Tag: "Charlotte"

Friday, December 1, 2017

| December 1, 2017

Radio Industry Watching Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 Gambit.  This week’s announced Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of [Cumulus Media’s] secured lenders” has the radio business intently watching how this attempt to reduce about $1 billion of its debt will go for the company.  After sifting through the company’s SEC filings, more light is being shed on this move led by Cumulus CEO Mary Berner.  The first and most important aspect of this RSA is that under the proposed terms, senior lenders would receive 83.5% of the equity of the “reorganized Cumulus” and junior debt holders would get the other 16.5%.  Note too that this agreement is with the senior debt holders and there’s no knowing at this point if any junior debt holders would come on board or not.  The latter could attempt to sink the RSA.  Another interesting part of Cumulus’ report is the list of “unsecured claims” that shows the company owes U.S. National Bank $637 million, Nielsen Audio $6.65 million, Broadcasters General Store $967,596, and BMI $789,812, among others.   For them, absent a specific deal with the company to settle those claims (obviously at less than 100%), holders of General Unsecured Claims would have to hope for the best in getting compensated from the Unsecured Equity Recovery Pool.  We’ll have answers to these questions – and many more – sometime within the next 180 days (the time frame of the RSA).

iHeartMedia and Lenders Continue to Dance.  Just before the Thanksgiving weekend, iHeartMedia offered a proposal to lenders that included, among other things, 87.5% equity in the recapitalized iHeartMedia, and new debt of $7 billion to mature within five to seven years.  On November 28, those same lenders issued a counterproposal to receive 95.3% equity in the recapitalized iHM and new debt of $5.75 billion to mature within five to seven years.  Needless to say, a considerable gulf remains between the two sides.  iHeartMedia is trying to work out a solution to its more than $20 billion in debt.

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory Commits to Regular Role on WBT, Charlotte.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will continue to be heard on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte “for at least a couple of months.”  McCrory has been making regular appearances on WBT’s Morning News with host Bo Thompson at 7:15 am.  Now, McCrory is co-hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour with Thompson.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon says the response to McCrory’s regular appearances has been “extraordinary.”  The change in WBT’s midmorning programming came after former 9:00 am to 12:00 noon personality Scott Fitzgerald was reassigned to other work for the company.  Former Charlotte television personality Vince Coakley is hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.

Kent Dunn to Lead Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia Station Group.  Returning to Beasley Media Group’s Augusta cluster where he previously managed for 21 years before moving to Tampa to lead the company’s station group there is Kent Dunn.  The Augusta cluster includes: news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta,” CHR WHHD, adult hits WDRR, religion WGUS, and rhythmic oldies WCHZ.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley comments, “Kent leads by example in everything he does.  We look forward to Kent returning to his roots and once again overseeing the cluster and enjoying the similar success he had both in Augusta and Tampa.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”  As a result of this move, former vice president and market manager Mark Haddon will shift his responsibilities to become director of sales for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new program – “Lenz on Business” – is debuting on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta airing Saturdays at 6:00 pm.  The program is hosted by Lenz Marketing founder, president and CEO Richard Lenz.  The program features Lenz speaking “with Atlanta’s business leaders to explore their inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.  From big business execs to indie entrepreneurs, these guests not only share their practical secrets, but also unveil the personalities behind the careers.”  The show is sponsored by Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says, “I’m excited about ‘Lenz on Business.’  It’s a topic that many of our WSB listeners can’t get enough of because they are business owners or are focused and successful in their careers and want to learn and find deeper success. Lenz Marketing has been a strong content partner with WSB Radio for years and have the same strategy that we do: to inform the listener with high quality content and interviews.”…..A new sports content channel is launching on SiriusXM that focuses on the Southeastern Conference.  SEC Radio will present “in-depth and comprehensive access to SEC-focused sports talk and news, plus offer an extensive schedule of SEC games.  The channel will debut next year.

Matt Lauer Firing Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 27 – December 1.  The firing of “Today” host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was other sexual harassment cases involving Senator Al Franken, Congressman John Conyers and others.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, tied with the Roy Moore senate run, followed by President Trump’s anti-Islam tweet at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

CBS Interactive Senior Reporter Dan Patterson Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He writes stories and produces video reports about disruptive technologies covering a wide array of platforms and inventions from Twitter to Bitcoin for such outlets as TechRepublic, ZDNet, and CNET.  He delves into topics such as business technology innovation, policy, and hackers.  Dan Patterson is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Patterson take the listener on an illuminating journey through such subjects as the early days and rise of Twitter, Donald Trump’s effective use of social media, the changing state of journalism, fake news, self-regulation versus government control of the Internet and more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles based programming pro John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  Ivey will continue to program KIIS while he oversees the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.  iHM also says he’ll “work to improve the company’s Top 40 brands in its over 150 markets.  In addition, he will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of CHR programmers and on-air talent, and book artists for events including the ‘iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour’ and KIIS FM’s ‘Wango Tango.’” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “John is one of the foremost talents in media today when it comes to programming Top 40 radio and he is a driving factor in why KIIS-FM is the most listened to station in its market.  He knows what CHR listeners want to hear and we’re confident he’ll help bring similar success to our stations in other markets.”…..On-air pro Toby Knapp slides over from  iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” to the cluster’s adult contemporary WASH-FM to co-host the morning drive program with incumbent talent Chili Amar.  That starts on Monday (12/4) and Knapp will continue to host his “HOT 99.5” afternoon show through the end of the year…..In New York, iHeartMedia promotes Cara Hahn to assistant program director and music director for CHR WHTZ “Z100” and adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM.”  Hahn joined the company in 2014.  She’s most recently been a programming coordinator for the New York cluster.  In her new role, she’ll report to “Z100” PD Mark Medina and “106.7 Lite FM” PD Chris Conley…..Ashley Wilson assumes the program director role at iHeartMedia’s country WNOE, New Orleans.  She comes to the Big Easy from her most recent position at Renda Broadcasting’s country WGNE, Jacksonville “99.9 Gator Country” where she was APD and midday personality.   At WNOE, Wilson will also host the PM drive show…..Programmer Jim Trapp is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Yakima, Washington cluster that includes: country KDBL “The Bull,” rock KATS, CHR KFFM, rhythmic oldies KMGW “Mega 99.3,” news/talk KIT “Newstalk 1280,” and sports talk KUTI “1460 ESPN Yakima.”  He’d most recently served with Entercom’s adult hits KJAQ, Seattle “96.5 JACK FM.”

Round Two of November PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens November 2017 PPM survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17).  CBS Radio references will cease beginning with our analysis of the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+), Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR erases that deficit and three-tenths to spare (+1.4), rising to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. Even so, WHUR must be content to occupy third-place for the 11th time in a row. Its -1.0 in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” is stuck on 4.6 and carries on at #6. “Majic” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). As usual, the two stations ahead of WHUR are Hubbard all-news operation WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” but with WAMU up three-tenths and WTOP off two-tenths, the two are tied at #1 (9.6, 6+). Prior to this sweep, WTOP was a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In October, it posted its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). As for WAMU, “The Mind Is Our Medium” exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Continuing its slow and steady pace while remaining in seventh-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH is up by one-tenth for the fourth straight time (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth consecutive sweep for an overall -1.1 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” remains at #17. With the MLB season over, sports talk sibling/Washington Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” fades by -1.2 to 2.3 (6+), sliding from #11 to #17, where it is tied with WIAD. Entering the November sweep, “The Fan” gained eight-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Cross-town competitor – Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” – has not been listed any month this calendar year. Despite being off a collective -1.1 as the result of three straight declines (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” continues in fourth-place. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country” drops one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), halting three straight gains for an overall +.5 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). October’s 3.7 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016 (3.7, as well). This is the ninth straight sweep that its format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS (unchanged at #20) – is without an increase with “93.3 Today’s New Country” losing approximately half its 6+-share since February (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5, 6+).

2) Boston – Bouncing back in a big way from a collective -.7 via four losses in a row (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7- 1.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” explodes with a +1.1 to 2.7 (6+), jumping from #15 to #20. Tacking on nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain, Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR progresses from eighth to fourth (4.0 – 4.5 – 5.4, 6+). A loss of one-half share in September by WBUR ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). Having decreased by more than 50% of its 6-share (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, June – July – August, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB follows with three straight gains for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at 7.6 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM is #1 for the third month in a row. In September, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WEEI-FM netted a collective +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), but the Boston Red Sox flagship surrenders all by one-tenth of that increase, drifting from second to ninth (4.4, -1.5, 6+). The Red Sox captured the American League East title for the second straight year but were again eliminated in the A.L. Division Series. Meanwhile, in four straight increases, CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+) as the New England Patriots’ key station rushes from fifth to third. As it approached the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Not only is Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary WMJX without an increase for the fifth successive month for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from third to fifth with its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011). Even though CBS Radio’s WZLX registers its fourth straight dip for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie. This is the third month in succession that iHeartMedia’s WBWL is off by one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to the start of this string, “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Format foe – Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” – is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – A positive spike of eight-tenths (4.8 – 5.6, 6+) enables Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” to inch up from sixth to fifth. Trending 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.9 (July through October, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WRTO “Mix 98.3” picks up one-half share to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its best 6+-share since 3.5 in October 2016. It is tied at #13 with Spanish Broadcasting System’s similar programmed WXDJ “El Sol 106.7,” which had faltered by one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), before posting a +.4 in November (3.4, flat at #13, 6+). While it is #1 for the seventh time in a row, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” surrenders eight-tenths (7.8 – 7.0, 6+); October’s 7.8 was its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. After three straight decreases for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR rebounded in October with a +.4 to 6.2 (6+), but “Amor 107.5” forfeits nearly twice that gain in November (5.5, -.7, 6+), segueing from third to fifth. WAMR posted a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June. Off three-tenths to 4.2 (flat at #7, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” halts three straight up or flat trends that produced a modest overall gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns all but one-tenth of October’s +.3 (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+) but remains at #8. The two CHR rivals were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). A collective -.6 in four successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” slips from #13 to #15. With a (6+) July through October pattern of 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WEDR “99 Jamz” matches the (6+) profile of “Y-100” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, flat at #8, 6+). Before dropping six-tenths in August, “99 Jamz” was up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+). The May through November (6+) trending for CBS Radio’s WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” (unchanged at #18) is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4. Down or flat for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD shifts from #21 to #22.

4) Detroit – Powered by a gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” remains on top for the third month in a row. This reflects the third straight increase for WNIC (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it reached 13.7. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August; it is a collective +1.7 since August. Showing a very consistent (6+) topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, CBS Radio CHR WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” breaks out a gain of seven-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its strongest 6+-showing since May’s 3.9. Erasing October’s one-half share increase with a loss of six-tenths, Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” (3.2 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) falls from #12 to #14. A combined +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WMXD was -2.5 in four subsequent decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) before gaining one-tenth in November. “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” is steady at #11 (4.0, 6+). Deflating by one-half share each are CBS Radio sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (5.5, third to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” (4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+). The (6+) August – September – October for “The Ticket” was 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.0. Prior to November, “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” recorded five straight up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.5 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). One negative streak ends for a Detroit country outlet while another continues. On the plus side, CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country,” which had been down four times in succession for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.0 (6+), advancing from ninth to seventh. The 4.7 in October was its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (#17 to #18) is without an increase for the sixth consecutive sweep and is -.8 in that May through November stretch (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). The market’s two major urban contemporary outlets combined for a -1.9 in October, but they each post modest gains this sweep. Independent WGPR “Hot 107.5,” off one full-share in October (3.5 – 2.5, 6+), is +.1 to 2.6 (flat at #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B,” -.9 in October (4.4 – 3.5, 6+) gains three-tenths to 3.8 (#13 to #12, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the lowest 6+-share for “Hot” since March (2.4), while WJLB had its softest 6+-showing since April (3.5, as well).

5) Seattle – There are mixed results for two “Emerald City” contemporary Christian facilities: Crista Ministries’ KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” improves by one-half share vaulting into the top ten (#14 to #7, 6+), but Educational Media Foundation’s KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.3 (#24, 6+). This represents the sixth improvement in a row for “Spirit” for a cumulative +1.5 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+); KLSW had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October. While it remains in fourth-place, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). By gaining one-half share to 3.3 (6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP puts an end to its 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.8 (6+) trending as “Hot 103.7 – 100% Throwbacks” jumps from #19 to #15. In addition to posting its sixth straight increase for an overall +2.5 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” advances from third to second with its strongest 6+-showing in nearly two years (6.1, December 2015). Steady at #24, iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” is up or flat for the fourth month in a row (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), nearly tripling its 6+-share in that timeframe and notching its highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. Not only is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW #1 for the fourth consecutive time, it is without a loss for the fourth time in a row as well (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Albeit not as lofty a string in terms of 6+-share, Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” nonetheless hasn’t had a decrease in the last six survey periods for an overall gain of one-half share and checks in at #22 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+).

6) Phoenix – A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), KOOL was an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the CBS Radio classic hits-oldies property regains exactly half that deficit in November, cruising from seventh to third (4.4, +1.0, 6+). Back in July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s KNIX has its fourth straight gain for an overall +.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” backslides from #8 to a tie at #9. Conversely, CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is down a collective full-share in five straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+) and falls from #12 to a four-way scrum at #13. While Hubbard’s KSLX is #1 for the seventh straight month, “Classic Rock 100.7” is a combined -.9 as the result of its third straight dip (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+). KSLX was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a combined -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Following a September gain of one-half share to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “88.3 Campesina” forfeited more than twice that margin in October, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). The station, however, disappears from print in November. Up one-half share in October, rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” forfeits eight-tenths (2.6 – 1.8, 6+) to slip from #19 to #20. Prior to October, “Power” was trending 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (6+). As the result of losing seven-tenths in November (4.9, third to fourth, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” puts an end to an up/down pattern that started in February (4.8 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Having registered a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); and now loses three-tenths in November (2.7, #14 to #18, 6+). Four contemporary Christian stations in the “Valley of the Sun” combine for a 4.3 (6+) in November, down one-half share from October’s 3.8 (6+). Included in that group is Educational Media Foundation’s KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.5 – 1.0, -.5, #27). The other three are Family Life Broadcasting’s KFLR “Family Life Radio” (1.0 – 1.4, +.4, #24); EMF’s KZAI “Air1 – Positive Hits” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #28); and co-owned KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .5, -.3, #32). The (6+) May through November line for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Que Buena 105.9” is 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 (#20 to #24). After sharing the identical (6+) August – September – October profile (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth to 4.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is off two-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Consistent in its topline 6+-stat June through October (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.9 to 4.8, its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.0 as the Minnesota Timberwolves flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Following four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN, the key station of the Minnesota Vikings, slips by one-tenth to 7.2 (6+), but “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” repeats at #1. Yet another Twin Cities’ flagship, Northern Lights Broadcasting’s KQGO “Go 95.3” has its October 6+-share sliced in half (1.4 – .7, -.7, 6+) as the Minnesota Twins key station departs the top twenty (#19 to #22). One-tenth behind KFXN is Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety,” which strings together its third straight up or flat report (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+) to advance from third to second. Its format competitor – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (#13 to #14) continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling +.7 (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), but “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (second to third) is now without an increase for the fourth consecutive sweep and is -.7 since July (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Having finished first in April, May, and June, KDWB segued to #2 in July. Moving from an eighth-place tie to tenth is co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station,” which is down or flat for the fifth straight time for a combined -1.6 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+). It is one full-share ahead of CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but steady at #12.

8) San Diego – A gain of one-half share to 5.3 by Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” (fifth to third, 6+) pulls the plug on four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina,” which zooms from a four-way tie at #17 to #13 (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to a +.3 to 4.6 (6+), Entercom’s KSON-FM “New Country” advances from seventh to sixth and puts an end to four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall -1.4 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+); 4.3 in October was its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. The news/talk duo of iHeartMedia’s KOGO and San Diego State University-owned KPBS remain at #1 and #2, respectively, but KOGO falters by six-tenths to 6.6 (6+), while KPBS drops four-tenths. As a result of KOGO’s -.6, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 is snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); KPBS is an overall -.6 in its third straight monthly without an increase (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Not only is October’s 7.2 the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history, the station had not previously reached the six-share level. The two ranked first and second in September as well, although KPBS was on top and KOGO held the runner-up slot. Within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KPBS hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” leaps from eighth to fourth. This is the strongest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since it transitioned to rock in January 2016. Although steady at #17, iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3,” on the other hand, is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall -.7 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), CBS Radio CHR KEGY “San Diego’s Energy 97.3” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19) and halts four straight negative or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+) in which it lost four-tenths. Handing over in its entirety the full-share it picked up in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” drifts from fifth to tenth (3.8, 6+). After its initial trending of 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits seven-tenths to 1.6 and departs the top twenty (#17 to #23, 6+).

9) Denver – Off a combined six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI bounces back in October in November with a collective +1.1 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does KOSI register its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016, “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” marches from third to a first-place tie with country cluster-mate KYGO, which is actually down or flat for the fifth month in a row (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after three successive months there is iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock,” which segues to #3 (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+). When it dropped three-tenths in October, KBCO ended at ten a successive string of increases in which it nearly doubled its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). Logging gains of one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (2.4, #21 to #18, 6+). The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September. KBPI applies the brakes to four consecutive decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Locked on 3.7 (#12 to #13, 6+) is KALC’s format rival KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix,” which was down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Mix” regained 75% of that decrease in September with a gain of six-tenths. After improving by one-half share in July, Entercom classic rock KQMT followed with three straight dips (August-September-October) that resulted in a combined -1.9 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up one-tenth to 4.6 (6+) in November “99.5 The Mountain” progresses from eighth to fifth. By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May. Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” bounces back with a +.3 to 4.0 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). The news/talk genre erodes by -1.7, nearly equally divided between Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.4 – 4.5, -.9, third to six, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KOA (4.4, -.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Off one-half share in June, KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), before returning one-half share in October. It reached the five-share level (6+) in August for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Entering the November sweep, KOA – the flagship of the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos – was +.6 in three successive flat or up trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). On the plus side, KOA’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KHOW (unchanged at #19) posts its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). A cumulative +1.5 via three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” relinquishes 80% of that increase (3.4 -1.2, 6+), fading from #7 to #14. As the result of three straight positive trends (2.3 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KKFN roughly doubled its 6+-share (July through October), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by three-tenths in November to 4.2 (6+) and shifts from eighth to ninth. Recent fluctuations for “The Fan” include -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and +.9 in September. Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology.

10) Tampa – Finishing on top for an astonishing 62nd successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” does so with an exclamation point as its third straight gain is by +1.3 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Moreover, 11.1 is its most potent 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). Tacking on a +1.2 to October’s +.9, iHeartMedia’s WFUS (4.7 – 5.9, 6+) rockets from eighth to second. It is the first time “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” reaches the five-share level (6+) since last December’s 5.3. In September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Off by one-tenth in both October and November (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” remains at #6. The station exiting the runner-up slot after 12 straight appearances there and dropping to #3 is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “The Eagle,” which is an overall -2.5 via six straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). Picking up all but one-tenth of October’s loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, +.6, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” progresses from tenth to seventh. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). On the flipside, iHeartMedia urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (fourth to eighth, 6+) and WDAE “620 – Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (1.8, #18 to #19, 6+) each regress by six-tenths. With its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.5, “The Beat” is off for the third straight time for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), whereas Tampa Bay Rays flagship WDAE was +.7 in three increases in succession (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Having been up or flat the past four months for a modest overall gain of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and slips from #13 to #15.

11) Baltimore – Without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” trots out a +.9 to 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since February’s 8.8 and occupies the penthouse for the fourth month in a row. A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. It was tied at #1 in September with urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams.” Having posted a 3.7 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 – Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds one-half share to 4.0 (#11 to #10, 6+), reaching the four-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 4.1. The eight most recent trends for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 (#13 to #12, 6+). By contrast, major ups/downs continue for CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” It dialed up a one-half share increase in August only to return all if it in September, then displayed a +.8 in October but now surrenders that in its entirety to drop from third to fourth (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Steady at #8, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” regresses by two-tenths to 4.5 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). A combined +1.3 through three straight improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine-FM” relinquishes three-tenths in November to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+); October’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.9.

12) St. Louis – After being down or flat the past three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+) iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU hauls out a gain of nine-tenths to 8.1, marching from second to first. On top for three consecutive sweeps, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. Not only is CBS Radio’s KMOX displaced from #1 after back-to-back stays there, it erodes by the steepest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 decline by any station in the 24 PPM-markets highlighted thus far (8.0 – 6.0, -2.0, 6+). “The Voice of St. Louis” drifts from first to sixth with its lowest 6+-share since February’s 5.1. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Following four straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.4 (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.5, 6+), Emmis rocker KSHE recoups nearly half that deficit (7.1, +.6, 6+) as it progresses from fifth to second. In addition to KLOU, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL improves by nine-tenths as well. “Hot 104.1” is +1.3 in three consecutive surges (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #8) with its strongest 6+-stat since May’s 5.0. Jumping from sixth to third, urban AC cluster-mate WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” (+.8) continues its down/up pattern, given that its seven most recent 6+-stats are 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4. Bouncing back from October’s loss of one-half share with an increase of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KMJM “100.3 The Beat” carries on at #17. In four consecutive improvements prior to October, “The Beat” gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; was -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; and now -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, fifth to third, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. Deflating by six-tenths each are co-owned WIL “New Country 92.3” (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” (4.1 – 3.5, 6+). “New Country” continues its alternating up/down pattern (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). Prior to October’s +.4, “Y-98” was without an increase in each of the last eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Unlisted for the 11th consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

November 2017 PPM Ratings

| November 30, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

| November 8, 2017

John Hancock Signs New Deal with WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Afternoon drive personality John Hancock signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Hancock began his career at WBT in 1990.  Over the course of those 27 years, he’s broadcast on almost every daypart on the station.  Earlier this year, he was inducted into the “WBT Hall of Fame” and carries the distinction as the only Hall of Fame member who is still actively broadcasting.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “John represents one of the most unique radio personalities in America today.  He’s a WBT Hall of Famer and still delivers a contemporary message every day that the listeners can count on.”

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Radio Revenue Basically Flat.  Reporting 2017 third quarter financial numbers, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same period in 2016.  But the radio division was up a hair — $2.4 million or 0.3% — compared to the third quarter of 2016.  For the first nine months of 2017, the radio division is up 1.5%.  COO and CFO Rich Bressler notes that the positive figure for the radio division extends “year-over-year revenue growth to eighteen consecutive quarters.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “As a true multi-platform, 21st-century media company, we continue to expand the innovative ways for us to engage consumers and to reinvent how we do business with our advertising and marketing partners.  At our iHeartMedia business, in addition to building out a data-first programmatic advertising platform, we are continually growing our content offerings, including iHeartRadio’s podcast platform, with virtually all of the top 200 U.S. podcasts.”

Salem Media Group Q3 Broadcast Revenue Dips 5.1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Salem Media Group reports total revenue decreased by 8.2% to $65.4 million from $71.3 million during the same period in 2016.  Breaking down the company by segments, net broadcast revenue was $48.4 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $51.1 million in 2016.  Digital media revenue decreased 12.9% to $10.4 million from $12.0 million the year prior.  Salem’s publishing revenue was down 20.2% to $6.6 million from $8.2 million in Q3 of 2016.

Saga Reports Revenue Increase in Third Quarter.  Reporting third quarter financials, Saga Communications says net revenue was up 1.3% to $30.3 million compared to the same quarter a year ago.  Station operating expense was flat compared to Q3 2016 at $21.8 million and operating income was $5.5 million compared to $6.8 million for the same period last year, with the reduction primarily due to a gain of $1.4 million recognized from the sale of one of the company’s towers in Norfolk, Virginia during the third quarter last year.  On a same-station basis, net revenue declined 1.1% to $29.6 million.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four reports on the performances of stations based on data from the October 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today, Kinosian reports on public news/talk radio.  He says, “Almost half the stations on this public news/talk panel improve September 2017 – October 2017 (47%, 6+) while roughly one of every three is down (34%); the remaining 19% of the sample remains flat (6+).”  When comparing 6+ numbers year-over-year, “Not quite two of every three stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up (63%,), meanwhile, approximately one in four (27%) decline; the remaining 10% are unchanged.”  Ten public radio news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in October and two ranked #1.  KQED hit the #1 spot in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets while KUOW was #1 in Seattle.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial Elections, Trump China Visit, North Korea Nuclear Tensions, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Sexual Assault Cases, NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  Yesterday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey; President Trump’s visit to China; the ongoing nuclear tensions between North Korea and the U.S.; the aftermath of the church shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 26; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Saudi Arabia’s claim Iran fired a missile at Riyadh from Yemen; the sexual assault case of actor Kevin Spacey and the report of Harvey Weinstein’s hiring spies to track actresses and journalists; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Bohannon Visits Janesville Affiliate. Pictured above is Westwood One syndicated late-night personality Jim Bohannon (left), Mark Finnegan of the veteran’s organizations Vetsroll.org (center), and Tim Bremel, operations manager and host of “Your Talk Show” on WCLO Janesville, Wisconsin at a remote broadcast at a Culver’s Restaurant.  WCLO is an affiliate of Bohannon’s program.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Reno radio pro “Big Chris” Hart is named program director at Cumulus Media’s classic hip hop KNEV, Reno “95.5 The Vibe.”  Hart previously served in the market programming and serving on at KWFP and, before that, working at KUUB.  Hart says, “This is one of those opportunities that you dream about in this business.  I’ve competed against and known the Cumulus team in Reno for 17 years.  Now, it’s my distinct pleasure to be joining the best team around and do some great, fun, plain ol’ kick-butt radio with Cumulus, KNEV and the good people of the greatest market in the universe, Reno!”…..Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show’ is joining the American Forces Network beginning Monday (11/13).  The KYSR, Los Angeles “Alt 98.7”-based Woody Show will be added to the lineup on the AFN alternative music channel…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks are presenting multi-platform coverage of tonight’s “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.”  In addition to carrying the ABC-TV telecast audio across the 80-some iHeartCountry radio stations, for the first time, iHeartCountry will, among other things, present a Facebook live broadcast of the red carpet arrivals hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

| August 9, 2017

CBS News Radio Appoints Bolton Manager, Affiliate Sales. Most recently a consultant to AT&T/DIRECTV on the syndication of radio shows hosted by Dan Patrick; Rich Eisen; and Joe Buck, Amy Bolton is named manager, affiliate sales at CBS News Radio. “Amy has an unrivaled depth of affiliate sales experience,” CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments. “The relationships she has formed with stations over the years make her an excellent fit for the position. I look forward to the contributions she will make in this new role as we continue to work closely with our affiliates and explore new partnerships.” Bolton declares that, “CBS News Radio is the gold standard in original radio journalism; this is a dream job. I am thrilled to be part of the next phase of this award-winning organization and deliver our affiliates the highest quality programming.” In addition to having previously consulted Cox Media Group news site Rare.us and ABC Radio, Bolton, who grew up in Rome and holds a University of Maryland Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology and marketing, spent nearly six years as senior vice president of talk & news for Westwood One (formerly Dial Global), and ten years as vice president of affiliate sales, news/talk at Dial Global (acquired Jones Radio Network).

Last Call For Dawson. On the Kansas City Chiefs broadcasts as a commentator since 1984, former quarterback Len Dawson will not return to the booth after the 2017 NFL season. The team’s chair and chief executive officer Clark Hunt, son of team founder Lamar Hunt, declares, “Next to my father, few people have had a more lasting impact on the Kansas City Chiefs than Len Dawson. Over the course of his legendary career – first as a player and later as a broadcaster – Len has been a part of every major moment in franchise history. We sincerely appreciate his many contributions to ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ since he arrived as a player in 1962. We look forward to having Len as part of the Chiefs Radio Network for the 2017 season.” Chiefs Radio Network executive producer Dan Israel notes, “It has been a true privilege and honor to have Len at the center of our broadcast team for the last 33 years. His contributions to not only this sport, but our industry, are incredibly profound. I am thankful he will continue to be part of the Chiefs Radio Network this season; he will forever be welcome as a part of our broadcast team family.” Dawson led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV and three AFL championships. “Looking back on my career, I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do,” Dawson comments. “I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.” Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, and Dawson are the only three dual-honorees as players and broadcasters in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Kansas City classic rock KCFX “101 The Fox” is the team’s flagship.

ABC Radio Names Hubbard Country Producer/Reporter. Fittingly based in Nashville, Stephen Hubbard joins ABC Radio as a country producer and reporter. While Hubbard will primarily be reporting for ABC Radio, he will support all ABC News platforms. In a staff memo, ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones notes that award-winning producer Hubbard is “well known in Nashville and around the country world. He will continue to report on all things country including interviewing the genre’s biggest stars. With more than 20 years of experience, Stephen has worked on a variety of projects including CMT specials starring Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert; Great American Country’s ‘Opry Live’; ‘Music City Keep on Playin,’ a benefit concert for the victims of the 2010 Nashville flood; and ‘Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise’ telethon after the 2016 East Tennessee wildfires. He recently interviewed Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley. This summer, Stephen worked on ABC Radio’s 4th of July special – ‘Country Family Salute’ – with country star Josh Turner, and ABC Radio’s Memorial Day special – ‘Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.'” A country content contributor to ABC Radio since 2010, Hubbard most recently was a producer for ABC-TV’s Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV (channel 2). Two-time Emmy nominee Hubbard received an Associated Press award for “Best TV Producing in Tennessee.”

Wetherbee Wins Weather Recognition. Owing to his daily forecasts and severe winter weather broadcasts on the Georgia News Network, Envision Radio Networks meteorologist John Wetherbee is the recipient of this year’s GABBY Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for “Best Weather Coverage.” Wetherbee states, “This is so exciting to be recognized by GAB for my weather reporting throughout Georgia and having the ability to continue to grow and succeed in my life-long passion – radio. It is just so cool.” With its weather component, Envision Radio Networks’ EnvisionVirtualServices provides stations up to five daily forecasts each weekday and 24-hour on-call severe weather coverage on a barter basis. Wetherbee’s recognition took place as part of GABCON 2017, a convention for Georgia television and radio broadcasters.

PPM Data – Round Two. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Detroit; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Denver; Tampa; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Townsquare Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Compared to the second quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media’s net revenue increased 2.6%, which is consistent with previously issued guidance. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven Price comments, “We are pleased to report another solid quarter that was in line with our expectations. Our second quarter performance was anchored by our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where revenue increased 4.3% over the prior year, and 4.8% excluding political revenue. Our results in this segment are representative of the continued strength of our local advertiser solutions and the strength our local teams.” Entertainment net revenue and net income were approximately flat. Adjusted EBITDA was also approximately flat, consistent with previously issued guidance. Diluted net income and diluted adjusted net income per share are of $0.20 and $0.21, respectively. In terms of year-to-year comparisons, the company’s net revenue decreased by 1.1%. Conversely, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased by 2.9%. The company repaid $6.7 million of long-term debt and there are year-to-year decreases in entertainment net revenue (-10.2%); net income (-39.4%); and adjusted EBITDA (-5.0%).

NABJ and NAHJ To Hold Combined 2020 Confab. As they did last year in Washington, DC, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) will have a joint convention in 2020. NABJ president Sarah Glover comments, “NABJ is looking forward to hosting another joint convention with NAHJ. Both groups executed a memorable convention experience for our members and the journalism industry last year. We have a lot of momentum to build off of as we head into 2020. It only makes sense to bring black and Hispanic journalists together as we move toward what is shaping up to be a history-making election in 2020.” Meanwhile, NAHJ president Brandon Benavides remarks, “As we move toward returning to a joint convention with NABJ, we will be recognizing the priorities in our programming, special events, and all elements of a conference that our members value most. It is critical that as the two largest journalism associations of color, we not only make an investment into our student journalists, but also provide the best resources to develop talent and make it our mission to create more leadership training opportunities for all of our journalists.”

Demand for Spanish-Language Spots Skyrocketing. Given radio’s reach and growing podcast audiences, digital audio advertising is considered by many to be the single most effective medium to connect with Hispanic audiences. According to Nielsen research, radio reaches more than 92% of Hispanics regardless of language preference. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price explains his company has produced Spanish radio spots for various clients, but it has been especially busy the last seven months. “We are working with a number of clients to create relevant Spanish-language radio spots that demonstrate an understanding of nuances of the culture and diversity within the Hispanic market.” According to Pew Research, Hispanics are the youngest ethnic group in the United States, while data from Latinum Network indicates ads targeting Hispanics in Spanish significantly increase their interest in purchasing products. Price comments, “We didn’t need research to tell us that thoughtful, creative ads work better – regardless of the language. [Nonetheless], it’s nice to have facts that demonstrate the value of the work we do for our clients. We work with the best Spanish-speaking writers, actors, and sound mixers in the country – the ads are resonating culturally.”

Remembering Glen Campbell. After battling against Alzheimer’s since 2011, singer-songwriter Glen Campbell lost his fight against the disease yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8) in Nashville; the 1968 Country Music Association “Entertainer of The Year” was 81. A rural Arkansas native, Campbell hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” on CBS-TV. A midseason replacement that debuted in January 1969, the series ran until June 1972; Jerry Reed and Anne Murray were among the show’s regulars. In the mid-1960s, Campbell briefly toured with the Beach Boys and he really hit it big in 1967, earning multiple individual Grammy nominations for “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” One year later, “Wichita Lineman” reached the Top 5. All three of those singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. While continuing to do extremely well on the country charts – more than two-dozen top 10 hits and five songs that reached #1 – Campbell went on to have pop notoriety with “Galveston” and “It’s Only Make Believe.” By the mid-1970s, he again enjoyed considerable success – this time with “Southern Nights” and the often parodied “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Altogether over a six-decade span, the sharecropper’s son and seventh of 12 children, released more than 70 albums and won six Grammys among 20 nominations. He sold 45 million records; had 12 gold albums; four platinum; and one double-platinum. Approximately 80 different Glen Campbell songs reached the country, top 40, or adult contemporary charts, nine ascending to #1. The 2005 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee was in-demand as a session player, featured on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”; Jan & Dean’s “Dead Man’s Curve,” and Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” (among others). As part of the Wrecking Crew, he played on recordings of artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat Cole to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and The Monkees. The 2014 film “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” followed Campbell and his family during a farewell tour in the United States, Australia, and Europe as he dealt with his illness. The powerful “I’m Not Going to Miss You” from the film landed an Oscar nomination (losing to “Glory” from “Selma”) and a Grammy nomination (losing to “Let It Go” from “Frozen”). Tim McGraw sang it at the 2015 Academy Awards. Campbell’s appropriately-titled final studio album, “Adios,” was released earlier this year. Donations that will support Alzheimer’s research may be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at Brightfocus Foundation.

After Cutting “Idol” Fox Answers with “The Four.” We’ve seen it unfold countless times in radio. Station executives determine a particular on-air talent is no longer sufficient enough for the salary and they then hold their breath when that personality (or team) crosses the street to join the competition. After a 15-season run on Fox, “American Idol” will surface on ABC midseason with iHeartMedia Los Angeles KIIS “Kiss-FM” morning drive star Ryan Seacrest continuing as host. Yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8), Fox announced it will deliver a new singing competition series – “The Four” – from Armoza Formats and ITV Entertainment. With a tagline of “We start with the best and only get better,” Fox’s “The Four” will not launch until 2018. While the network has yet to announce a specific premiere date or host for “The Four,” the show is not expected to be slotted directly against “Idol” or NBC’s Carson Daly-hosted “The Voice.” Each week, the top four will sing against challengers to retain their slots on the show. A panel of (yet-to-be cast) music experts and personalities will choose the original finalists from auditions. Similar to “American Idol,” viewers will be able to vote from home on four contestants. They get to decide who is brought on the show by voting on streamed auditions, influencing which challengers will take on “The Four.” Fox Broadcasting Company president of alternative entertainment Rob Wade maintains “The Four” (billed as “The Final Four” in Israel, as pictured) is nothing like “American Idol,” categorizing it as the most “pure, clean format” for a singing competition he has ever seen, while Fox Television Group co-chair/chief executive officer Dana Walden opines singing competition series have become “much more about celebrity panelists and less about” turning aspiring singers into stars.

Savannah’s “G-100” Grabs Station of the Year Honors. In a Georgia Association of Broadcasters award ceremony held this past weekend at Jekyll Island, Alpha Media Savannah (Georgia) – Hilton Head (South Carolina) classic hip-hop WXYY “G-100 The Throwback Station” was named “Station of the Year” for “Division Radio A/Large market.” Alpha Media Savannah – Hilton Head vice president and market manager Gigi South points out that “G-100” celebrated its first birthday last month and “winning ‘Station of the Year’ is a major accomplishment. The state of Georgia has many super radio talents. This is a huge honor and we are so grateful to our listeners [as well as to our] staff and Alpha Media, which gives us the tools and celebrates our passion to win.” Program director Amini remarks, “In one year, we have made groundbreaking history. Listeners call, text, find us on social media, and stop us in person just to share their love for the ‘Throwback’ music. From Hurricane Matthew coverage, to collecting toys, to helping kids get fit and perform in school, everything we do is intended to give Savannah the best on-air product and listener experiences.” Meanwhile, station personality Mark “Shark” Ediss was cited as Georgia’s “Best On-Air Personality.” Among persons 12+ in Savannah’s latest (Spring 2017) Nielsen Audio book, “G-100” ranks ninth (4.1, 12+); Cumulus Media urban contemporary WEAS and iHeartMedia CHR WAEV are tied at #1 – each with 8.3 (12+). In Hilton Head’s comparable spring 2017 results, Alpha Media country WUBB is on top with a 6.5 (12+), while WXYY is sixth (2.6, 12+).

Nation’s Capital First Up in Café Mocha “Salute Her” Tour. Launched over seven years ago, 2017 Gracie award winner Café Mocha Radio kicks off its “Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Tour” in just over two weeks (8/25) in Washington, DC. Among those being honored there are White House journalist/author April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks; actress Pam Grier; Grammy winning singer Stephanie Mills; entrepreneurs Germaine Leftridge and Vivian Pickard; and author Joi-Marie McKenzie. The syndicated radio show will have similar award ceremonies and networking events in New York City (9/28); Charlotte (11/4); and Chicago (12/14). This year’s theme, “Redefining What Perseverance Looks Like from the Inside Out,” underscores the importance of women maintaining their inner spirit to find strength. Café Mocha creator and executive producer Sheila Eldridge comments, “Over the years, we have honored more than 300 women. Our honorees demonstrate passion, creativity, and drive to break down barriers in their respective fields, truly redefining what perseverance looks like.” Café Mocha co-host comedienne Loni Love notes, “I am especially looking forward to honoring our incredible unsung heroines, these extraordinary women who are doing so much great work for others and rarely get recognition for their service.”  Café Mocha incorporates urban contemporary music with hot topics and is “radio from a woman’s perspective.” The two-hour program heard in 35 markets features interviews with singers, celebrities, politicians, and those making headlines.

More Music Radio News and Career MovesAfter 14 years with Beasley Media Group, including the last three as chief revenue officer, Heather Monahan departs as the company eliminates her position. “I want to thank my team, partners, clients, and all the amazing people I have known over the years,” she writes on her LinkedIn account. “It has been an emotional few days and I wanted to thank everyone for their love and support.” The Clark University graduate spent four years as a Wilks Broadcasting market manager before joining Beasley as executive vice president of sales in March 2003 ….. Starting next Monday (8/14), Jackie Paige takes over mid-days (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on Urban One Richmond urban contemporary WCDX “iPower 92.1/104.1.” Operations manager Yonni Rude notes, “Jackie’s talent and positive energy make her the perfect fit for Radio One Richmond.” Paige most recently was at Curtis Media Group Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina urban contemporary WIKS “101.9 Kiss-FM” ….. Two-year WEZL program director Tyler Reese departs the iHeartMedia Charleston, South Carolina country station. Reese previously was music director at Nashville country sibling WSIX “The Big 98” and has worked at similarly-formatted co-owned WKKT “96.9 The Kat,” Charlotte and WMAD “96.3 Star Country,” Madison ….. The new night talent at Entercom Sacramento classic rock KSEG “Eagle 96.9” is Chris McCoy, whose previous experience includes working for nine years in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey) at adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.” In addition, McCoy did morning drive at Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” ….. To pay tribute to the passing of Glen Campbell (see the story above), Rick Jackson’s entire three-hour United Stations Radio Networks (USRN) “Country Classics” program on the weekend of August 26 and 27 will be comprised of Campbell’s greatest hits and his story ….. Following a five-year stint as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Greensboro, Rich McMillan departs. He oversaw adult contemporary WMAG; CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM”; FM news/talk WPTI; WTQR “Q104.1 – New Country”; and WVBZ “Rock 105.7 – Man Up.” Prior to his time in Greensboro, McMillan programmed Miami and Birmingham stations for the company when it was known as Clear Channel. Exiting the iHM Greensboro cluster as well are WMAG program director Gary Nolan and WVBZ imaging voice Matt Pencola ….. The third annual, three-hour “Hungry for Hip-Hop” concert presented by iHeartMedia Orlando urban contemporary WTKS-HD2 “104.5 The Beat” takes place in two weeks (8/24) in downtown Orlando and will feature an all-female lineup. “Beat” on-air personality Viva La Koi will host. Proceeds will benefit Pathlight HOME, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and economic opportunities to Central Florida’s homeless ….. Having recently taken a hiatus from programming Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne, Indiana adult contemporary WAJI “Magic 95.1,” Dan Baisden returns to radio for part-time/weekend on-air duties at Adams Radio Group’s crosstown, similarly-formatted WWFW “103.9 Sunny FM.”

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

| August 8, 2017

Honolulu Morning Mainstay Rick Hamada Guests on this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime, KHVH 830 AM, Honolulu morning host Rick Hamada is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hamada and Harrison discuss the view of life – nationally and locally – seen from the perspective of an iHeartMedia-owned conservative news/talker in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  They discuss the North Korea crisis, immigration reform, race relations and a number indigenous topics impacting the lives of those who call the 50th state home.  Harrison says, “I met Rick Hamada at the recent FAIR ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ immigration reform radio row in Washington, DC and was a guest on his show.  I was taken by his gentlemanly manner and articulate insights into the worldview from the United States of America’s most westerly outpost and knew right there I’d have to invite him on this podcast. I’m glad I did.  This is a real cool conversation.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI.  While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for their station and brand.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media, into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.  Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.  To read all about TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s story covering this phenomenal success, please click here.

Davis Deal Keeps Him at iHM for Four More Years. On the heels of celebrating his 25th anniversary with the company, Darren Davis agrees to a four-year contract extension as president of iHeartMedia Networks Group. “We are pleased that Darren will continue to lead the integration of our Networks group that enables iHeartMedia to harness the unparalleled power, reach, and scale of our digital and broadcast platforms,” notes iHeartMedia chairman and chief executive officer Bob Pittman. “His 25 years of experience working in every facet of iHeartMedia means he has a unique understanding of every aspect of our company, from our broadcast radio stations and iHeartRadio to our sales teams and partnerships, and how they can all work together to best serve our consumers, partners, affiliates, and advertisers.” Davis, who was appointed to his current position three years ago, comments that he is always “amazed by iHeartMedia’s evolution, which is built on broadcast radio and now provides one-of-a-kind programming and opportunities to connect our advertising partners across our unparalleled range of multiple platforms in ways that no other company can.” Davis continues as president of iHeartRadio’s live-streaming and podcasting and oversees integration of the company’s multi-platform assets. He started at iHeartMedia Washington, DC in 1992 as an intern at WASH-FM (then owned by Evergreen), where he graduated to program director of the heritage adult contemporary outlet. The George Washington University alum later advanced to regional vice president of programming for the company’s Chicago and Detroit operations and to senior vice president of programming and executive vice president/general manager of national programming.

CBS Radio Second-Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. While Q2 revenue for parent CBS Corp. rose 9% year-to-year to a record $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion in 2016, radio division revenue was reported at $306 million, down from $313 million (-2.2%) in 2016. Conversely, that figure is up from $250 million in 2017’s first-quarter. A noncash charge of $365 million for discontinued operations resulted from reducing the carrying value of CBS Radio to the level of the stock valuation of Entercom as it prepares to merge with Entercom in the second half of this year. In terms of CBS Corp. earnings, CBS Radio is classified as “held for sale,” adjusted each quarter based on Entercom’s stock price until that deal is finalized. CBS Radio recorded a $7 million restructuring charge tied with reorganizing some of its business operations, including severance costs and fees from ending some contractual obligations. According to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “We continue to have more and more success as the landscape continues to change. Revenue was up 9% with top line growth in every one of our four business segments and EPS was up 12% to $1.04, representing our 30th consecutive quarter of EPS growth. Both of these totals were second quarter records for us. Our base advertising business is strong and growing, and at the same time, we’re laying new groundwork to ensure even more growth ahead. We are not only capitalizing on the changes in our industry, we are shaping the direction of these changes.” Local media revenue, which includes the company’s owned and operated television stations and CBS Local Digital Media, was $412 million, up 4% from $396 million last year.

PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Frandsen, Hoffar to Host “KNBR Tonight.” Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen and Drew Hoffar are the two on-air talents selected for “KNBR Tonight” on Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader.” The 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm program debuts next Monday (8/14). KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe opines, “Drew and Kevin are primed to make a huge impact in their new roles. Their work ethic is unmatched and both are committed to the smallest of details that will generate a great listener experience. They are relatable to the common fan, yet they each possess a vast knowledge of the overall sports landscape. I applaud Cumulus San Francisco for putting them in a position to shine.” A San Jose State University grad, Frandsen was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and played for the team from 2006 – 2009, before joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010), Philadelphia Phillies (2012 – 2013) and Washington Nationals (2014) before ending his 10-year MLB career with the Giants in 2015. He has filled in regularly on KNBR the past two years and remarks, “In my time as a major leaguer, I prided myself on performing in several roles as a utility player. Since arriving at KNBR. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the format’s most established personalities across a variety of timeslots. This evening post is a chance to advance my relationship with one of the best young talents in radio, connect with the best sports fans in the country, and move the KNBR brand forward into the digital age.” Hoffar grew up in San Leandro and has over 12 years of hosting experience and most recently served as lead host on KNBR morning show “The Audible,” alongside Frandsen. Hoffar previously held anchor and host positions at KGMZ, San Francisco and KHTK, Sacramento. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to reach so many diehard Bay Area sports fans on a nightly basis,” he states. “Hosting evenings on KNBR carries a responsibility to serve fans the quality content they deserve as the daily news cycle hits a close. Kevin and I will provide a unique perspective on the games and will look to entertain/inform listeners every time we open the mics.” The station’s revised weekday on-air lineup is comprised of “The Show Hour with Patrick Connor” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Murph & Mac” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Gary Radnich & Larry Krueger (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); “Fitz & Brooks” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “Tolbert & Lund” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “KNBR Tonight with Drew Hoffar & Kevin Frandsen” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (10:00 pm – 5:00 am).

NPR Adds Bennett As Fourth White House Reporter. After serving as an NPR congressional reporter the past five months, Geoff Bennett is named White House reporter. In addition to Bennett, NPR’s team covering the White House now includes national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith. NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan comments, “Just a few months into his return to NPR, Geoff has demonstrated the substantive reach, solid sourcing, and fluidity in stories. Those of us lucky enough to work alongside Geoff know he has done it with the grace and good humor we so need.” Before becoming a Washington reporter with NY1 News, Bennett spent almost six years at NPR as “Weekend Edition” editor.

McDonald Podcast Added to iHeartRadio. Two-time Emmy winner Rushion McDonald is making his “Money Making Conversations” podcast available on iHeartRadio. “I have known Rushion McDonald for over a decade and we have worked together on many projects,” states Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “I can honestly say he is one of the great creative business minds of our time. He has the uncanny ability to understand and solve the marketing needs of clients with innovative solutions involving talent, media, and events.” McDonald comments that he is “excited to share” his “Money Making Conversations” podcast “across iHeartRadio’s vast number of device platforms. Being available on iHeartRadio will allow me to help even more people reach their dreams through my meaningful discussions with celebrity friends and small business leaders.” Among others, guests thus far on McDonald’s podcast have included Cedric The Entertainer, Patti LaBelle, Carl Lewis, Roland Martin, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sherri Shepherd, Rickey Smiley, Stephen A. Smith, Michelle Williams, and Charlie Wilson.

Salem Q2 Revenue Declines. Consolidated second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group decreased 2.5% year-to-year to $66.1 million. Net income was down from $3.4 million to $1.3 million and net broadcast revenue fell 1.4% to $49.3 million. Meanwhile, digital media revenue was off 1.6% to $10.9 million. Publishing revenue dipped 11.3% to $6 million. Salem Media Group is projecting third quarter total revenue to be off by 6% to 8% year-to-year, owing to lack of political revenue; reduced book release schedule; elimination of four loss-making magazines; and a continued soft Dallas market.

Texas Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees. There are 16 new members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In alphabetical order, they include: Nick Alexander (Dallas/Fort Worth); Mark Carrillo (San Antonio); Ed Chandler (Marble Falls); R.W. “Catfish” Crouch (Houston); Bill Davis (Tyler); Roger W. Garrett (College Station); Bill Harrison & Dana Adams; Bill Ingram (Houston); Tempie Lindsey (Dallas/Fort Worth); Bobby Lopez (San Antonio); Sam Malone (Houston); John McCarty (Dallas/Fort Worth); Chrissie Murnin (San Antonio); Denise Partridge (Houston); and Mark Watkins (Dallas/Fort Worth). The class of 2017 will be honored in three months (11/4) at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore.

Comcast Advertising Execs to Headline Radio Breakfast. Members of Comcast Cable’s marketing team, including senior vice president of media strategy & sciences Kavita Vazirani, will participate in a discussion moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber regarding the company’s relationship with radio. According to Farber, “Radio drives behavior, and Comcast Cable is a prime example of a top advertiser using radio as a method of communication to new and existing customers about new products and services. We look forward to welcoming Kavita Vazirani and her marketing team in Austin at the Radio Show to discuss radio’s role in their advertising mix.” The event will be held (Thursday) September 7 (7:30 am – 9:00 am) at Austin’s JW Marriott. The Radio Show is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the RAB.

WNYC Studios Adds Bharara Podcast. “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara, has been picked up for distribution by WNYC Studios. The podcast – described by WNYC as being a series about justice and fairness – is produced by his brother Vinit Bharara’s media firm Some Spider Studios and Pineapple Street Media. According to New York Public Radio president and chief executive officer Laura Walker, “WNYC Studios is honored to add Preet Bharara’s compelling and timely podcast to our lineup. We have built our portfolio around distinct personalities; ‘Stay Tuned with Preet’ promises to bring podcast audiences and people interested in our political and legal culture something new, relevant, and utterly engaging.” Vinit Bharara adds, “I am really looking forward to Preet launching his podcast and sharing with the world his unique insights about justice and fairness – especially at a time when those two issues are at stake.” Initially asked to stay on board by the administration, Preet Bharara was fired by President Trump in March.

TALKERS News Notes. Hosted by NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner, “Rough Translation” is a new podcast about how topics that are discussed in America are handled in other countries. Debuting next Monday (8/14), “Rough Translation” will release new episodes weekly. Correspondents from NPR bureaus worldwide will contribute stories to the podcast, a product of NPR StoryLab ….. As first reported by the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Peterson last Friday (8/4) closed out his 43-year radio career and 18 years as host of Townsquare Media Rochester, Minnesota news/talk KROC’s “Good Morning” show. In addition to two separate KROC “AM 1340” stints, Peterson worked at Omaha news/talk KFAB. Taking over the KROC morning slot are “This Morning with Gordon Deal” and Salem’s Mike Gallagher.

 

 

 

KDAY Back as Raiders’ Los Angeles FM Affiliate. Syndicated via Compass Media Networks and originating from Entercom San Francisco’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried in Los Angeles on Meruelo Media’s KDAY “Back in the Day Hits.” KDAY program director Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive FM radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 – 1966) and head coach (1979 – 1987) Tom Flores. The NFL franchise played in Los Angeles for 12 years (1982 – 1994) and have committed to move to Las Vegas upon completion of a stadium projected for the 2020 season.

O’Brien, Smith Added to WJXA Morning Mix. In two weeks (8/21), Midwest Communications Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” will debut a morning show featuring Brandon O’Brien and Ricki Smith. O’Brien most recently was the afternoon talent at Sinclair Telecable Norfolk country outlet WUSH “US-106.1,” while Smith arrives from Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” where he was morning co-host. They will join producer/co-host Clint Redwine and succeed Kim Leslie, who exited after 10 years to develop a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, former “Mix” morning co-host Anna Marie is segueing to nights. Vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon states, “When you find the talent you feel will help add exciting new chapters to the storied history of ‘Mix,” you only have one choice – hire them. I can’t wait to hear this [morning] show come together. Anna has been the heart and soul of ‘Mix’ for a long, long time. I am delighted we can apply her special talents to the evening show where she can fully expand on her unique ability to connect with listeners.” Operations manager Barbara Bridges comments, “I am so excited to add Brandon and Ricki to the morning show. These two individuals have a ton of talent. This combination with Clint will elevate an already successful morning show to the next level – we are thrilled this all came together. Anna has a 20-year track record of success with our female audience; our fans absolutely love her. The warmth and connection she will bring to a special nighttime show will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what we can do when Anna gets rolling.” O’Brien remarks, “Not only do I live in the greatest city in the world, I will also have an opportunity to be a huge part of the Nashville community and work alongside some amazing and talented folks.” Smith notes, “A personality looks for nothing more than what happens every day with this incredible team of talented people in Nashville. I am totally pumped about being able to contribute to the station’s continued success.” Anna Marie adds, “I love my listeners and this move gives me the opportunity to get closer to them. We have had a wonderful 20-year relationship so far – now we get a new time and space to get together.” July 2017 results will be released on Thursday (8/10), but among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM report, “Mix” finishes in fifth-place (6.8, 6+), one full-share behind the pacesetter, iHeartMedia classic rocker WNRQ (7.8, 6+).

TKRN Taps Thomas for Affiliate Relations. Former program director and brand manager of Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” Darla Thomas joins the affiliate relations department of the Tom Kent Radio Network (TKRN), representing adult contemporary and hot AC products. TKRN senior vice president of affiliations Ed Douglas comments, “Having a pro of the stature of Darla Thomas join our affiliate team is a dream come true. She understands the adult contemporary world and she values the commitment Tom Kent has made to making great radio.” Thomas notes, “I have known Tom for years and I am so impressed by the network he has built across the country. When Ed asked me to join the team, I just couldn’t resist the chance to help build the TKRN brand and make it even bigger. I am excited to get started.” Thomas’ previous programming credits include iHeartMedia Charlotte adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” and five years as operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group Tucson, after programming that company’s Omaha hot AC KSRZ “Star 104.5.”

Charlotte’s “Block” Inks Dutchess. One of the stars of the VH1 series “Black Ink Crew” – Dutchess – is added to the on-air lineup of Radio One Charlotte urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block.” The Charlotte native and cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University will handle  Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm duty. Radio One Charlotte vice president and general manager Doug James states, “Dutchess is an exceptional artist and media personality. We are very excited that she is bringing her talents to our fantastic lineup.” Radio One Charlotte program director Mary K. notes, “I am thrilled to have Dutchess join [our] team. She has great energy, a contagious spirit, generous heart, and immeasurable talents.” Splitting time between North Carolina and New York, Dutchess opened a tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in Charlotte.

Sanderson, Ramsey Headed to WNFN for Middays, Nights. Arriving from iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River,” where she was assistant digital PD and part-time on-air talent, Kage Sanderson crosses the street to Midwest Communications’ similarly-programmed WNFN “i106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” for midday duty, as well as being the station’s social media coordinator. In addition, JR Ramsey from Townsquare Media Portland, Maine CHR WJBQ “Q-97.7” joins “i106.7” to handle nights. Sanderson comments that she is “stoked for this new role at WNFN. Doing radio in Nashville – an electric city that I truly love – is unbelievable. I can’t wait to connect with our listeners and be part of this fantastic growing station.” Ramsey notes, “I can’t express how excited I am to be making this big move to Nashville. I am really looking forward to cracking the mic and entertaining the city.” He and Sanderson begin their new assignments in roughly two weeks (8/21). Meanwhile, WNFN assistant program director/music director/9:00 am – 2:00 pm personality “Butter” adds on-air duties at co-owned adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” and will be videographer for WNFN; “Mix”; and co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM.”

Now Appearing – Harry Connick Jr. Currently promoting his television show “Harry,” Harry Connick Jr. stopped by iHeartMedia Milwaukee CHR WRNW “97.3 Now” prior to his guest appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pictured left to right are “Now” morning show personalities Rahny Taylor and Binky Lee, Connick, and morning show producer “Dave.”

Cumulus Media Des Moines Tickets Taylor as Operations Manager. Six-year Townsquare Media St. Cloud, Minnesota operations manager Chad Taylor transitions to Cumulus Media Des Moines for similar duties at its five-station cluster. In addition to his OM duties, Taylor will host afternoon drive on country KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon.” Cumulus Media Des Moines vice president and market manager Craig Hodgson comments, “Chad is a highly-regarded operations manager, program director, and on-air talent. He is as active and community involved as they come. We will enjoy having him on our team and look forward to achieving great things together.” Taylor notes, “My wife was born and raised in Altoona. She is set to enjoy all things Iowa again and has already purchased a family pass to Adventureland. I’m beyond excited to work alongside the talented team at Cumulus Des Moines.” Prior to working in St. Cloud, Taylor was operations manager/program director for Community First Broadcasting’s three Iowa Great Lakes-area stations. The Cumulus Media Des Moines cluster consists of KBGG “1700 AM News-Talk-Sports”; KGGO “Classic Rock That Rocks”; KHKI “97.3 Nash FM”; KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon”; and KWQW “98.3 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop.”

More Music Radio News and Career MovesScheduled to perform at CBS Radio Los Angeles adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack’s 12th Show” October 7 at Irvine’s Fivepoint Amphitheater are 311, Cypress Hill, Gin Blossoms, Eve 6, Lit, and The Offspring. Proceeds will benefit Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) ….. Approximately 17% ($50,000) of the $294,091 Entercom Greenville, South Carolina helped raise during the Children’s Miracle Network radiothon was given by a father whose son was killed by a drunk driver ….. After hiring Tom Ferguson (“Ferg”) for afternoon drive duties, Entercom Wilkes Barre-Scranton classic rock WMQX “Max 102.3” operations manager Michael O’Donnell comments, “He is a born and raised Northeast Pennsylvania guy who knows his audience. He has a natural ability to relate to them and will raise the roof on PM drive.” Ferguson formerly worked at crosstown Times-Shamrock alternative WFUZ “Alt 92.1” ….. The former music director of Townsquare Media Flint, Michigan rhythmic CHR WRCL “Club 93.7” ArtArtemisSmith remains in the Great Lake State as he joins Midwest Communications mainstream CHR WLMI “i-92.9,” Lansing today (Tuesday, 8/8) as brand manager. Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy remarks, “We are excited to have Art lead our team. He has demonstrated a solid work ethic and strong working knowledge of the contemporary hit format.” Prior to working at WRCL, Smith was promotions director and night talent at WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan ….. While a replacement hasn’t been named yet to succeed her, afternoon drive personality Nikki Reid (also known as Erika Kay) departs iHeartMedia Tulsa CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Reid/Kay joined “The Beat” in March 2016 from WNDV “U-93,” South Bend (Indiana) ….. Following an extended medical leave, former WSLC “Star Country 94.9” midday talent Robynn Jaymes returns to the Mel Wheeler-owned Roanoke, Virginia station for weekend/swing duty. Taking to Facebook, she writes, “When illness took me off the radio, I wondered if I would ever [again] have the privilege to be on the air, sharing music and connecting with [the audience. Returning] this past Sunday [8/6] was a dream come true.” Jaymes has undergone surgery and multiple treatments since 2011, when she began battling pancreatitis ….. Meanwhile, 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Don Carpenter returns to Springfield, Missouri, signing on with Midwest Family country outlet KOMG “100.5 The Bull” to host a classic country show. In the 1980s, Carpenter did morning drive in the Missouri market at CHR KWTO-FM before grabbing similar duties as “Dr. Don” at CBS Radio Detroit’s country-formatted WYCD. In two separate tenures, “Dr. Don” spent 18 years at WYCD; he has been off the air the past two years ….. WUSW “US-92.7,” Springfield, Illinois program director and morning co-host Kellie Michaels will leave the Mid-West Family Broadcasting country station in two weeks (8/21). She has been co-hosting “Brian & Kellie” with her husband Brian Pierce for 25 years. After 15 years at co-owned adult contemporary WNNS, they went to country KFDI, Wichita (2007 – 2015), before returning to Springfield at “US-92.7.” Pierce will continue as morning co-host with Troy Armstrong assuming the co-host role. Michaels remarks, “I wanted to step back and spend more time on other interests. I’ve had a great time with Brian doing mornings. I will certainly miss the fun he and I have had, but certainly won’t miss the early morning hours.”

Monday, August 7, 2017

| August 7, 2017

Emmis Extends Walsh. A contract extension given to Patrick Walsh will keep the Emmis Communications president and chief operating officer in-place through July 2019. As far as particulars of the pact that officially began the first day of this month are concerned, Walsh will earn $625,000 a year with annual increases of up to 2.5%; Emmis can allocate up to 10% of the base in its common stock. He will be entitled to annual incentive pay, with the target for each year 100% of the base salary. In addition, Walsh will be eligible for a performance bonus at the end of the contract with a fair market value of $300,000; $500,000; or $700,000 based on stock price. Other perks are included as well for Walsh, who joined Emmis from iBiquity Digital in 2006 as chief financial officer; he was promoted to chief operating officer and chief financial officer two years later (2008). Emmis owns three radio properties in New York City; four in St. Louis; four (and Network Indiana) in its Indianapolis hub; and seven stations in Austin. The sale of Emmis Los Angeles’ KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media became final just last week. The rhythmic CHR had been programmed by Meruelo Media since July 1 under a Local Marketing Agreement.

NYMRAD Names Morgan Treasurer; Hopeck Boosted to Secretary. In a pair of executive committee moves, the New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) appoints Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan treasurer, and promotes iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck to secretary. NYMRAD chairman/CBS Radio New York senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield notes, “I am very excited about working with Charlie in this seamless transition of the executive committee. Charlie has brought energy in his contributions to board meetings. Under his leadership, we will continue to develop initiatives that will advance radio in the vibrant New York marketplace.” Morgan comments, “Working with [executive director) Deborah Beagan and my talented New York radio peers in this period of time where radio has more to offer advertisers than ever before is invigorating. It is a privilege to play a role in advancing radio’s profile and value proposition.” Prior to joining Emmis New York in January 2016 as senior vice president and market manager, Morgan performed the same duties for eight years at the company’s Indianapolis stations and spent more than 21 years before that as vice president and market manager for Susquehanna’s Indianapolis cluster. He succeeds Univision New York vice president and general manager Ramon Pineda, who becomes senior vice president and regional general manager for that company’s stations in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Cleveland, and Raleigh.

“ESPY Day” Raises $5.2 Million. This marked ESPN’s fourth annual such “ESPY Day” that solicits funds for the V Foundation cancer charity. ESPN president John Skipper notes that he is “grateful to Bristol-Myers Squibb, whose charitable contribution to the V Foundation, including support of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, helped push this year’s fundraising efforts to be one of our best ever.” The 2017 total of $5.2 million is a 32% increase from last year’s event. Half the money ($2.6 million) will go to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund.  The event included ESPN Radio’s ESPY Day Auction, the 17th annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Outing, and the third annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. Elsewhere at ESPN, senior writer Seth Wickersham receives a contract extension, while Buzzfeed News senior writer Joel Anderson and ESPN The Magazine/“ESPN Insider” college football contributor Phil Steele are added to its reporting and analyst staff. The three will appear on ESPN Radio, as well as ESPN’s linear television and digital platforms. ESPN vice president/editorial director, domestic digital content Chad Millman comments, “Seth has long been one of our most talented journalists whose stories on the inner-workings of the NFL have elevated our coverage and delighted fans. Re-signing him as well as adding Joel and Phil increases what’s possible for our editorial team and elevates our ability to serve fans.”

Osgood to be Honored with NATAS Lifetime Achievement Emmy. The host of Westwood One’s long-running “The Osgood File” (which airs on 386 radio outlets throughout the United States) – Charles Osgood – will be honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the 2017 “News & Documentary Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.” The honor is given to a journalist or filmmaker who has “made a lasting and distinguished contribution to broadcast journalism or documentary film.” After a 22-year run as anchor of CBS-TV’s “Sunday Morning,” Osgood retired from that role in September 2016. His special recognition will take place in New York City in approximately two months (10/5). Charles Osgood Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WYDE Shuffles Its Weekday Lineup. Modifications on Crawford Broadcasting Birmingham news/talk WYDE “Superstation 101.1” start in morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am), where Michael Hart and Jessica Borklund team up for “AM with Michael & Jessica,” produced by Mickey Bell, who hosts “The Dixie Gospel Caravan” on sister gospel property WXJC-FM. Scott Beason segues from 9:00 am – 11:00 am to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, while “Yellowhammer Radio” moves from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm to 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm. Airing from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm is Andrew McLain and Jim Moore-hosted “The Line with Andrew & Jim.” WYDE operations director Josi McCurdy remarks, “We are excited to introduce our new lineup to the Birmingham listening audience. In keeping with our tradition of bringing the best in conservative talk radio, we are always looking for ways to build on our team of amazing talent. The new show host combinations have a powerful dynamic, which we feel will prove to be both informative and entertaining. As always, we will continue our focus on being local, relevant and current.” None of Crawford Broadcasting’s five Birmingham stations appeared in Nielsen Audio’s spring 2017 book for that Alabama market.

WRNN-FM and Coastal Carolina University Athletics in Partnership. The agreement reached between Alpha Media Socastee-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WRNN-FM “Hot Talk 99.5” and Coastal Carolina University is through the 2019 – 2020 season. It will include the school’s football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball contests, with some games bumped to sister sports talk WRNN-AM “ESPN Myrtle Beach.” Alpha Media Myrtle Beach general manager Josh Gertzog comments, “We are thrilled to be part of the growth happening at Coastal Carolina University. Being the radio partner of one of only three NCAA Division I [Football Bowl Subdivision] FBS programs in South Carolina is an honor. With a wonderful athletic pedigree, including a baseball national championship, it is great to be able to broadcast [CCU] Chanticleer games and to partner in other ways. Our motto is ‘Live and Local,’ and there is no more local university to the Myrtle Beach-Grand Strand than CCU.” Coastal Carolina University director of corporate sales and sponsorships Rhett Graham adds, “We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunity for Chanticleer student-athletes to be featured across the strong signal and market-leading listenership of WRNN.” Sister Alpha Media Myrtle Beach outlets (CHR) WMYB “Energy 92.1,” alternative WKZQ “96.1 New Rock,” and classic rock WYAV “Wave 104” will promote Chanticleer games as well.

Recent Station Sales. The previously announced $2 million transaction of Radio One news/talk WCHB, Detroit to Crawford Broadcasting is now complete. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM sweep, WCHB finishes at #23 (.3). Meanwhile in Reno (Nevada), Times-Shamrock Communications has agreed to sell three stations to Lazer Broadcasting and one to John Burkavage’s Bighorn Media. Lazer will acquire CHR KWNZ “All Hit Radio”; FM news/talk KNEZ; and KZTI “Z-105.3 Rock Hard,” while Bighorn will purchase KRZQ “The Real Alternative.” Lazer president Alfredo Plascencia states, “We are delighted to be acquiring these fine stations from our friends at Times-Shamrock as an addition to our existing cluster to better to serve the Reno market.” Previously the general manager of Times-Shamrock Reno, Burkavage remarks, “Station ownership is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me and I am excited by the opportunity.”

Young and Younger.  KGO, San Francisco Gen X midday talk host Ethan Bearman (l) recently invited Westwood One syndicated Millennial music radio host Zach Sang of “Zach Sang and the Gang” (r) into his studio for some inter-generational on-air chat.  Heavy Hundred member Bearman tells TALKERS, “Zach is deeply connected to what Millennials are thinking about culturally. There has been so much talk about Justin Bieber cancelling his tour because of his newfound religion and I needed to get to a source who knows Bieber. Best of all, Zach is one of the nicest guys around and is simply magical behind the mic!” The two up and coming broadcasters met at a TALKERS convention in New York, stayed in touch and work together when they can for the benefit of their audiences.

TALKERS News Notes. After a 36-year run, anchor/reporter Barbara Boylan exited CBS Radio Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM last Friday (8/4). Boylan joined KDKA-AM in July 1981 from crosstown WKTQ (now WJAS) as a reporter-producer-talk show host ….. Very sad to note the passing of Darren “Dutch” Daulton, who died yesterday (Sunday, 8/6) after a battle with a recurrence of brain cancer. The former Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins catcher hosted “Talkin’ Baseball” on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2010 – 2013. After surviving the first round of brain cancer, he established the Darren Daulton Foundation, which provides financial assistance to brain cancer patients. According to Phillies chairman emeritus Bill Giles, “Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership. In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him and I loved him like he was one of my own.” Glioblastoma has also claimed the lives of other notable baseball players, including Gary Carter, Tug McGraw, and Johnny Oates. Daulton was just 55 ….. Hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA Championship, co-produced with Westwood One, will be broadcast later this week (8/10 – 8/13) from 12:00 noon – 7:00 pm (ET) each day on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. The broadcast team from Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club will include: Fred Albers, Doug Bell, Mark Carnevale, John Maginnes, Dennis Paulson, Bob Rosinski, Charlie Rymer, and Taylor Zarzour ….. As detailed in The Chicago Tribune and RobertFeder.com, former Chicago talk radio host Ted Lauterbach, 70, died July 31 after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. Lauterbach’s on-air “Windy City” credits include WIND (1982 – 1983); WCFL (1984); WLS-AM (1989 – 1990); and co-hosting WMAQ’s “Sports Huddle” with Steve Olken and Tom Greene in 1994. In addition, he was general manager and program director of Tele-Communications, a cable system.

Univision Q2 Radio Revenues Down 8.6%. Compared to $73.1 million for a similar period in 2016, second quarter revenue for Univision Communications’ radio division declined 8.6% to $66.8 million. National, network, and local advertising dips led to radio’s advertising revenue falling by 9.2% to $64 million from $70.5 million in 2016. Univision Communications president and chief executive officer Randy Falco notes that for the company as a whole, total revenue in the quarter was nearly $765 million and core revenue was up 5%. “Net income increased $31 million and we continue to deliver as evidenced by our reduction of net debt by approximately $200 million over the first half of the year.”

Westwood One Hall of Famers. Last night (8/6) in Canton (Ohio), Kurt Warner (left) and Jason Taylor (right) were enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Warner is one of Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” analysts and Taylor was just named the new “Sunday Night Football” analyst. The NFL season kicks off in just over four weeks (Thursday, September 7).

 

Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment.  Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment.  The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC.  This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.”   For application information and to see more about this position, click here.  The second opening is for a radio engineer.  That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.”  The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.”  For application information and to see more about this position, click here.

 

 

KEGL Announces “The Freakers’ Ball.” The annual concert sponsored by iHeartMedia Dallas rocker KEGL “The Eagle” will take place October 15 at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie (Texas). Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Dallas Patrick Davis notes, “Freakers’ Ball has become one of fall’s best rock lineups around the country. We couldn’t have asked for a better lineup around Halloween than to include Marilyn Manson, In This Moment and more [including Beartooth, and Greta Van Fleet].” Program director Don Davis comments, “Our Eagle ‘Rockaholics’ have come to expect a great themed show for our annual Freakers’ Ball. Who better to headline our annual event than Marilyn Manson?” A special ‘Rockaholic’ pre-sale will take place this Thursday (8/10) from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Listeners can also win tickets for a “Win It Before You Can Buy It” promotion today (Monday, 8/7) through Friday (8/11).

Entercom Miami Schedules Riptide Music Festival. More than 20 alternative, pop, rock, and adult contemporary acts will perform (Saturday) December 2 and (Sunday) December 3 at Entercom Miami’s Riptide Music Festival at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Marketing director and Riptide executive producer Von Freeman states, “It was an incredible success last year with over 25,000 festival-goers. There is just nothing better than seeing people hanging out in December on the sands of Fort Lauderdale [as they] sing every word to every song. The festival embraces the brands of our four top notch radio stations that reach over two million listeners per week and we will be giving away trips all over the United States and the world.” Riptide is produced by the staffs of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark”; classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach”; adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM”; and sports WAXY “790 The Ticket.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Having already launched this summer’s “World of Dance” starring Jennifer Lopez – and with Carson Daly-hosted “The Voice” a mainstay on its roster – NBC-TV is reportedly developing a music reality series for 2018. The new program will be one of at least two more music reality genre series scheduled for next year, along with “American Idol” (moving from Fox to ABC and with KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning talent Ryan Seacrest remaining in-place as host) and Fox developing an adaptation of the singing competition format “The Final Four” ….. Jury selection begins today (8/7) in the trial between former KYGO, Denver air talent David Mueller (air name “Jackson”) and singer Taylor Swift in Denver. Mueller filed suit against Swift in U.S. District Court two years ago (September 2015), seeking lost wages for allegedly getting fired from the then Entercom-owned country station (now a Bonneville property) after the singer claimed that he lifted her skirt and grabbed her during a meet-and-greet before her June 2013 concert. Swift filed a countersuit claiming sexual assault against Mueller; she is expected to testify. The case is expected to last two weeks, with opening statements beginning as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/8). Swift is seeking damages of $1, “serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” while Mueller – also expected to testify – is seeking $3 million in lost wages …..  Changes at Entercom San Diego adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1” find midday talent Dawne Davis and evening personality Nick Upton leaving their on-air shifts to focus on production and digital, respectively. Program director Brooks O’Brian segues from morning drive to take over for Davis in middays, while Dorothy Tran replaces Upton at night. Until a successor to O’Brian is found in morning drive, part-timer Dave Mason will cover that daypart ….. Morning show co-host Melissa Moran will depart Hall Communications country WPCV, Lakeland (Florida) this Wednesday (8/9) in order to focus on her voiceover business, which she started three years ago. Operations manager and program director Mike James comments, “Melissa is a phenomenal radio and voice talent. It is no surprise that her audio book and voiceover career has become so successful. We will miss her greatly and wish her the absolute best.” Moran joined WPCV in 2008.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

| July 13, 2017

Emmis Fiscal Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.7%. The silver lining in this fiscal first quarter report from Emmis Communications is that its Austin and St. Louis operations outperformed the markets.  However, the radio net revenue – excluding KPWR, Los Angeles (in the process of being sold) and the Terre Haute, Indiana stations that were sold last year – is down 6.7%.  As industry watchers are aware, Emmis is selling KPWR to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.  An LMA of the station went into effect on July 1.  When the deal closes, Emmis’ senior credit facility debt will be reduced by approximately 50%.  Emmis CEO and chairman of the board Jeff Smulyan comments, “Emmis made difficult but necessary decisions in our first fiscal quarter – decisions that give us additional flexibility to address market challenges and opportunities.  Our second fiscal quarter started strong with June up 5%, as record-setting ticket sales for our largest concert, ‘Summer Jam’ in New York, provided a nice boost.  While early, both July and August are showing that our performance is improving.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Mike Valenti Doing Three-Day WFAN Tryout.  It’s safe to say that anyone filling in for WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa is doing a tryout for the gig Francesa will give up at the end of his contract in December.  Valenti is in for Francesa Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week and the Detroit News speculates about the possibility of losing New York native Mike Valenti to the Big Apple in a piece by Tony Paul.  Valenti and former partner Terry Foster (who retired from the show after health issues brought about by a stroke) have been dominant ratings-getters for the station.  Since both stations are owned by CBS RADIO, any transition would be smooth from a contractual standpoint.  As regular TALKERS readers know, CBS RADIO (soon to be merged with Entercom) operates a lot of high-performing sports talk stations, so it’s likely there will be more tryouts for the WFAN role by company talent.  The 36-year-old Valenti originally came to Michigan to attend Michigan State.  Read the Detroit News story here.

Tom Sullivan Show Syndicated by Talk Media Network. There’s been no official press release but on the Talk Media Network website the company announces that it is taking over the national syndication effort of the KFBK, Sacramento-based Tom Sullivan show.  Fox News Radio recently ceased syndicating the program it had been handling since Sullivan joined the company to also host a program on the Fox Business cable channel 10 years ago.  Of this new syndication project, Sullivan says, “Reports of my retirement from radio syndication are greatly exaggerated… only from television.  I am a radio guy first and foremost and I look forward to many years ahead with my current audience and building the Tom Sullivan show to bring in new stations and listeners across the country.  I can now devote 100% of my time to delivering the best program on radio.”

John Gibson Radio Show Now Distributed by GCN.  Former, longtime Fox News personality John Gibson is now a part of the Genesis Communications Network lineup.  His daily radio program airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  With the recent changes at Fox News Radio, Gibson moved his program to the GCN platform.  Gibson first joined Fox News Channel back in 2000, hosting “The Big Story With John Gibson.”  Later, he added hosting a daily radio show to his Fox duties.  During his career, Gibson also hosted the “Newschat” and “Internight” programs at MSNBC, and he served for years as a West Coast correspondent for NBC News, supplying NBC affiliates with live reports on various breaking news events.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Wednesday (7/19), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) convenes the nomination hearing for FCC Commissioner nominees Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr…..Westwood One unveils a new partnership with the comic and actor DL Hughley.  WW1 is producing and distributing his new “The Hughley Truth” podcast.  The company says the program “features real, raw and funny conversation with comedian DL Hughley.  Each week, DL and his wingman, ‘News Guy’ Guy Lambert, discuss politics, social behavior, entertainment, and more with engaging and clever guests from all walks of life.  When you put all that together it’s not just the truth, it’s ‘The Hughley Truth.’”

Bob LaGrega Dies at 59.  Retired affiliate sales pro Bob LaGrega died recently while on vacation with his family.  The details are sketchy but friends say LaGrega had been dealing with health issues over the past year — in fact, he’d retired because of health issues – and the cause of death appears to have been heart failure.  During his career, LaGrega served with United Stations Radio Networks as executive director of affiliate relations/sales and spent almost three decades with ABC Radio Networks.

Trump Jr.-Russia Meeting, GOP Health Care Bill, President Trump in France, China-North Korea Trade Up, Military Plane Crash, Antarctic Iceberg, Scarborough Leaves GOP, and Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13). The ongoing controversy over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya during the 2016 campaign; the GOP health care plan and whether or not congress will put to a vote before the August break; President Trump heads to France to meet with new President Emanuel Macron; the report that China’s trade with North Korea has increased 10% since the beginning of the year and the related North Korean nuclear program and questions about China’s role in it; the military plane crash that took the lives of a number of Special Forces soldiers; a portion of the Antarctic ice shelf the size of Delaware breaks off; MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough leaves the Republican Party; and the over-the-top drama at the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor press conference were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/13) with Dan Mason, Harry Hurley and Graham Mack.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.  Yesterday (7/12) TALKERS posted a “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Today (7/13), a “Fireside Chat” is posted featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack). Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Cool On-Air Opportunity.  In the Charlotte market, Entercom is seeking an on-air personality for its three Charlotte stations: news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC-AM, and hot AC WLNK “The Link.”  The company says, “If you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person – you’ll love it here!  We are looking for experienced on-air talent.  Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player?  Do you have a strong hand in social media?  The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content.   Experience is preferred.”  To be considered for this position, please apply here.  No phone calls.  Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Kyle Due is named program director for iHeartMedia’s country KAJA “KJ97” and classic country KRPT/K227BH “92.5/93.3 The Bull” in San Antonio.  In addition to programming Due will host the afternoon show on “KJ97.”  iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio SVP of programming Brian Gann states, “We could not be more excited to have Kyle joining the San Antonio team.”  Previously, Due served with the company programming CHR WAEB and rock WZZO in Allentown, Pennsylvania.…..Contemporary hit radio outlet WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM” announces that Kaelin Roberts is named executive producer for the “Fred+Angi Morning Show,” effective July 17.  Roberts will be responsible for managing all aspects of the “Fred+Angi Morning Show” brand.  The station says her responsibilities will include show content preparation, multi-platform quality control and behind-the-scenes show operations.  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano comments, “I am so excited to have Kaelin taking over executive producer duties for the ‘Fred+Angi Morning Show.’  Her talent, experience and exuberance will be a wonderful addition to our 103.5 KISS FM team.”  Roberts is a Detroit native who began her career as an intern at iHeartMedia’s “Channel  955.”  She then spent two years as an associate producer for the “Mojo in the Morning” show…..Cumulus Media reports that its NASH Next franchise is enjoying “substantial year-over-year growth…including more than double the amount of registered artists.”  NASH Next is the company’s national and grassroots search for America’s newest country star.  For this year’s competition it has recruited artists in 62 markets across the country – including in markets such as Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville.  The competition is now moving into the next phase – the fan rating  period, where listeners are encouraged to rate the registered artists with the chance to win the right to attend the NASH Next 2017 finale in Nashville.  Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming Mike McVay says, “Our listeners know what music they like and who they want to hear on the radio and so the fan rating portion of this competition is extremely important to the program, giving our valuable listeners a voice in choosing the next country star.”

 

 

Round One of June PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s June 2017 PPM survey period covered May 25 – June 21.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Progressing from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is without a decrease for the fifth successive sweep (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+) and is up six-tenths in that stretch. In addition to advancing from #16 to #15, news/talk cluster-mate WOR logs its third straight increase (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and is up a collective eight-tenths since March. Moreover, June 2017’s 2.5 is the highest 6+-stat for the New York Mets flagship in nearly seven years when it reached 2.6 (#19) in November 2010. By dialing up a gain of nine-tenths to 3.0 (6+), public news/talk WYNC-FM puts an end to four straight downward trends that produced a six-tenths deficit (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+) and it rockets from #20 to #12. Trending 5.0 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 5.0 (6+) since February, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +.5 to 5.5, the most potent 6+-share in its PPM-history, and advances from fifth to third. Last month’s tie at #1 is broken as adult contemporary sibling WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” picks up four-tenths (6.1 – 6.5, 6+) to take sole possession of the top spot, while CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” up – albeit by one-tenth – slides to second (6.1 – 6.2, 6+). A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to April 2017 and May 2017, “New York’s Greatest Hits” last reached #1 in July 2016, when it scored a 6.2 (6+). It had been at 6.1 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps, while iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (-.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) had registered a 4.1 (6+) in four of the previous five survey periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Following three consecutive improvements for a cumulative +.4 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source for R&B” is off by three-tenths and slips from third to fourth. Unchanged at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC notches its third straight 1.3 (6+), after three successive 1.4 (6+) showings (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – Flat at #19, CBS Radio alternative KROQ is up or flat for the sixth consecutive monthly for a +.6 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” which had been down by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), is flat at 2.9 and remains at #11. Steady at #14, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” has its fifth successive ratings period without erosion for a +.6 (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is flat at 5.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC “My-FM” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. When “My-FM” dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which netted a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1. This marks the fourth straight sweep that CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV (+.1, 6+) occupies the runner-up position and “The Wave” steps across the five-share threshold for the fifth time in the last six sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+).  Eleven stations in the market are bunched together with 6+-shares between 3.0 and 2.3. After back-to-back survey periods in which no Los Angeles outlet appearing in print gained or lost more than one-half share, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” regresses by -.5 (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) to plummet from #9 to #17. Meanwhile, Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “107.5 K-Love” is down or flat for the fourth straight time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), but carries on at #6. Having picked up a collective full-share in five straight progressive or flat sweeps (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” drops two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), tumbling from a three-way logjam at #11 to #16. The January 2017 through June 2017 6+-trending for iHeartMedia news/talk KFI (seventh to eighth) is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, whereas Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KABC (unchanged at #36) registers a .6 after five straight showings of .7 (6+). Similarly, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family,” is .5 (#37 to #38), following a .6 performance five times in a row and in nine of the previous ten sweeps. Owing to five straight decreases (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Taxi Productions urban AC KJLH (#25) is a collective -.8.

3) Chicago – Locked on 2.6 (6+) in March and April before advancing to 2.9 (6+) in May, CBS Radio-owned WUSN logs a +.5 to 3.4 (6+). Not only does “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” escape a massive six-way logjam at #12 to enter the top ten (#9), this is its best 6+-showing since the 3.5 it recorded in December 2014. Meanwhile, dating back to the first of the year, its format rival – HeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” (#22) – is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 (6+). Improving by three-tenths (5.8 – 6.1, 6+), urban AC sibling WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is #1 for the fifth successive month. At the same time, while this represents the fifth straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM for a collective -1.6 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), the CBS Radio all-news operation remains in the runner-up slot. Although steady at #3, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “Mix” hasn’t had an increase in the last five sweeps (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+) and is down seven-tenths in that stretch. Ironically, similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” has lost nine-tenths in three successive declines (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), freefalling from #10 to #15. In the contemporary hit arena, CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “B-96” drops one-tenth (4.0 – 3.9, flat at #4), while iHeartMedia’s WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), yet actually backslides from fifth to sixth. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Before it fell by three-tenths in April, “Kiss” was a combined +.7, which it gained in three consecutive increases (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), following three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a +.5 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). A combined +.8 since last November via seven straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX drops two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), spiraling from #12 to #17. Faltering by one-half share (1.1 – .6, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI finishes at #29.

4) San Francisco – Pulling the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ recaptures the one-half share it squandered in May (4.3, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” jumps from seventh to fourth. Seven-tenths ahead of “The Breeze” is fellow AC, Entercom’s KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which is trending 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+) and carries on in third-place. With a 2.5 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods, urban AC sibling KBLX adds two-tenths to 2.7 as “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” remains at #12. Climbing from eighth to seventh is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which has its third increase in a row for a collective +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the fourth successive time for a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. In the runner-up slot for the sixth successive time is CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, 6+). Dropping six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+), the key station of the San Francisco GiantsCumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” – stumbles from fifth to eighth. At the same time, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” – the flagship of the Oakland A’s – adds one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+), as it inches up from #19 – #18. May’s +.3 by “The Game” put an end to its 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. Stymied at 3.8 (6+) in February and March and then on 3.2 (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio CHR KMVQ “99.7 – New Hit Music Now” slips to 3.0 (ninth to tenth, 6+). The October 2016 through June 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#10 to #11) is a remarkably consistent 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9. By adding two-tenths to 3.2 (6+), co-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to ninth) ends three straight negative trends that accounted for the loss of one-half share (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Ending its mini-repetitive 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+) sequence, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO drops two-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #15, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted KSFO is without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a full-share loss (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). This is the third straight month that Entercom-owned KUFX is unlisted; “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY boast the largest (6+) May 2017 – June 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Wednesday (3.2 – 4.3, +1.1, 6+), “94.9 – Your Life … Inspired” propels from #11 to #5 and has its strongest 6+-stat since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Tied for the top spot in March, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” regains all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it lost in May (5.9 – 5.2 – 5.8, +.6, 6+) and inches up from third to second. It will be especially interesting to see how “Kiss” does in the July sweep, since Elena Davies – on hiatus from the KHKS-originated, syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Show” – is one of the Season 19 houseguests on CBS-TV’s “Big Brother,” which premiered June 28. As noted above, the final day of the June sweep was June 21. Finishing first for the sixth successive time is Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf,” whose last six 6+-trends are 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.1. Off one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” (eighth to ninth) has its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a full-share gain snapped at seven (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in January, February, March, and April, Cumulus Media’s KTCK gained four-tenths in May to 3.3 (6+), but “The Ticket” surrenders three-tenths in June to 3.0 (6+), moving from #10 to a four-way tie at #11. April’s +.8 by “The Ticket” halted a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). After four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” dips by one-tenth to 5.4 (6+), segueing from second to third. Registering a 3.8 for the third time in the last four sweeps (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” slips from eighth to ninth. In addition to falling out of the top twenty (#19 to #22), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP notches a decrease for the fifth time in a row and is a collective -1.6 since January (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). Likewise, Northwest Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is without an increase for the fourth consecutive time for a -.5 (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), yet actually improves from a tie at #20 to a three-way deadlock at #19.

6) Houston – In its third straight up or flat trend (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” matches the 4.6 it recorded last August and marches into the top ten (#11 to #6). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KHMX slumped by four-tenths in May, but “Houston’s Mix 96-5” regains all of it – plus two-tenths more – (3.2 – 3.8, +.6, 6+), advancing from #15 to #12. On top for the fifth consecutive sweep, Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns nearly half of May’s +1.4 (6.9 – 8.3 – 7.7, -.6, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for “Majic,” which was up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+) only to return all of it in April (6.9, 6+) and then notch May’s +1.4. It is a somewhat similar story for noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ. After progressing by seven-tenths in April, “God Listens” returned all but one-tenth in May (-.6, 6+) and duplicates that -.6 in June 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). KSBJ improved by +1.0 in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); was -.5 in both February and March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+); +.7 in April; -.6 in May; and now -.6 in June. This is the station’s lowest 6+-share since its 4.2 last September. Then, there is the case of Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN, which moves from third to fifth. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN was -.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4; was +.7 in April; -.2 in May; and now -1.1 in June (6.1 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive up or flat trends netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) for Liberman’s similarly-formatted KQQK but “El Norte 107.9” drops two-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and slides from #17 back to #18; May’s 2.7 was the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well).

7) Atlanta – A collective +1.6 via six consecutive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” has its strongest 6+-performance since last July (4.6) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Without a loss for the sixth time in a row as well, Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” (steady at #15) is a combined +1.5 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely though, Cox Media Group-owned WSRV concludes at five its streak of consecutive gains that netted a +2.3 in that stretch (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+) as “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” is off by one-tenth to 6.6 (6+), but remains at #2. With its third consecutive positive trend that has produced a gain of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” climbs from #14 to #13. Down or flat the past four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM bumps up by two-tenths to 8.8 (6+) and is #1 for the 18th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5,” however, is without an increase for the fourth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). After regressing by one-half share in May (5.0 – 4.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” falters by another six-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and exits the top ten as well (#6 to #11, where it is tied with WSB-FM).

8) Philadelphia – An improvement of six-tenths to 6.9 (6+) lifts Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” from fourth to second, thus curtailing at five a successive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of well over 11 full-shares from “Holiday” 2016 (17.9 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). Three-tenths ahead of WBEB is CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.2, +.4, 6+), which returns to #1 after transitioning from first to third in May. It was thus a May-only stay at #1 for iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+), which moves from first to third – one-tenth behind “Today’s 101 More FM.” A collective +1.6 via three straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio sports  outlet/Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP (sixth to seventh) forfeits exactly one-half of that gain (4.7, -.8, 6+). When WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – surrenders four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+) to dip from #19 to #21. Duplicating May’s -.5, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” drops out of the top ten (#10 to #12); it was +.6 in April with 4.7 its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 4.9. After putting together three successive positive trends netting one full share in that stretch (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” falters by three-tenths to 6.6 (6+), slipping from second to fourth. Even though ever-consistent WUSL “Power 99” (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) is up one-tenth, the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet backslides from eighth to ninth.

9) Long Island – Over and above being only one of three stations from this particular group of 12 PPM-markets to improve by at least one-share (6+) between May 2017 and June 2017 WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (5.3 – 6.3, +1.0, 6+), zooms from third to first. A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety 97.5” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC gained nine-tenths in April to rocket from seventh to first. Two stations are displaced at the top, including Cox Media Group-owned CHR WBLI which shifts to #2. Despite the downward move, “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up four-tenths) extends to six its consecutive string of up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+) and is +1.8 since the “Holiday” 2016 report. Conversely, May’s other co-leader, iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” regresses by four-tenths (5.4 – 5.0, 6+) and falls to fourth. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. Posting spikes of one-half share each are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.1, fifth to third, 6+), ending three straight dips resulting in a -.7 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), and public WNYC-FM (1.3 – 1.8, #22, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is a combined -.9 and falls off the top twenty (#20 to #23). Flat at 2.3, yet improving from #18 to #15, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st straight sweep.

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share since February (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR jumps from #13 to #11. Each of the top three stations drops by two-tenths, including Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY, which is #1 for the 20th consecutive ratings period, although “Jose” registers its fifth consecutive decrease for a -1.5 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9, 6+). After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the sixth successive ratings period, KOLA was a combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), but the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet dips to 6.0 (6+). The loss of four-tenths in March ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Having posted five straight up or flat trends netting one full-share (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” forfeits 70% of that increase (4.0, -.7, 6+), as it shifts from third to fifth. The four most recent trends for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI (fourth to third) are 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 (6+), while Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN (89.7 Family Friendly” (tenth to ninth) is trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+). Following three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +.7 (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” sputters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), but remains in fourth-place.

11) San Jose – Rolling out an increase of one full-share (5.2 – 6.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” proceeds from third-place to the runner-up slot. In 4.0 – 4.3 range (6+) the past four sweeps, Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country” notches a +.9 (4.2 – 5.1, 6+) to climb from seventh to fifth. It is the strongest 6+-performance for KRTY since last September’s 5.3. While unchanged at #4, a +.8 propels Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” to 5.6 (6+). Not only does Cumulus Media triple A KFOG register an increase of seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), “Music Matters” cracks the top twenty at #14. The stream of CBS Radio hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” gains one-half share (.4 – .9, #30, 6+). Adding one-tenth to May’s three-tenths, co-owned all-news operation KCBS-AM repeats at #1. The +.3 in May ended a string of three consecutive KCBS-AM down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1 (6+). Trending 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.5 (6+) since January, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” stumbles by nine-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and slips from fifth to ninth. Locked on 4.2 (6+) in April and May, following a March – April +1.1, Cumulus Media’s KNBR drifts by eight-tenths to 3.4, as “The Sports Leader” exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Off by one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” spirals from #19 to #23. Unchanged at #18, Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KVVF “San Jose’s Hottest Music” regresses by four-tenths to 2.5, halting three straight gains that netted a +1.0 since February (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+). Faltering for the fourth straight sweep for a cumulative -1.5 (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED slides from second to third. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April.

12) Middlesex – Without a decrease for the sixth straight sweep for a net gain of +2.2 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” inches up from sixth to fifth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#16 – #17) – drops two-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a +.8 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). In its third increase in a row (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.2, 6+), WPLJ is a collective +1.1 and the Cumulus Media hot AC catapults into the top twenty at #14. Down or flat the past nine sweeps and -1.6 since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” bounces back with a +.6 to 3.5 (6+) to zoom from #17 to #11. Off in each of the last three Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweeps for a cumulative -2.2 since March (5.4 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” answers with a +.5 to 3.7, returning to the top ten (#14 to #9, 6+). Following a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats May’s +.3 (6.5 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+) and is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to three successive gains (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), WPAT netted nine-tenths, but the Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary outlet has the dubious distinction of registering the highest (6+) May 2017 – June 2017 decline of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday (4.0 – 2.5, -1.5, 6+). Moreover, “Amor 93.1” sinks from #8 to #20. A combined +.8 since March (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR returns all but one-tenth of that increase in June (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, 6+) as “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” freefalls from #10 to #16.

Friday, July 7, 2017

| July 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Radio Trade Publication Writer Claude Hall Dies.  Details are sketchy and TALKERS will have more details on Monday morning (7/10), but reports indicate that Claude Hall, the legendary radio trade publication writer who presided over Billboard magazine’s historic “Vox Jox” column during the 1970s and is credited with coining the longtime popular term “Easy Listening” for that particular radio format has died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas due to injuries suffered from a fall earlier in the week.  He had continued to publish the “Vox Jox” column in partnership with veteran talk show host and radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter published Mondays specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org).  According to James, “His family was with him and loved him dearly. He loved his friends, students, and colleagues. He remained proud of radio and music stemming from his days listening to radio as a kid.”  James reports that she will devote this coming Monday’s column to the life of Claude Hall and post reactions and reflections on his life from many of the broadcasters who knew him.  Hall was a prolific writer who wrote books about radio as well as novels.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry.  He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades.  I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young DJ and PD in my 20s.  His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable.  He is number one with a bullet!”

Townsquare Media to Acquire Six Western Massachusetts Signals. This deal between Townsquare Media and Gamma Broadcasting LLC and Berkshire Broadcasting Co., Inc. will add six stations and two FM translators to Townsquare’s portfolio.  Those stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are very excited to announce this transaction which will strengthen our footprint in the Northeast.  We look forward to partnering with the Pittsfield team to bring our resources, including our digital and live event products, to Berkshire County’s advertisers and audience, and further build upon their success in the market.”  Townsquare expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Sub at WFAN Next Week.  When out-going New Jersey Governor Chris Christie co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York with the station’s Evan Roberts on Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11), it won’t be the first time he’s appeared there.  Christie – a big sports fan and unabashed Dallas Cowboys backer – has appeared on the AM drive “Boomer & Carton” show as a guest.  With PM driver Mike Francesa leaving the station at the end of the year, there’s speculation about whether Christie is a candidate for the afternoon show.  A piece in NJ.com references WFAN program director Mark Chernoff’s February 2017 comment that Christie is “among many names being considered” as a replacement for Francesa.

SiriusXM Severs Ties with Gregg “Opie” Hughes. After 13 years with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes is let go by the satcaster.  He posts on Facebook, “Humbled by the love and support. Wish I can write everyone back. There is absolutely no justification for my firing. Thats why their statement is so vague. Won’t be sitting out long. Although may take a few days to fish.”  The chatter on social media among Opie fans hints that a supposed video of a fellow staffer using the bathroom may be the reason for the dismissal.  Regardless, as Hughes indicates above, he plans to continue hosting a show on some platform.  When Opie and then-partner Anthony Cumia joined SiriusXM, they had their own channel.  A couple of years ago, SiriusXM changed that and the “Opie Radio” show had been available on its Faction channel.  Industry watchers remember that Cumia was fired from the satcaster in 2014 after his Times Square altercation with a black woman that devolved into a social media post involving racial epithets.

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Ends Cancer Treatment. Sad news this week as KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick announces to his audience that he’s ending his treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer.  The station’s Facebook page posted the following: “On ‘Houston’s Morning News’ this morning, Matt revealed he has exhausted all options and has discontinued cancer treatments.  Matt and all of us at NewsRadio 740 KTRH, and the iHeartMedia family, thank you all for your constant love and support during this difficult time.”  Patrick was diagnosed in 2015 and this week’s news comes at the time of Patrick’s six-year anniversary at the station.

Gerry V Returns to Sports Talk Radio in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer calls Gerry Vaillancourt “one of the first sports talk radio hosts in Charlotte.”  Gerry V left the market when the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets left for New Orleans back in 2002, but he’ll return on Monday, July 17 to host the afternoon drive show on HRN Broadcasting’s WZGV-AM “ESPN 730.”  Current afternoon host Bobby Rosinski is moving to the AM drive daypart for the new “Wake Up Call” show with co-hosts Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl.  Gerry V launched his sports talk career in 1990, working at both WFNZ-AM and WBT-AM prior to leaving the market 12 years later.  Read the Observer piece here.

Chicago Stations to Simulcast Spot Promoting Radio Advertising. On Monday (7/10), more than 40 Chicago market radio stations will simultaneously air a :60-second spot consisting of an interview with Wintrust Financial Corporation founder, president and CEO Ed Wehmer speaking about radio as the most effective medium for advertisers.  Matt Scarano is chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland Committee and he states, “The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland are proud to unite as a group to highlight Wintrust and their investment in radio.  Wintrust is a valued partner to our industry and a testament to the results that radio delivers for an advertiser.”  The spot will air on a diverse group of radio stations, involving all formats, including music, news, sports, and Spanish language.

CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 3-7. The controversy over the CNN-Trump wrestling video, including the blowback the news organization faced after finding the video’s creator, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was North Korea’s apparently successful test of an ICBM and President Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 summit, and following at #4 was the allegations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the news that Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne promotes news director Kayla Blakeslee to program director, taking over for Ryan Wrecker who left to take a talk host position at KMOX, St. Louis.  Blakeslee continues to serve as news director…..Kevin McCullough’s Saturday evening “Radio Night Live” supercast (radio and TV) adds new affiliate stations KJPW, Lebanon/Waynesville, Missouri; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WKRO, Cairo, Illinois; and WGNU, St Louis…..The Newsmax TV video simulcast of the nationally syndicated Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo program adds another hour to its carriage of the show.  Pags tells TALKERS that Newsmax TV – which can be seen on DirecTV 349, UVerse 1220 (among other cable systems) and online at Newsmaxtv.com – begins broadcasting hours one and two of the show, effective Monday (7/10)…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson program is now heard on Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM, Kansas City as program director Alan Furst adds the show to the station’s lineup…..SiriusXM is presenting subscribers comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 All-Star Week from Miami, featuring coverage of the 88th All-Star Game.  In addition, on Sunday (7/9), it will air the exclusive radio broadcast of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top minor league prospects from the U.S. facing off against their counterparts from around the world.

KSPN, Los Angeles Transmitter Site Damaged by Driver Under the Influence. The Thursday incident did not cause any damage to the “ESPN LA” transmitter but the man police took into custody after the incident caused damage to the site’s perimeter fence and started a brush fire in the grass that scorched about an acre.  Authorities were on the scene quickly and arrested the man they believe was under the influence.  The suspect’s vehicle was in flames when fire personnel arrived and was consumed by the fire.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/7) with Karen Hunter, Craig Schwalb and Ethan Bearman.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); and the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Today (7/7), the first series of “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” begins with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More from Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch as we’re tipped that Swick Broadcasting’s hot AC WLKI, Angola drops the syndicated Jeremy Robinson-hosted “The Jeremy Show” and will install air personality Tiny in the daypart with news director Sheila McCrea joining him…..IRW also reports that Federated Media’s Fort Wayne promotions director Sally Allgeier is exiting the cluster and will be replaced by Paige Fransen…..Rincon Broadcasting’s rock KTYD, Santa Barbara announces the addition of Bill Pesso to the air staff as morning drive co-host with current station APD Lin Aubuchon for the “Morning Mojo” program.  Pesso was most recently afternoon personality at the company’s sister adult contemporary KSBL “K-Lite.”  Program director Dennis Mitchell comments, “We’re thrilled to have two of the most fun and locally tuned-in people to host the new ‘Morning Mojo.’ It’s been a long time coming and we know our listeners will love it.”…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit re-brands the Jim O’Brien-led morning program as “Big Jim’s House.”  The station recently added air personality Erin Vermeulen to the program and O’Brien comments, “I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘Big Jim’s House’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan.  This will be my 15th year at WCSX.  Everyone on the show has a deep-felt love for Detroit and believes in where we’re going.  Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”

Friday, May 26, 2017

| May 26, 2017

New Jersey 101.5’s Bill Doyle Battling Complications from Bladder Cancer.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” afternoon personality Jeff Deminski writes on the NJ101.5 website explaining partner Bill Doyle’s absence from the Deminski & Doyle show for the past three weeks.  Regular listeners were aware that Doyle missed five weeks of work in late January and February after surgery to treat bladder cancer.  On Thursday (5/25), Deminski wrote the Doyle had been experiencing complications since the beginning of May that left him unable to work. (Producer Joe Votruba has been sitting in with Deminski on the program.) But, Deminski does say the good news is that “things are looking up.”  Read his full post here.

Maxon to Digital PD Post for iHeartMedia Hartford. Another digital program director is named at iHeartMedia, this time at its Hartford operations.  Kelsey Maxon is charged with overseeing the digital strategy for the iHM’s eight markets in the Hartford region.  Maxon has been digital program director for the company’s Providence cluster for the past three years.  He also previously served with Entercom as the promotions manager and digital coordinator for sports talk WEEI, Boston.  iHeartMedia Hartford regional SVP/programming John Cooper comments, “Kelsey will play a key role in bringing together all the resources we have in the region, resulting in great engagement on our web sites and social media.  We’re really looking forward to his insight, creativity and excitement.”

Pete Sheppard Partners with Craig Shemon at ‘ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM.’ Sports radio pro Pete Sheppard joins Beasley Media Group in the Fort Myers/Naples market to co-host the afternoon drive program on WWCN “ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM” with Craig Shemon.  Operations manager Adam Star says, “Pete Sheppard lacing up with Craig Shemon has just turned a great afternoon show into a major market, heavy weight afternoon show overnight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this new show was syndicated a year from now.  Sherman and Sheppard are the real deal!”  Sheppard most recently served with Entercom at sports talk WEEI, Boston where he’d been a part-time and fill-in personality.  Previously he’d been with the station full time for years as part of “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway.  He also hosted a weekend show following New England Patriots games with former NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie.

Kroeger Extends Contract with WFNZ, Charlotte. Afternoon drive personality Chris Kroeger inks a new deal to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan.” The Charlotte native hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Prime Time” show.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Chris Kroeger leads the conversation in all things sports for Charlotte on WFNZ.  His depth of knowledge and relationships with everyone in town related to sports make him an invaluable resource and sports leader.  We’re thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

Gallagher and Hewitt Do TV Hit. Prior to the sold-out, Wednesday evening “President Trump’s First 100 Days” event at the Commerce Club in Greenville, South Carolina, Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (center) and Hugh Hewitt (right) appeared on local CBS TV affiliate WSPA-TV “CBS7” to discuss the issues.  The live event was sponsored by local affiliate station WGTK-FM “945 The Answer.”

The Amazing Kreskin on Engaging an Audience. Legendary mentalist Kreskin is a big fan of talk radio. (In fact, he’ll be at the Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York next Friday.)  He has experience on radio as a frequent guest and substitute host for the late Alan Colmes and Long John Nebel.  Today, he offers his thoughts on how to engage listeners quickly.  He says some of his pointers are obvious but consistency is the key.  Read what he has to say here.

President Trump’s International Trip Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 22-26.  President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Brussels was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the deadly Manchester bombing tied with the intelligence leaks aspect of the same story.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russia connections, and following at #4 was the Trump federal budget proposal.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Dr. Daliah Wachs Joins Michael Harrison for this Week’s Podcast.  She has just been named TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” in recognition of her amazing achievements in supporting health-oriented charities, including her work getting “Blood Donation Days” instituted in many states and “National Blood Donation Week” becoming official across America.  Board-certified physician, Daliah Wachs, M.D. practiced family medicine in Las Vegas for 16 years.  She became a daily local radio talk show host in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, Genesis Communications Network.  In March of 2016, she closed her practice due to rising costs and red tape she says is smothering independent medical practitioners.  She is currently a faculty member at Touro University.  As this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Wachs talks about the challenges of hosting a successful, health-flavored generalist program on politically defined news/talk affiliates, in addition to explaining her non-partisan criticism of both the Affordable Care Act and the new GOP bill before Congress.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary Los Angeles jock Rodney Bingenheimer is leaving CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles after a career there spanning 40 years.  He told his listeners via Facebook that his last “Rodney on the Roq” show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am on June 5.  He wrote, “It has been an amazing run and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week.  I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.”  The 69-year-old radio personality also says that although he’s done with KROQ, he’s not hanging up the headphones.  Bingenheimer is credited with being one of the first jocks to play music by such iconic bands as the Sex Pistols, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others….In Philadelphia, CBS RADIO adds classic hits WOGL programming duties to the responsibilities of AC WTDY PD Bobby Smith.  He takes over for Ann Gress, who exited this week after 14 years with the station.  At the same time, WXTU programmer Shelly Easton is promoted to vice president of music programming for the country station as well as WTDY and WOGL…..iHeartMedia promotes country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina PD Kix Layton to senior vice president of programming for the Greenville cluster.  He’ll now be in charge of hot AC WMYI “My 102.5,” rock WROO “Real Rock 104.9 – Man Up,” country WSSL, and sports talk WGVL “FOX Sports 1440.”…..WOCQ, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland program director Albie Dee is upped to operations manager for Adams Radio Group’s cluster in the market.  He’ll continue to host afternoon drive on CHR WOCQ…..WRME-LP, Chicago’s “MeTV FM” format is going into syndication via a deal with Envision Networks. The Weigel Broadcasting station features a “winning mix of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.”  The company says “MeTV FM is curated for long listening and features a deep playlist from an active library of more than 3,000 songs across nearly four decades, including singer-songwriters, country crossovers, Motown, iconic groups and many other artists.”  Weigel vice chairman Neal Sabin states, “MeTV FM’s music format has broken many of the radio rules in terms of presentation, depth of playlist and mixing of genres.  Using a challenging dial position in one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, we have proven the validity and viability of the format. We look forward to working with Envision to bring MeTV FM to many more places.”…..iHeartMedia flips from classic hits to urban AC on translator W279AQ as “Majic 103.7, Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Senior vice president of programming A.J. says, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979.  With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

PPM Analysis: Alternative.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks into the performances of alternative rock stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Kinosian reports, “Nearly half of our alternative sample (48%) improves between March 2017 – April 2017 (6+); equally divided are the number of down (26%) and flat stations (26%).  Just over half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (53%) while roughly one in three (34%) improve; the remaining 13% are unchanged.”  Just one alt rocker lands in the top five (6+) in its market – iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver.  Read Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday, May 1, 2017

| May 1, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces Bill Shine’s Exit.  After a weekend of escalating rumors that Fox News Channel would soon replace Bill Shine as co-president of the cable news channel, that came true today as parent company 21st Century Fox, via a statement by executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, accepted Bill Shine’s resignation, although he clearly was asked to resign.  He’s been accused by some of the women involved in recent sexual harassment allegations against FNC management and talent, of enabling Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.  Earlier today, TALKERS reported that Rupert Murdoch and co-chairmen James and Lachlan Murdoch wanted to fill Shine’s position with a woman.  Today, Fox announces a number of promotions including the elevation of Suzanne Scott to president of programming, Jay Wallace as president of news, and Brian Jones to president Fox Business Network.  Rupert Murdoch is quoted saying, “This is a significant day for all at Fox News.  Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry.  His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”  Shine, like Scott and Wallace, have been with FNC since its launch in 1996.  Jack Abernethy, who served with Shine as co-president, remains in his position.  The company says it intends to fill Shine’s co-president position.

Ryan Seacrest to Join Kelly Ripa as Co-Host on ABC’s ‘Live.’  One of the busiest people in show business gets even busier as Ryan Seacrest will add co-host of ABC’s morning talk TV franchise ‘Live’ with Kelly Ripa.  According to a CNN report, Seacrest will not give up any of his other on-air gigs, including his KIIS, Los Angeles and Premiere Networks-syndicated morning radio show.  The story indicates Seacrest will re-locate from LA to New York and will host his radio show from there.  The decision to bring Seacrest aboard comes after about a year of live auditions of guest hosts to replace Michael Strahan.  Seacrest co-hosted with Ripa five times.  The show will now be called, “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”  CNN’s story is here.

Report: Cumulus Reduces Staff in Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has cut a number of positions in the Chicago cluster, including four on-air traffic reporters.  Feder reports that traffic reporters Jen DeSalvo, Christina Filiaggi, JoAnn Genette and Marti Jones have all been let go.  He notes that most of them served as contributing personalities on the shows in which they appeared.   Other cuts at the cluster include: WLS-AM sports reporter Rachel Brady and WLUP-FM evening host Jeremy Peterson, a.k.a. Pyke, and production Scott Dirks, who’d been with WLS-AM for almost 20 years.  Read Feder’s account here.

Is Hugh Hewitt Going to Get a TV Show on MSNBC?  According to a report in New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer column, the Salem Radio Network star and NBC correspondent is in talks with NBC to do a weekend evening program on MSNBC.  The bulk of the NYmag piece addresses how the possibility of Hewitt getting a show, the arrival of Greta Van Susteren from Fox News Channel, and the exit of African American personality Tamron Hall from “Today” is affecting morale among the liberal staff at MSNBC.  Read it here.

Entercom Charlotte Extends Bo Thompson.  Morning show host Bo Thompson and Entercom Charlotte agree to terms on a new contract for him to continue serving as host of the “Charlotte’s Morning News” program on news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Bo builds on the incredible reputation of WBT as we take our news content to the next level.  He represents the next generation of great broadcasters and we’re happy to continue to work with him as we move WBT into an audio everywhere, multi-platform experience for our listeners.”  Thompson began his career at WBT in 1990 and worked in a variety of roles in radio before returning to WBT as the morning host in 2012.  He comments, “Five years in, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with WBT’s ‘Morning News’ and I’m excited about where we are going.  I started my career here and look forward to building the reputation of this iconic institution.”

TALKERS News Notes. The WADK, Newport, Rhode Island-based John DePetro show adds a new affiliate for the daily 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm broadcast as WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island begins airing the program.  DePetro says, “WNRI is a perfect match since WADK covers southern Rhode Island and into parts of Connecticut, and WNRI covers Northern Rhode Island and into parts of Massachusetts.  The show is three months old and we have our first affiliate, so we are moving in the right direction.”…..Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose daily talk show is heard on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “News 95.5 and AM750 WSB” is taking his show on the road on May 11 to Woodstock, Georgia where he’ll tape the program before a live audience by the Gazebo at The Park at City Center.  The event is free to attend and will include Cain’s popular “Rapid Fire” segment in which he takes questions and comments from the audience and says, “You get a minute…I get a minute.”…..WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is pictured at right in a screen shot from his phone while broadcasting his show from Berkeley, California while covering the controversial issue of whether conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter should be allowed to speak at UC Berkeley.  Coulter appeared on Zeoli’s program and suggested he cover the issue from Berkeley, so Zeoli hosted his show from sister station KCBS-AM, San Francisco all last week.  Zeoli says he attended protests and grabbed audio cuts from protesters on both sides of the issue for the show.  He also kept his social media followers updated on his coverage via live video on Facebook and Twitter.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Conference Rolls into Phoenix.  On Saturday (4/29), nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted his Smart Conference before a packed crowd at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.  The day-long conference included appearances by Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker, Dr. Henry Cloud, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Anthony Oneal providing attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Local affiliate KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” helped promote the event.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “We’re always thrilled when Dave and his team bring their world class events to Phoenix.  Not only does Dave’s radio show continue to draw large audiences on KTAR, his popularity in Phoenix is also evidenced by this year’s Smart Conference selling out in record time.  The Ramsey team is fantastic to work with and we’re proud to call them partners and friends.”  Ramsey is pictured here with some of the KTAR staff: (front row, l-r): Jim Sharpe, Ashley Mannion, Ilene Thompson, (back row): Steve Giunta, Becky Kaiser, Ele Heubner, Ramsey, Gennifer Cartwright, and Linda Black.

KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Government Shutdown Threat, North Korean Threats, Trump Spending Bill, Deadly Tornadoes, French Election, and MLB, MBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Assessing the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; the threat of a government shutdown and the passage of a temporary spending bill; the threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the American Naval presence in the region; President Donald Trump’s proposed spending bill; the deadly tornadoes that tore through parts of the South; the French presidential race between National Front party leader Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former WBEN-AM/FM, Buffalo Owner Larry Levite Dies at 77.  Longtime Buffalo station owner Larry Levite has died at the age of 77.  Levite owned Algonquin Broadcasting, the company that owned and operated WBEN-AM/FM in Buffalo in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Levite is credited with turning around the ratings of WBEN-AM when it was a music outlet and it was during his ownership that the station transitioned into a news/talk outlet.  Levite sold the stations to Keymarket Communications in 1994.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning show host Chadd Thomas is promoted to program director for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa hot AC WPBB “b98.7”  He will continue in his role as co-host of the “Chadd & Kristi Morning Show.”  He states, “I’m thrilled to serve as program director for our family-fun morning show and our entirely new ‘b98.7!’  I’m looking forward to continue co-hosting with Kristi, my wife and morning show partner.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that music director and midday personality JD Cannon exits Emmis country WLHK, Indianapolis “Hank.”  Prior to joining WLHK, Cannon had spent 32 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFMS.  Cannon will remain with the station emceeing some “Hank” events and is serving as a fill-in…..At Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit, after a recent exodus of station personalities comes news that 10-year staffer Mark McKenzie is named music director and morning host for the station.  The rest of the on-air staff includes J Stevens in middays, Phat Matt in PM drive and Zak for evenings…..Air personality Lola Montgomery exits Bend Radio Group’s country KSJJ, Bend, Oregon, wrapping a 29-year career in radio.  Montgomery says she and her husband have a number of projects lined up to keep them busy…..At Cox Media Group’s classic rock KHPT, Houston “The Eagle,” morning show team – Dean Myers and Roger Beaty – were honored on Friday, April 28 as it was declared “Dean & Rog Day” in Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner.  CMG Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen comments, “Looking around the country, there are only a handful of major market morning shows with a 20-year track record in the same city.  What Dean and Rog have accomplished today is quite remarkable.”…..Gwendolyn Records country artist Trisha Yearwood appeared at the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen in Chicago to do a cooking demonstration.  Yearwood is also a Food Network star.  The event was hosted by WUSN “US99” midday personality Drew Walker and took place in front of a live studio audience of approximately 30 guests who won tickets listening to Walker’s program.   From her new line of Williams Sonoma products, Yearwood made “unfried chicken” with her Unfried Chicken Season Kit and her family’s signature cocktail with the Summer in a Cup cocktail mix.  Yearwood and Walker are pictured here on the set of the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits/Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of classic hits and oldies-formatted stations based on 6+ data from the March 2017 PPM survey by Nielsen Audio.  Although less than half of the qualifying stations saw their 6+ numbers go up from February to March, iHeartMedia’s WRIT, Milwaukee “95.7 BIG FM” bucks the trend with a whopping 2.5 share jump to an 11.2 share.  “Just about half the stations (49%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+) while 42.5% improve; the remaining 8.5% of the panel is flat (6+).”  WRIT also was ranked #1 in the market in the March survey, as were seven other classic hits/oldies stations.  See which ones they were in the full report here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

| April 28, 2017

Dr. Daliah Wachs Named 2017 TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board announces the selection of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) syndicated radio talk host, Dr. Daliah Wachs as the 2017 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by A Radio Talk Show Host (also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award).  Wachs, a board certified family physician, practiced in Las Vegas where she began her radio career giving medical advice on the air in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, GCN.  In Nevada, she had owned a private practice for 16 years.  In March of 2016, she was chosen to serve as faculty at Touro University.  She was recently awarded the UNLV Honors College Alumni of the Year and her extensive work with charities include Opportunity Village, Children’s Miracle Network, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, FAST 4 Kids, Good Will and, as she puts it, “just about any great cause that includes children, animals, or people.”  In 2014, in an effort to help replenish hospital’s blood supplies, Dr. Daliah worked with United Blood Services and the American Red Cross to create a state Blood Donation Day in Nevada.  In 2016, this effort was taken national to create state Blood Donation Days in the majority of states as well as National Blood Donation Week.  Upon making the announcement of the board’s selection, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Dr. Daliah Wachs is a dynamo!  She operates on so many levels – she is talented, funny and consummately entertaining.  She is also informative and charitable on a level that makes her stand tall as a role model for our radio industry.  And that’s what this very special award is all about!”  Dr. Daliah Wachs will be presented the award at the forthcoming national media industry convention, TALKERS 2017: A New Era, on Friday, June 2 in New York City.  For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City.  Media consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  In today’s report, Cooke sifts through his voluminous notes from the mega-convention and presents some of the most important takeaway sound bites from the media professionals he heard speak.  They’re all here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian today turns his attention to news/talk radio for this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  In general terms, the news/talk format avoided the immediate drop-off in ratings after the 2016 election that often follows a presidential election.  But it appears there’s some erosion happening as Kinosian reports that, when comparing February (6+) numbers to March numbers, “  Only one of four stations (25%) on our news/talk sample improves between February 2017 – March 2017; roughly six of 10 (61%) are down; and the remaining 14% of the panel is unchanged.”  When comparing data from March of 2016 to March of this year, “Not quite half the stations on this news/talk panel improve year-to-year (46%) and 39% decline; 14% are flat.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the March survey – WSB-AM, Atlanta; KSL-AM, Salt Lake City; and WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” but 13 other news/talkers ranked in the top five in their markets.  See all the data here.

Austin Jury Awards Alex Jones’ Ex-Wife Joint Custody.  Child custody cases are not usually part of the TALKERS magazine beat, but the contentious one that just wrapped in Austin between Infowars chief Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly Jones made news – and the pages of TALKERS – because of reports that Alex Jones’ lawyer said his client’s on-air persona is an “act” and his capability as a parent can’t be judged by that.  In the end, the jury deliberated for nine hours before awarding Kelly Jones joint custody of the three children with her home being their primary residence.  Alex Jones will have visitation rights.  The Austin America- Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove reports that Kelly Jones argued that her ex-husband has been purposely trying to turn her children against her, a phenomenon peculiar to divorce situations called parental alienation.  Read the story here.

Entercom Names Michael De Amicis Director of Sales in Charlotte.  Radio sales pro Michael De Amicis is the new director of sales for Entercom’s Charlotte properties news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ, and hot AC WLNK.  He was most recently with Radio One as general sales manager for that company’s Atlanta stations.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “We are excited to welcome Mike to the Entercom Charlotte team.  His experience and success in radio along with his commitment to making a difference in the community make him a great fit for our team and our stations in this city.”  De Amicis has previously served on the board of directors for the Rickey Smiley Foundation, The Atlanta Broadcast Advertising Club and the Atlanta Marketing Association.

SiriusXM Reports First Quarter Financials: Revenue Up 8%.  In announcing its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2017, SiriusXM reports record revenue of $1.3 billion, up 8% compared to the same period a year ago.  Net income totaled $207 million, an increase of 20% from $172 million in the first quarter of 2016. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says,, “The year is off to a very solid start for our business and we are on track to achieve our guidance for 2017.  I’m particularly proud of the record adjusted EBITDA of more than half a billion dollars and record adjusted EBITDA margin of 38.7% we recorded in the first quarter.”  The satcaster reports that its subscriber total is now at 31.6 million.  During the quarter it added 259,000 net new self-pay subscribers to end with more than  26.2 million self-pay subscribers.  At the same time as the company released the Q1 figure, it announces the acquisition of Automatic Labs Inc.  Meyer calls it “an exciting company focused on innovative products that broaden our array of connected vehicle services.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOC-AM, Quad Cities, morning drive personality Dan Deibert is leaving his position with the station to join the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based PR firm Edge Messaging LLC where he’ll be the new director of creative services and innovation…..The 2017 NFL Draft got underway last night in Philadelphia where CBS RADIO stations news/talk WPHT and sports talk WIP-FM have been broadcasting live from along the Ben Franklin Parkway.  Pictured here are WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) and WIP-FM morning host Angelo Cataldi (left) during Thursday’s broadcasts.  The NFL has brought its interactive theme park – the NFL Fan Experience – to Philly for the draft to attract fans to the four-day event…..MediaDC announces it is joining forces with Ricochet to “bring the best conservative podcasts together on one platform.”  Under the terms of this collaboration, conservative journalists and pundits, including Steve Hayes, Byron York, Bill Kristol, and Salena Zito will be available on the same Ricochet platform as Peter Robinson, Rob Long, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Jay Nordlinger, John Podhoretz, and many more.  Beginning May 1, The Weekly Standard’s “The Daily Standard” podcast and the Washington Examiner’s “Examining Politics Daily” will be available on the Ricochet Superfeed and on Ricochet.com, along with the pop-culture podcast, “The Sub-Standard.”  Ricochet co-founder Rob Long says, “We’re excited to add to the outstanding team at Ricochet the fresh reporting and keen insights of MediaDC journalists…we couldn’t be more proud and honored to carry MediaDC’s shows.

Trump’s First 100 Days Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 24-28.  Assessing the achievements of the Trump Administration during its first 100 days was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump tax cuts proposal.  Coming in at #3 was the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, followed by President Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber and his promise to renegotiate NAFTA at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Commonwealth Broadcasting’s country WUSH, Norfolk “US 106.1,” Dave Parker is promoted to program director for the station.  Parker – a talent at the station since it launched in 2007 – takes over for Brandon O’Brien, who exits the radio business.  Parker is handling the midday air shift…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that air personality Joe Breezy is taking over the hosting duties for its nationally syndicated “Celebrity Top Ten Countdown.”  Breezy assumes the role from Jackson Blue, whose new duties as a morning personality on WKLB, Boston are forcing him to give up the “Celebrity Top Ten” gig.  Also, in addition to Joe Breezy taking over the show, the radio station where he is based, Midwest Communications’ WNFN, Nashville “i106.7,”becomes the new flagship affiliate of the program.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

| April 11, 2017

O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster.  The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.”  Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events.  iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others.  Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.”  He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.

Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim.  In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.”  Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages.  Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame.  Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality.  He joined the station in 1990.  WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.”  Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte.  He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.”  He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years.  Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte.  His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996.  Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.

‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room.  Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6.  The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.

KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly.  Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles.  She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.”  She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room.  Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX.  After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended.  FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings.  Read the Washington Post account here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.”  The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey.  Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships.  These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before.  I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel.  Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others.  Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.”  WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.”  This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com.  Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college.  Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach.  Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about.  We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.”  See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida.  The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country.  Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats.  The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha.  The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000.  St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.

Friday, March 3, 2017

| March 3, 2017

PPM Analysis: Talk-Oriented Public Radio.  Today, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps up our three-part analysis of the performances of news and talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey.  Having already looked at all-news and commercial news/talk, we turn our attention to talk-oriented public radio.  In January, the majority of all-news and commercial news/talk stations saw their 6+ numbers increase after the previous Holiday 2016 survey in which so many such stations traditionally see softer numbers.  The assertion that the beginning of the Trump Administration has been good for news and talk stations appears to also be good for talk-oriented public radio stations.  Kinosian notes that when comparing the stations’ Holiday 2016 AQH shares to those of the January 2017 survey, nine of 10 stations on this talk-oriented public panel improve; 8% are down and the remaining 2% are steady.  Comparing 6+ AQH shares from January 2016 to January 2017, roughly seven of 10 stations in our eligible sample improve year-to-year (72%), while 17% decline; the remaining 11% are unchanged.  Four talk-oriented public radio stations ranked #1 in their respective markets and another five finished in the top five.  Find out which stations they are, and much more when you read the whole report here.

Entercom Names Arriens Director of Operations for Charlotte.  A restructuring at Entercom’s Charlotte cluster includes the arrival of Darrin Arriens into the newly created director of operations position.  Entercom says the new role is “part of Entercom Charlotte’s ongoing leadership and organizational restructuring since its acquisition in early January.”  In this role, Arriens will oversee the programming of the company’s five stations in the market, including heritage news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan,” and hot AC WLNK-FM “107.9 The Link.”  Arriens will also manage the syndication efforts for the “Bob and Sheri Network” program and will report to Matt Hanlon, the vice president and market manager for Entercom Charlotte.  In addition to his 25-plus years of experience across numerous formats, Arriens served as a regional director of operations for Citadel Broadcasting, overseeing 55 stations in the Midwest.  Hanlon comments, “We are focused on maximizing our impact across all of our stations, being the best local marketing solutions partner and continuing to deliver the outstanding content that our fans have come to expect from us.  The move to establish a director of operations role underscores our commitment to being best-in-class.  I am thrilled to welcome Darrin to the Entercom Charlotte family.”  Earlier this week, Entercom parted ways with WLNK program director Darla Thomas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Bill Reese VP of Sales.  At the Orlando operations of iHeartMedia, Bill Reese joins the company to serve as vice president of sales.  Reese will be in charge of the sales efforts at stations including: news/talk WFLA, hot talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1,” sports talk “FM 96.9 The Game,” rock WJRR, AC WLRQ, and CHR WXXL.  iHM SVP of sales for the Central/North Florida Region Barbara Latham comments, “We are very excited about adding Bill to our team.  Bill has an established track record of performance success, is a great leader and will be a very strong addition to iHeartMedia.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Reese served with Renda Broadcasting’s Jacksonville cluster, most recently as general manager.

Entercom and CBS RADIO Reveal Pricing for Loan.  The two radio operators – preparing for a merger that is expected to close sometime during the second half of 2017 – announce that CBS RADIO “has established pricing for a seven-year, $500 million senior secured term loan B to be issued in connection with their previously announced merger.  The loan will have an interest rate of LIBOR plus 2.75%, with no LIBOR floor, and will be issued at par.  The new term loan will be issued to refinance Entercom’s capital structure, with proceeds used to repay its existing term loan and redeem its preferred stock, as well as pay transaction fees and expenses.  CBS RADIO’s credit facility is being amended to include the new term loan, which is expected to be funded at the closing of the merger.”

Trump Withdraws Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel’s FCC Commissioner Nomination.  The term of Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel expired in July of 2015, but former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler allowed Rosenworcel to serve until the end of 2016.  Before leaving office, President Obama issued a nomination for a new term for her.  The Trump Administration withdrew that nomination on Tuesday (3/1).  There are currently three commissioners: Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’ Rielly, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn, with two vacancies to be filled.

TALKERS News Notes.  In what Westwood One is calling a “momentous first,” it and the NCAA will broadcast the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona the weekend of April 1 in Spanish.  Coverage will be carried on more than 40 Hispanic radio stations nationwide, WestwoodOneSports.com, and SiriusXM radio…..Cumulus Media’s KTCT, San Francisco “KNBR 1050” signs a multi-year deal with the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes to serve as the professional soccer team’s new radio flagship for the Bay Area.  “KNBR 1050” will broadcast all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows on air and via the KNBR app…..Two notes from SB Nation Radio: First, the sports talk radio network is launching the overnight show, “The Franchise,” on March 6.  Sports 1 Marketing is producing the 1:00 am to 3:00 am ET program.  Second, a collaborative effort between SB Nation Radio and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) is bringing “Bassmaster Radio” to the air effective this weekend.  B.A.S.S. is producing the program that will air weekly on more than 100 stations and stream on both Bassmaster.com and SBNationRadio.com.  The show is hosted by veteran broadcaster and tournament fisherman, Thom Abraham…..AdLarge Media announces its new partnership with Megaphone, an advanced podcast hosting and ad serving platform from Panoply.  Megaphone uses real-time dynamic ad insertion technology along with campaign targets and parameters to deliver ad impressions across new and archived episodes, eliminating the need to go back and manually remove or replace outdated ads from previously published content.

Cool Talk Radio Gig.  KSOO, Sioux Falls – one of eight stations making up the Results Radio/Townsquare Media cluster is seeking a full-time talk show host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual should be focused on being local.  Networking yourself with key local and regional contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  Results Radio/Townsquare Media has one of the nicest broadcast facilities in the entire Midwest and a strong reputation in the city and throughout the state.  They offer very competitive compensation, great benefits and you’ll be working with an experienced and winning team.  Sioux Falls, SD has been named to many top 10 lists including Best Place to Live, Best Places for Families, Best Place to Retire and Best Elementary Schools.  This is a unique opportunity made available only because someone is retiring.  If this is you, please send your resume and mp3 demo of your latest work to: Dave Roberts, dave@ksoo.com.

PodcastOne Debuts ‘Forbes Sports Money’ Series.  Yesterday (3/2), PodcastOne debuted the fourth podcast that is launching on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  “Forbes Sports Money” is hosted by Mike Ozanian, co-host and managing editor of television’s “Forbes Sports Money,” a four-time New York Emmy Award-winning television show that airs on YES Network.  Guests on the program include team owners, athletes and industry leaders, agents and any significant personality involved in the business of sports.  Future guests will include Boston Celtics owner Wyclisse Grousbeck, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss and many more.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “‘Forbes Sports Money’ joins ‘The Forbes Interview,’ ‘Forbes Under 30’ and ‘Forbes Lists’ on the PodcastOne network.  This is a particularly interesting subject to a huge number of people and we expect this podcast to be very impactful.”

Trump Congressional Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 27 to March 3.  President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 this week were the allegations of Trump campaign people speaking with Russian diplomats and AG Jeff Sessions’ recusing himself from leading the investigation into that.  At #3 were the Trump Administration’s immigration and deportation policies, followed by the status of the Affordable Care Act at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  After a very scary one-car accident in Mississippi in which the “Ty, Kelly & Chuck Mornings” show was involved earlier this week, Cumulus Media reports the crew will be back on the air together on Monday (3/6).  Ty Bentli (left), Kelly (center) Ford and producer Glenn Johnson were banged up after their car rolled twice on a rain-slicked highway.  Chuck Wicks (right) sustained a fractured skull and a fractured vertebrae and was hospitalized…..Spanish language media firm Entravision announces it promotes chief operating officer Jeffrey Liberman, adding president to his title.  The company says he’ll continue to lead the management and operation of all of its radio, television and digital media properties, and will continue to report directly to Walter F. Ulloa, chairman and chief executive officer.  Ulloa says, “Jeff has helped grow and lead the company through his service, business insights and commitment ever since joining Entravision almost two decades ago.  He has been an integral part of our senior executive team in setting our strategic vision and executing on our business plans, in addition to his numerous contributions to serving the Latino community.”…..Yesterday, iHeartMedia presented the world premiere of Lorde’s new single, “Green Light.”  iHM and the LAVA/Republic Records artist collaborated to air the song for the first time anywhere at 2:00 pm ET on 125 broadcast radio stations across the CHR, hot AC and alternative formats, as well as on the iHeartRadio app.  The song is from Lorde’s new album Melodrama. Next Friday, Lorde will appear on the syndicated “Elvis Duran and The Morning Show” to celebrate the launch of the record…..Nathan James moves from iHeartMedia’s Raleigh cluster to Philadelphia where he’s the new director of marketing for the six-station cluster.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

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Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

| November 1, 2016

cookehollandCooke on Talkers TV: Make Money with Endorsement Spots.  Consultant Holland Cooke presents this brief-yet-insightful video underlining some of the key aspects of – and reasons for – well-done endorsement spots for local advertisers.  Cooke notes that especially “if your competition is robotic and you’re doing solid, local radio, you have the advantage.”  He adds, “YES YOU CAN become ‘indispensable’ to your station, even with all the changes radio has gone through, and with more coming.”  He reiterates advice from Katz Media Group EVP of strategy Stacy Lynn Schulman, who says, “Broadcast advertising that is ‘localized’ stands out because the velocity and variety of digital interactions today have multiplied our level of distraction and numbed us to the constant barrage of retargeted, ‘personalized’ digital ads.”  Watch the video on Talkers TV in the upper right-hand of this page.

Keith Larson Exits WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Ahead of Entercom’s taking over the Greater Media news/talk duo (along with hot AC WLNK and sports WFNZ in a spin-off deal from Beasley Broadcast Group‘s acquisition of Greater Media’s radio stations), 14-year WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host Keith Larson is let go from the station.  The Charlotte Observerlarsonkeith reports that Larson and news director Jim Barroll – with the station for 31 years – left after their shifts yesterday (10/31).  Larson, who hosted the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show, told the Observer, “There have been ups and downs but it’s been absolutely fabulous at WBT.  I would have done another 14.  I’m very blessed that I’ve always had other interests and other investments.  It’s a drag but life goes on.”  Larson tells the paper he will expand his Larson Advertising and Media Associates business, is a minority partner in a Zen Massage franchise and also hopes to continue writing his Charlotte Observer column.  Read the Observer piece here.

Matt Hanlon to Head New Charlotte Cluster for Entercom.  Former Citadel Midwest regional manager Matt Hanlon is named the new vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Charlotte stations.  The company notes that while at Citadel, Hanlon “launched a sports network and a news network creating newhanlonmatt revenue in Michigan and maximized both ratings and sales across local, regional, national and non-spot.  Hanlon began his career in broadcasting as a media buyer for Backer & Spielvogel, vice president of stations at Katz Media Group and vice president, director of sales at AM/FM.”  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “We are super excited to welcome Matt to Entercom and to the Charlotte team.  Matt has terrific experience in news, talk, sports, syndication, working with big personalities and making a difference in the community – all of which make him a great fit for Charlotte and these iconic brands.”  As noted above, the new Entercom Charlotte cluster includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ and hot AC WLNK.

Beasley Names New Market Managers for Detroit and Fayetteville.  Replacing Steve Chessare as vice president and market manager for its newly acquired Detroit station group is Mac “Edwards” (McTindal), and moving up to fill Edwards’ role at the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster is Erika Beasley.  Edwards takes over the cluster just acquired from the Greater Media deal.  It includes rock WRIF, rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 Theedwardsmac Bounce,” and classic rock WCSX.  Beasley EVP/COO Brian Beasley comments, “After 25 years of dedicated service to Beasley’s Fayetteville market, Mac will bring his wealth of experience to our new beasleyerikaDetroit cluster.  Mac has worked with Beasley in positions from program director to air personality to operations manager and he has served as Fayetteville’s award-winning market manager since 2007.  We’re moving forward on our path to success in Detroit as Mac takes the helm of these iconic stations.”  Erika Beasley has been serving the company as general sales manager of WQYK, Tampa since January 2015.  She states, “With Fayetteville’s established, veteran market manager Mac Edwards as my predecessor, I know I will have huge shoes to fill!  I am absolutely prepared for this new challenge and welcome this new level of responsibility.  My sincere appreciation goes to the entire executive management team for showing abiding faith in my leadership abilities.  I am excited about my opportunity in Fayetteville and am anxious to get to work with my new team!”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallWPHT, Philadelphia Host Dom Giordano Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the longest-running and most highly respected major market local news/talkers in America, Dom Giordano of CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michaelgiordanodom Harrison.”  Giordano, a moderate conservative with libertarian leanings, objectively discusses the impact that the election of 2016 (with its disruptive Donald Trump factor) has had on most of the industry’s news/talkers.  Harrison says, “This conversation is a fitting way for this media-based series to wrap up the 2016 pre-election era.  Dom Giordano is one of those rare players in today’s talk media who seeks truth (at least as he earnestly sees it) – even if it comes at the expense of victory.  We need more of that kind of thinking on all ends of the political spectrum in America.  It’ll make better radio, not to mention a better country.”  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen-logoNielsen: News/Talk Benefitting from Election Cycle.  The news/talk format is seeing the expected spike in PPM ratings that happens every four years as the result of the presidential election, according to Nielsen Audio.  The company’s PPM surveys over the past year indicate that, as a format, news/talk has risen from a 9.1 share in October of 2015 to a 9.9 share this October (persons 6+).  In terms of the 25-54 demo, the format is up a full share from a 6.3 in October of 2015 to this October’s 7.3 share.  Interestingly, comparing the last presidential election cycle – October 2012 – to this October, the numbers are lower for 6+ and 25-54 (10.4 share to 9.9, and 7.8 share to 7.3, respectively) the 18-34 share is up from a 4.1 to a 4.3.  See the Nielsen report here.

The Presidential Contest, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI’s Hillary Emails Investigation, CNN Drops Donna Brazile, Peter Thiel National Press Club Speech, Battle for Mosul, Russian Military in Syria, the World Series, and the Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement the FBI is again investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server emails; CNN cuts ties with Donna Brazile after a Wikileaks-hacked email indicates she tipped the Clinton campaign off about a debate question; tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s National Press Club speech and support of Donald Trump; the battle against Islamic State for Mosul; Russian’s military ramp-up and involvement in Syria’s civil war; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

| October 18, 2016

Entercom to Acquire Four Charlotte Signals from Beasley for $24 Million.  In order to stay under the FCC ownership cap in the Charlotte market, Beasley Broadcast Group has to sell some of its holdings that would wbtwlnk-duo-logoput if over the cap after the previously announced Greater Media acquisition deal closes.  Now, Beasley announces that Entercom will acquire news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot ACwfnz WLNK-FM (all three currently owned by Greater Media) plus sports talk WFNZ-AM and its accompanying FM translator.  The company says that Entercom will begin operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM upon the closing of the Greater Media deal, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement.  Back on July 19, Beasley and Greater Media entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Beasley will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.

Westwood One to Syndicate WMAL, Washington-Based Chris Plante Show.  Over the years, the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante show has aired on other Cumulus Media news/talk stations – it still is heard on the company’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Now, the company is getting serious about going beyond DC with the show and Westwood One begins syndication efforts for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program beginningplantechris January 2, 2017.  About the conservative talk personality, WW1 says, “A third-generation media pro, Plante began his radio career at WMAL in 2005 after 17 years inside the Washington bureau at CNN, where he moved up the ranks from researcher and assignment editor to Pentagon correspondent.  During his tenure at CNN, he crisscrossed the globe, covering events from Vietnam and Albania to Jakarta.  He was the director of the U.S. westwood-one-newtelevision network pool operations in Saudi Arabia for three months following Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  Plante won the Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTDNA for his live coverage of the terrorist attack on the pentagon on September 11, 2001.  He was the first to report that the Pentagon had been attacked. He was also recognized by the Television Academy for his September 11 reporting.  He makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Chris Plante takes the news of the day and breaks it down in his signature direct, funny, and fearless style.  He engages a legion of devoted fans who tune in every day whether they agree with him or not.  He’s a captivating storyteller who makes great radio.  It’s the kind of programming we are proud to add to our best-in-class talk lineup.”

WABC, New York and Westwood One Renew Don Imus.  When January 2, 2017 rolls around, the only difference in morning drive at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and its Westwood One radio network will be imusdona 9:00 am ET signoff time for New York radio legend Don Imus (right now it’s 10:00 am).  Cumulus announces it has re-signed Imus and his crew to a new multi-year deal for the show to air on 77 WABC Radio from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  It’s been nine years since WABC inked Imus to a morning radio deal after CBS RADIO dropped him from crosstown WFAN in the wake of the “nappy-headed hos” scandal.  Cumulus SVP, content andwabc-logo programming Mike McVay states, “Don Imus is not a media icon.  He is much more than that.  He is an American Icon.  Mr. Imus brings his ‘A’ game every day. And if you miss one day, you miss a lot.  We are thrilled to have Don continue with Westwood One, Cumulus and WABC.”  The cast of executive producer Bernie McGuirk, comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, producer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf, and news anchor Connell McShane will also remain with the show.  The program is currently followed by “The Bernie & Sid Show” with McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg.  Whether WABC expands that program to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon remains to be seen.

WPRO-AM, Providence’s John DePetro Hosts Red Sox Great Curt Schilling; Former Pitcher Intends to Challenge Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  During a long interview on the John DePetro program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (whoschillingcurt currently hosts a weekend syndicated talk show distributed by the Howie Carr Radio Network) spoke deptrojohnat length about the failed video game company 38 Studios that received a large Rhode Island state loan to locate in Providence.  The company went belly-up and the issue has been a sore spot for a number of politicians in the state, not to mention segments of the public.  During the interview, Schilling also told DePetro that he’s decided – pending approval from his wife Shonda – that he will challenge Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her U.S. Senate seat.  Shonda Schilling later called in to the station to say she has not decided if she’s willing to give approval.  WPRI-TV, Providence reports that a recent WBZ/UMass poll put Warren at 47% and Schilling at 28%.

Entercom to Refinance Debt.  The Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broadcaster announces it is meeting with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and entercomWells Fargo Securities, LLC today to discuss a refinancing of its senior and senior unsecured debt.  In a press statement, Entercom Communications says it expects to enter into a $520 million senior secured credit facility that will include a $60 million revolving credit facility with a five-year maturity, plus a $460 million term loan with a seven-year maturity.  Entercom will use the term loan to refinance $225 million in existing senior secured bank debt, plus it will buy back $220 million in 10.5% senior subordinated notes.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallCBS News Icon Charles Osgood Is the Subject of this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Legendary CBS News radio and television giant Charles Osgood is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (10/18).  Osgood has been hosting (and continues to host) the four-osgoodcharlestimes-per-weekday morning feature “The Osgood Files” via Westwood One on radio stations across the nation since 1971.  He also retired several weeks ago from a 24-year stint as the anchor of television’s CBS News “Sunday Morning” program. Harrison and Osgood talk about changes in media and journalism over the years culminating with a provocative analysis of the current presidential election. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Media Conspiracy, Hillary Clinton Emails Scandal, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Police Chiefs Group Apology, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17).  The race for the presidency; Donald Trump’s statements that the election is in jeopardy of being stolen by the media conspiracy against him; allegations that State Department Under-Secretary Michael Kennedy engaged in a quid-pro-quo with the FBI to have some of Hillary Clinton’s emails declassified during the investigation of her use of a private email server for State Department business; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight to retake Mosul; International Association of Chiefs of Police president Terrence Cunningham apologizes for generations of mistrust between police officers and minority communities; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

giordanodomElection 2016: TALKERS Magazine in the Trenches – WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Interviews Michael Harrison About the State of Talk Radio During Current Cycle.  WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano engages in an in-depth conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the disruptive effect Election 2016 has been having upon conservative talk radio during the current presidential election cycle.  The two talk about how the concept of targeting audiences and preaching to the choir – a modern day strategy of political talk broadcasting – has hit speedbumps on the right with the emergence of Donald Trump and even to a degree on the left with revelations about Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Harrison says, “We have gone from playing checkers to three dimensional chess.”  To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Progressive talk media personality Nicole Sandler returns to work after taking time off to treat her cancer.  She says, “It’s been a long couple of months during which my world changed completely.  I had no idea howsandlernicole long my detour to deal with cancer would last, but I’m ready to head back into the land of electoral insanity with just three weeks to go before election day.  If a life-threatening illness had to sideline me for a few months, it surely picked the right time.  And if I wasn’t already sick, covering this year’s presidential madness would have certainly made me ill.  But as we approach the finish line, I have to admit that I’ve been getting a bit antsy in recent days.  Talking back to the TV just wasn’t helping.”  She starts streaming her show – starting one hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET – at nicolesandler.com and Progressive millerstephanieVoices Network…..Stephanie Miller’s final “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” date for this year takes place in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater on November 5.  It will be broadcast in movie theaters across the country via Fathom Events on November 7.  Also, Miller’s book, Sexy Liberal! Of Me I Sing, wins the 2016 Wild Card Book Award in the Northern California Book Festival…..Following yesterday’s news about Galaxy Communications’ acquisition of Berkshires Media Group, it’s worth noting that Galaxy has applied to the FCC to move the FM translator it recently bought in South Burlington, Vermont to the Western Massachusetts region to serve as the translator for news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield at 93.9 FM…..DGital Media issues a presser listing some of its recent content partnerships – including relationships with Tony Kornheiser, Peter King, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, IMG, The MMQB, and more.  Chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We are extremely proud to add so many wonderful partnerships to our business.  The power of on-demand audio only continues to grow.  We are well poised for what lies ahead, bringing together our new and existing partners with a rapidly growing audience of millions of fans who tune in on a daily basis.”

Friday, October 14, 2016

| October 14, 2016

hillsdalelogouseHillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on CSPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Soon.  The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC earlier today was aired live on CSPAN2.  For those who wish to see the event, the video will be featured on Talkers TV in the coming weeks.  The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia.  The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

Alpha Media Sells Salina-Manhattan, Kansas Cluster to Rocking M Radio.  This divestiture of stations is the first on record for Alpha Media, as far as TALKERS can tell.   The company is selling its stations in the Salinaalphamedia and Manhattan, Kansas markets to local operator Rocking M Radio for an undisclosed price.  The five stations in the deal are: news/talk KSAL-AM, Salina; classic hits KSAL-rockinmmediaFM, Salina; standards KABI-AM, Abilene; country KYEZ-FM, Salina; and adult contemporary KBLS-FM, North Fort Riley.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re happy for our employees in Salina to be joining such a great company. Rocking M Media is a strong force in Kansas radio and media.”  Because Rocking M already owns three signals in the market, it goes over the FCC cap and is announcing that it will spin KBLS-FM to Manhattan Broadcasting Company for an undisclosed sum.

emmisEmmis Finds Buyer for Texas Monthly.  Just two days after Emmis Communications’ announcement that it found buyers for its stations in Terre Haute, Indiana, the company reports it has signed a deal with Genesis Park to sell the assets of Texas Monthly for $25 million, subject to working capital adjustments.  The press release indicates that “Genesis Park is a regional private equity firm that has built successful communications and technology businesses in Texas for many years.  Examples includetexasmonthly CapRock Services, Alpheus Communications and Vivante GMP.”  It was founded by Paul Hobby.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Texas Monthly has been a member of the Emmis family for 18 years, so today is bittersweet.  We want to thank all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.  This transaction allows us not only to de-lever our balance sheet, but puts TM in the capable hands of one of Texas’ great families, the Hobbys.” Emmis is still exploring opportunities to sell four other publications and New York radio signal WLIB-AM.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race and Related Stories at Top of Talkers TenTM for Week of October 10-14.  The presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the Donald Trump hot-mic incident followed by the Wikileaks Hillary Clinton document dump at #3.  Coming in at #4 was the Fox News report that FBI and CIA staffers questioned James Comey’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over the private email server matter.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago sports talk personality Terry Boers will be back on CBS RADIO’s WSCR “The Score” onboersterry October 24.  Boers – the longtime on-air partner of Dan Bernstein – has been off the radio since June dealing with an undisclosed health issue…..After CBS RADIO elected not to re-up its deals with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Hubbard Radio signs up its WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” to serve as the flagship station for the teams…..Speaking of hockey, with the start of the NHL season, fans can hear hockey action via TuneIn’s NHL radio station all season long with no subscription fee.

WBT, Charlotte Seeks Talk Host and Digital Content Editor.  Charlotte’s heritage news/talker WBT-AM/FM is seeking a talk show host and management has clear ideas about what it wants and what it doesn’t want.  Here’s what the station says: “Charlotte’s News Talk 1110 and 99.3 WBT is looking for personalities that can lead a wbtlogoconversation while being entertaining.  Be serious when needed.  Embrace the Carolina lifestyle.  Someone who is not angry at the world.  If you want to talk politics for 3 hours a day please don’t waste your time applying for this role.  If you have to lean on guests to get through 3 hours a day we don’t want you.  If you get your show prep from Drudge you won’t fit in.  This is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re stuck on a cookie-cutter talk station or if you’re a music personality looking to extend your career.  Show us what you got. Email your resume and a short aircheck to hired@wbt.com now.  No phone calls please.  Simultaneously, the station is also seeking a digital content editor.  It says: “What do you get when you mix part writer, editor, news and political junky, student of social media and add a dash of video creator?  The making of News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT’s newest Digital Content Editor.  Our new team member will be a self-starter that creates, aggregates and maintains content, including text, video, photos and graphics, driving traffic and conversations to our news-talk radio station website, social and mobile efforts and builds communities. Writing and editing succinct, fact-filled content in a compelling and active tone for wbt.com are at the core of this positions duties.”  Also apply for that position at hired@wbt.com.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

| October 5, 2016

Jimmy deCastro to Exit WGN, Chicago President and GM Role.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop as Windy City radio management legend Jimmy deCastro confirms he’s exiting the Tribune-owned,decastrojimmy standalone news/talker after three-and-a-half years leading the heritage station.  Telling Feder he’s “done wgn-logo-16everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place,” deCastro says, “now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.”  Larry Wert is the president of broadcast media for Tribune and comments, “Jimmy brought his unique leadership, experience and passion to the job every single day, and it made WGN a better, more focused radio station both on and off the air.  I am eternally grateful to him professionally and personally.”  Read Feder’s piece here.

Brandmeier and Westwood One to Part Company.  From the statement made by Jonathon Brandmeier on his website, this decision by syndicator Westwood One to put the wraps on their deal when it expires in early 2017 is okay by him.  Brandmeier writes, “I completely agree with that decision.  I truly believe this is the best move brandmeierjonathonfor all involved.  It was only a matter of time, and there are no hard feelings…I met some good people at Westwood One, we picked up new listeners from across this great nation of Murica, and I realized what has always driven me in this business was missing: the spirit of JUST HAVIN’ FUN.  It’s time for me to get back to that.  We plan to honor our agreement and continue on the air until it’s officially over – or until they literally pull the plug.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m as pumped as ever to create content for the people of earth.”  Brandmeier’s show emanates from his home base at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  There’s no word yet what the end of the syndication deal means for WLS-AM.

Dave Adams Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tucson. Programmer Dave Adams takes on a new role with iHeartMedia, moving west to become SVP of programming for the company’s Tucson clusteradamsdave that includes CHR KRQQ, hot AC KMIY “My 92.9,” hip hop KOHT “Hot 98.3,” country KYWD “97.1 The Bull,” news/talk KNST, talk KTZR, and Tejano KXEW.  Adams most recently was serving as brand manager for classic hits KLOU, St. Louis.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Steve Geofferies states, “What a great hire for the Arizona region and the Tucson market.  Experience, steady hand, and a history of success. I’m looking forward to getting Dave to Tucson.”

SB Nation Names New Morning Show.  With the exit of Steve Czaban from the lead role on the morning drive show, SB Nation Radio promotes from within and announces the Monday (10/10) debut of “SB Nation AM with Linn, Murray and Solly” featuring Scott Linn, Tim Murray and Steve Solomon.  The three are rejoining sbnationthe network after spending six years on the Steve Czaban show.  Murray also hosted his eponymous Sunday evening show on the network.  SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio) CEO David Gow states, “This group is a talented trio.  They have long been integral to the success of our network and we are excited to give them their own show.”  All three have ties to WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Linn served as an anchor and OM at the station, Murray is afternoon anchor and host of “DMV Game Time,” and Solomon hosts a weekly show dedicated to mixed martial arts on “ESPN 980.”

Odds & Sods.  A new deal from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and the NHL’s New York Islanders put Islanders hockey on numerous radio signals.  CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM is named a broadcast partner of the Islanders Radio Network with the broadcast of 30 games during the regular season on 660 AM and simulcast on 101.9 FM, starting with the team’s home opener on Oct. 16.  Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” will join the network and broadcast 52 regular season games.  Plus, Hofstra University-owned WRHU-FM, Hempstead will continue to simulcast each game throughout the regular season and playoffs as part of the Islanders Radio Network…..Morning shows from five of CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group will broadcasting live from Wrigley Field prior to that evening’s game one of the Chicago Cubs Nationalweissmichael League Division Series versus either the Giants or the Mets.  Broadcasting will be WSCR’s Mully and Hanley show, WJMK’s Dave Fogel, WBBM-FM’s “The J Show,” WUSN’s Stylz and Roman, and WXRT’s Lin and Mary…..Sales pro Michael Weiss joins SiriusXM as senior advisor to advertising sales from his most recent position as president of sales for CBS RADIO.

The Presidential Race/VP Debate/Trump’s Taxes, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, U.S., Immigration Policy, Wikileaks Letdown, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the build-up to last night’s vice presidential debate, and the dominant chatter about Trump’s tax history; the state of the civil war in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s role in the violence; the immigration policy in the U.S.; the lack of any document drop from Wikileaks on the occasion of the organization’s 10th anniversary; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads for the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Standing Room Only in Charlotte.  The latest sold-out stop on nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour was the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte.  Last night (10/4), Ramsey spoke to attendees about winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future.  Best-selling author and financial expert (and Dave’s daughter) Rachel Cruze joined him on stage. Cruze’s most recent book is titled, Love Your Life, Not Theirs (Thomas Nelson 2016).   Pictured here at the event is Ramsey (center) and, from Charlotte affiliate WBT “News Talk 1110,” Rick Feinblatt, SVP/market manager for Greater Media Charlotte (left), and Greater Media Charlotte sales manager Carol Poteat (right).  Feinblatt states, “Dave Ramsey continues to have a great impact on the listeners of WBT as indicated by the sold out show in Charlotte.  His daily interaction with the listeners proves that the Dave Ramsey show is a great complement to the powerful lineup here at ‘News Talk 1110 WBT.’”

kfwbdesiLotus to Buy KFWB-AM, Los Angeles for $11.2 Million.  The former Los Angeles heritage news signal (more recently sports talk before the March 1, 2016 sale) KFWB has been airing a Bollywood music format since Universal Media Access acquired it officially just seven months ago for $8 million.  Now, Lotus Communications is agreeing to buy the signal for $11.2 million.  It’s unknown what Lotus’ format plans are for the station.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

| August 11, 2016

beck, glennBeck Ordered to Identify Two Confidential Sources. In a ruling Tuesday (8/9), U.S. district court judge Patti Saris determined Glenn Beck must divulge the names of two sources cited for comments responsible for the Premiere Networks host to be sued for defamation and slander by a student falsely accused in early reports of involvement in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The suit against Beck was filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who Beck claims was the “money man” behind those bombings. He called Alharbi a terrorist – although then-secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said publicly that Alharbi had been questioned about the bombings and he was cleared. Judge Saris categorized testimony about the sources’ information by Beck, producer Joe Weasel, and former The Blaze executive Joel Cheatwood “vague and often contradictory.” She further noted that documents supplied to the court did not validate the story Beck’s people say they were told. On his radio show yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10), Beck emphasized protecting the identities of sources is a longtime First Amendment tradition. The sources, he maintains, are at risk of being killed by “our government or our politicians or political institutions.” Beck, however, was victorious on the issue of applying Massachusetts law – not Texas law – to the case. For that reason, punitive damages will not be awarded. Saris dismissed a claim about another Beck comment that the judge determined applied to the bombers – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

jared and the GMWPRT Slots “Jared & The GM” in PM Drive. The weekday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm pairing by Cromwell Group Nashville sports outlet WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” of Jared  Stillman and former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese (“Jared & The GM”) starts next Monday (8/15). Stillman – who will be transitioning from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – comments, “We have taken great strides to give the city of Nashville the best sports product and have had a lot of fun doing it. We have an unbelievable team and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Floyd Reese, who is an amazing [football] general manager and a great host – but most importantly – an even better person.” Reese – who moves over from being a “Sports Night” co-host – remarks, “I am really looking forward to our show. Jared was born and raised in Nashville and has been following Nashville sports his whole life. He is extremely passionate about sports and talk radio. As a sidelight, it’ll be a tremendous look at two generations: the baby-boomers, the finest generation ever produced, as well as millennials, who produced Pokémon Go.” Reese is obviously a baby-boomer, while Stillman is a millennial. In Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM sweep, “The Game” ranks #21 (1.0, 6+), while cross-town format competitor – Cumulus Media‘s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” – is #12 (3.7, 6+); Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” is on top with an 8.2 (6+).

kellogg, chrisKellogg Transfers to Cumulus Fort Walton Beach as OM. Inbound from Columbia, Missouri where he was operations manager for Cumulus Media Columbia-Jefferson City the past 12 years, Chris Kellogg relocates to Fort Walton Beach for similar duties at the company’s five-station Florida cluster. Cumulus CumulusMedia regional vice president Pete De Simone states, “The addition of Chris to our team will afford us the additional focus we need to continue to grow our ratings and revenue. We are excited to have the collective firepower of this dynamic programming team at work for our brands, listeners, and advertisers.” Kellogg comments, “Pete has created a terrific atmosphere to foster radio excellence. I appreciate his confidence in me and I am excited to collaborate with the programming team.” The Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach cluster consists of talk WFTW; WKSM “99 Rock”; adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3”; country WYZB “Nash FM”; and CHR WZNS “Z-96.” In addition to his OM duties, Kellogg will program WNCV and WFTW, as well as co-host mornings (with Lisa Captain) on WNCV. He succeeds Hayden Green, who continues programming “Z-96” as he has done the past 16 years and is the station’s afternoon drive talent; Green has been with the cluster the past 23 years.

shamus, mikeNeuhoff Names Shamus VP/Programming & Content. Seven-year Neuhoff Communications Lafayette, Indiana operations manager Mike Shamus (“Shamus”) is appointed to the newly created position of corporate vice president of programming & content. Neuhoff Communications chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff comments, “‘Shamus’ is a tremendous talent – a proven manager and leader with a greatNeuhoff vision for growing and improving the Neuhoff product lineup. We are confident he will take ‘Media Made Locally’ to a whole new level.” Chief operating officer Mike Hulvey remarks, “We knew we had a rare opportunity to capitalize on Shamus’ vision for connecting with our audiences in meaningful and engaging ways. With our recent expansion, ‘Shamus’ is the guy to motivate and inspire our content and programming teams to create the best local media.” According to “Shamus,” The Neuhoff stations “are truly connected to the communities we serve. Knowing I can enhance that local audience relationship will truly solidify our position as the most important source of information and entertainment in the region.” Neuhoff owns 23 properties in five markets: Bloomington, Danville, Decatur, and Springfield (all Illinois) and Lafayette (Indiana). In addition to his operations manager duties, “Shamus” does morning drive (“Shamus & Annie”) on Neuhoff Lafayette’s WKOA “Lafayette’s Country Leader K-105.”

WJROdds & Sods. Former Greater Media-owned WMGC, Detroit sports talk host Sean Baligian will co-host Detroit Lions’ pre-game and post-game shows this football season on cross-town Cumulus Media talker WJR. Baligian will be teamed with WJR sports director Steve Courtney. The two see their first action together tonight (Thursday, 8/11) in the initial pre-season game asWNYM the Lions play the Pittsburgh Steelers ….. Theater columnist of The New York Post Michael Reidel joins Salem New York talker WNYM “970 The Answer” to host a Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 am lifestyle show, “On The Town with Michael Riedel.” Vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley comments, “We are thrilled to have Michael on our team. We have a strong desire to support Broadway as the center point of the New York economy and Michael epitomizes both New York City and Broadway. He is going to add a unique quality to our station that is distinctly New York.” ….. McAllen talker KURV shifts Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” to 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. “She communicates the perfect mix of personality, entertainment, and uncompromising values for a new generation of talk listeners,” notes program director Sergio Sanchez.

Bob & Sheri 20th Anniversary WCTW-FMBob & Sheri Note Milestone Anniversary. Syndicated from Greater Media-owned flagship WLNK “107.9 The Link,” Charlotte – “Bob & Sheri” traveled to Hudson, New York to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first affiliate, iHeartMedia hot AC WCTW “98.5 The Cat.” Left to right in front of the WCTW prize wheel are Sheri Lynch, WCTW’s Tina Chambers, “The Cat” operations manager Bill Williams, and Bob Lacey. “Bob & Sheri” now have more than 50 affiliates. Their show airs weekdays 5:00 am – 10:00 am on “The Cat.”

titus, mattMatchmaker Titus Signs With KMG Networks. Plans are in place through KMG Networks’ Krantz Media Group to roll out a radio show next year featuring matchmaker, relationship/dating expert, and author Matt Titus. KMG Networks founder and chief executive officer Gary Krantz says, “The minute I saw Matt in action, we knew immediately that he is the guy to step up and take the job that has been open inKrantz Media Group radio for years – that of the ultimate national relationship expert for today’s high tech, mobile listeners, appealing to both men and women. We are excited to launch Matt on radio, streaming, and podcasting through our new talent division and watch him soar.” At first, Titus will be available as a guest to stations on a market-exclusive basis through KMG. Among the stations on which he has already appeared are the morning shows of iHeartMedia Detroit CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5; co-owned classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9,” Miami; and Lotus Communications-owned KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock.” Titus’ television credits include Lifetime‘s 2009 reality show “Matched in Manhattan” and NBC-TV’s “The Match Off.” In addition, he has written “Why Hasn’t He Called?” and “Why Hasn’t He Proposed?” Earlier this year, KMG Talent, in association with Sungate Partners, launched “Always in Fashion” with Mark Weber.

burns, garyBurns Fumes Over Nielsen’s Pending Policies. In a letter he sent yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10) to the FCC, the Nielsen Company, and the Federal Trade Commission, 3 Daughters Media chief executive officer Gary Burns addressed several issues including his opposition to the way radio stations are counted in specific markets and total line reporting. Nielsen has told subscribers total line reporting will be available only to qualified subscribers “in good standing.” Burns – who owns and operates eight stations in Virginia – writes, “I have strongly disagreed with the Commission’s policy of outsourcing its responsibility for defining radio markets to two commercial enterprises, Nielsen Ratings and BIA/Kelsey. Under a new Nielsen policy, only clients of Nielsen will be able to dictate how many stations an entity can actually own. Subscribers already dictate what counties are home to the metro. If this proposed new Nielsen rule stands, it seems that the Commission will be required to find a new method of determining how many stations are home to a metro. I respectfully request that the Commission weigh in on this policy and [ask] that Nielsen delay implementation of their new policy in order to insure that station counts are accurate, consistent, and to avoid unintended consequences of this new policy.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

| May 4, 2016

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Dips 2% in First Quarter.  When CBS Corp. delivers its quarterly financial reports, the focus is on television and this first quarter of 2016 is no different.  As a whole, the revenue for the first quarter was $3.85 billion – an increase of 10%.  But looking at radio – which is part of the company’s Local Broadcasting division – net revenue was down 2%.  As for the status of the radio division, CEO Les Moonves and CFO Joseph Ianniello reiterated what’s been said publicly over the past few months: The company is pursuing making CBS RADIO a separate, publicly traded company and, at the same time, is listening to any offers to divest of some or all of the stations if it can do so in a tax-friendly manner.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q1 Revenue Up 6%.  Compared to the same period a year ago, revenue for the iHeartMedia division of iHeartCommunications Inc. increased $41.1 million – a jump of 6%.  The company says the hike was “driven primarily by increases in our core radio business, both broadcast and digital, including the impact of trade and barter and political advertising revenues, driven in part by our live events, as well as increases in our traffic and weather business.  Revenue also increased in our syndication business driven by growth in our news/talk format.  Trade and barter includes the impact of marketing partnerships with our advertisers on live events, as well as revenue recognized in connection with advertising services provided during the quarter in connection with investments made in the fourth quarter of 2015 in certain non-public companies.”

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group Q1 Revenue Rises 13.2% on Strength of New Tampa and Charlotte Properties.  The net revenue for the first quarter was $27.5 million – an increase of 13.2% — that is largely the result of its late 2014 station swap with CBS RADIOBeasley Broadcast Group traded five stations in Philadelphia and Miami for 13 outlets in Tampa and Charlotte (and one AM in Philly).  Interim CEO Caroline Beasley (who also serves as EVP/CFO) comments,beasleycaroline “While 2016 first quarter revenue included the cyclical return of political advertising, we generated organic revenue growth even without the political spending.  In addition, we achieved our goal of our clusters, on a combined basis, outperforming the markets that report to Miller Kaplan for the full quarter and expect this trend to continue in 2016.”  Beasley also notes that the company paid down $3 million against its debt, leaving the remaining debt standing at $86 million.  She adds, “We intend to continue our use of cash from operations to further reduce debt, pay quarterly cash dividends and to pursue other opportunities to enhance shareholder value and during the first quarter declared our tenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”

todayscomedyEnvision Networks Debuts ‘Today’s Comedy Network.’  The new comedy radio service from Envision Networks is called “Today’s Comedy Network,” and the company says it’s a “turnkey continuous comedy format for radio 24/7/365,” featuring “non-stop blocks of jokes and one-liners from the best comedians.  This fast-paced, safe-for-work and in-the-car comedy fits perfectly for today’s radio listener.”  Envision adds it’s “the first one that crosses all lines of income, ethnicity, education and gender.  By using easily customizable distribution, affiliates can personalize the station to their own market with content, personalities, and contests.  In addition to the informative host, each week a different comedian serves as the special guest host every hour for the entire broadcast week.  Listeners will hear tracks from their latest release and inside stories about their travels, friends and insights about comedy.”  Regular comics will include: George Carlin, Jim Gaffigan, Jeff Foxworthy, Christopher Titus, Brian Regan, Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Bill Engvall, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, Gabriel Iglesias, Louis C. K., Ron White, Kathleen Madigan and many more.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “‘Today’s Comedy’ provides the best experience for radio stations to offer their listeners.  The format provides the broadest demographic appeal in the crowded talk format arena and most of all; it’s very, very FUNNY!”

podcastone bDr. Drew and Adam Carolla Renew Chemistry with PodcastOne Show.  For years, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Adam Carolla worked side-by-side on the nationally syndicated (and recently cancelled) radio show “Loveline.”  Now, Carolla and Dr. Drew are back together for a daily podcast titled “Adam & Drew” on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Adam and Drew, together again, five days a week – this time on PodcastOne. There’s really not much more that needs to be said.  Who said you can’t go home again?”

gamratcindyWFDF, Detroit Adds Second Former State Rep. for Weekly Show.  The station, being operated by Kevin Adell, brings former Michigan State Rep. Cindy Gamrat aboard to host a weekly, Thursday program.  Gamrat’s joining the station comes not long after former State Rep. Todd Courser also began hosting a show on the station.  Both Gamrat and Courser are facing felony and misdemeanor charges for alleged misconduct for trying to hide their romantic relationship while in office.  Both are married.  The Detroit News reports that Gamrat is taking on the new duties against her attorney’s advice.  Both Gamrat and Courser face potential prison sentences for their alleged misconduct in hiding their affair.

The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, Navy SEAL Killed in Iraq/Battle Against Islamic State, Syrian Civil Conflict, NATO-Russia Tensions, Flint Water Crisis, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s Indiana primary election; a U.S. Navy SEAL is killed in Iraq and the ongoing battle against Islamic State in the region; the U.S.’s warning to Syria to begin plans for Assad regime change; the military tensions between Russia and NATO; the Flint contaminated water situation and President Obama’s plan to meet with Governor Rick Snyder; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

joycebrianFirstPitchJoyce Provides Color on Talk Radio Night in Chattanooga.  WGOW-FM, Chattanooga early afternoon talk host Brian Joyce (left) poses for a pic with Chattanooga Lookouts play-by-play man Larry Ward (right) in the booth at AT&T Field.  Joyce threw out the first pitch at the AA baseball club’s recent game against the Montgomery Biscuits on what the team dubbed “Talk Radio Night.”  He says he was honored to be able to join Ward in the booth to do some color commentary.  Joyce – a Division I college baseball player at Davidson College – reports that, unlike so many first pitches by celebrities, his was a perfect strike!

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Hubbard Radio Chair/CEO Ginny Morris.  This week’s episode of the PodcastOne international hit program for media freaks features TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison in a conversation with the TALKERS 2016 recipient of the “Woman of the Year” award – Hubbard Radio chair and chief executive officer Ginny Morris.  Morris discusses a wide variety of topics in a candid, informal phone dialogue including the huge impact that the death of Prince had on the Twin Cities market in which Hubbard is based and in which he made his home and was a beloved local figure.  She discusses how Hubbard’s local talk station “myTalk107.1” – nationally known for its ongoing pioneering efforts in creating a spoken-word format specifically targeted to females – responded to the shocking event by going non-stop Prince talk.  Listeners were invited to share their feelings and personal stories about living in the samemorrisginny community with the musical legend.  Harrison also asks her about the station’s unique and brilliant campaign to promote this programming by putting the message on electronic billboards throughout the market that “myTalk107.1” was talking about Prince right now!  She discusses the history of “myTalk107.1” and the many different approaches it attempted on its way to eventually gaining traction with a female-targeted talk format.  Morris also relates how it feels being a third-generation broadcaster (her grandfather started the family owned-and-operated company in the Twin Cities back in the early 1920s).  She optimistically discusses the challenges facing radio today competing in the digital era as well as attracting younger listeners and employees.  Harrison asks her if the recent rapid growth of Hubbard in acquiring stations has generated the pitfalls of a corporate environment to which she answers it has not.  She emphasizes that Hubbard’s stations are managed locally and do not receive micro-management marching orders from company headquarters.  Morris says that Hubbard is extensively engaged in audience research on a “granular level.”  She talks about the cultural importance of preserving radio and television history and heritage and cites her passion for the work being done at the Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland among a variety of other topics.  Ginny Morris will receive the “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman” (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”) at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.  For complete information about TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations, please click here.

knx logoCool Job Opportunities.  KNX, Los Angeles has two openings in the news department.  The station is seeking a news writer/editor and a news anchor.  For information about the news writer/editor position and to apply, click here..  For details on the news anchor post and to apply, click here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

| September 23, 2015

rathertbrandonRathert Named Morning Host at KSSZ, Columbia, Missouri.  Taking over the morning drive program on Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group-owned news/talk KSSZ, Columbia, Missourikssz “HotTalk 93.9 The Eagle” is Branden Rathert.  He was most recently afternoon drive personality at ADX Communications’ WNRP, Pensacola “Newsradio 1620.”  Zimmer director of programming Jamie Mac states, “We are excited to welcome Branden to ‘Wake Up Columbia’ on ‘93.9 The Eagle.’  We feel Branden’s unique perspective, where he is able to take a specific topic and come at it in a non-traditional way, will translate very well in the Columbia market. His passion for making great radio, strong work ethic and creativity make him a great addition for our station and the talk radio community here locally.”

anselmomickCBS RADIO’s Mick Anselmo to Retire.  Senior vice president and market manager for CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster, Mick Anselmo, announces he’s retiring from the company at the end of the year.  Anselmo has been managing radio stations in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years – for iHeartMedia and the old AM/FM and Chancellor groups – with the last seven spent working for CBS RADIO.  The company is searching for Anselmo’s replacement to oversee news/talk WCCO “Newsradio 830,” country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM.”

podcastone bJeanine Pirro Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne.  A new, weekly program featuring FOX News personality and former New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro is launching on PodcastOne.  Titled “Due Process,” the podcast will “provide the legal insight behind breaking news, high profile court cases and political issues, in addition to welcoming analysts and experts on these topics.”  The show will also include TED speaker and content strategist Terri Trespicio joining Pirro each Monday.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz comments, “Jeanine has the intellect and the energy to do a great podcast.  It will be entertaining, interesting, and deal with exciting subjects.  It’s great to add her to our lineup, and it’s always good to know a judge.”

Odds & Sods.  Southeastern radio pro Dave Cobb is named the general manager for MARC Radio’s seven-station Gainesville, Florida cluster that includes news/talk WRZN “NewsRadio 980.”…..Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania-based Forever Media is buying sports talk WGET “ESPN Sports” and country WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from the Times and News Publishing for $4.2 million.

romeWBHOTampa15CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome Visits Tampa.  Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome visited affiliate WHBO, Tampa “Sports Talk 1040 The Team” recently, taking part in a meet-and-greet during a live remote at Beef O’ Brady’s Restaurant.  The Genesis Communications-owned station says, “Hundreds of Rome fans attended, giving Jim a standing ovation as he entered the restaurant.  Jim made it a point to talk to every fan, sign autographs, and take photographs.  People were lined up for hours to talk with him.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Rome show producer Kyle Brandt, Genesis president Bruce Maduri, Rome, and Sound Mind LLC chief Kraig Kitchin.

Nielsen-Logo3Nielsen Calls Audible to Publishing September Stats. Rather than spreading out the release of ratings information over four days as it typically does with its monthly data, Nielsen Audio is opting to consolidate its September PPM results into two – next Tuesday (9/29) and Wednesday (9/30). The first batch of markets is unaffected by the decision and will get their September numbers next Tuesday as originally planned. Those markets are New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (Los Angeles’ Inland Empire); San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The second group not only moves up one day, it will join group one – meaning 24 (rather than 12) markets will have data released next Tuesday. Group two consists of Washington, DC; Boston; Detroit; Miami; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Stations from the remaining 24-PPM markets (groups three and four) get to see the outcome of the September 2015 sweep next Wednesday. Group three is Portland; Charlotte; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Antonio; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Kansas City; Orlando; and Columbus. Comprising group four are facilities in Austin; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Providence; Raleigh; Norfolk; Nashville; Greensboro; West Palm Beach; Jacksonville; Memphis; and Hartford.

Ben Carson Muslim Controversy, Walker Drops Out/2016 Presidential Candidates, Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit, Russia’s Military Support of Syria, Muslim Migrant Issue, VW Emissions Scandal, Afghan Child Abuse Claims, David Petraeus’ Congressional Testimony, and Xi Jinping Visits U.S. Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The controversy over GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statement he would not support a Muslim for president; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drops out of the presidential race tied with the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates; Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; reports of military support for Syria’s Assad regime by Russia; the issue of Muslim immigrants in Europe and the U.S.; the emissions scandal plaguing Volkswagen; the controversy over allegations the U.S. military instructs personnel in Afghanistan to ignore sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan military commanders; former CIA director David Petraeus’ apologizes for relaying sensitive material to former mistress; and Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

| August 27, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Now, It’s Personal.  Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations.  How so?  Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work.  Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?”  He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol.  “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes.  Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right.  Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close.  Think about how you might call for help.  And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.”  Read Price’s entire story here.

newsmax logoNewsmax.com Places Third in Views for Political News.  The July 2015 comScore MultiPlatform data shows that while CNN Politics is #1 in multiplatform views with 136 million for the month, Newsmax.com comes in third (55mm), close on the heels of Politico.com (57mm).  Newsmax.com tops Fox News Politics, HuffPost Politics and MSNBC TV, according to comScore’s survey, which includes desktops and mobile devices.  comScore also notes that July marked the best month in mobile traffic and video starts on record.

cookehollandHolland Cooke: ‘Quality, Currency, Quantity.’  Just back at his Block Island, Rhode Island home base after a summer on the road visiting client stations, consultant Holland Cooke writes in TALKERS today about crafting news copy that is more “remarkable.”  He says, “Not ‘miraculous,’ but ‘remarkable,’ meaning likely-to-provoke-a-remark when heard.  ‘Hmmm…’ is a remark, because the listener heard useful information which he/she might quote over lunch or dinner.  Or at least REMEMBER, which is, after all, what diary ratings measure, and relevance is what brings PPM-ers back again and again.”  For more thoughts about effective radio news, read Cooke’s entire column here.

lagrecadonDon La Greca Inks Extension with WEPN, New York.  The co-host of the afternoon drive Michael Kay show on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York has signed a three-year contract extension with the station to continue in that role.  Don La Greca, in addition to his duties with the Kay show, will continue to host 98.7FM’s “Jets Gameday” pregame show and “The 5th Quarter” postgame show.  La Greca will also retain his duties as studio host and occasional play-by-play commentator for New York Rangers broadcasts.  ESPN New York 98.7FM general manager Tim McCarthy states, “Don has established himself as one of the most knowledgeable hosts in all of New York sports.  He is a rare breed who can combine talk and play-by-play without missing a beat.  Don and Michael are one of the longest-tenured and most entertaining sports talk teams in the country.”

Odds & Sods. According to the New York Daily NewsBob Raissman, ESPN is going to move current sports talkwepn logo WEPN, New York evening duo Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot that opened with Mike Lupica’s recent departure.  He says Dave Rothenberg will leave the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm show with Ryan Ruocco and host evenings solo.  He also notes the station will air the soon-to-move Dan LeBatard show in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon quigleyalexslot…..Former WGN, Chicago operations manager Alex Quigley is joining Hubbard Radio Chicago to serve as executive producer and update anchor for classic hit WDRV’s weekly, three-hour Chicago Bears post-game show that will be hosted by Mike North…..News and talk radio programmer Al Mayers, currently station manager at Bloomberg Radio, is adding Bloomberg TV programming duties to his responsibilities, according to a report in the New York Post.  The story says Claudia Milne is exiting the Bloomberg TV programming post to work on special projects and product placement for Bloomberg.  Mayers was a longtime Boston program director having served at WRKO, WEEI and WHDH.  He also programmed WJR, Detroit…..WMTI, New Orleans “106.1 The Ticket” is flipping from sports talk to a music format.  No word on what Cumulus will settle on.  Currently the station is stunting with song loops.

westwood one news logoWestwood One Celebrates Affiliate Mark for News Product; Names Chas Henry to Anchor/Correspondent Role.  Syndicator Westwood One is celebrating surpassing the 750-affiliate mark for its news product Westwood One News, powered by CNN.  WW1 says that since launching in January, it’s placed the service on more than 750 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.  At the same time, the companyhenrychas announces it has brought aboard Washington, DC news pro Chas Henry to serve as an anchor and correspondent.  Henry has served at WTOP, Washington; TV news outlets NewsChannel 8 and ABC7, and at CBS RADIO’s WNEW-FM as anchor and national security correspondent.  A combat-decorated veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, Henry came up in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising in rank from private to captain.  He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar and been frequently heard nationwide on the CBS Radio Network.  For Westwood One, in addition to anchoring newscasts, he will report on national security issues and will fill in on the daily feature “Something to Think About with Mike Rogers” from September 8-14.

ramseydaveCarson15GOP Candidate Dr. Ben Carson on the Dave Ramsey Show.  Pictured here on the air with nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey (left) is retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson (right).  Ramsey has invited all of the presidential candidates to appear on his program to discuss relevant topics during the election season.  Earlier this summer, Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on the Ramsey program.

Virginia TV Reporters Slayings, Trump Candidacy, Immigration Policy Debate, Probable Joe Biden Presidential Run, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Financial Markets Volatility, and Western Wildfires/Tropical Storm Erika/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The killing of two Virginia television journalists by a former station employee; the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump; ongoing debate over immigration policy and Trump’s interaction with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference; the probable entrance of Vice President Joe Biden into the presidential race; the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; concern over the volatile world financial markets and a possible crash; the Western drought, recent wildfires, Tropical Storm Erika, and the specter of climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wbtlogoCool Job Opportunity.  Wanted: Part-Time WBT Tailgate Girls.  “News Talk 1110” WBT, Charlotte is seeking part-time WBT Tailgate Girls who are interested in learning more about event marketing, promotions and broadcasting.  As part of the WBT Tailgate Girls, you will work to gain exposure for the radio stations at station-produced and/or sponsored events, area concerts, sporting and cultural events and other on-site opportunities relevant to the station’s marketing and sales effort.  Candidates must be detail oriented, creative and outgoing.  They must have strong communications and organizational skills and must be able to represent the station(s) in a positive manner at events.  Candidates should have strong people skills, web/internet knowledge, and must be able to multi-task and meet deadlines.  All candidates should possess a desire to learn more about promotional/marketing strategies for radio.  In order to be considered for the position, candidates must have a valid driver’s licenses.  Hourly pay: $12.00.  If you think you have the talent and qualifications to be a (part-time) News Talk 1110 WBT Tailgate Girls with Greater Media Charlotte, please e-mail resume and photo to hired@gmclt.com.  If you would like to mail a package, send to: Greater Media Charlotte, Attn: Promotions, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 NO TELEPHONE CALL PLEASE!

Friday, August 7, 2015

| August 7, 2015

LoganCumulusLogan adds WFTW Programming Duties. One-year hot AC WNCV “Coast 93.3” program director and morning talent “Logan” takes on similar responsibilities within the Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) cluster for talk WFTW. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “Logan has done an outstanding job since joining the Fort Walton Beach/Destin cluster. It has been a pleasure watching him work to make a significant impact in both ratings and revenue with WNCV. I am very excited we are recognizing his talent and affording him additional opportunities to grow with our company.” Corporate program director for news-talk-sports Jim Mahanay remarks, “I am excited anytime we can have a programmer with a fresh perspective enter the news/talk format. Logan has proven himself as a strong music PD and he now has that opportunity in news/talk.” Logan offers a “big thanks” to DeSimone, Mahanay, and Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay. “Cumulus has given me opportunities – I am going to grow with them,” Logan states. “I am a huge fan of the news-talk format, and I cannot wait to get audio from Michael Savage.” Prior to joining WNCV, “Logan” spent eight years as morning host/assistant program director/music director for Philadelphia hot AC WISX “Mix106.1.” His resume also includes stops in New York City at CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and in Dallas at hot AC KDMX.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Final Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio July 2015 PPM ratings data has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. In addition, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

levinmark (2)Odds & Sods: This past Monday (8/3), Westwood One host Mark Levin surpassed the one-million level of Facebook “Likes.” His book, “Plunder and Deceit,” was released the following day (Tuesday, 8/4) and it has reached #1 on Amazon‘s “Best Seller” list…..In an October 13 simulcast with CNN, Westwood One will be the exclusive radio provider of coverage from the first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 presidential race. The debate will take place in Nevada, with exact location details to be announced later. CNN will serve as moderator and exclusive national broadcaster of that debate.

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Rick Lewis Hits Quarter Century Mark Hosting “Talky” Mornings at Classic Rocker, KRFX, Denver.  For over two decades the “Lewis & Floorwax Show” dominated the morning airwaves on iHeartMedia’s KRFX-FM (The Fox), Denver. The show was an excellent example of the widespread genre of music radio morning shows that lean heavily on pop cultural talk content. Suddenly in January of 2014, co-host Michael Floorwax retired from the airwaves, by his own choosing, due to an ongoing chronic health issue that began acting up. His co-host Rick Lewis was encouraged to keep the show going as it had a very loyal fan base and was an extremely dependable “revenue machine.”  Lewis re-tooled the mostly spoken word show (that plays approximately two songs per hour), renamed it “The Rick Lewis Show” and forged ahead. Fans were happy and relieved that the show continued. Advertisers continued their support and The Rick Lewis Show has more than survived, it has thrived. Nielsen Audio spring PPM numbers indicate that “The Fox” is the market’s top station among adults 25-54. Ratings are up from 2014 and so is revenue.  On July 31, 2015 Rick Lewis celebrated 25 years as the morning radio host at the station – a rarely achieved milestone in the radio industry.  Lewis tells TALKERS, “I have many people to thank including my long-time friend and radio partner Kathy Lee who really stepped up her game.  Thanks to my long-time partner Michael Floorwax for a helluva run, you are missed!”  Lewis adds, “Also the support of the rest of the crew in the morning, Colfax, Dragon Redbeard and Robbyn Hart has been significant. Thanks also to Michael Harrison, a visionary man who gave me my first big break at KMET, Los Angeles in 1984.  I was just out of college, working at that heritage radio station with some legendary radio performers. Mike believed in me and gave me my first full time job in LA.”  Harrison recalls, “I recognized immediately that this earnest young man was the total package.  He had movie star looks, a command of album rock and its culture, and most importantly the ability to adeptly punctuate his jock work with listener calls and artist interviews – a quality I always looked for in DJs during my rock PD days.”  KRFX is the FM home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and the multi-faceted Lewis also hosts the official Denver Broncos pre-game show every week during the football season.  And if that isn’t enough Lewis has a band, The Rick Lewis Project, featuring some of the most acclaimed musicians in the region. As a drummer for the band, Lewis has played as opening act with legends such as BB King, James Brown, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Lepard, and The Who among others.  When he is not on the radio or playing in his band, Lewis finds time to perform in the Denver area as a stand-up comic.  He also recently shot a TV pilot called “Ride Away,” a motorcycle adventure show. The show is currently being shopped and produced by reality TV’s famous bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth. Lewis believes “the secret to longevity in the business is to have many irons in the fire.”  He tells TALKERS, “I still get up every morning and can’t wait to get behind the microphone and entertain the fans in Denver.  For years, I always thought KMET in LA would be the pinnacle of my radio career, man was I wrong!”

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Reports Q2 Results. Second quarter net revenue is up $1.1 million ($25.9 million to $27 million), but Beasley Broadcast Group‘s net income is off by $500,000 ($3 million to $2.5 million). This past December, Beasley and CBS Radio completed a 14-for-five swap involving three markets. CBS Radio acquired two Philadelphia stations (WRDW and WXTU), as well as three Miami outlets (WKIS, WPOW, and WQAM). In exchange, Beasley picked up one Philadelphia station (WIP-FM); six Tampa facilities (WHFS-AM, WHFS-FM, WLLD, WQYK, WRBQ, and WYUU); and seven Charlotte properties (WBAV, WBCN, WFNZ, WKQC, WNKS, WPEG, and WSOC). According to Beasley chair and chief executive officer George Beasley, the company’s second quarter results “reflect a continuation of recent overall industry and market trends.” On a pro forma basis, net revenue decreased 6.0% while SOI declined 8.4%. “The decline in pro forma revenue is primarily attributable to overall weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Wilmington [Delaware], which resulted in reduced operating leverage and ultimately impacted SOI,” Beasley comments. “We were able to partially offset the revenue decline, however, through cost reductions that resulted in a 4.9% – or $1 million – reduction in station operating expenses. We also made further progress on our debt reduction efforts during the quarter, while continuing our commitment to return capital to shareholders.” Addressing the station swap with CBS Radio, Beasley remarks, “It substantially broadened and diversified our local radio and marketing solutions platform. Since closing, we have been initiating strategies to extract operating and financial synergies. We are actively implementing integration, cost efficiency and operating plans while remaining true to our value proposition by focusing on targeted localism and delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to listeners and advertisers in these markets.” As far as the future is concerned, he notes the company remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their market’s revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet. We believe our integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes are now showing progress.”

week headerBarack Obama and Donald Trump were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio this Week.  GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform Lead the Topics Discussed.  According to TALKERS research, the just-concluding week of August 3-7, 2015 has been dynamic to say the least as the brewing interest in the presidential race of 2016 reached its first major boiling point with yesterday’s (8/6) long anticipated GOP debate(s) on the Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio gathering enormous attention and conversation. Other hot topics included the Iran nuke deal, ISIS activity, immigration reform, race relations, the Planned Parenthood funding issue, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the Nashville theater attack.  To see the entire list of the week’s most talked about topics and people, please click here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches. It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended. Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history. Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t. After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right. Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration. A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode. Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011). He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT. In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina. To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

salemmediagroup logoCool Job Opportunity. Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Sales experience involving media is a must. Undergraduate degree required. A unique opportunity to work closely with Jerry Crowley and Phil Boyce, two proven winners and innovators. For more information and to apply, click here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

| August 6, 2015

Tidwell, LanceTidwell Tapped as iHM San Antonio SVP/Programming. Inbound from Tucson where he was iHeartMedia‘s senior vice president of programming, Lance Tidwell transfers to San Antonio for similar duties. Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia major markets Brad Hardin comments, “I am extremely pleased to welcome Lance to the iHeartMedia San Antonio family. Tidwell is a strong talent and has had much success in his tenure with iHeartMedia. His programming acumen and depth of experience will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales team.” San Antonio market president Marlene Trevino remarks, “I am excited that our San Antonio programming operations will be led by Tidwell. He understands our company¹s vision to be innovative with every move. Lance¹s experience collaborating with programming and sales teams will provide us and our partners with unbeatable forward momentum in the continued evolution of our brands in the San Antonioiheartmedia logo small2 market.” Tidwell notes that he is “grateful” to Trevino and Hardin “for the chance to work with these great brands and team in San Antonio. I am eager to get started and lead the market to continued growth and success.” In addition to having programmed in Seattle, Memphis, Hartford, Monterey-Salinas, and New Haven (Connecticut), Tidwell was chief operating officer for Southern Star Broadcasting. With 6+ share/market ranks from the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM sweep in parentheses (July 2015), iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster consists of country KAJA “KJ-97” (6.0, #3); mainstream CHR KXXM “Mix 96.1” (4.8, #5); adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” (4.7, #6); talk WOAI (4.2, #10); rhythmic CHR KZEP “Hot 104.5” (2.1, #19); regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 (1.8, #20); sports KTKR “The Ticket” (.6, #26); and classic country KRPT “B-Buc” (.2, #27).

CBS Radio LogoCBS Radio Q2 Revenue Off 5%. While second quarter revenue for CBS Corp. increased 1% to $3.22 billion from $3.19 billion in 2014, CBS Radio revenue declined 5%. Executive chair Sumner Redstone states, “CBS is at the center of the action during an extremely exciting time in media. We continue to succeed as a result of our world-class content.” According to president and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “This quarter underscores the key steps we are taking to build out our long-term growth strategy. Our premium content remains the cornerstone of our success, and I am confident this fall’s new primetime lineup will lead us to another victory next season.” The company’s local broadcasting revenue was down 2% to $654 million from $665 million, as television station revenue was up 1%, and local broadcasting operating income (OI) fell 8% to $198 million from $215 million. The company posted net earnings of $332 million, down from $439 million in the year-ago period.

Nielsen LogoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Nominees Announced. The 24 candidates in six categories were determined by the organization’s steering committee. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin brings back public engagement through social media balloting in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. This is the first time that will be done in the last five years. “This impressive list of nominees represents the best examples of talent with commendable audience relationships past and present,” Kitchin declares. “Each individual and show was selected after extensive deliberation by the steering committee. We are all looking forward to seeing the results as determined by our industry peers and listeners nationwide.” The four nominees to be voted on by a participant panel in the “Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)” category are Tom Barnard (Minneapolis); Johnny Dare (Kansas City); Johnny Holliday (Washington, D.C.); and Ronn Owens (San Francisco). Those in the “Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)” category are “Big Boy” – real name Kurt Alexander (Los Angeles); Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison (Philadelphia); Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (Chicago); and Garland Robinette (New Orleans). The four candidates in the “Networks/Syndication (10 years or more)” category include Tom Kent (Cleveland); Dave Ramsey (Nashville); Diane Rehm (Washington, D.C.); and Michael Savage (San Francisco). Those in the “Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)” category are Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold (Indianapolis); Bob Kingsley (Weatherford, Texas); “Marketplace” (Los Angeles); and Harry Shearer (Los Angeles). Nominees to be voted on by listeners nationwide in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” category are Delilah (Seattle); Elvis Duran (New York); Steve Harvey (Atlanta); and Ryan Seacrest (Los Angeles). In the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” category, the nominees are Sean Hannity (New York); Clark Howard (Atlanta); Jim Rome (Los Angeles); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Los Angeles). Voting begins today; names of the winners will be revealed in just over three weeks (8/31). The induction ceremony will be held in three months (11/5) at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

NextRadio LogoCollege Broadcasters Inc LogoNextRadio, CBI Team To Find Best Radio Spot. College students are encouraged to create/submit a 60-second radio spot, as NextRadio and College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) join forces to find the “best-of-the-best in radio spot ads.” According to NextRadio president Paul Brenner, there are currently 50,000 – 70,000 radio spots that run each month supporting the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which launched in February; “this is a huge opportunity for students to have their radio spot played nationally among thousands of broadcast stations and heard by millions. We will get the opportunity to showcase rising talent for the radio industry.” CBI president Greg Weston comments, “CBI is thrilled to team with NextRadio to offer students from our media outlets this unprecedented opportunity to have their work appear in front of millions of listeners. Not only will the winners get national exposure for their talent, they will be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them at the National Student Electronic Media Convention.” First-place winner will have his or her 60-second spot included in “flight four” of the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which starts October 1. The contest begins one week from next Monday (8/17) and will run through September 18; winners will be announced September 28.

Westwood OneWhistling StraitsWestwood One, PGA of America In Multiyear, Multiplatform Deal.  Live hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA championship returns to Westwood One for the first time in a decade. In addition, Westwood One will provide short-form updates, as well as a Brad Heller-anchored recap show, “The PGA Championship Tonight.” Senior vice president of sports for Westwood One (and parent company Cumulus Media) Bruce Gilbert remarks, “Westwood One is proud to present the 2015 PGA championship. It is a very exciting time in professional golf with so many terrific stories this year. Our team is prepared and excited to describe the remarkable performance of the world’s best players live from the PGA championship for the next few years.” PGA of America chief commercial officer Jeff Price states, “Westwood One and SiriusXM are synonymous with live, major sports event broadcasting. The PGA of America is delighted that we will partner with these two world-class radio partners to bring the drama and excitement of the PGA championship to fans.” Broadcast coverage from the PGA championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin begins one week from today (Thursday, 8/13). It will run through (Sunday) the 16th and can be heard on SiriusXM, Westwood One Sports affiliates, and WestwoodOneSports.com. SiriusXM PGA tour radio host Earl Forcey will anchor the joint coverage from the 18th tower, while former pro golfer/Golf Channel host Charlie Rymer will be lead analyst. Westwood One’s Ted Emrich will anchor short-form reports from the course, and provide leader board updates during the long-form coverage. Looking ahead, Westwood One Sports will provide PGA championship coverage next year from Baltusrol Country Club in Springfield, New Jersey and, in 2017, from the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte.

2016 Presidential Candidates-GOP Debates, Nashville Theater Attack, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy Debate, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Baltimore Gets Help with Violence, MH370 Debris Confirmed, and Deflategate Flap Among Top News Stories Yesterday (8/5). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP debates; the thwarted attack on a cinema in Nashville on Wednesday; the political battle over the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the ongoing controversy over America’s immigration policy; the Feds supply help to Baltimore’s police in battling the explosion of murders in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray slaying; the plane debris found last week is confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; and the NFL’s deflategate case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

| July 30, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q2 Revenue Up 4%.  The privately-owned iHeartMedia announces its Q2 financial numbers and reports revenue was $841 million – up 4% compared to the same quarter in 2014 – and stating that it saw “strength across the business (core local and national broadcast advertising revenue, traffic and weather business, syndication business and events).”  The companybresslerrichard says its expenses rose 5% year-over-year attributable to “event production costs, timing of barter and trade expenses, sales compensation expense and costs related to music licenses and performance royalties.”  Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rich Bressler says in a press release, “We’re pleased with the revenue and OIBDAN growth we achieved this quarter.  We continue to invest in our capabilities across both iHeartMedia and outdoor to realize the full value of our multi-platform assets.  With no significant debt maturities until 2018, we can continue focusing on growing the top and bottom lines across our business segments.”  Total debt for the media giant is reported as just shy of $20.4 billion.

stigallchrisStigall: The Importance of Talk Radio. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall writes in a piece published in TALKERS today about recent events that have given him pause to reflect on the value of talk radio to the greater society.  Stigall says that an important cog in the media machine would be missing if talk radio did not exist.  He says, “Call talk radio propaganda if you’d like, but it can only thrive if it offers something consumers want to hear and delivers results to advertisers and sponsors.  I know in our show’s case we’re blessed with both.  Whether it’s Limbaugh’s leading voice of conservatism, Levin’s case for millennials to engage in their country’s political future, Hannity’s demands for more scrutiny of a taxpayer-funded entity, or simple assessments of current and future leaders’ character – talk radio is the only place it’s found consistently.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

hotchkisskeithiHeartMedia Charlotte Hikes Hotchkiss to Market President. Senior vice president of sales Keith Hotchkiss is elevated to market president of iHeartMedia‘s six-station Charlotte operation. Hotchkiss remarks that, “iHeartMedia Charlotte boasts some of the most talented on-air hosts, programmers, and sales professionals in the country. It is my goal to lead and expand, providing innovative solutions for our client partners across all our platforms, while also creating the best radio for our listeners. This is an exciting time to be in the radio industry. I could not be more proud to represent one of the world’s most enterprisingiHeartMedia Charlotte media companies in one of the nation’s greatest cities.” Prior to being transferred to Charlotte, Hotchkiss spent more than 15 years at the company’s Cleveland cluster, where he ultimately became general sales manager. With (6+) Nielsen Audio June 2015 PPM market share and market rank in parentheses, iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster consists of country WKKT “The Kat” (7.3, #3); classic rock WRFX “The Fox” (6.5, #4); adult hits WLKO “The Lake” (6.3, #5); CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1” (5.3, #7); and WEND “New Rock 106.5 – The End” (3.1, #12 ). WRFX-HD2 “Fox Sports FM 98.7″ does not appear in Charlotte’s June sweep.

Odds & Sods. The news/talk format airing on WMEL, Cocoa Beach, Florida and operated by John Harper’s Broadcast House LLC will move to Genesis Communications’ WIXC (licensed to Titusville, Florida) beginning Sunday, August 9.  Rama Communications has been leasing the station to Broadcast House…..Matt Jones’ “Kentucky Sports Radio” will continue to be heard on stations in the Blue Grass State as Jones renews with the network.  The show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WKJK, Louisville; WLAP, Lexington; and other iHeartMedia stations across the state using the Kentucky News Network…..Christopher “Jack” Johansing is promoted to marketing director at Benztown.  He’s been with the company for the past five years serving as coordinator, web, marketing & affiliate relations.

Cecil the Lion Case, 2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Samuel DuBose Slaying, Lois Lerner-IRS Case, and the NFL’s Tom Brady Decision Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The case of the Minnesota dentist who hunted a protected lion in Zimbabwe and the public outcry; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; the aftermath of the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price of body parts from abortions; the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the rape allegations being leveled against Bill Cosby; the slaying of unarmed motorist Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati by a police officer; new allegations of Lois Lerner destroying evidence in the IRS scandal; and the NFL’s upholding of the four-game suspension of Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 27, 2015

| February 27, 2015

brandmeierjonathonWestwood One Announces: Here’s Johnny! Bona fide Chicago radio cult legend Jonathon Brandmeier takes to the national stage next month when Westwood One commences syndicating his daily three-hour eponymous show-gram. Executive vice president of content and programming for Westwood One’s parent company – Cumulus Media John Dickey comments, “Jonathon is one of the most versatile performers in radio today. We know audiences will enjoy his lively humor and take on each day’s topics. We are thrilled to add ‘Johnny B’ to the Westwood One roster of relevant and relatable talkmillerdennis programming.” Remarking this is an “extremely exciting” time for all those associated with his show-gram, Brandmeier – who has achieved industry success in Los Angeles (on talk KLSX) and Phoenix (on KZZP) as westwood one NEWwell as in Chicago – notes, “We look forward to continuing to entertain audiences in Chicago and expanding our reach nationwide.  Fasten your seatbelts – it is going to be a wild ride.” Simultaneous with Brandmeier’s addition to the Westwood One roster is the departure from it by the program hosted by Dennis Miller. The former “SNL” cast member states that he is “stepping aside from radio at the moment” and that, “it has been a great run. I have had a phenomenal time interacting with my guests and audience, but with so many other commitments, it is hard to maintain a daily talk show. It is time to pass the torch as I move on to explore other opportunities – I wish ‘Johnny B’ lots of luck.” Three top-five market Cumulus-owned AM stations (KABC, Los Angeles, WLS-AM, Chicago, and KLIF-AM, Dallas) have already cleared Brandmeier’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (ET) program. In addition, there are affiliates in Salt Lake City (KKAT), Providence (WPRV), and Albuquerque (KTBL) – all are Cumulus Media AM properties.

mccoysteveSteve McCoy to Host Mornings on ‘News Radio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  The Cumulus Media news station is changing morning shows, bringing aboard Atlanta market pro Steve McCoy, effective Monday, March 1.  McCoy worked at the old WZGC “Z93” in AM drive where he was the longest-running morningwyay logo new personality in the station’s history.  He also worked at “Power 99,” WSTR “Star 94” and WSB-FM “B98.5.”  WYAY “News Radio 106.7” program director Greg Tantum says, “Steve has had a personal relationship with millions of Atlanta radio listeners for years.  Steve’s deep roots in the community bring a one-of-a-kind perspective and understanding to the daily lives of Atlanta residents.  Most important, Steve has proven he is the best at entertaining listeners and making them feel good – even in Atlanta traffic.”

weismanstevenWeisman: The Battle Over Net Neutrality.  With yesterday’s passage of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility and regulate it, the battle may have just begun.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, in a timely column examining the matter, writes that this is sure to bring about court challenges by the ISPs. Weisman notes that even though there was support in both the Democrat and Republican parties for preventing ISPs from creating multi-tiered delivery services, there are other issues that Republicans say are problematic.  “Opponents of the FCC’s classifying the Internet as a utility are concerned that, by doing so, the FCC would have increased authority to regulate rates and take other actions that they believe would stifle investment by Internet Service Providers and slow innovation.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he is cognizant of the power that classifying the Internet as a utility would provide the FCC, but that he expects to use a ‘light touch’ in regulating the Internet and would ignore powers that the FCC had that did not relate to broadband.  The devil is often in the details and it will be important to see whether a ‘light touch’ is reflected in the specific regulations to implement the vote which will not be published for a few days and will not become effective for a few months.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

2015 NYC 150Today Is the Last Day to Receive the Early Bird Discount for Talkers New York 2015.  Registrations are already being booked at a rapid pace as Talkers New York 2015 is heading toward being an early sell-out. The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET this afternoon.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced next week.

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Emcee Awards Ceremony at Talkers New York 2015.  Talk radio great Jim Bohannon will reprise his stellar performance as Emcee of the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12.  The veteran Westwood One syndicated personality (a past recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award) will preside over the presentation of the honors which include awards for:  Freedom of Speech, Lifetime Achievement, Woman of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.   Stay tuned for the names of the award recipients as well as those who will be making the presentations.

rogersleeRogers Upped to News Director for Entercom Upstate.  Morning news personality Lee Rogers is promoted to news director for Entercom’s Upstate South Carolina station group.  Rogers anchors the morning news on news/talk WYRD, Greenville “106.3 WORD” during “The Tara Show.”  Entercom Upstate OM Mark Hendrix comments, “Lee brings a wealth of news experience and Upstate knowledge.  I look forward to Lee expanding 106.3 WORD’s position as the Upstate’s breaking news leader.  Listeners will hear more proprietary content on the news that matters most to them.”

Odds & Sods.  With the signing of Jonathon Brandmeier to the Westwood One network and the show being picked up by Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago, the station cuts ties with John Kass and Lauren Cohn, who were co-hosting the late morning daypart, although Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports the station is auditioning Lauren Cohn for work on the morning show hosted by Big John Howell.  Filling in on the late morning program until Brandmeier starts is talk radio pro Tom Becka, who’s on the air there today through March 6…..American political satirist – and five-time Emmy nominee – Will Durst joins the regular panel of humorous pundits on the weekly podcast “The Koz Effect,” which streams live at 7:00 am ET Saturdays via the Radio Titans podcast network…..San Antonio news/talk KTSA is now heard on the FM dial in the market as Alpha Media begins simulcasting the station on translator K296GK at 107.1 FM…..Powell Broadcasting’s news/talk KSCJ, Sioux City, Iowa begins simulcasting its programming on translator K235CA, Sioux City at 94.9 FM…..ABC and PodcastOne are debuting a new, original podcast series which takes an in-depth look at the new television drama “American Crime.”  The weekly podcast will be hosted by film critic and radio personality Elvis Mitchell.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Joining Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey, who will air in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  His show is also being added to theramseydave evening program schedule at CBS RADIO’s news WNEW-FM, Baltimore/Washington…..The “Good Day” show with host Doug Stephan adds 11 new affiliate stations, including: WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; stephandougWPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; and KFTL, Gilbert Arizona…..The “Business Rockstars” show with Ken Rutkowski is added to the program schedule at 18 Rocking M Media outlets in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma…..“The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong and Kim Carrigan joins the program lineup at WXTK-FM, Cape Cod…..WCGO, Chicago adds Bruce DuMont’s “Beyond the Beltway” to its weekend lineup…..BizTalkRadio clears several shows, including the Ray Lucia program, on new business talk outlet WHFS-AM, Tampa and the 11-station “SuperTalk” chain in Mississippi…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” featuring Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete joins the program lineup at WRKO, Boston.