program director for the station filling the role left vacant when Laurie Cantillo exited the post last fall. Stay tuned.

Tony Kornheiser Re-Ups with WTEM, Washington for Two Years.  The Red Zebra Broadcasting station announces high-profile personality Tony Kornheiser renews his deal to remain host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on ESPN 980 WTEM, Washington, DC. As part of the new contract, Kornheiser will contribute to the Washington Redskins Radio Network‘s “Official Pre-Game Show” during the football season. WTEM CEO Rick Carmean states, “Tony’s unique brand of humor and entertainment fits perfectly into our strong and highly rated midday lineup.” Kornheiser is joined weekdays by a rotating cast of co-hosts including Gary Braun, Jeanne McManus, Torie Clark, David Aldridge and longtime producer Nigel. Frequent contributors include Tony’s “Pardon the Interruption”co-host Michael Wilbon.

WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta Gives Adam Goldfein Nightly Program.  Local attorney and auto dealership owner Adam Goldfein has hosted a weekend program about cars on Cox Media‘s WSB-AM/FM for some time. Now, the station adds more air time to his schedule. The consumer issues expert begins hosting a program airing nightly from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Goldfein had been filling in for Clark Howard on the station and Cox Radio Atlanta VP and market manager Dan Kearney tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “He was doing a great job filling in for Clark Howard and his Sunday show was getting great ratings. We wanted him on more consistently.” 

Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor Drops Local Sports Talk; Dismisses Two.  Give WZON, Bangor owner Stephen King credit for manning up and personally delivering the news to sports talk hosts Dale Duff and Clem LaBree that they were being dismissed for financial reasons. Duff and LaBree hosted the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm sports talk show on WZON-AM as well as covering a slew of local sports events, including high school and college games. The Bangor Daily News reports King told the two the change had nothing to do with the quality of their work but because the programming was losing money. WZON-AM had ceased being a full-time sports talk station in November of 2010 and was carrying much of the progressive talk format from sister WZON-FM ­- The Pulse. Duff had been with the station for 19 years. Both are receiving severance from the company. Duff and LaBree’s show will be replaced by a simulcast from WZON-FM although the station will continue to air sports play-by-play.

SRN’s Tom Tradup Makes Statement on End of “Richard Land Live” Program.  The Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention issued two reprimands to Dr. Richard Land for comments he made about the Trayvon Martin case that it deemed “irresponsible, insensitive and racially charged.” It also ended his radio program that it produced that was distributed via Salem Radio Network. The controversy surrounding the statements was enhanced further by allegations Land read them from another published opinion that was not cited. SRN vice president of news/talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “Theologians have a different perspective on talk radio than the rest of our industry does. What some see as “hurtful language” on the Trayvon Martin case is, in reality, part of a free and open exchange of ideas and opinions that is the keystone of talk radio. And by talk radio standards, nothing Dr. Land may have failed to “fully attribute” on the air or on his website rose to the level of so-called plagiarism. Nevertheless, we respect the ERLC’s decision and thus the final edition of ‘Richard Land Live’ aired Saturday, June 2.

Twin Cities Radio Personality Dark Star Dies at Age 66.  Longtime Minneapolis radio personality Dark Star – real name George Chapple – was found dead in his home in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He co-hosted the “Sports Show” along with Sid Hartman on CBS Radio‘s WCCO, Minneapolis during part of his 25 years on the air there before accepting a buyout from the station in November of 2010. Recently he had been working at crosstown KFAN. He failed to show up for his Friday show there and authorities found him dead in his apartment.

Compass Media Marketing Named Exclusive Radio Sales Agent for Point-of-Purchase Service.  This story is really about the acquisition of InStore Broadcasting Network by POP Radio and the new company becomes InStore Audio Network. It delivers in-store advertising messages to more than 33,000 retail outlets – grocery, drug stores, etc. – and provides music content to some 14,000 stores. The company is enlisting Compass Media Marketing as exclusive national radio sales agent. Compass CEO Peter Kosann says, “I have been a longtime partner with POP Radio and the expanded footprint of the new company creates an exciting and compelling media product that network radio buyers will need to consider.”

KSFO, San Francisco Listeners Help Raise $135k for Fisher House Construction.  Cumulus Media‘s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco held a Memorial Day weekend fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation that began with a live remote broadcast of Brian Sussman‘s morning drive show. Sussman (r) is pictured here interviewing Fisher House representative Cindy Campbell (l). Fundraising continued over the Memorial Day weekend and more than $135,000 was collected for the construction of the Palo Alto Fisher House which provides no-cost housing and the comforts of home for family members of military personnel while their loved ones rehab and recover from various injuries and ailments. Sussman states, “This gift of over $135,000 illustrates the abundant generosity of our KSFO radio family. The Fisher House provides our troops and their families with genuine American hospitality and it’s an honor to be associated with their vital endeavor.

Iowa Farm News Broadcaster Mark Pearson Dead at 54.  Mark Pearson worked at Iowa Public Television where he hosted the “Market to Market” show and at Clear Channel‘s WHO, Des Moines where he co-hosted “The Big Show,” a program that highlighted agricultural news. Pearson died of an apparent heart attack at his home on Sunday. WHO talk show host Jan Mickelson told the Des Moines Register, “Everyone at every level in the farm community respected the guy.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

| January 3, 2012

Walter Sabo Leaves COO Position at Merlin Media.  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo has parted ways with Randy Michaels Merlin Media, the heavily venture capital-backed firm that acquired a majority share of three radio stations this past summer from Jeff Smulyan’sEmmis Broadcasting including WEMP-FM, New York and WWWN-FM, Chicago and is in the process of picking up a fourth from Harold Camping’s Family Broadcasting – WKDN-FM, in the Philadelphia market.  Merlin launched a relatively experimental all-news format at these stations targeted to what Sabo described as “working families” with an emphasis on the 25-54 female demographic.  The stations (FM News 101.9 in New York and FM News 101.1 in Chicago) received a tremendous amount of attention (and intense scrutiny) in the media before, during and after their launch prompted by former Tribune Company CEO Michaels’ negatively colorful and controversial profile, in addition to the fact that they were taking a startlingly innovative and youthful approach to delivering the all-news format.  Sabo was recruited to serve as architect of this approach due to his impeccable reputation as a longtime champion of the concept of targeting female listeners on FM and proven track record for success with spoken word on FM as a longtime consultant for WKXW-FM, Trenton (New Jersey 101.5).  When a notable rise in ratings failed to materialize in immediately subsequent survey periods coupled with widespread criticism by radio industry observers of the stations’ formats and execution – further exacerbated by Michaels receiving negative publicity in the midst of all this for being arrested on DUI charges – the heat was on and Michaels began facing enormous internal and external pressure to modify the programming approach.  He succumbed and the Merlin stations began moving in a more traditional all-news direction putting them in head-to-head competition with CBS’s long-established, traditional and wildly successful all-news outlets in New York and Chicago (WINS, WCBS and WBBM).  With this repositioning, the challenge of competing against successful, established news outlets has not produced increased ratings and the Merlin all-news initiative has become prematurely tagged throughout the industry as a monumental failure.  Sabo’s withdrawal from day-to-day operational and programming decisions, including his subsequent departure from Merlin, has been quietly happening below the radar for some time now.  Up until this article’s publication (1/2), there has been no official press release, acknowledgement or statement from either Merlin or Sabo confirming or commenting on his exit.  However,TALKERS sources inside Merlin and close to Sabo confirm that it is indeed true with Sabo telling TALKERS,“At this time my work with Merlin is complete.  The primary job was to build the most competitive team on and off the air – Merlin has the best.  Our initiatives gave investors the confidence to buy a station in a third market and grow the company.  GTCR deserves enormous credit for investing in the radio medium.  FM spoken-word is so hot that the demand for Sabo Media services has never been greater.  Our clients find that our decades of experience in the FM talk format protects their investment and shortens the profit horizon.  More importantly my beautiful wife Katie is seven months pregnant during the holidays.  That’s the news.”  Sabo will continue to serve as CEO of his consulting firm Sabo Media and internet branding and marketing company, HitViews.

Fox Sports Radio Network Debuts New Morning Program Featuring Andy Furman and Artrell Hawkins.  Today is the debut of Fox Sports Radio Network’s new morning show – “Fox Sports Daybreak” – heard from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET and featuring former Cincinnati sports talk host Andy Furman and retired NFL defensive back Artrell Hawkins.  Furman’s resume includes an 18-year run hosting “Sports Talk” at WLW, Cincinnati and, recently, the PM drive show at WQRT, Cincinnati.  Hawkins is a contributor to the Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network.  Furman has been hosting a weekend show with former NFL star Lincoln Kennedy for more than a year and that Sunday evening program with Furman and Kennedy will continue.  Fox Sports Radio VP/GM Don Martin states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Andy and Artrell hosting our new morning drive program.  The combination of a sports talk pro like Andy and a former professional football player like Artrell will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”  Fox Sports Daybreak replaces the Zakk and Jack program on the FSRN schedule.

Cumulus Media Flips WMTI-FM, New Orleans from Oldies to Sports Talk.  The Big Easy gets a new sports talk outlet as Cumulus Media drops the oldies on WMTI-FM and goes sports talk with programming from Fox Sports Radio Network, Premiere NetworksJim Rome and a PM drive show hosted by New Orleans Hornets broadcaster Gerry Vaillancourt.

New FM Talk Outlet for Little Rock.  Crain Media Group drops the active rock on KKSP-FM, Bryant, Arkansas (located to the Northwest of Little Rock) and debuts a talk format it’s calling “Fresh Talk 93.3.”  The lineup includes market news personality Neal Gladner in morning drive, Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham, Dial Global’s Clark Howard, Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” and more.

Progressive Talk Appears on WVKO, Columbus.  The station at 1580 AM is owned by Bernard Ohio LLC and its website indicates it’s doing business as Clear Conscience Communications.  The progressive talk lineup that debuted on January 2 includes Dial Global’s Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann and Bill Press plus Mike Malloy and Leslie Marshall.

Chris Schoenewald Exits Virginia-Based “Daily Constitutional” Program.  The regionally syndicated “Daily Constitutional” – based out of WCHV-AM/FM, Charlottesville, Virginia and co-hosted by Joe Thomas and Chris Schoenewald – is undergoing changes as Schoenewald is leaving the program to run for office.  He plans to announce which office he’ll seek soon.  Thomas tells TALKERS the program will continue.  “Adam Forster of Virginia Living Television and private investigator/TV anchor Nikki Lewis will be purchasing Schoenewald’s share and we’re hopeful to continue to grow and help stations in this area program locally oriented talk while freeing up their resources for news and marketing efforts.”  The “Daily Constitutional” airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  In addition, Thomas hosts the morning drive program on WCHV-AM/FM.

Sam Malone in Israel.  KSEV, Houston morning host Sam Malone is pictured here inspecting the cockpit of an Israeli F-16 during a tour of the Hatzor Air Force Base while on a trip to Israel.  Malone broadcast his program live back to his Houston audience (via the very capable technology of the Comrex ACCESS) during which he interviewed numerous Houstonians serving in the IDF, important Israeli media figures and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.  Malone tells TALKERS magazine his audience loved the content and his marketing department was able to get the broadcast event sponsored.

Iowa Caucuses, Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, Holiday Sports Action and New Year Retrospectives Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  Today’s Iowa Caucuses for GOP candidates, the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian leadership, college and pro holiday sports action and 2011 retrospectives were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.