Tag: "CBS News Radio"

Thursday, March 19, 2020

| March 19, 2020

WGN, Chicago Parts Company with Evening Personality Justin Kaufmann.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, evening talk host Justin Kaufmann leaves Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM after the company elected not to renew his contract.  Kaufmann joined WGN in 2015 after spending 21 years as a show producer at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM.  Feder says his sources expect Ji Suk Yi to move from her position as host of the “Wintrust Business Lunch” noontime program to host of the evening show.  Since Nexstar took over operation of the station from Tribune Media, on-air changes have included the exit of morning host Steve Cochran – replaced by Bob Sirott – and midday duo Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – whose former daypart was filled with a combination of the move of John Williams’ show to late mornings and Anna Davlantes leaving the Roe Conn afternoon drive show to host her own early afternoon program.

WNIR-FM, Akron Host Jim Isabella Out with Coronavirus. According to a report at CantonRep.com, WNIR, Akron evening talk show host Jim Isabella is off the air after contracting COVID-19.  Isabella tells the news organization he had flu-like symptoms last week and was hospitalized for pneumonia.  It was there he was tested for coronavirus and two days later learned the test was positive. He’s quoted saying, “Obey what the people are telling you.  I don’t know where the hell I got it.  You have to be smart… this is not a drill.”  Isabella says he has a cough and a rattle in his chest that makes it hard to talk for very long.

The Coronavirus Pandemic, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Fears, Coronavirus Relief Package, and Democratic Primary/Presidential Race, Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S and across the globe; the world’s financial markets endure another sell-off on Wednesday and economists express fear of a global recession as a result of the coronavirus; the coronavirus relief package and potential stimulus packages being considered by the Trump administration; and Joe Biden’s growing lead over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Round Three of Nielsen’s February PPM’s Posted. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  The February PPM survey covered January 30 through February 26.  You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian posts his Ratings Takeaways from the second round.  Positive movement from these markets include: Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington adds four-tenths to finish the ratings period at a 7.3 share and the #3 rank in the market; Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington also added four tenths to wrap the month at a 7.8 share and tied for the #1 rank; Entercom’s all-news WWJ, Detroit tacks a half share onto January’s four-tenths to finish the February survey at a 4.8 share and the #6 rank; iHeartMedia’s conservative talk KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7” adds another three-tenths, posting a 3.6 share and the #13 rank; and Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore puts another half share on top of seven consecutive ratings gains for a 4.4 share and the #8 rank in the market.  See all of Mike Kinosian’s Takeaways here.

New York Festivals Radio Awards Announces 2020 Finalists. The 2020 New York Festivals Radio Awards International Grand Jury has selected the finalists in this year’s competition.  All finalists move on to the medal round of judging.  New York Festivals Radio Awards will announce the 2020 award winners on Tuesday, April 21.  The Grand Jury selected the finalists based on the following criteria: production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. New York Festivals says prominent broadcasters that took the lead include: RTÉ Ireland, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS News Radio, and Radio New Zealand. You can see the complete list of finalists here. Meanwhile, other U.S. broadcasters of note to make the medal round include: in the Podcast category – “30 for 30 Podcasts: Season 6,” ESPN Films, “Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith” Spotify; “Dolly Parton’s America,” OSM Audio/ WNYC Studios; and “Sleepwalkers,” iHeartMedia.  In the Breaking News, Feature and Investigative categories: “75th Anniversary of D-Day,” Westwood One; “Protests Grip Hong Kong,” Bloomberg LP; “CBS World News Roundup” and “Notre Dame,” CBS News Radio.

TALKERS News Notes. The New Jersey Broadcasters Association announces it is canceling this year’s Annual Conference & Gala, originally scheduled for June 16 and 17 in Atlantic City.  President and CEO Paul Rotella says, “That’s not something we wanted to do, because we enjoy that event and we were very much looking forward to it.  Like you, we treasure the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our magnificent industry, especially this year when we were going to celebrate the century of service provided by broadcasters.  But our number-one priority at this time is health and safety, and the CDC’s guidelines make clear that gatherings over 50 people should be avoided for at least the next eight weeks, and of course that makes our planning futile. (It was going to be great too!) But, the show will go on my friends, if not this year, then next year.”…..John FredericksDisruptor Media LLC buys WNTW-AM, Chester, Virginia and translator W224EB, Chester at 92.7 FM in the Richmond market from Nancy A. Epperson’s Delmarva Educational Association for $240,000.  This pair will become part of the John Fredericks Radio Network based at his WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia…..Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois-based Big Radio is creating an online directory connecting consumers with the innovative ways that local businesses are continuing to serve them during the COVID-19 emergency.  The directory provides information on local restaurants, retailers, and other businesses that are offering services while still complying with the health emergency directives.  Listings are updated on a regular basis and are being provided free of charge to businesses in the Big Radio family of stations coverage area.  Big Radio co-owner Ben Thompson says, “Local businesses are the biggest supporters of our community and we wanted to find a way to help them publicize changes in their operations so that community residents could lend a hand by continuing to shop local.”  Big Radio is the business brand of Scott and Ben Thompson who own 10 stations and other businesses throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.

KMZQ, Las Vegas Morning Host Heidi Harris Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Although every corner of the nation and world have been hit hard by the coronavirus, Las Vegas has been particularly impacted due to the preponderance of hospitality and travel-oriented industries that make the market tick.  KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harris, a 22-year veteran of Las Vegas broadcasting, and Harrison take a conversational deep dive into the coronavirus-era machinations of the “gig economy” as well as state of the convention, travel, hospitality, and gambling industries in a fascinating, fast-paced program with lots of takeaways.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the New York market Mediaco Holdings appoints Jonathan Bates vice president of brand partnerships for hip hop WQHT “Hot 97” and urban contemporary WBLS.  Bates has been serving as executive vice president for The Shadow League, a “website dedicated to presenting journalistically sound sports coverage through the lens of culture.”  Mediaco SVP of revenue Victor Giacomelli says, “Jonathan is an exceptional digital sales and marketing leader whose 20 years of digital experience will enable us to accelerate opportunities for clients to benefit from the wide array of authentic ‘Hot 97’ digital content opportunities.  Jonathan is expected to recruit a team of multicultural digital marketing specialists to partner with clients on a variety of ‘Hot 97’ digital and social opportunities.”…..iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108” is presenting a Billie Eilish experience this evening to offer fans who would have attended Eilish’s canceled concert in town tonight (3/19).  At 7:30 pm, the station will play Eilish’s music, interview clips, and listeners sharing their Billie thoughts and stories.  Station PD Dylan Sprague states, “Since her show at the Garden has been postponed, it’s the best way for fans to join together in our love for Billie Eilish.  If we were at the show, we’d be all singing these songs together.  Why not belt ‘em out at home?”

Friday, March 13, 2020

| March 13, 2020

Craig Schwalb Joins WTOP, Washington as Director of Content Integration and Operations. Programming pro Craig Schwalb is named director of content integration and operations for Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington.  At the same time, Hubbard announces that Sarah Beth Hensley is assuming the digital news director position for WTOP.  That position opened after Julia Ziegler was promoted to director of news and programming.  Hensley is returning from maternity leave from her previous position as digital news manager.  Ziegler says, “The addition of our new director of content integration and operations was incredibly important to me in terms of being able to serve the newsroom most effectively.  An additional member on the leadership team helps ensure we meet our content evolution and quality control goals, as well as our goals for team training, development and growth.”  Schwalb was most recently program director for WABC, New York.  Prior to that, he was program director at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence.  He says, “For news and content, D.C. is the epicenter.  And if you are in D.C. you are listening to ‘TOP.  Joining this great station at this fascinating time is an absolute honor and a dream come true.  Thanks to Joel Oxley, Julia Ziegler, and Greg Strassell for this incredible opportunity.”  Ziegler says of Hensley, “In our roles as digital news director and digital news manager, respectively, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with Sarah Beth and am constantly reminded of her commitment to excellence and dedication to the WTOP mission and vision.”  Schwalb starts his new position Monday (3/16), and Hensley’s new role begins on April 14.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “The Panic Is the Cure!” looks back at this past week of March 9-13, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSSid Rosenberg, talk show host, 77WABC, New York; Charles Freedman, talk show host, KSCO, Santa Cruz; Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist, Psychcast MDEdge; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University / webmaster, Scamicide.com; William O’ Shaughnessy, chairman, Whitney Global Media; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Salem Media Group Q4 Revenue Dips 3.8%; Broadcast Down 1.2%.  In addition to reporting consolidated earnings, Salem Media Group breaks its operations into three segments: broadcasting, digital, and publishing.  For the fourth quarter of 2019, Salem’s broadcast segment reported net revenue of $50.5 million, down 1.2% from the same period in 2018.  Station Operating Income decreased 0.8% to $12.5 million; Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 1.2% to $49.4 million; and Same Station SOI decreased 0.5% to $12.8 million from $12.9 million.  For the quarter, digital and publishing were down 15% and 5.1%, respectively.  For the full year of 2019, total revenue was $253.9 million, down 3.4% from the full year of 2018.  For all of 2019, the broadcast segment’s net revenue was $193.3 million – a decline of 2.6%.  Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 1.2% and Same Station SOI was off 12.1% to $44.8 million from $51.0 million.

CBS News Turns 82 Today. It was on March 13, 1938 at 8:00 pm ET that “World News Roundup” aired as a one-time special in response to growing tensions in Europe and specifically the Anschluss, during World War II when Adolf Hitler invaded Austria.”  CBS News was founded with the debut of that program that was thrown together with Edward R. Murrow in Austria and anchored by Robert Trout in New York.  In a note to his team (currently relocated in the Washington, DC bureau due to coronavirus cases in the New York studio building), CBS News Radio vice president and general manager Craig Swagler says, “Today we should all be extremely proud of the work we are doing with our outstanding journalists around the globe.  We at CBS News Radio continue the legacy of providing the best in news and information to our affiliated stations as it is needed now more than ever!  Good night and good luck to us all.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel Calling for Action Related to COVID-19. Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel is calling on the FCC to take aggressive action in response to COVID-19.  Her statement reads: “The coronavirus is already exposing hard truths about the digital divide, but the Federal Communications Commission has the power to help.  Nationwide this crisis means that we are going to explore the expansion of telework, telehealth, and tele-education.  The FCC should immediately convene the country’s broadband providers to discuss what they are doing right now to provide service for Americans. We need to explore how we can facilitate public-private partnerships and consumer education campaigns to expand the reach of connectivity as quickly as possible at little or no-cost to Americans who are impacted by the coronavirus.  Where data caps are in place, we need to explore how those limitations can be eliminated.  We also need to understand how broadband providers will keep workers safe and keep their services running for Americans who will increasingly rely on broadband connectivity for work, healthcare, and education.  At the same time, the FCC should get to work to harness its universal service powers to meet this challenge. The FCC should work with health care providers to ensure connectivity for telehealth services are available for hospitals, doctors, and nurses treating coronavirus patients and those who are quarantined.  In addition, as classrooms move online, the FCC should identify how it can use its authority to provide wi-fi hotspots for loan for students whose schools have closed their doors.  We have an opportunity to confront this challenge head-on and we need to act with urgency.”

TALKERS News Notes. In an effort to assist broadcasters working from home or remote locations, AdLarge Media is offering QGoLive for free over the next two weeks.  QGoLive is an app that allows talent to broadcast remotely with studio-quality audio on iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, or Mac.  AdLarge VP of affiliate marketing Jessica Sherman says, “We know that broadcasters need to continue to provide information and entertainment to their communities, especially during times of crisis or disaster.  AdLarge wants to help keep every radio on-air talent as safe as possible while still broadcasting to their local market.  That’s why we’re offering QGoLive for free for the next two weeks.”  Broadcasters can get the free two-week trial of QGoLive here…..Westwood One and TM Studios are offering a free coronavirus sung music package for radio stations worldwide.  TM Studios GM/vice president of creative Greg Clancy states, “In times of crisis, people turn to local radio.  Radio provides valuable information during these rare, critical events.  This music package was created for stations to provide a focused, cohesive identity around the constant flow of reactions and responses to COVID-19 that are now being communicated to radio listeners.”  Stations can download the package for free, unlimited use here…..ABC Audio says that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to unfold many may be experiencing a wide range of emotions including: anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.  For that reason, ABC Audio’s “Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris” podcast is posting a bonus episode today (3/13).  In it, Harris speaks with experts Dr. Luana Marques, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the senior clinical psychologist at the MGH Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders program, and Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast columnist and teacher and editor at Ten Percent Happier.  Ten Percent Happier is available for free on all podcast platforms…..The syndicated talk show “The Art of Living and Science of Life with Danielle Lin” is joining the program schedule at SNJ Today’s WSNJ, Bridgeton, New Jersey.  The station – owned by Ken Pustizzi – promotes itself as “Positive Talk” for the community…..Beasley Esports announces that Nathan Bender (left) and Ric ‘Weirdbeard’ Hogerheide (right) are hosts of CheckpointXP’s newest show, “All of Esports.”  Beasley says, “Nate and Weirdbeard have an opinion on everything and they’ll give it to you in two minutes or less!  When the bell sounds, it’s on to the next topic.  These two rarely agree on anything, but one thing they do agree on is their commitment to keeping fans in the know and engaged on everything esports!”

Coronavirus Pandemic Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 9-13, 2020. For the first time since TALKERS began tracking the stories discussed on news/talk radio in the early 1990s, aspects of a single news event occupy the top seven positions on the Talkers TenTM chart.  This week, the coronavirus pandemic as it’s affecting the human psyche, our health care system, the world economy, politics and the presidential race, the media, U.S-China relations, and our sports and entertainment industries were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  See the entire Talkers TenTM chart for this week, here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show co-host at Entercom’s classic hits WOMC, Detroit is Jim “JJ” Johnson.  He moves from middays to join JoAnne Purtan for the “JJ and JoAnne” show, taking over for Stephen Clark, who exited to pursue his country music career.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Jim Johnson is one of the most well-known radio personalities in Detroit, with over 40 years of experience exclusively in the market.  Jim and JoAnne have great chemistry on air together and I look forward to Jim bringing his humor and passion for music to mornings on 104.3 WOMC.”…..In Monroe, Louisiana, Stephens Media Group names Doug Daniels, a.k.a. Doug Holzmeier, operations manager for the stations including adult contemporary KZRZ “Sunny 98.3,” rock KXRR, country KMYY “92.3 The Wolf,” and rhythmic CHR KNNW “Now 103.1.”  Daniels says, “I love these people!  I’ve had more fun in two weeks doing local radio than I’ve had in the previous decade.”  He was most recently with Big Horn Media’s nostalgia-formatted KUEZ, Reno “Easy 104.1.”…..Cumulus Media announces that CHR WPRO-FM, Providence program director Davey Morris is scheduled to be inducted into the Rhode Island Radio and Television Hall of Fame at the 2020 Rhode Island Radio and Television Hall of Fame Annual Induction Dinner on April 30.  Morris began his broadcasting career in 1990 at WPRO-FM as a college intern and was hired full time in March 1991 to host overnights.  Since that time, he has been heard in all dayparts on WPRO-FM and is the longest-running afternoon drive host in the history of the station.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

| February 12, 2020

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Stars Dennis & Judi Announce ‘UnPLUGGED’ Performance. WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” midday personalities Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are performing a live stage show titled, “Dennis & Judi: UnPLUGGED,” at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at The Count Basie Center in Red Bank, New Jersey on Saturday, May 2.  The station says that the live show “will feature many of the elements that make ‘Dennis & Judi’ popular among the station’s audience, including live music, audience interaction, and special guests.”  Ron de Castro is market president for Townsquare Media and he adds, “We’re excited to offer this very special night with New Jersey 101.5’s top-rated midday show hosts. Dennis and Judi’s 20 plus-year-long friendship has a special chemistry that transcends multiple media every day, and now we’re pleased to add the dimension of a live stage show to their already substantial brand.”

Covering the New Hampshire Primary. News networks and some talk radio hosts were in New Hampshire on Tuesday covering the state’s Democratic primary election.  CBS News Radio was headquartered in Manchester for the New Hampshire primary with reporter Steve Dorsey there, Steven Portnoy with Pete Buttigieg, WCBS-AM reporter Steve Burns with Bernie Sanders, and Jim Krasula with former Vice President Joe Biden in Columbia, South Carolina.  Pictured at right is Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Steve Burns.   FOX News Radio offered live coverage of the returns with FOX News national correspondent Jared Halpern anchoring plus political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR reporters Tonya J. Powers and Jessica Rosenthal.  In addition, FNR produced a number of podcasts focused on the race, including “The Campaign with Bret Baier” and the latest from anchor Dana Perino and FOX News politics editor Chris Stirewalt’s “I’ll Tell You What.”  Plus, FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show is broadcasting live from Manchester throughout the week.  Pictured at left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro, who took his radio program to New Hampshire to cover the primary.  Westwood One News‘ coverage of the primary included correspondent Bob Costantini (right) at the Bernie Sanders victory celebration at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

iHeartMedia Unveils iHeartPodcast AdSuite. Today (2/12) at Podfront LA 2020, iHeartMedia unveiled its iHeartPodcast AdSuite – a package of tools designed to help marketers drive results via “iHeartMedia’s unmatched podcast offerings, distribution and listener reach.” iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “As the podcast industry continues to evolve and capture massive consumer attention, advertisers and brands are looking for tools and products to capture and measure the impact.  They are often left without a system for quantitatively monitoring the success, impact. and reach of podcast advertising.  As the leader in the space of both audio and podcasting, we are meeting this challenge head on, offering a new suite of cutting-edge podcast ad products – from better targeting to boosted reach across broadcast radio – as well as pulling together performance and insights across the multiple platforms where we reach audiences.”  The company says the iHeartPodcast AdSuite provides advertisers “with diverse ad formats and customization tools.  Through these products, iHeartMedia has created a dynamic range of options for advertisers and brands to reach their audiences with targetability and scale without sacrificing the listener experience.”

Allgeier to Lead Leighton Broadcasting in Winona. Sales and management pro Jim Allgeier is appointed general manager for Leighton Broadcasting’s Winona, Minnesota station group that includes news/talk KWNO and four music brands.  He was most recently market manager for Federated Media’s Fort Wayne, Indiana operations.  Leighton vice president of sales and marketing Stephanie Theisen says, “Jim is an accomplished media expert with experience in radio and beyond.  The addition of a radio veteran like Allgeier, with over 19 consecutive years in the business, will provide the direction and leadership we have been seeking for our Winona market.”

Presidential Race-NH Primary, Wuhan Coronavirus, Roger Stone Case, Trump Budget-Deficit Concerns, Weinstein Trial, and Jussie Smollett Indicted Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November and Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the effect on China’s economy; four prosecutors resign as the Justice Department reduces the sentencing of convicted Trump attorney Roger Stone; the Trump administration’s fiscal 2021 budget and the Fed’s concerns about the soaring deficit; the sexual assault trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; and actor Jussie Smollett’s indictment on disorderly conduct charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Raleigh CHR WDCG-FM “G105” adds air personality Danny Meyers to “The Showgram” alongside Erica, Ben, and AshleyhiHeartMedia Raleigh SVP of programming Trevor Morini says, “I am incredibly excited to welcome Danny to ‘The Showgram.’  Danny’s extensive track record of morning show success and experience coupled with the other talented hosts make this the perfect fit for ‘G105.’”  Meyers joins the Raleigh market from iHeartMedia Norfolk, where he most recently served as the morning show host on hot AC WMVN “MOViN 107.7.”…..Cumulus Media names Brian Roberts program director for hot AC KEHK-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Star 102.3” and adult contemporary KSCR-AM/FM.  Roberts moves to Eugene from his most recent position with Cumulus programming adult contemporary WPEZ-FM, Macon, Georgia “Z93.7.”…..Air personality Greg Rivers leaves Alpha Media’s news/talk WHBC, Canton, Ohio to join iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMXY, Youngstown, Ohio as morning show host…..Estrella Media, Inc. appoints Eddie León executive vice president, radio programming.  In this position, León will be responsible for overseeing programming at Estrella Media’s 17 owned-and-operated radio stations across the U.S., including the Don Cheto Radio Network…..Matt Stockman is the new director of programming for Pillar of Fire’s contemporary Christian WAWZ-FM, New York “Star 99.1.”  He was most recently a program director with K-Love.

Friday, December 6, 2019

| December 6, 2019

Weiss Named iHM NYC Market President. Region senior vice president of  sales for iHeartMedia’s New York group, Bernie Weiss, is appointed market president of iHeartMedia New York City. Weiss will continue to report to iHeartMedia market groups division president Scott Hopeck. At the same time in a corresponding move, director of sales Steve DeLusant takes over for Weiss. Hopeck states, “I’m thrilled to promote both Bernie and Steve. It is especially rewarding to find the best candidates for key leadership roles in your own building. They are extremely knowledgeable about our ever-evolving business and have built their personal brands by accelerating the growth of our iconic stations. I’m confident they will continue to elevate our New York operation to even greater heights.” Weiss remarks, “Listeners continue to crave companionship and advertisers continue to demand ROI – broadcast radio delivers on both fronts. iHeartMedia continues to be one of the most innovative media players, offering the best content and programming for hundreds of millions of listeners. I am looking forward to working with the New York team to build on our already strong connection with listeners, advertisers, and in the community.” Weiss joined iHeartMedia New York in 2004 as an account executive for urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” and previously held several radio general sales management positions in Europe. DeLusant was sales manager for several iHM New York City stations and earlier was senior account executive for Emmis Communications, where he specialized in multicultural marketing. Earlier in his career, he was a sales associate for iHeartMedia’s WLTW. In addition to news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York,” iHeartMedia’s New York City cluster consists of market-leading (adult contemporary) WLTW “106.7 Lite FM”; CHR WHTZ “Z-100”; classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3”; urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1”; and rhythmic CHR WKTU.

KABC Resets Its On-Air Lineup. Major changes going into effect January 1 at Cumulus Media Los Angeles news/talk KABC include Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (“The Armstrong & Getty Show”) slotted in morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am). The syndicated duo succeeds locally-originated “The Morning Drive with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.” Continuing at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is Larry O’Connor (based from Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL). Aforementioned John Phillips segues solo from morning drive to assume the 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm slot occupied by Dr. Drew Pinsky and Leeann Tweeden (“Dr. Drew Midday Live”). Unchanged is Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), but the local 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm “Peter Tilden Show” will give way to Westwood One’s Michael Savage. Thus, displaced by the changes are Jillian Barberie, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Leeann Tweeden, and Peter Tilden. KABC general manager Drew Hayes comments, “KABC has a proud history as one of the first ‘all-talk’ radio stations in the United States. With these great additions to our lineup, KABC will offer our audience even more of the content that they love, featuring outstanding local and nationally recognized talent.” KABC will continue as the flagship for University of Southern California football and basketball. KABC more than doubled (+.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight upticks (.3 – .4 – .5 – .7, July – August – September – October, Nielsen Audio, 6+) but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” forfeits one-tenth in the November 2019 sweep to .6 (#35 to #38, 6+).

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/22).  The new episode titled “The Trump Paradox!” looks back at this past week of December 2-6, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Blanquita Cullum, talk show host, WCGO, Chicago /Smart Talk Network; Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, Fox News Channel / Fox News Radio; Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Sid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York; William O’ Shaughnessy, CEO, Whitney Global Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm; followed by WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

WDAF To Become K.C. Chiefs Flagship in 2020. As part of a multi-year agreement between the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Entercom Kansas City, country WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” will become the key station of the 70-station Chiefs Radio Network as of February 16, 2020. Sports talk sibling KCSP “610 Sports Radio” will become the official “broadcast partner” of the Chiefs, with rights to Chiefs programming, including radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs weekly in-season press conference with the club’s head coach (Andy Reid) and a weekly one-on-one interview with the starting quarterback (Patrick Mahomes). In addition, KCSP will broadcast the “Chiefs Kingdom Radio Show” (Monday, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Cross-town Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “101.1 The Fox” has been the team’s flagship since 1990. Entercom regional president/market manager Dave Alpert declares, “We are extremely pleased to enter into this new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the NFL’s most well-respected and prestigious organizations. Entercom’s eight-station cluster of music, news and sports talk stations hosted by Kansas City’s leading personalities align with vast digital and podcast opportunities. We will deliver the premium and comprehensive coverage Chiefs Kingdom desires seven days a week, all season long.” Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan comments, “We look forward to partnering with ‘106.5 The Wolf’ and the powerful Entercom family of stations. The ability to bring our game broadcasts and existing weekly radio shows under one roof is a large part of this change, but we are equally excited about creating new content and developing new opportunities for Chiefs fans to engage with their favorite team.” Returning for his 27th season as play-by-play announcer will be Mitch Holthus, who has called a franchise record 426 regular and postseason Kansas City contests.

ESPN Radio Taps Fitz To Succeed Smith. “First and Last” (5:00 am – 6:00 am) host Jason Fitz is selected to replace Stephen A. Smith in ESPN Radio’s 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (ET) slot. The change is effective next month (1/20) and allows Smith to devote more time to his ESPN TV duties. Smith, however, will make a regular weekly appearance on Fitz’s show, “First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz,” which will be simulcast on ESPNews. Executive vice president/executive editor of production Norby Williamson states, “Sports fans are passionate and they love spirited debate. Jason will be joined daily by a lineup of experts and sports fans who call in to further the debate and deliver their strong opinions.” Fitz, formerly of country group The Band Perry and a regular on ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo,” comments, “I’m excited to host a show aligned with one of the biggest franchises at ESPN that will let me continue to push the ‘First Take’ topics forward and keep building my relationship with ESPN Radio listeners that means so much to me.” Fitz studied classical violin at The Julliard School. 

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at performances in the sports talk format. Roughly half the eligible sports talk panelists improve October 2019 – November 2019 (52%, 6+) while just over one in three falter (37%); the remaining 11% are unchanged from last month. Meanwhile, essentially three of every five qualifying sports talk stations register November 2018 – November 2019 gains (61%, 6+), while one in three (33%) stumble; the remaining 6% are steady from a year ago. The format is #1 in Philadelphia (Entercom’s WIP) and Long Island (Entercom-owned WFAN-FM). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. One-year Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle vice president/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland has departed the cluster. Director/brand content Scott Mahalick is absorbing those duties on an interim basis. Mulholland previously worked in the market as general manager/director of sales for Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS; general sales manager of Entercom rocker KISW; local sales manager of Sandusky smooth Jazz KWJZ; and she was general sales manager of CBS Radio-owned (now Entercom) Pittsburgh hot AC WBZZ. In addition to KKNW “Alternative Talk 1150 AM,” Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle consists of adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9”; adult standards KIXI “AM 880”; CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station”; and country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.” ….. After spending the last ten years at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN,” program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert departs. Per a Facebook post, he writes, “Well, I’ve written this and deleted it a million times trying to find the most articulate way to say this but as of this week, I am no longer a member of the ‘101 ESPN’ team. Tough to write and see but excited/terrified/anxious/hungry – and a bunch of other emotions – to see the next chapter.” Tommy Mattern, the program director of alternative cluster-mate KPNT “105.7 The Point,” adds WXOS PD duties ….. Radio/Audio nominees for the 2020 Writers Guild awards have been announced. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report” category, the nominees are: “CBS News on the Hour with Norah O’Donnell – El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio – Communities in Mourning,” written by James Hutton, CBS News Radio; “Hail and Farewell: Remembering Some Headline Makers,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio; “World News This Week, August 9, 2019,” written by Stephanie Pawlowski and Jim Ryan, ABC News Radio; and “World News This Week, September 13, 2019,” written by Joan B. Harris, ABC News Radio. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary” category, the nominees are: “The Enduring Legacy of Jackie Kennedy Onassis,” written by Dianne E. James and Gail Lee, CBS News Radio and “Woodstock: Back to the Garden,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio. Winners will be announced February 1, 2020 in New York City at an event held in the Edison Ballroom.

Comrex Now Shipping ACCESS MultiRack. The rackmount multi-channel IP audio codec from Comrex occupies 1RU and can handle up to five full-duplex IP audio connections simultaneously. ACCESS MultiRack is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs, including ACCESS Rackmount; ACCESS Portable 2USB; ACCESS NX Portable; ACCESS NX Rack; BRIC-Link; and BRIC-Link II, as well as the FieldTap smartphone app. Comrex ACCESS MultiRack is Tech3326, AES67 and SMPTE 2110-30-compatible. ACCESS MultiRack includes Comrex CrossLock technology, a proprietary suite of tools that solidify connections over IP networks. By sending two identical streams through two separate networks (redundancy mode), or combining the network bandwidth of multiple networks (bonding mode), CrossLock provides a fail-safe in the event the primary network falters. Each of ACCESS MultiRack’s codec instances can deliver and receive four contact closures, as well as transfer ancillary data to the far-end using the serial data channel. Comrex has designed and manufactured broadcast equipment since its incorporation in 1961.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More than a quarter of a million dollars ($257,268) was raised in Entercom Philadelphia classic-hits oldies outlet WOGL’s 18th annual “98.1 WOGL Loves Our Kids Radiothon” to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are so grateful for WOGL listeners and community members who donated and also very thankful for the volunteers and on-air personalities who contributed their time and talent to help make this year’s radiothon a huge success.” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia president/chief executive officer Madeline Bell notes, “The hospital programs funded by radiothon donations make a lasting difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Each year, we look forward to raising awareness of these very important services.” Airing this past Tuesday (12/3) and Wednesday (12/4), WOGL’s radiothon concluded with on-air hosts Marilyn Russell, Glenn Kalina, Bobby Smith, and Nicky G. presenting the check to CHOP ….. The 13th annual “An American Country Christmas with Kix Brooks” features special guests sharing holiday music, favorite traditions, and memories. Among those joining Brooks are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Brett Eldredge, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Stations can air the show from Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One  6:00 am – 12:00 midnight  (Saturday) 12/21 through Christmas Day (Wednesday, 12/25) …..  For the third consecutive year, iHeartMedia San Diego CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3” morning drivers Kramer & Geena teamed up with “A Million Thanks” to send letters to deployed military members. Over 50,000 letters were collected from the San Diego community and are on their way to the troops ….. As part of Beasley Media Group Tampa rhythmic CHR WLLD’s eighth annual toy drive to benefit the Children’s Home Network, “Wild 94.1” program director/morning personality Orlando Davis climbs the toy drive platform today (Friday, 12/6) and will remain there until next Saturday (12/14). Davis will do his morning show from that platform every day next week ….. In its annual “Toys For Tunes” on-air event this past Wednesday (12/4, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm), Hubbard Broadcasting Cincinnati rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” raised over $8,00 for Cincinnati Children’s Child Life Program to ensure that every child staying at the hospital during the holidays receives a new toy. Listener song requests were granted, in exchange for a $20 donation ….. On “Giving Tuesday” (12/3), Mid-West Family Broadcasting Madison (Wisconsin) alternative WRIS “The Resistance Is On 106.7” announced that More Smiles Wisconsin is the recipient of its “Community Awareness Grant” for the coming year. WRIS launched a community awareness grant that will provide a local non-profit with $15,000 in advertising in 2020. Applicants were considered for the grant based on multiple factors including the organization’s history of community service, connection to the community, mission within the community, demonstration of need, population served, and geographic region served. More Smiles Wisconsin is a non-profit that provides access to quality dental care to Medicaid, BadgerCare, and uninsured populations of south central Wisconsin. “The Resistance” hopes to help in their goal of increasing funding and awareness so that they may continue to help a growing number of patients …..  WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz” morning host/music director Kaylan Moody is leaving the Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala (Florida) alternative outlet in two weeks (12/20). Moody notes, “I am so grateful for all I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve had, but I am excited to keep growing. I am moving to Nashville to pursue a career in the record label industry. The dream job is radio promotion, but I am excited to take on whatever opportunities may arise to get my foot in the door and to start learning.”

Thursday, August 1, 2019

| August 1, 2019

Urban One Posts Strong Q2 Numbers; Net Revenue Up 5.5%. It was “a very strong quarter from an advertising revenue standpoint,” says Urban One, Inc. CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III. The parent company of Radio One reports second quarter 2019 net revenue was approximately $121.6 million, an increase of 5.5% from the same period in 2018.  Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $46.3 million, an increase of 4.5% from the same period in 2018.  Urban One reports operating income of approximately $30.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to approximately $24.8 million for the same period in 2018.  Net income was approximately $6.6 million or $0.15 per share (basic) compared to net income of approximately $23.6 million or $0.51 per share (basic) for the same period in 2018.  Liggins says, “Radio advertising was up 6.8%, TV advertising was up 9.4%, and digital was up 16.8%.  Our radio division is also pacing up approximately 8% for the third quarter, with robust demand for national business in our larger markets… Reach Media benefited from another successful cruise event, with the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage posting 12% year-over-year revenue growth… Overall, I am happy with our progress this quarter, and believe we can carry this positive momentum into the second half of the year.”

Sanchez Joins KDWN, Las Vegas for Evening Program; ‘The Vegas Take’ Moves to Mornings. Talk radio host Steve Sanchez announces he’s signed a four-year deal with Beasley Media Group to host the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm weeknight show on news/talk KDWN-AM/K268CS, Las Vegas, effective August 12.    Sanchez will continue to host his nationally syndicated weekend talk program distributed by Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez’s arrival on the KDWN program schedule comes as the station moves “The Vegas Take” with Brian Shapiro and JD Sharp from evenings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  Ray Lucia, who announced recently that he’s retiring from his radio show, had been heard in late mornings on the station.

Former KSL-FM, Salt Lake City Host Jay Mcfarland Running for Congress. Talk radio personality Jay Mcfarland gave up his “JayMac News Show” on Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City in order to run for congress in the Utah 4th Congressional District.  In a story posted at KSL.com, Mcfarland says he wants to become a national voice for conservatism.  He hopes to win the Republican primary to challenge the state’s only Democrat – Ben McAdams – and believes that this seat that is so important to Republicans will be a high-profile race nationally.  He’s quoted saying, “I got into radio to be able to impact the public debate.  Just over the last couple of years, I felt like our political discourse has degraded to such a horrific level, it’s not enough for me to talk about it.” Mcfarland hosted his radio show on KSL for the past nine years.

Bob Pittman Reminisces About MTV Launch on Michael Berry Show. Today (8/1) is the 38th anniversary of the launch of MTV. Back on August 1, 1981, 27-year-old Bob Pittman and his colleagues at MTV debuted the network that would transform television and music in ways that few had foreseen. The iHeartMedia chairman and CEO spoke on the KTRH, Houston-based, nationally syndicated Michael Berry program today about MTV and its place in history.  Pittman told Berry and his listeners “creating an identity for the NETWORK” was the most important reason for its success, sayin the one word which best described MTV was “cool.”  He also said MTV gave artists an identity to their fans.  Prior to that, with album covers largely artistic drawings, fans did not know what their favorite band looked like.  The video component gave them an insight into those bands, and their fashion.  Hear the whole interview here.

Kim Guthrie to Lead New Cox Media Group.  When Apollo Global Management agreed to acquire a majority stake in Cox’s radio stations earlier this year, it was assumed that most of its executives would remain with the new Cox Media Group since Apollo said it wanted to maintain the successful operating structure of the radio, TV, CoxReps and Gamut businesses.  Now, Cox is confirming that current Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie will lead the new company as chief executive officer.

West Virginia Radio Renews with Nielsen Audio. After a time without subscribing to Nielsen Audio’s radio ratings service, West Virginia Radio Corporation reached a new agreement for measurement in the Charleston, West Virginia market.  Company president and CEO Dale Miller says, “In a time when audience metrics are so important, Nielsen remains the only ratings currency that consistently reflects the value of our radio stations.  Having reliable research is more important now than at any other time, and we feel that Nielsen Audio is a partner in our business, allowing us to generate true ROI.  We tried plan B for a time, but you can budget cut yourself out of the business.”

iHeartMedia Proposes Private Offering of $500M of Senior Secured Notes. Today, iHeartMedia, Inc. is offering – via its wholly-owned subsidiary, iHeartCommunications, Inc., $500,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes due 2027 in a private offering.  The Notes and related guarantees will be offered only to persons reasonably believed to be “qualified institutional buyers.”  They will be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by iHeartCommunications’ direct parent, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, and the subsidiaries of iHeartCommunications that guarantee iHeartCommunications’ term loan facility.  iHeartCommunications intends to use the proceeds from the Notes, together with cash on hand, to prepay at par a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its term loan facility, to pay accrued and unpaid interest thereon to, but excluding, the date of prepayment, and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering of the Notes and the use of proceeds therefrom.

TALKERS News Notes. WEPN-FM, New York personality and New York Yankees radio voice Michael Kay is being told to stay silent for at least another 10 days after his recent vocal cord surgery.  The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Kay had hoped to return to the broadcast booth tomorrow (8/2) but his doctor says he needs more time to heal. ESPN New York general manager Tim McCarthy says they want to be careful with Kay’s return and is fine with Kay “taking the whole summer.”  For Yankees games, Ryan Ruocco will sit in next week with Bob Costas calling one of the two Yankees-Red Sox games on Saturday…..In what is becoming an informal series of appearances, talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh will join fellow Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk media star Sean Hannity on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” tonight (8/1) to talk about the Democratic debates and “the latest developments regarding former FBI director James Comey.”  Limbaugh – who appears to choose his television appearances carefully – has done several one-on-ones with Hannity during the past year.  Of course, Hannity rose to national fame filling in for Limbaugh back in the late 1990s…..CBS News Radio names Allison Keyes to the position of Washington, D.C.-based correspondent.  CBS News Radio VP and general manager Craig Swagler announces that Keyes will be integral to the network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election.  She will also focus on covering stories on diversity and equality issues.  Her reporting will be heard daily on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country.  She has served as a freelance reporter for CBS News Radio since 2014.  Prior to that, she was a reporter for NPR in Washington, where she was a guest host for the program, “Tell Me More with Michel Martin.”…..The nationally syndicated “Tony Katz Today” program is added to the air schedule at Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, effective August 5. Katz says, “With our Midwest focus, being with KFOR could not be more perfect.  Working with PD Rob Kelley, going into an election year and highlighting how big news stories affect us locally, this is gonna be amazing!”  In addition to his syndicated show, Katz is the morning drive personality at Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn appoints Juliette Morris CEO.  She’s been with the company as chief marketing officer since March of 2018…..NRG Media’s sports talk KOZN, Omaha “1620 The ZONE” remains the flagship radio station for Creighton University’s men’s basketball for the next three season and gives “The Zone” exclusive rights to broadcast play-by-play for all home and away games as well as pre-game and post-game coverage.  Creighton’s home games will also continue to be broadcast live on NRG’s sister classic rock KOOO-FM “101.9 The Keg” as part of the contract extension.  KOZN afternoon talk host John Bishop continues to handle play-by-play duties while a number of former Bluejays, including FOX Sports Radio talk show host and national college basketball television analyst Nick Bahe, will continue to provide color commentary.

Rebecca Thomas Takes on More Duties at CORE Voice Imaging and Sound Design as Media Affiliates Director. For the past 12 years, Rebecca Thomas has been doing voice work for projects and accounts at her husband’s well-known imaging firm.  Now, she adds the official role of media affiliates director to her responsibilities at her husband Sandy ThomasCore Voice Imaging and Sound Design as media affiliates director.  She tells TALKERS magazine that their audio branding company does imaging for all radio formats.  Rebecca can be reached at: CORE@ThomasVoiceImaging.com.

2020 Presidential Race/Detroit Debates, Reagan-Nixon ‘Monkeys’ Controversy, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, Capital One Hack, and China-Hong Kong Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the debates in Detroit; the controversy over the recording of Ronald Reagan referring to blacks as monkeys in conversation with Richard Nixon; the Trump Administration’s immigration and asylum policies and conditions at border detention centers; the aftermath of the hack of Capital One; and the tensions between China and Hong Kong in the wake of the recent protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Premiere Networks and Hollywood Unlocked Launch New Show. A new, two-hour weekly show from Premiere Networks and Hollywood Unlocked is debuting on 50 iHeartMedia urban contemporary stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio.   The show is “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee” and is co-hosted by Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage.  The program is targeted to hip hop fans by staying on top of hip hop culture and pop culture with “celebrity news, information and gossip, along with candid conversations with the stars who will bring truth to the latest stories and rumors.” Additionally, Lee’s podcast, “Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored,” which is also co-hosted by Ford and Damage and has more than 33 million views on its YouTube channel, is now available on iHeartRadio.

Monday, June 17, 2019

| June 16, 2019

Monday Memo: Your Email ‘Envelope.’  Consultant Holland Cooke wraps up his three-part series of tips from digital professionals with technique critical to hosts’ engagement with listener tribes (and sales reps’ approach to prospects).  “Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with listeners.  It’s a relationship that Pandora can’t emulate.  Smart syndicated hosts exploit email well, and if you’re local you can be even more relatable.”  Read more here.

Jarecki to Host Evening Show at ‘Sportsradio 610’ Houston. Sports talk host Matthew Jarecki comes to Entercom’s Houston sports talker KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” from Flagstaff, Arizona where he’s been serving as a sideline reporter for KAFF-FM and Northern Arizona University’s NAU-TV and as morning drive host on the school’s KLJX-LP radio outlet.  His new show on KILT will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Matt’s a natural when it comes to sports radio.  He has an innate ability to create unique and passionate opinions around Houston sports. His relentless work ethic will shine through and has helped him earn this opportunity.”

iHeartMedia Unveils Project Listen at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. American audio company iHeartMedia announces a partnership with London-based creative conglomerate WPP as they launch Project Listen “to develop next-generation insights, planning and creative capabilities in audio.” A press release states that “the two companies will help brands better engage with consumers and win across all audio platforms: broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers and live events.”  It goes on to say, “The study shows consumers say they are listening to audio content for an average of 17 hours a week, with millennials and younger generations listening the most.  This ramp up in listening is the direct result of the rapid growth of digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers, and airpods, on top of the massive and consistent scale of broadcast radio.”  The three-pronged partnership is composed of:  1) Creative Audio Studio – Audio will be pushed higher on the agendas of creatives and media strategists with the launch of a new studio at GroupM’s headquarters at 3 World Trade Center in New York.  Clients and creatives from across WPP will experiment with modern audio marketing programs, working with creative producers in a series of pilots; 2) Empowering Planning – iHeartMedia’s Smart Audio Insights and audience tools will be integrated with GroupM’s proprietary data and insights tools to uncover new insights and support novel measurement approaches, all of which will be shared in quarterly intelligence reports for clients and the market.  A new audio certification program for planners at GroupM’s agencies will roll out later in 2019; and 3) Raising Audio IQ – A new Project Listen monthly podcast is launching in Cannes with plans for 18 episodes through 2020. Lessons from the client pilots and research will be shared to help inspire more advertisers to embrace audio’s new capabilities. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Project Listen is about tapping into the scale of audio and moving from the traditionally transactional radio business to the future of audio advertising where insights and ideas lead the way to growth for brands.  Simply put, audio is the biggest greenfield for growth in media today, and we could not be more excited to partner with the talented teams across WPP to develop the tools and skillsets needed to unlock that growth.”

The Weiss Agency and John Wiley & Sons Partner on ‘For Dummies: The Podcast.’ A partnership between The Weiss Agency’s newly established podcast division, TWA Podcast Studio, and publishing firm John Wiley & Sons is producing a new podcast series titled, “For Dummies: The Podcast,” hosted by NBC daytime star Eric Martsolf.  Capitalizing on the more than 250 million books in print in the “For Dummies” series, each weekly episode of the podcast adaptation will be a distillation of one of the “For Dummies” titles presented in a highly- entertaining and informative format.  Eric Weiss says, “Dummies is an iconic media brand that has successfully educated readers around the globe for over three decades.  I am thrilled to partner with Wiley to produce an informative and entertaining podcast that will allow us to share this gold mine of instructional information with listeners around the world.”  “For Dummies: The Podcast” debuts today (6/17) on all major podcast platforms.

Nielsen Audio Releases Audio Today Report. The June 2019 Audio Today report from Nielsen Audio is released and contains data and insights “regarding listening trends, in all its various forms – including podcasting and smart speakers.”  Nielsen says AM/FM radio reaches 272 million Americans each week (92% of adults 18+), “more than any other platform.”  The study concludes that “radio is in high demand and has a diverse listenership when considering how many people tune in across age, gender, and ethnicity.  Not surprisingly, adults 18-49 are the demographic that tunes in the most.  The monthly reach for these listeners is 132.4 million (98% of the population), and country is the format they prefer most.  Adults 25-54 are the second most reached demographic for radio, with 123.6 million (99%) of the population listening each month.” The study breaks out listening by demographics and, as you can see in the graphic here, news/talk is the preferred format among Men 25-54, but note that this is combined commercial news/talk and public radio news/talk.  Nielsen does look at commercial news/talk separately and reports that among Adults 25-54, commercial news/talk is the 8th most-listened-to format, garnering a 4.9 share (country is tops with a 13.1 share).  See more here.

TAB Radio Institute at the University of Tennessee Opens Today.  Last week, TALKERS tipped readers that the Beasley Radio Talent Institute is beginning today at Emerson College in Boston.  It so happens that today is also the opening of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Over the course of the next 10 days, students will learn from more than three dozen broadcasters teaching in their areas of expertise.  TAB president Whit Adamson says, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station.  They are exposed to all facets of a station and will be capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and be prepared to add something.” Twenty-two students were accepted into the institute from eight universities, including: University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee StateAustin Peay State University, Tennessee Tech, Georgia State University, Jackson State Community College, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and Dalton State College in Georgia.

Begnaud to Anchor ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ for CBS News Radio. Four-year CBS News Radio Network journalist David Begnaud is named anchor of the daily CBS News Radio and CBS Audio feature “Reporter’s Notebook.”  Begnaud was recently named lead national correspondent for the network’s “CBS THIS MORNING” program.  Each edition of “Reporter’s Notebook” will give listeners insight and context to the day’s biggest news stories.  Begnaud’s reports will be broadcast at 4:25 pm ET Monday through Friday.  CBS News Radio vice president and general manager Craig Swagler says, “David represents true compassion in his storytelling that affects our listeners.  Our affiliates can depend on David to bring the best original reporting to their audiences with ‘Reporter’s Notebook.’”  Begnaud’s coverage of Hurricane Maria earned him the prestigious George Polk Award for public service in 2018.  He also received the RTDNA’s First Amendment Leadership Award for his significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Lieberman to Head Up Sales at WTEM, Washington. Sales pro Stephen Lieberman is appointed general sales manager of Radio One’s sports talk WTEM, Washington “The Team 980,” effective July 8.  He was most recently general sales manager for NBC Sports Washington.  Prior to that Lieberman was the local sales manager at ESPN O&O WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN Radio 1000.”  Lieberman says, “I’m truly excited to return to the place where I started my sports radio career.  I’m humbled to have an opportunity to build on the great work that my colleagues have devoted to ‘The Team 980,’ and I’m looking forward to collaborating with this talented group to strengthen our ties to the community while building deeper partnerships in the marketplace.”

2020 Presidential Race/Poll Numbers, Impeachment Talk, Kellyanne Conway Hatch Act Allegations, Iran Suspected of Tanker Attacks, South American Blackout, and Hong Kong Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the leaked poll numbers that indicate Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead Trump in several states; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s report that White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act numerous times; the U.S. accuses Iran of torpedoing oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman; the blackouts affecting millions in Argentina and Uruguay; and the Hong Kong protests over the Chinese extradition policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, Nick Cannon is joining Meruelo Media’s hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as the station’s new morning drive personality.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Nick is the quintessential entertainer and content creator who will take our media game to the next level.  His tremendous success across television, film, and music is testimony of his unique talent, work ethic, and impeccable reputation.  Nick is the absolute right talent to start our mornings on ‘Power 106’ – this is an incredible match and we’re fortunate to have him in our family.”…..Beasley Media Group rebrands KOAS-FM, Las Vegas “Jammin’ 105.7” and officially kicked off the newly tweaked format by playing “Smile” by Li’l Duval & Snoop Dogg.  With the change, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show takes over the AM daypart.  Zenja Dunn remains in middays while Paco Lopez joins the afternoon drive show and Connie Breeze hosts evenings…..Hubbard Radio announces that programming pro and country radio specialist Bruce Logan will take the helm as operations manager and brand/content director of country WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach and sister adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9.”  Logan was most recently the VP of programming for Entercom’s Houston market and program director for country KILT-FM and adult hits KKHH-FM.

Round Four of Takeaways from May PPM Survey. May 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It was announced last week that Emmis is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in six Austin stations to Bob and David Sinclair-led Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million. Included in the deal are news/talk KLBJ-AM; classic rock KLBJ-FM; adult hits KBPA-FM; adult contemporary KGSR-FM;  alternative KROX-FM; regional Mexican KLZT-FM; and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.” The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media. Until the sale is finalized, we will include any mention of these stations in “Takeaways” columns as “Emmis-owned.”

A combined -1.0 in three straight drops (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” dips from #12 to #13 with its lowest 6+-stat (2.8) since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.7.

This marks the fourth successive time that Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” (#19 to #18) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6; 1.6 – 1.7; 1.7 – 1.8; 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, the February 2019 through March 2019 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .4 – .6 – .6 .4 (#24 to #25, 6+).

On the heels of April’s gigantic -2.0 (9.5 – 7.5, 6+), KUT surrenders another one-tenth to 7.4, its lowest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.1, but the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk facility continues in the runner-up slot. KUT’s previous shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); and +.7 (March).

Austin Music Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country KVET-FM erodes by -1.3 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), but “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” rallies with a +.9 to 5.8 (6+) and jumps from eighth to fourth. The just-concluded negative streak directly followed its January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). It is tied at #4 with co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which is +1.5 in three straight upticks (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, fifth to fourth, 6+). April’s +1.2 halted its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that stretch, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Locked on 2.0 (6+) in March and April, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” adds one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) and continues at #16. A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) KOKE-FM’s 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.8 range (6+) the fourth straight time including May’s increase of one-half share (5.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” progresses from seventh to fourth. This is its best 6+-showing in nearly one year (5.8 as well in June 2018). Despite dropping one-half share (8.7 – 8.2, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” repeats at #1. Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). In back-to-back (April and May) reports, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” spirals by eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1, 6+), drifting from fourth to eighth. “La Z” was +1.2 in March and, prior to April, last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). Off one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary KKMJ-HD3 slips from #18 to #20. In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erased that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, 6+) but forfeits one-tenth in May (1.9, #16 to #17, 6+). The station it is chasing – Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday” – falters by three-tenths to 6.2 (6+) and carries on in third-place. In advance of May’s -.3, “Majic” was -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 (April). Having posted a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” is unlisted in April and May.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK  was an overall +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” is now a combined -.7 in April/May (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8, flat at #7, 6+). Even though it returns the one-tenth it gained in April (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” advances from #17 to #16.

Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is unchanged from April in 6+-share (2.2) and 6+ market rank (#15). Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through May 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 (#27, 6+).

While off four-tenths (7.4 – 7.0, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC followed January’s +1.0 with a -.6 in February.

Raleigh Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (3.2 – 4.0, 6+) enables Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW to reach the four-share level (6+) for the first time since July 2017 (4.0, as well). By regressing one-half share in April, “Pulse FM – All The Hits” concluded three consecutive up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). A combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by four-tenths to 5.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). “G-105” was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). Radio One urban contemporary sibling WQOK dials up an increase of seven-tenths to advance from sixth to fourth. Three straight sweeps without a loss yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+); however, “K-97.5” was then -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+). Albeit a collective -1.9 in four straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the tenth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570,” has a 6+ topline of .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20). Surrendering all but two-tenths of April’s +.7 (7.2 – 6.7, -.5, 6+), co-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” drops from fourth to fifth. After posting a gain of nine-tenths, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” – repeats April’s 6+-share (2.9) and market rank (#13). April’s increase erased February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight Raleigh reports without an increase, Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6) but remains at #16 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – April 2019 to May 2019’s shift of (only) three-tenths is a unique change-of-pace for Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” (5.2 – 5.7, +.3, eighth to seventh, 6+). It is quite a contrast from its nine most recent fluctuations: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 (April).

All three of the market’s sports talk outlets have April 2019 to May 2019 moves of one-tenth. Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” gains a collective four-tenths in three straight up or flat trends 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4, flat at #16, 6+). It has a two-to-one lead over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses six-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, #18 to #20, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it picked up in April (.1 – .2 – .1, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” (#22 to #24) notches either a .1 or .2 (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep.

Repeating at #11, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI answers April’s -1.4 with an improvement of three-tenths (4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Prior to April’s loss, WFYI was +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – It had been well over seven years ago since Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS last appeared in print (February 2012, 2.8, #16) but it resurfaced as a Nielsen Audio subscriber in April 2019 with a 3.1 (6+) and ranked #14. “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” hauls out a May +1.0 to 4.1 (6+) and progresses to #12. A cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” ends the slide with a +.8 to 5.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” adds one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and moves from #15 to #14. April 2019 was a benchmark ratings period for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK. “Classic Hits 104.5” recorded a massive +1.7 to 10.2, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. While a modest May dip of three-tenths sends WJJK back under a ten-share (9.9, 6+), “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the fifth consecutive time. This calendar year, WJJK has been +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); and -.3 (May). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. As a result of four consecutive decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has lost roughly 37% (-1.5) of its 6+-stat (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #12 to #15). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is up one-tenth to 1.3 (#19 to #18, 6+). This time last month, WYXB “B-105.7” logged a +1.9 to 8.8 (6+). Now, the Emmis adult contemporary outlet relinquishes roughly 31% of that bounty to 8.2 (-.6, 6+) but remains in second-place. April’s +1.9 suspended three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). Faltering four-tenths to 5.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” has its successive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths end at four (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). As Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” sputters by six-tenths (8.0 – 7.4, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” drops four-tenths (6.5 – 6.1, 6+); the country rivals continue at #3 and #5, respectively. WFMS followed March’s +1.1 with an April gain of seven-tenths. WFMS was +.9 (October 2018); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Hank” returned one-tenth in April. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, WLHK was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – It is exceptionally rare to see a station make a mega-move (+1.5 or more) one month and then actually “add-on” the next sweep. That is exactly what happens in Milwaukee though where Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” made one of the largest-ever (non-Christmas music period) month-to-month gains (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) and manages to follow with an additional six-tenths to 9.4 (6+). The whopping April/May +3.5 propels the Brewers flagship from second to first. Recent WTMJ shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Remaining at #6, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which as +2.2 in January, is up a combined six-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+).

Albeit flat at 1.0 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” pushes up from #18 to #16. Prior to February’s one-tenth increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). It catches Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which loses four-tenths in three straight (modest) dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, flat at #16, 6+). In addition to recapturing the three-tenths it lost in April (.6 – .3 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game” enters the top twenty (#22 to #20). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” logs a .2 for the fifth time in the last seven sweeps and remains at #24 (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Three straight reports without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is a combined -.9 in April/May and exits the top ten (4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9, #10 to #13, 6+). Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is off three-tenths via three straight down or flat moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) yet proceeds from #17 to #16.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Owing to four negative or flat reports in succession, Entercom hot AC WMYX  forfeited an overall seven-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+); however, “99.1 The Mix” obliterates that shortfall with a +1.2 to 6.6 (6+) and marches from seventh to fourth. This (6.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Mix” since December 2015’s 6.8. A collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV ends the slide with a one-half share increase to 4.8 (6+). Moreover, “V-100.7 Jams” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Immediately prior to the February sweep, WKKV was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+). Following five straight sweeps at #1, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.5 (10.1 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to #2 with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its seven most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); and -1.5 (May). While it is off a collective eight-tenths in three straight negative or flat trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+) Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” remains in third-place. As a result of dropping three-tenths to 4.0 (flat at #11, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” snaps at three its string of consecutive increases that netted a +1.8 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, while April’s 4.3 is its best since August 2017’s 4.3.

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN is off a collective one-half share in three straight down or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), “Super Talk 99.7” moves from #14 to #13. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in April (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” advances from #19 to #17. Entering the April sweep, WLAC netted seven-tenths in three straight improvements (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

The market’s (6+) sports talk share shrinks by -1.4, nearly equally divided between Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (4.8 – 4.2, -.6, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” (-.8, #16 to #18, 6+). This (4.2) is the lowest 6+-share for “The Zone” since August 2018’s 3.6. Meanwhile, “The Game” continues an alternating up/down pattern that began in October 2018 (1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.1 (6+) and fades from the top twenty (#16 to #21).

A -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” erases all but three-tenths of that shortfall with a +1.0 to 5.4 (tenth to seventh, 6+); WPLN-FM was a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – An overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” answers with a +1.0 in May and recaptures the top spot (9.2, second to first, 6+). Prior to surrendering six-tenths in April, “Mix” had been on top the previous 15 ratings periods. Twelve recent WJXA fluctuations include: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); and +1.0 (May). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. On the flipside, adult hits sibling WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (8.4 – 7.6, -.8, 6+) is dislodged from #1 (after an April-only stay there) and segues to second. The May loss of eight-tenths pulls the plug on three straight January 2019 through April 2019 bumps that netted a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+). In April, “Jack” reached the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its six most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +.6 (April); and -.8 (May). Not only does TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL triple (+1.0) its 6+-stat in four upticks in succession (.5 – .6 – .8 – .9 – 1.5, 6+) “Activa 105.1 & 1240 AM” enters the top twenty at #18. Immediately after posting an April increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” relinquishes nine-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #14, 6+) and falls below a two-share (6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.6. Elsewhere in the format, Salem Media Group’s WFFH “The Fish” is up a collective six-tenths via three straight gains (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, flat at #12, 6+), notching its best 6+-stat (4.1) since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.7, while WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” – down six-tenths in March and up one-half share in April – drops two-tenths in May (1.5 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). Having recorded a collective +2.2 in five straight gains (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 5.8 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. Notwithstanding it amasses a +1.7 in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” backslides from seventh to eighth. It is tied there with Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which is up two-tenths in three successive up or flat moves (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2, steady at #8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – In a bit of ranker oddity, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” added one-tenth in April yet reversed from seventh to eighth – and now in May – it returns April’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but advances from eighth to seventh. As a result of three (modest) dips in succession, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” forfeits four-tenths (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+) and drops from #12 to #13.

Despite being up one-tenth, following a decline twice that much in April (8 – .6 – .7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

The four-tenths’ gain that WVEI logged in April vanishes as the Entercom sports talker sputters by one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to eighth.

A loss of one-tenth sends iHeartMedia-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” from #15 to #17.

The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH is unchanged from April in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (tenth), while WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH – locked on 1.6 (6+) in March and April – is up one-tenth to 1.7 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Three mainstream CHRs appearing in Providence’s top twenty combine for a 10.8 (6+). Leading the way is Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM. Its April -.6 to 7.2 (6+) suspended three straight gains that netted a +1.4 (6.4- 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); however, in May, “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” is up two-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. March’s 7.8 is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4. Flat at #11, Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in four straight reports without an increase (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-stat as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Reaching the market from Boston (where it’s tied for #1 in May with a 7.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is up a collective four-tenths through three straight up or flat Providence moves (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, #17 to #14, 6+). A ratings “no-show” until February 2019, Hall Communications’ classic hits-oldies WNBH (+.5 in May) not only more than triples (+.7) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.3 – .4 – .5 -1.0, 6+), “Big 101.3” breaks into the top twenty (#21 to #18). Improving by one-half share as well in May and also logging three consecutive improvements (for a collective +1.2) is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). While it remains at #6, “Coast” reaches the five-share level (5.0, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 5.5. A four-tenth gain by co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (9.6 – 10.0, 6+), coupled with an equal magnitude decrease by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.7 – 9.3, 6+), results in WHJY moving from second to first and WWLI dropping from first to second. These two stations did the exact opposite dance in April. An April loss of nine-tenths forced WHJY from the top spot after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. In second-place three sweeps in a row, “Lite Rock 105” posted a one-half share increase in April to progress to #1. Before shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. While it carries on in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” surrenders two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus curtailing four straight gains that accounted for a +2.2 (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+). That streak followed a collective -3.1 via three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+).

Norfolk – Answering March/April’s combined -2.4 (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+) with a May +1.0 to 11.5 (6+), WVKL is #1 for the fifth successive month. Up until logging a 10.5 in April 2019, the Entercom urban AC had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Even though iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gains six-tenths in five straight reports without a loss (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” has an April-only stay in the top ten (#10 to #11). Tied at #11 and extending their particular positive streaks are Saga Communications adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs/Great Memories,” which gains six-tenths in five straight up or flat trends (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4, #13 to #11, 6+), and Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1,” which improves four-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight down or flat trends, Entercom CHR WNVZ is an overall -1.0 (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+) but “Z-104” remains in sixth-place. Ever since appearing in print in November 2018, its internet stream is trending .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .5 (flat at #14, 6+). The January 2019 through May 2019 toplines of Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are extremely similar. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8 (steady at #2, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 7.6 (second to third, 6+). Including aforementioned WAFX (7.8, 6+) and WNOH (1.4, 6+), five of the 14 stations appearing in Norfolk’s May 2019 sweep are unchanged from May in 6+ AQH share. The other three are Saga Communications rock WNOR (6.0, fourth, 6+); Entercom adult contemporary WWDE (5.8, fifth, 6+); and its hot AC cluster-mate WPTE (2.8, seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.8 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM is tied for the lead in May; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” had sole possession of first-place in April. While November 2018’s 11.2 is WOKV-FM’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era, this is its lowest since September 2018 (8.6, as well).

Down or flat the seventh consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” repeats at #19.

Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), public news/talk WJCT  continues at #11. Immediately prior to April, “Your Community – Your World” was a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – A robust May +1.9 to 6.4 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned WQIK blows up slightly more than three-quarters of its collective -2.5 resulting from seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+) as “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – was within one-tenth of WQIK in April, but WGNE completely wipes away March/April’s +.6 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) by faltering six-tenths to 3.8 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Segueing to a second-place tie in April after a March-only stay at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is up three-tenths to 8.6 (6+) and returns to the top, where it is tied with news/talk cluster-mate WOKV-FM (see above). An April loss of six-tenths by “The Eagle” interrupted three upticks in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a combined -1.1 in April/May (8.7 – 8.3 – 7.6, second-place tie to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds two-tenths to April’s +.4 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1, steady at #7, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+); “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. A combined +1.1 in January/February, WEZI surrendered roughly half that increase with a March loss of six-tenths. At the same time that iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD3 shows a net increase of seven-tenths in four straight up or flat moves (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+), co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print for the second month in a row. Unchanged at #19, Spanish contemporary sibling WQIK-HD2 gains two-tenths in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

 Spoken-Word Formats – Up seven-tenths in three straight reports without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” continues at #9; 2.7 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 2.9. Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is flat at 2.3 (6+) but backslides from #11 to #12. Immediately after posting an April gain of eight-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” forfeits half that increase (2.1 – 1.7, -.4, 6+) and slips from #12 to #15. Three straight sweeps without a loss by WIOD resulted in the iHeartMedia Miami news/talker doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), but “610 News Radio” returns four-tenths to .6 (6+) and exits the West Palm Beach top twenty (#20 to #22).

Co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) in August 2018 but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent ten sweeps.

By picking up one-tenth to 3.0 (flat at #8, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN halts three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of lost eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – A combined +1.2 in April/May (2.7 – 3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” jumps from seventh to fifth with its best 6+-showing (3.9) since September 2018’s 4.2. Notching its third successive West Palm Beach increase for a collective +1.0 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100” jumps from #14 to #11. Not to be outdone, co-owned/similarly-formatted WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” is +1.4 in five straight upticks (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9, sixth to fifth, 6+) and posts its best 6+-stat (3.9) since August 2018’s 4.0. Setting the pace the fifth month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF is nonetheless a combined -2.4 in April/May (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8, 6+); “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” enjoyed a +2.0 in March. Its March 11.2 is WRMF’s highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well); May 2019’s 8.8 is its lowest since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.2. Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. Unchanged at #4, urban AC sibling WMBX “X-102.3” erases its April gain of six-tenths to 5.9, its highest 6+-share since May 2018’s 6.2, with a shortfall of nine-tenths (5.3 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+).  The market’s two adult contemporary stations post modest April 2019 – May 2019 decreases. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down one-tenth to 7.0 (6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” is off two-tenths to 6.8 (6+); “Kool” and “Sunny” continue at second and third, respectively. “Kool” gained seven-tenths in April to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5. That followed March’s loss of one-tenth, which snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). On the heels of a March increase of seven-tenths, “Sunny” eroded by -1.2 in April (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). WEAT-FM was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – After being +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” directly follows with three successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+).

Even though Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS regains the one-tenth it lost in April (.9 – .8 – .9, 6+), “Triad Sports” backslides from #14 to #15.

Holding down the #13 position for the 13th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” answers April’s loss of seven-tenths with a May gain of two-tenths (2.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC recaptures April’s -.3 in its entirety (.8 – .5 – .8, 6+) and carries on at #17.

Greensboro Music Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); and +1.1 in May (8.2 – 9.3, third to second, 6+). Prior to its March-only stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March 2019’s 9.8 is its best 6+-performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April 2019’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In three straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia’s WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” erases 70% of that deficit with a +.7 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – is off four-tenths in May and continues an alternating up/down pattern that has kept it within 5.2 – 5.7 range (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Tacking on one-half share to April’s +.7 (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” continues at #11 with its best 6+-showing (3.7) since November 2018’s 4.0. Notching a May increase of one-half share as well is Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR “Rock 92,” which improves by seven-tenths in April/May (5.8 – 6.0 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+) and flashes its highest 6+-stat (6.5) since July 2018’s 6.6. Up one-tenth (9.7 – 9.8, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. An April increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). On top in January and February, WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. A collective +1.8 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains in ninth-place. In April, “Kiss” reached the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since its 4.1 in April 2018. Unchanged at #7, Dick Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.3 (6+). Despite a one-half share decline (4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1 FM” improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #8, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is trending 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.1 (February – March – April – May, 6+).

Off one-half share in four straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” remains at #12. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; but logs a .1 (6+) for the third straight time (flat at #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the 11th straight time (including nine consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – A +1.0 to 4.8 (tenth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” wipes away more than half of its cumulative February/March/April -1.8 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). “FM 100” was -.7 in “Holiday” 2018  and +1.5 in January. While unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” is +1.7 in four straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5, 6+) and logs its highest 6+-stat since June 2018 (8.5, as well). An increase of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+) propels Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #9). The last time “The Max” reached the four-share level (6+) was July 2018 (4.0, as well). Three straight increases by iHeartMedia gospel WHAL yield +1.3 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+) as “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” advances from fifth to fourth with its best 6+-showing since April 2018 (7.1, as well). It is a similar scenario for classic rock sibling WEGR “Rock 102.7,” whose consecutive trio of improvements nets nine-tenths (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.2, flat at #6, 6+). Albeit down or flat the third straight time for a collective -1.2 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4, 6+), co-owned urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 the seventh time in a row and in double-digits the 14th successive sweep. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to being an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” slips from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-figure (6.5) since June 2017’s 6.0. Seven recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); and -1.2 (May). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Not benefitting from WRVR’s recent setbacks, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” has squandered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, #15 to #16, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (.9) since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia’s WDIA -1.8 in four successive decreases (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four straight bumps that netted +2.4 (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” surrenders three-tenths to 7.3 (6+) but remains in third-place. Albeit down an overall one-half share in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” repeats at #15, after finishing at #14 in January, February, and March. This marks the 12th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” falters by two-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and continues at #12.

Unchanged at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is off nine-tenths in April/May (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is a combined +.5 in April/May (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #14 to #12.

Hartford Music Formats – Owing to three straight increases, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. Notwithstanding that it is #1 for the 35th consecutive time, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has experienced considerable shifting in each of the past eight ratings periods. Specifically, “Lite 100.5” has been -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); and now +1.0 in May (9.8 – 10.8, 6+). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. Even though hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM forfeits all but one-tenth of April’s +.9 (8.5 – 7.7, -.8, 6+), “96.5 TIC-FM” continues in second-place. April’s 8.5 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Still in that Entercom cluster, rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.9 in three setbacks in succession (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, fifth to seventh, 6+), following January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). By adding two-tenths to 6.3 (steady at #6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXSS “Kiss 95.7” curtails three straight negative trends that produced a loss of eight-tenths (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). While it remains in fourth-place, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” falters by an overall nine-tenths in four consecutive reports without an increase (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ hasn’t had an increase this calendar year yet is only down two-tenths (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, January 2019 through May 2019, 6+) and “Radio 104.1” actually improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

| May 30, 2019

Talk Host Michael Berry and KTRH, Houston Extend Their Relationship. KTRH, Houston-based talk radio personality Michael Berry and iHeartMedia sign a four-year contract extension.  The new deal keeps Berry hosting his daily shows – from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – on news/talk KTRH AM 740.  Berry’s program is syndicated to two dozen iHeartMedia stations across the country in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Birmingham, and Baton Rouge.  iHeartMedia region president Eddie Martiny comments, “I’m excited to extend our partnership with Michael because he is one of the hardest-working radio personalities in America and offers a unique brand of humor and information.  I know his listeners will ‘pop a top’ knowing Michael Berry will continue taking them to and from work!”  Berry adds, “I love what I do, I love who I do it with, and I love that I do it here with iHeartMedia.  Talk radio is about engaging people with ideas, and some will agree, some won’t, but it’s entertaining and rewarding to engage. That’s what I get to do every single day and now I can do it for years more to come.”  Michael Berry will be one of 67 industry speakers participating in a power-packed agenda at the sold out 22nd annual TALKERS convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – next Friday, June 7 in New York City.   For details, please click here.

New York Festivals Radio Awards Announces Finalists. The New York Festivals announces the finalists in its 2019 Radio Awards.  The awards grand jury evaluated entries submitted from 35 countries around the globe and selected 346 finalists based on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  Entries achieving finalist status move on to an additional round of judging to determine trophy-winners.  VP/executive director of New York Festivals Radio Awards Rose Anderson says, “Once again, the NYF grand jury selected finalists whose work embodies the full spectrum of radio content today and as audiences’ appetites for radio and audio continue to fuel robust industry growth, the level of creativity continues to rise as well.”  New categories this year include: Narrative/Documentary Podcast and Serialized Podcast and both saw a robust number of entries achieve finalist status.  Compelling documentaries from such companies as Sirius XM Radio, NPR, Alabama Public RadioWNYC Studios, and Radiolab, advanced to the final round.  So did breaking news, feature and investigative reports from: Westwood One, Compass Media NetworksBloomberg, and CBS News Radio. See all the finalists here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new sports wagering show is being offered to radio stations from Sports Garten Network and Envision Networks.  The show is called, “Wanna Bet?!,” and is hosted by Tom Barton. Envision says it offers listeners entertaining sports talk with an inside look at the analysis and news they need to gain an edge on wagering intelligence.  Barton says, “Sports talk is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative.  This is a game changer.”…..In the public radio news/talk sphere, Boston University announces that it is agreeing to share control of radio station WBUR-FM, Boston with the station board.  That board has served in the past as advisory in nature only.  Now, it will have decision-making power.  Under the agreement, a new executive committee would have the authority to hire and fire the station’s general manager and oversee its finances.  That committee would still report to the Boston University president as the school owns the station’s broadcast license.  School president Robert Brown says, “WBUR deserves to have an oversight structure that’s really engaging with the community that it serves and that is really invested wholeheartedly in the mission of ‘BUR.  That’s not to say BU is not.  But it’s not something that our board of trustees can ever spend much time on in this big $2.6 billion research university.”…..Radio legend Joey Reynolds was recently honored by the state of New Jersey with an official proclamation commending him on his lengthy career in radio.  During his career, Reynolds worked at some 40 radio stations and hosted the overnight show on WOR, New York for 15 years…..This evening (5/30), talk radio host Walter Sterling – host of the Westwood One nationally syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” program – will sit in for Ryan Wrecker on his late night show on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis.  KMOX is one of the almost 100 stations that carry his weekly program.

Craig Mish to Host Daily Show on FNTSY Radio. The Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid announce that fantasy sports expert Craig Mish is launching a new, daily show on their FNTSY Radio platform.  The 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET show is called “Fantasy Sports Today” and debuts on June 3.  Mish was previously host of a fantasy baseball show on SiriusXM.  EDG partner/CEO and FNTSY Radio partner David Katz comments, “Craig is the only person in sports who inherently presents any news and information through a fantasy sports perspective.  He never forgets his audience and I for one have greatly benefitted from his insight with my own fantasy teams over the years.  All of us are extremely proud to have him join FNTSY Radio.”  “Fantasy Sports Today” is live and on-demand on FNTSY Radio, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

PodcastOne Unveils New Spring Lineup. Four new shows are joining the PodcastOne platform this spring.  They include: “The GG Podcast with Rick Fox, Jace Hall and Todd Roy” – a podcast all about the culture, athletes, and inner-workings of the gaming industry; “Enough About Me with Shep Rose” – host of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” show; “Sports Like a Boss with Holly McPeak and Anne Marie Anderson” – a show that helps people use the sports they love and the sports their kids play to create the life they want; and “Say It Forward with Rebecca Rothstein and Lee Ann Daly” – in which the hosts go inside the real life stories of fascinating people at the vanguard of art, music, business, pop culture, TV, film, fashion, and more.

Dahm Appointed Chief Privacy Officer for iHeartMedia. This is an addition of responsibilities for iHeartMedia’s Andrew L. Dahm, whose new role as chief privacy officer comes in addition to his work as senior corporate counsel.  His new duties will include shaping, regulating, and administering iHeartMedia’s privacy policies and strategies to ensure they continue to meet global regulatory requirements and address the company’s specific needs.  He will also work closely with Steve Mills, iHeartMedia’s global chief information officer, and David Neuman, iHeartMedia’s global chief information security officer, to oversee company-wide data security and protection plans.  iHM president, COO, and CFO Rich Bressler says, “Protecting our company data and personal information has always been a priority for iHeartMedia.  Andrew is uniquely suited for this important new role at our company and has been at the center of the legal aspects of all of our digital operations for several years, including the development of our privacy policies for consumers and employees and our third-party vendor relationships relating to privacy matters.”

Muller Report/Dems Impeachment Talk, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War/Rare Earth Threat, USS John McCain Controversy, Severe Weather, and Anti-Abortion Laws Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29).  The re-ignition of controversy over the conclusions drawn in the Mueller Report and the Democrats’ continued debate over impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020 and the rift between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders; the tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports and China’s threat to limit sales of rare earth to U.S. companies; the report that the White House wanted to move the USS John S. McCain out of sight during Trump’s visit to Yokosuka Naval Base; the tornadoes and flooding affecting the Midwest; and the anti-abortion laws being passed in several states were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new Elton John bio-pic Rocketman is about to be released from Paramount Pictures and the studio and iHeartMedia have partnered to promote it across iHM’s platforms.  Today (5/30) at 5:00 pm ET, an hour-long radio special featuring Elton John will air across more than 120 iHeartRadio AC, hot AC, classic rock, and oldies stations nationwide and digitally.  iHeartMedia stations nationwide will also build anticipation to the film’s Friday release with an official countdown across its stations…..iHeartMedia announces that its Roanoke CHR WJJS-FM moves to the 93.5 frequency and will continue to simulcast on 102.7 in Lynchburg.  Sister adult hits station WSTV, Roanoke “STEVE-FM” moves to the 104.9 frequency.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

| September 20, 2018

JVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ Debuts Sports Betting Programming. The latest broadcaster to announce new programming centered on sports betting is JVC Broadcasting.  The company announces it is partnering with Sports Garten Network to bring that firm’s flagship talk program “Wanna Bet?” – hosted by Tom Barton with Gary Pollakusky – to news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “103.9 FM LI News Radio.”  The one-hour program airs at 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and at 10:00 pm on Sunday.  SGN is also providing the station with sports updates throughout the day.  JVC Media executive vice president and general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Having sports professionals like Tom and Gary with their sports talent and skill set is a complete win for us.  We are in the sports capital of the world and we are the radio home to the NY Islanders and Stony Brook Football.  This is fun live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.  This is the first show like this on the radio here and we are excited to have them on the team.”  SGN founder Pollakusky adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC Broadcasting. The sports betting landscape in America shifted forever on a Monday morning in May when the U.S. Supreme Court released a game-changing ruling that put the nation on a path toward widespread legal sports betting.  We are the first show on the air in this market talking about this exciting, nationwide decision.  Sports betting has made national news – for something other than a controversy – and we are talking about it.”

Buck Sexton Gets Facetime with the President. Pictured above is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality Buck Sexton (far right, blue tie) in the Oval Office interviewing President Trump.  During the 45-minute interview, Trump talked about immigration policy, the Mueller probe and its negative affect on his presidency, his disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his regret for not immediately firing FBI Director James Comey, and more.

Westwood One to Collaborate with AP for Ad Representation. This deal for Westwood One to provide ad sales representation for The Associated Press’ short-form news network is being termed a collaboration.  WWO will rep the AP’s bartered breaking news wire service, photos, video, web content, sports scores, datasets, audio bites, and more.  AP president of local media Michael Fabiano says, “AP is very pleased to have our diverse content set and affiliate list represented by Westwood One in the advertising marketplace.  Westwood One has a rich history of providing consumers relevant news/talk, entertainment, and sports programming.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “Westwood One has had a long relationship with the AP and with our entry into the short-duration ad market they were a natural partner.”

Radio News and Sports Pro Dave Barrett Dies at 63. The industry is mourning the death of award-winning radio pro Dave Barrett, who died unexpectedly yesterday (9/19) at age 63.  Barrett was serving with CBS News Radio at the time of his death.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “Dave Barrett was a special kind of broadcaster – one who could transport you to the scene of the story in just a few words.  He will be dearly missed – both in this newsroom and across the country.”  The obit from CBS notes that Barrett “was a lover of his medium who was especially interested in utilizing natural sound as well as words to tell stories better.  He was CBS News Radio’s go-to reporter for outdoor events such as music and sports and reported from 10 Olympic Games.  Barrett received one of the highest honors in electronic journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award, in 2011 for his insightful report that brought to life for listeners how kids occupy their time, illustrated by the sounds of their activities.”  Barrett also won a Murrow for a report on the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner in 2015.  He won his first Murrow for a 1998 profile of Tiger Woods.  Barrett joined CBS News Radio in February 2001 from the Fox News Radio Network, where he was news director beginning in 1998. He spent 15 years at ABC Radio News, covering everything from political conventions and hurricanes to the Olympics.

BFoA Tops $250,000 Raised at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that it raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need during its Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.  The BFoA says this annual event is one of its biggest fundraisers – with 100% of the proceeds going to broadcasters in need.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “For the second year in a row, we have seen an unprecedented increase in applications for emergency aid due to the devastation from natural disasters.  Additionally, more broadcasters are reaching out for monthly grants as people live longer but do not always have the means to pay for life-sustaining medications and medical care.  The Broadcasters Foundation is often the last refuge for these broadcasters whose lives have been severely affected by unforeseen circumstances.  It is incumbent on us to help every broadcaster who qualifies and we need the support of everyone in our industry to make that happen.  We are grateful to the broadcasters, celebrities, and sponsors who came to the golf tournament and supported our mission.”  Celebrity golfers included: WCBS-TV’s Maurice Dubois, Otis Livingston, and Chris Wragge; WCBS-FM’s Scott Shannon; actress and philanthropist Rachel Grant; NBA All-Star Ray Allen and NBA Star Donny Marshall; 1980s Miracle on Ice Star Mike Eruzione; ESPN’s John Anderson and Anita Marks; NY Jets’ Greg Buttle; Voice of the NY Jets Bob Wischusen; and more.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Cleveland.com, Cleveland Browns sideline reporter Nathan Zegura has been barred from the next eight games for yelling at an NFL official during last weekend’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Zegura also works for Good Karma’s sports talk WKNR, Cleveland co-hosting the “Cleveland Browns Daily” program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The piece states that Zegura has been suspended from that gig for two weeks.  Zegura will be replaced on the game day broadcasts by WKRK-FM, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” personality Dustin Fox…..Sports talk WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “96.1 ESPN” air personality and APD Jim Costa is promoted to program director of the iHeartMedia station…..The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Buzzfeed is eliminating its audio podcast division in order to focus on video.  It will still produce some podcasts but is eliminating the production team that worked on its stable of in-house programs…..FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is the first commissioner to launch a podcast.  She’s debuting “Broadband Conversations,” focusing on women in technology.  A press release says each episode will feature Rosenworcel talking to women who are “breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they’re working on, what’s on their minds, what they think is next for the future.”  Rosenworcel adds, “Women are almost half the labor force in this country yet only hold barely a quarter of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.  I’m reminded of this fact when I go into boardrooms, classrooms, or meeting rooms — there are not enough women at the table. Because there are just too few, it’s time to amplify women’s voices from across the technology and innovation sectors.”…..Jo Anne Wallace is retiring from her position as vice president and general manager of public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco, effective in late November.  The press release says Wallace “shepherded KQED Public Radio’s massively successful transition of format from music to news and public affairs and she led the development of KQED’s long-running and popular programs “Forum” and “The California Report.”  Previously, while working at NPR, she helped bring “Car Talk” and “Fresh Air” to the network for national distribution.  They would become two of the network’s most iconic and listened-to programs.  Wallace began her radio career in 1969 as a volunteer at WYSO, Yellow Springs, Ohio where she rose to station manager in 1973.  She served with KPFA, Berkeley, California and was station program manager for WGBH, Boston from 1978 to 1980.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation, U.S.-China Trade War, Trump vs Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, Florence Aftermath, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; speculation about the impact of the tariffs being placed on U.S. and Chinese goods; President Trump’s continuing public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle for control of congress in the coming midterm elections; the effects of the flooding in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the recent meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s nukes reduction promises; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House book; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dave Taft is promoted to SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s West Michigan operations in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon markets.  Taft is program director for country WBCT, Grand Rapids “B93.7.”  Regional SVP of programming Tony Travatto comments, “Dave is an incredible programmer.  He’s got the perfect blend of expertise to grow our listeners and clients and we know he will continue to dominate the media market in West Michigan with our team.”…..At Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins, Colorado, afternoon jock Matt Sparx adds music director duties, taking over for morning host Brian Gary who relinquishes them to focus on his on-air responsibilities…..The radio biz is remembering a legend from 1970s hit radio as news comes that Brother Bill Gable has died in Windsor, Ontario after a battle with COPD at age 69. A legend in the radio business has died. Gable is remembered for his work at Detroit-Windsor CHR powerhouse CKLW “The Big 8.”  Gable enjoyed a 46-year radio career. He retired in 2014.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

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