Tag: "Chicago"

Friday, January 11, 2019

| January 11, 2019

New Afternoon Show to Launch at KIRO-FM, Seattle; Jason Rantz to PM Drive at Sister KTTH-AM.  Talent changes take effect at Bonneville’s Seattle talk stations on Monday (1/14).  The new “Candy, Mike and Todd” Show launches with hosts Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd HermanHeather Bosch handles news updates twice hourly for the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’ve put together what we feel is a winning team.  Candy, Mike, and Todd are a fun, entertaining and intelligent trio.  They will be a perfect complement to the news, traffic, and weather elements that ‘KIRO Radio’ listeners expect every weekday afternoon.”  Candy Harper most recently served as the afternoon producer on KIRO-FM.  Mike Lewis has worked at KIRO-FM as a reporter and fill-in host since 2016, and Todd Herman moves over from sister conservative news/talk KTTH where he’s been the afternoon drive personality.  As a result of that move, Bonneville shifts KTTH morning show host Jason Rantz to the afternoon drive daypart and brings Saul Spady aboard to host the morning drive program.  Spady is described as “very active in local politics” and an accomplished businessman.  Candy Harper says of the new KIRO-FM show, “Mike, Todd, and I are three opinionated friends who may disagree on almost everything but love to talk about why.  Turns out, people are quite capable of disagreeing on issues and still being decent human beings. This show is going to be unique.”  About joining KTTH-AM for mornings, Spady comments, “I’m excited for this opportunity to create a new type of conservative talk radio show in mornings that gives a 21st century perspective both locally and nationally. I hope to connect with listeners both new and old, transplant and local alike in our quest to create a rational opposition to the rudderless leadership we have in Seattle and Olympia.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  There’s wasn’t great movement up or down for public radio news/talk stations in PPM markets from November to December – 48% were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) and 41% were down. Year-over-year, 39% of those stations were up with 55% of them losing audience share.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in December – KQED, San Franciscio; WAMU, Washington; and KPBS, San Diego – while four other stations ranked #2 in their respective markets. Also in this report is a chart comparing the performances of all-news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk. See the whole story here.

Timeless Wisdom from Radio Legends.  Consultant Bill McMahon, principal of The Authentic Personality, offers some advice to TALKERS magazine readers that he picked up a few years back that he says bears constant reinforcement:

TalenTrak was an annual event in Chicago created by The Conclave to inspire and educate radio personalities. The year I attended, it delivered big-time on both accounts.

Radio legends Larry Lujack and Jonathon Brandmeier were the featured speakers. They put on quite a show. Their passion for radio and its possibilities lifted the conference room at Columbia College. Their performance demonstrated radio’s unique ability to create intimate human relationships. The stories they told about their lives in radio — the ups and downs, the successes and failures — really resonated with the audience. Lujack and Brandmeier established a real connection and emotional bond with everyone in that room. It was great radio.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for aspiring radio personalities from the success stories of Uncle Lar and Johnny B:

Don’t copy anyone. Be yourself and you’ll be distinctive. There is nobody exactly like you. Lujack said it this way. “One of my advantages was not being able to hear big-city radio growing up in Caldwell, Idaho. I never copied anybody because I didn’t have anyone to copy.” Here’s Brandmeier’s perspective: “I don’t know what’s going on in radio.  I don’t listen to other shows. In my head, I’m the only guy on the radio.”

Constantly expand what you know. If you don’t know more than your listeners, you can’t add much to their lives. Lujack “read newspapers and magazines for seven hours a day” to expand his knowledge. Brandmeier said, “I read everything. You gotta to be aware of the world around you. The more you read the more you have to react to. It’s like filling a cooler with meat. I just keep filling it.”

Don’t present anything on the radio that you don’t really care about. If it doesn’t ring your emotional bell, if it’s not interesting, meaningful, or fun to you, forget it. It won’t matter to your listeners if it doesn’t matter to you. Brandmeier put it this way, “if you’re not curious about it or care about it, don’t talk about it. The audience knows.”

Find the right boss — someone who totally believes in you. Don’t go to work for people who want to change you and what you do. They’ll make your life miserable, destroy your confidence, and then fire you. Lujack and Brandmeier’s careers took off when they found PDs who believed in them. Lujack was fired repeatedly by bosses who didn’t understand or appreciate his often “cynical, sarcastic, negative attitude” on the radio and insisted he change. He refused because, “it was easier to be me than somebody I was not. I believed me would work.”  It sure did once he found Pat O’Day at KJR in Seattle. “He was the first PD who encouraged me to be me.” Brandmeier found Don Benson who heard him breaking format doing a midday music show in Milwaukee. Brandmeier recalled, “I would start talking to listeners on the radio the minute the programmers left the building for lunch. I figured they wouldn’t hear me while they were eating.” Benson heard him. He called Brandmeier with an offer that changed his life. “There’s a voice inside you that wants to get out. How would you like to let that voice out on a morning show in Phoenix?” Brandmeier took the job at KZZP. The “voice” Benson heard attracted a few listeners. “They let me do whatever I wanted”, remembered Brandmeier, “and the ratings tripled.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the partnering of Chicago radio personality Kathy Hart with Frank Fontana on Tribune Broadcasting’s news/talk WGN-AM continues with a regular, Wednesday evening show.  Hart, formerly the morning drive co-host on hot AC WTMX, has been sitting in with Fontana on his weekend show since October and now the two will have a regular, weeknight program…..According to a report by Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Laurel Highland Total Communications Inc. has flipped WAVL, Apollo, Pennsylvania (northeast of Pittsburgh) from news/talk as “Talk PA” to variety hits.  It has changed the call letters to WXJX.  The reason for the switch is reportedly due to the disappearance of Laura Ingraham’s daily live radio show and the re-configuration of Michael Savage’s program, combined with the loss of exclusivity for the “Quinn & Rose” show hosted by Jim Quinn and Rose Somma Tennent (pictured here).  Their show is also heard on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh.  Station executive David Waugaman states, “Then we found out Laura Ingraham would be quitting radio and staying with TV [and a podcast].  And finally, finding that Michael Savage was dropping away from radio as well.  So without great replacements, we felt it was best to go with a music format and we have had great success with our ‘Jack’ programming at our radio station down in Morgantown.”

Beasley and UNLV Hackathon Initiative Winners. Pictured above are the winners of Beasley Media Group’s Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019.  Done in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the initiative was launched in October 2018 with the goal of generating potential commercial products and services utilizing existing media technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as to conceptualize the kinds of transformative, disruptive technologies that will become mainstream in the next 20 years.  The first-place team (pictured above) won $5,000 for its work using AM/FM frequencies to charge devices.  The second- and third-place teams won $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Pictured are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, UNLV’s Dr. Mary Croughan, Consumer Technology Association senior director of Innovation & Trends Ben Arnold, Beasley’s Buzz Knight, UNLV students Erick Serrano and Yuria Mann, UNLV’s Zach Miles, UNLV provost Diane Chase, and Brian Beasley.

Celebrating ‘The Sopranos.’ Pictured above is “The Sopranos” actor Steve Schirripa (center), who played Bobby Baccalieri on the iconic HBO series.  He stopped by the WOR, New York studios yesterday (1/10) to talk about the 20th anniversary of the premiere of  the show with morning drive team Len Berman (left) and Michael Riedel (right).

Trump Border Wall Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 7-11. Tuesday evening’s Oval Office address by President Trump about the border wall issue was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing federal government shutdown. Coming at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the potential 2020 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Multi-Platform Performer Kate Delaney Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  She is a woman of many platforms and talents who casts a wide net.  Kate Delaney is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, top business and motivational speaker, best-selling author, and a weekend host for the NBC Sports Radio Network.  In addition, she hosts a long-running news/talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called “America Tonight” and a weekly online feature with Forbes Books showcasing movers and shakers in the business world.  Her most recent book published by Forbes is titled, Deal Your Own Destiny: Increase Your Odds, Win Big and Become Extraordinary.  Delaney is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Delaney discuss sports, politics, business, and breaking the glass ceiling.  Harrison says, “More people in the talk media industry should know about this hard-working renaissance woman and we are so pleased to launch this podcast’s fifth year by spotlighting her views and accomplishments.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3,” evening personality Jordan Alamat gets to take the “assistant” off his music director title.  In a statement, station program director Christy Taylor says, “Jordan has been a key member of Go 96.3’s programming since before I returned.  His knowledge of music as a fan and a musician gives him a passion I’ve rarely seen in a music director.  With great pride ‘GO Radio’ is happy to announce that Jordan Alamat has been officially elevated to music director of ‘GO 96.3.’  Along with his music director duties he will continue to host the most interactive night show in the cities.”…..Sarkes Tarzian’s Fort Wayne, Indiana alternative outlet gets another signal to expand its presence in the region.  The company bought WGBJ-FM, Auburn, Indiana last year and now adds its class A 102.3 FM signal to the “ALT 99.5” format airing on WAJI-HD2, Fort Wayne. Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne VP and market manager Lee Tobin comments, “This expands the reach of Fort Wayne’s only alternative station beyond Allen County into the surrounding counties of northeast Indiana.”…..The syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” show – distributed by YEA Networks – adds two new stations to its affiliate roster. KORQ, Abilene, Texas and KHQT, Las Cruces, New Mexico pick up the program.  It’s currently heard on almost 40 stations nationwide.

December 2018 PPM Ratings

| January 2, 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

| January 1, 2019

Townsquare Media Co-Founder Dhruv Prasad to Exit the Company. Company co-founder and current co-CEO Dhruv Prasad announces he will leave Townsquare Media, Inc at the end of this month.  Current co-CEO Bill Wilson will become the sole chief executive officer.  The company adds that, in addition to Wilson, co-founder and CFO Stuart Rosenstein and EVP Claire Yenicay will assume Prasad’s management responsibilities.  Prasad comments, “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since founding Townsquare in 2010.  From scratch, we created not only the nation’s third-largest radio broadcaster, but also built new, profitable businesses in live events and digital.  With the company on strong footing and in the hands of an outstanding senior management team, it’s time for me to move on to my next challenge.” Wilson states, “I want to thank Dhruv for his contributions to Townsquare over his longstanding tenure, and in particular, his partnership over the past year as co-CEO.  Together, we were able to reorient Townsquare to focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy and successfully rationalize our non-local businesses.  I look forward to continuing this strategy, which has driven strong local growth in 2018, particularly within our digital businesses, and solidified our position as the premier local advertising and marketing solutions company in the heartland of America.”

Mancow Begins New Year Hosting Mornings on WLS-AM, Chicago. As had been teased prior to the holidays, Erich Mancow Muller is the new morning drive personality on Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS-AM.  He’ll launch the new morning show tomorrow (1/3). Last month, the station announced that the morning team of Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens was exiting the morning daypart, but Howell stays with the station hosting the new 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  This is a return to WLS-AM for Muller.  He co-hosted the midday show with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010.  Mancow had been hosting the morning program at classic rock WLUP-FM until last March when owner Merlin Media sold the signal to religious operator Educational Media Foundation.  Since then, Muller has been off the air.  He’ll once again be working for Marv Nyren, Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager for Chicago.  Interestingly, Nyren fired Muller from alternative WKQX in 2006 and when he became Cumulus’ market manager (Cumulus was operating WLUP under an LMA) in 2017, Muller sued him for harassment and emotional distress.  However, the suit was dropped and the two have obviously overcome their differences.  John Dempsey is still the morning news anchor and Midge “Luv Cheez” Ripoli will serve as the show’s executive producer.

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Afternoon Host Scott Stiegler to Exit. Actually, Scott Stiegler is remaining with the Cumulus Media station and will move to the sales department. The station says it will have an announcement about the programming change on January 7, but New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan reports that former longtime morning rock jock T.J. Trout will take over the afternoon drive show.  Trout served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown KZRR “94 Rock” for 25 years until he exited the station in 2011. According to Monahan, Trout is returning to the market after retiring to his hometown of Cleveland in 2011.

Salem Debuts Sebastian Gorka on 340 Affiliates and 24/7 in Washington.  New Year’s Day marked the national syndication debut of “America First with Dr. Sebastian Gorka” from Salem Radio Network.  In addition to launching on some 340 affiliate stations across the country, the program is being heard in the Washington, DC market on four signals – including round the clock on Salem-owned WSPZ-AM.  The show can also be heard in DC on Salem’s news/talk WWRC “AM 570 The Answer,” WAVA-AM, and WAVA-HD2.

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio.  Consultant Holland Cooke launches a new, weekly column in TALKERS magazine called the “Monday Memo” in which he outlines “techniques proven to produce results and how these timeless basics advantage us on the changing media landscape.”  Coming on Monday (1/7) at Talkers.com, Cooke will address “how smart stations score smartphone clicks and earn digital dollars podcasting.”  Meanwhile, read today’s introductory piece explaining some of the good news/bad news scenarios facing the radio business here.

Davis Media to Launch ‘All News 102’ in Virginia Beach. The current triple A format on Davis Media’s WXTG-FM, Virginia Beach; WXTG-AM, Hampton; and W270DA, Hampton is flipping to all-news on Monday (1/7).  Davis Media says, “Listeners can expect ‘All-News 102’ to feature a wide variety of national and local news. Our content partners include ABC Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Accuweather, Reliant Traffic, Associated Press, Virginia News Network, and content from our sister publications, wydaily.com and southsidedaily.com.  While the focus for the station is news and not talk – community conversation will have its place. Throughout each newsday, ‘All-News 102’ will host discussions with local newsmakers regarding compelling, focused topics to inform communities and promote more thoughtful daily considerations and learnings for audiences.”  The triple A format continues on the company’s WTYD-FM, Deltaville, Virginia.

SB Nation Announces New Programming. The national radio syndication lineup of SB Nation Radio has a few changes in the New Year.  The KDUS-AM, Phoenix-based “Calling All Sports” show featuring RocManuch, and Crespin airs on the network in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  The show has been airing on KDUS-AM for the past 14 years.  Other changes include Jake Asman hosting “The Power Hour” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and Dave Smith joining the network for weekend show hosting duties.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Vinny D joins Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” as afternoon drive personality.  He was most recently with Urban Radio’s hip hop WMSR-FM “Power 94.9” and urban contemporary WMXV “V101.5” in Tuscumbia, Alabama.   WMGC program director John Candelaria comments, “We are thrilled to find a diamond in the rough.  He is authentic and funny.  Detroit is a blue-collar city and Vinny D is eager to roll up his sleeves and serve our community!”…..Entercom adds Greg “Grego” Onofrio to the air staff of adult hits KKHH, Houston “95.7 The Spot.”  Onofrio was previously an anchor and on-camera commentator at KIAH-TV, Houston “CW 39” where he hosted “NewsFix,” an alternative presentation to traditional local news.  Before working in television, he hosted “Outlaw Radio” on then-rock KLOL-FM, Houston. nighttime show at Rock 101 KLOL in Houston…..Cumulus Media flips country WIWF, Charleston, South Carolina to classic hits as “The All-New 96.9 The Wolf.”  Cumulus Charleston vice president and market manager Sherry Dollar says, “Our New Year’s resolution is to be the station that only plays the best of Charleston’s classic hits.  We think listeners will love hearing the songs that have stood the test of time and are now classics!  Their all-time favorites all have a home at 96.9 FM.”…..In the Akron-Canton market, iHeartMedia debuts new adult contemporary outlet WHOF-FM “SUNNY 101.7, Variety from the 80s, 90s and Today.”  The station is airing 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row and says it will have details about its new air personality lineup in the coming weeks…..Beasley Media Group launches new classic rock outlet WPBB-FM, Tampa “98.7FM The Shark” that is focused on rock songs from the 80s and 90s.  The station begins airing the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” in mornings on Monday (1/7).  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “It’s been many years since Tampa Bay had a true classic rock station on a full signal and we’re excited to offer the next generation of classic rock to such a great rock market.”…..Cumulus Media names Summer James midday personality for adult contemporary WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B106.7.”  James has worked for Cumulus in Los Angeles.   She says, “I’m so excited to be joining this great team on the air in the Capital City.  They have a winning philosophy, I love South Carolina, and we have the signal to rock the state in 2019!”

December 2018 PPM Data – Round One. REVISED information for the December 2018 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 December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being off three-tenths in consecutive months (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7, October-November-December, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” completely forfeits its cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). In addition to posting its eighth straight monthly report without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22. Up or flat the fifth straight month for a net gain of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC checks in at #24.

Following November’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WFAN is down another two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October; 4.7 in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 5.2. Without a loss the past four months for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” forfeits three-tenths to 1.5 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). The New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS was then stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November before dropping one-tenth in December to 4.3 but advances from sixth to fifth. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.8 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) yet backslides from a three-way tie at #11 to #12.

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); and now +.6 in December (3.0 – 3.6, #15 to #9, 6+). For the third month in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (steady at #28, 6+). Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – After being down by four-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” roars back with a +2.4 in December to 9.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 17th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW (which was 8.8, 6+, in December 2017) was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). With a consistent July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM sputters by nine-tenths in December to 5.4, but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Four successive up or flat trends by Emmis urban AC WBLS accounted for a net +1.2 (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+); however, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” returns two-thirds of that increase (5.7, -.8, flat at #2, 6+). In five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, WBLS recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. Flat at #8, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97” 6+), is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Up a collective half-share in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” surrenders six-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat the past four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” manages to climb from seventh to sixth. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” are tied at #31 with identical profiles (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+). In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” gains two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, #40 to #35, 6+).

Practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” forfeits two-tenths to 1.3 (#25 to #26, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” erodes by two-thirds (-1.4) to .7 (6+), plummeting from #22 to #35. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

A gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) propels Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” back into the top ten (#11 to #9).

The ten (10) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#unchanged at #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over and above repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST racks up a +3.9 and is up for the fourth month in succession for an overall +4.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0, 6+). In December 2017, “Coast 103.5” was 8.7 (6+). While unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH is a collective -.7 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+).“K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which gains two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it halted a streak of five successive months at #1. As the result of four consecutive upticks (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC is a collective +.7 as the University of Southern California classical outlet enters the top twenty (#19). Finishing at #23, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a -.3 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+) but stays at #20. In the market’s alternative contest, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7” returns the three-tenths it gained in November (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KROQ is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -.7 (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), dipping from #17 to #20. Unchanged at #5, smooth AC sibling – KTWV “94.7 The Wave” – is nonetheless off one-half share in December (4.3 – 3.8, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the third sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN returns six-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and spirals from #11 to #18. Entering the August sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox notched three consecutive gains for a combined +1.0 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Dropping from #22 to #23, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through December topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

An increase of one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WSCR (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) is enough to boost “670 The Score” from #18 to a three-way tie at #12. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” (#23 to #22) is up one half-share.

Notwithstanding it is a collective +1.1 in four consecutive months without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM shifts from first to second. Immediately in advance of this streak, the Chicago Bears flagship logged six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth month in a row for a +.7 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ has its best 6+-showing (2.9) since April’s 3.0 and leaps from #16 to that aforementioned three-way scrum at #12.

Chicago Music Formats – In what has become a tradition when it transitions to all-Christmas music, iHeartMedia adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” registers a lofty +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+) and catapults from #11 all the way to #1. WLIT, which displaces Entercom all-news WBBM-AM at the top spot, was 8.5 in December 2017. Coming in at #15 and #16, respectively, are WLIT’s AC rivals – Hubbard’s WSHE (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #13 to #15, 6+) and Venture Technologies Group AC WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” (#9 to #16, 6+). Until surrendering its entire half-share increase in October to 2.6 (6+), WSHE had been without a loss five consecutive months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). In November, however, WSHE regained that half-share decline in its entirety (3.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). WRME-LP is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Sliding from fourth to seventh, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) takes alternative WKQX to its lowest 6+-showing (2.3) in exactly one year (December 2017‘s 2.2). Four consecutive increases by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO netted +1.4 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) but “Que Buena 105.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and slips from second to fourth. Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (seventh to ninth, 6+) and is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 17th consecutive ratings period. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is without a gain for the fourth straight month for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #23. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away October’s seven-tenths’ increase with a collective -.8 in November and December (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops from #14 to #16. KSFO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO is unchanged from November (2.1, 6+) but slips from #18 to #19. August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

Returning all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (2.9 – 2.6, -.3, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses from #13 to #14. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). By recapturing the two-tenths it lost in November and one-tenth more (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

Despite logging a gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM segues from second – where it had been the past ten (10) sweeps – to third. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July.

In addition to tacking on two-tenths to November’s +.7 (6.7 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is #1 for the 11th straight month. This (7.6) is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Inching up from #31 to #30, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” has its sixth straight up or flat trend for a collective +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Rebounding from a November dip of two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM counters with a +2.7 to 6.4 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) and falls from third to fourth. Not only does KDFC post a one-half share increase for the second straight sweep (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), the University of Southern California-owned classical outlet zooms into the top ten (#14 to #9). After being an overall +1.1 in six straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” falters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Directly on the heels of November’s +.8, (2.8 – 3.6, 6+) KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (seventh to tenth, 6+). As a result of a one-half share decline (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since November 2017’s 2.6 and is tied with KOSF at #10.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past five months for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP forfeits nearly half that increase (2.7, -.5, #13 to #16, 6+). Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.3 in three straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the third time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4, flat at #36, 6+).

Even though it is off a collective three-tenths in November and December (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” advances from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, steady at #18, 6+). On the other hand, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 1.1 (#29 to #31, 6+).

Down or flat for the fourth straight time (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” actually progresses from #21 to a tie at #20. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

After posting three increases in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA returns two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In seven successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” has nearly doubled (+2.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1, 6+), vaulting from ninth to third. “Star” (5.1, 6+) is up one-tenth from where it was a year ago (5.0, December 2017, 6+). A combined +1.2 in three successive upticks (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” progresses from seventh to fourth. Down one-half share in November (6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” bounces back with a +.2 to 6.3 (6+) and is on top for the 12th straight time. “Kiss” was +1.1 in August, after a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Flat at #19, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is a combined -1.0 via five consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Albeit that Cumulus Media’s KSCS is -1.1 in five straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to sixth, 6+), “New Country 96.3” overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.1 – 3.6, -.5, fourth to tenth, 6+). An October gain by “The Wolf” halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths; its May through November topline was 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 (6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Despite being off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” advances from #13 to #11.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH erases its November gain of six-tenths and sends “News Radio 740” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). November’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

The AM flagship of the Houston Texans Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” – is a collective +.4 in five straight up or flat trends (.9 .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, #22, 6+). Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 for the third straight month (#25 to #27, 6+), while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which was trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 (6+), falters by one-half share to .6 (#22 to #28, 6+).

In five successive down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off one full-share (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on at #20.

Houston Music Formats – On top for the eighth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” dials up a +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7, 6+). “Sunny” recorded an 8.9 (6+) in December 2017. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. KODA has a 1.7-share (6+) advantage over Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which is a collective +3.3 via five successive positive spikes (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. In three successive declines, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its format foe, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull,” returns November’s +.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) yet climbs from #14 to #13. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is down by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Three straight upticks by KOVE accounted for an overall +1.7 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), but “Amor 106.5” lost four-tenths in November. A 4.5 (6+) in October 2018 enabled it to reach the four-share level for the first time since October 2016. Faltering by one-half share as well, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is a collective -2.0 in four successive downward moves (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). It is one-tenth behind iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” an overall -1.2 via six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). For the seventh ratings period in succession, Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” is without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, #26, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM forfeits seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but is #1 for the 37th consecutive time. Even though Cumulus Media’s WYAY gains one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Logging its sixth sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one-half share (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK nonetheless backslides from #27 to #28.

Off three-tenths in November, co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” answers with a +.6 (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and zooms into the top ten (#13 to #9). Prior to November, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Following three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 in that stretch (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (flat at #19, 6+). When the Atlanta Braves flagship lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (.6 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Following three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” erases two-thirds of the deficit with a +1.0 to 5.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fish” since its 6.0 in January. At this time last month, two-tenths of a share separated Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” and its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull.” The two country outlets though are now part of a three-way tie at #10 as “Kicks” is up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, +.2, flat at #10, 6+), while “The Bull” gains three-tenths (3.5 – 3.8, #14 to #10, 6+). A combined +.7 in September and October (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), “Kicks” returned three-tenths in November. After three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “The Bull” responded with a November gain of six-tenths. Three straight downward moves by Radio One-owned WHTA resulted in a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but “Hot 107.9” is up three-tenths to 3.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Its May through August topline was 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 (6+). Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 more than doubles (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, flat at #20, 6+), while Davis Broadcasting regional Mexican WLKQ “LA Raza” debuts with a .7 (#25, 6+). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -1.8 as iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.2 (3.3, #6 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is -.6 (4.4 – 3.8, #7 to #10, 6+). “Power” had been without a loss the past seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.6 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is off six-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #16), its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 2.5.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight ratings periods without a decrease netted Entercom’s WPHT a +1.4, nearly doubling its 6+ AQH share (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). That streak, however, ends in December as “Talk Radio 1210” falters by eight-tenths to 2.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, September-October-November, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returns to 1.3 in December (-.2, #20 to #23, 6+).

Stable at 6.3 (6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, proceeds from sixth to fourth. The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies was -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); and -1.0 (November). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is without a loss for the third time in a row for an overall +.9 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is down one-tenth (5.2 – 5.1, 6+), yet climbs from eighth to seventh; KYW was up seven-tenths in August.

A loss of four-tenths to 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+) by public news/talk WHYY ends a down/up pattern that began in June (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – On top from March through June before being dislodged in July, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB returns to #1 (6.5 – 10.4, +3.9, fourth to first, 6+); “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was 12.8 (6+) in December 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It displaces co-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which erases November’s +.6 with a December -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+) and falls to third. That November increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” breaks out a +.8 to 7.4 (third to second, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of six-tenths, Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (5.4 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. This is its lowest 6+-showing since February (4.3, as well). In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” In its first report as an AC, “The Breeze” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #17, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” shrinks by seven-tenths to 6.2 (second to fifth, 6+), its lowest 6+-share since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Off six-tenths each are co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philly’s Alternative Rock” (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.4 in November and December (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the third straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #25 to #26, 6+). Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Not only is Entercom sports talk WFAN off by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees slumps from a three-way tie at #1 to #5. WFAN had been on top the past four months. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. October’s 5.6 was the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. The flagship of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.3 in November and December (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Separated by one-tenth of a share in November, Entercom all-news WINS (3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #11 to #9, 6+) and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (3.2, -.1, #12 to #9, 6+) are now tied. WINS was up six-tenths in October; WCBS-AM had been +.9 in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Unlisted the past two months, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaces at #17 (1.9 – 2.0, +.1, 6+). From February 2018 – September 2018,  WNYC-FM had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September.

Long Island Music Formats – Roaring back from a one-half share November dip with an improvement more than four times that margin (4.4 – 6.5, +2.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” jumps from fourth to first. This (6.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since March (7.0). In addition, “Real Variety” breaks up November’s three-way logjam at #1, which included WFAN (see above); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, first to third, 6+); and iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, first to fourth, 6+). Following six straight months without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), “Z-100” picked up one-tenth in November. In three increases in succession, WCBS-FM was +1.2 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, it was a collective -1.2 via five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Two-tenths behind WALK-FM is iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which rockets from eighth to second and has more than doubled (+3.5) its 6+-stat in six sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3, 6+). “Lite FM” recorded a 4.5 (6+) in December 2017. Debuting or reappearing in print after a lengthy absence are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8, #29, 6+); Newark Public Radio’s WBGO “88.3 The Jazz Source” (.7, #30, 6+); Fordham University triple A WFUV “90.7 Music Discovery Starts Here” (.5, #33, 6+); and WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” (.5, #33, 6+). Dropping from #9 to #11, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” is an overall -1.9 in five straight slips (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Off eight-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (3.0), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from #7 to #11. Also departing the top ten and part of the four-way logjam at #11 is Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” which is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is down or flat for the sixth consecutive time for an overall decline of nine-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+); “Hot 97” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive ratings periods. In five straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH is a collective -.9 (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+) as “94.7 – Nash FM” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #26).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; up one-tenth in October; down two-tenths in November; and now “1290 News Talk IE” is flat at .2, remaining at #20 (6+).

It’s the same (November 2018 – December 2018) story for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” which is unchanged at .2/#20 (6+). The former KUBE disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; and dropped one-tenth in November. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 11th month in a row.

Following three straight modest increases that accounted for a +.4 (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR erases that gain with a -.4 to 1.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). The October 6+-share for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is sliced in half in November and December (.6 – .4 – .3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” bumps up from eighth to sixth, reaching the three-share level (3.2, 6+) for the first time since January 2018’s 3.1. Over and above being #1 for the seventh successive sweep, Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” dials up a +1.1 to 10.5, the largest 6+-stat for any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted in this particular overview; “Jose” was +2.5 in September. This (10.5) marks the first time any Riverside station has reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). An increase of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) elevates Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” to its best 6+-performance (2.9) since March (3.0). Despite being off four-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is secured in the runner-up slot for the seventh month in a row. KOLA held the lead position in May with a 6.5 (6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks,” which lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share as the result of six straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). Flat at 1.3 (#13 to #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 16th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a November loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO levels off at 2.2 and advances from #17 to #16. In advance of November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Locked on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned news/talk KSFO forfeits two-tenths to 1.0 (#24 to #28, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the vanishing of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (.6 – 1.1 – 1.5, #26 to #23, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+), is up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), yet backslides from third to fifth.

Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED rebounded from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), jumping from sixth to fourth. Unlisted in October and November, KQED returns in December at #2 (6.7, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuts at #30 (.5, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM erupts with a +2.7 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. On the heels of posting a one-half share improvement in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+). An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” erases one-quarter of that decrease with a +.6 to 4.4 (sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective -2.4 in three consecutive negative trends (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to that streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. In one fell swoop, KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” has virtually half of its 6+-stat slashed (2.9 – 1.5, -1.4, 6+) as it fades from the top twenty (#12 to #23). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” erases all but six-tenths of that increase with a -1.1 to 6.9 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. After regressing by seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ surrenders another eight-tenths in December (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #13); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, hot AC sibling KIOI “Star 101.3” relinquishes one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). As a result of four straight down or flat trends, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.0 (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#20 to #26). Three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7, but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is now -2.6 in three straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3, fifth to eighth, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. An overall +.3 via three successive up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of three-tenths to 8.0 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Even so, “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. November’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January (8.3, as well). Without a loss the past five sweeps and precisely doubling (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for an overall loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #23 to #26.

The +.7 that Entercom sports talk WFAN logged in October is erased by a combined -.8 in November and December (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Moreover, WFAN spirals from the top ten (#7 to #13). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets loses four-tenths in December to 2.5 (#17 to #19, 6+).

As Entercom all-news WCBS-AM loses two-tenths (2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS adds two-tenths (1.4 – 1.6, flat at #24, 6+). Through three increases in a row, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappears at #18 (2.6, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – On a rollercoaster ride, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; and now +.9 in November (3.5 – 4.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union showing since 3.3 in September 2016. In addition to being +2.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.5 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +.7 in Middlesex. Carrying on in second-place, WLTW is an overall +1.6 in four straight Middlesex upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Replicating November’s half-share improvement (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” progresses from tenth to eighth.WNYC Broadcasting Foundation classical WQXR debuts with a .5 (#28, 6+). Returning in full the one-half share increase it registered in November (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” continues in third-place. Faltering by one-half share as well and departing the top twenty is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” (2.5 – 2.0, #19 to #23, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was down or flat the past five months for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) gains one-tenth to 3.1 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

| December 18, 2018

Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’  In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent.  Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill.  It’s all about corporate control.  Taking him off the air is not a business decision.”  Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.”  Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night.  “The only reason I can see is because of politics.  It makes no sense.  I have a loyal, large audience.  Why not at least do reruns at night?”  Read the Times piece here.

Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.  I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come.  Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.”  Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000.  The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.

iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled.  Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit.  An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH.  This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan.  iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.

TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station.  The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit.  Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some.  I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.  The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter.  Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center.  Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; 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.

Remembering Dave Robbins.  Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles“This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick“I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack.  He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years.  Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract.  Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.”  Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’  We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois.  Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

WLS-AM, Chicago Moves Big John Howell to PM Drive. Friday’s announcement by Cumulus Media solidifies the afternoon program schedule, but the question still remains who will end up hosting mornings on news/talk WLS-AM in the New Year.  Current morning drive personality Big John Howell is moving to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot – he’s following Westwood One syndicated talk host Ben Shapiro who’s on from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Howell’s co-host Ramblin’ Ray Stevens appears headed out the door.  Rumors in the Windy City are that Erich Mancow Muller is negotiating to be the station’s next morning show host. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day.  John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home.”  Before joining WLS-AM four years ago, Howell served with Salem Media Group on news/talk WIND-AM.  Prior to that he spent 17 years as a jock on country WUSN-FM. He says, “I’m very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890.  I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest, and intelligent summary of the day’s biggest stories – an afternoon wrap of the day’s biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts, and stars.  Of course, our town’s most colorful characters will also be welcome.  In addition, I’m looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun’s in the east.”

Media Action Center Targets Alex Jones Saying Radio Show Violates FCC’s Hoax Rules. The Media Action Center was founded by journalist and activist Sue Wilson.  She was instrumental in forcing Entercom to give up the license for KDND-FM, Sacramento in the wake of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest.  Now, Wilson’s MAC is encouraging people who live in markets that carry the Alex Jones radio show to file a complaint with the local station and the FCC that accuses Jones of violating the FCC’s hoax rules by insisting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  You can see the form letter here that outlines the FCC’s language: “Section 73.1217 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217, prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.”  Wilson cites the parents of some of the victims whose pain has been worsened by harassment they’ve suffered from Jones’ listeners, thus the public harm.  MAC notes the FCC rules would permit Jones’ comments if the stations airing the program aired a disclaimer before the program clearly characterizing it as fiction. See the MAC site here.

WQAM, Miami Names New Midday Show. Replacing Orlando “The Big O” Alzugaray (who exited early last month) in the midday slot at Entercom’s WQAM, Miami is the duo of Alex Donno (left) and Josh Friedman (right).  The “Donno & Friedo” show airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Friedman moves over to WQAM from sister sports talker WAXY-AM where he was evening host.  Alex Donno has been hosting the evening program on WQAM.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond.  Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Spector Upped to Program Director at Sports Talk KCSP, Kansas City. Rising from assistant program director and afternoon show producer to program director at Entercom’s KCSP-AM “610 Sports Radio” is Steven Spector.  Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next program director of ‘610 Sports Radio.’  This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate ‘610 Sports Radio’ in the Kansas City market.”  Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.”  He began his radio career with WTEM, Washington in 2008.

Chuck Peterson Rises to Area President for iHeartMedia. Executive Chuck Peterson is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia markets, effective immediately. The markets contain 16 news/talk, sports and music-formatted stations.  Peterson is promoted to area president after serving as market president for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets.  He began his career at WFTR, Front Royal, Virginia and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.  He says, “iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina region. I am proud of our company’s commitment to growing our advertiser’s businesses and serving our communities.”

PPM Analysis: November’s Top-Ranked Stations. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a tip of the hat to the stations that finished first and second (6+) in their respective markets in Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey.  In this report, you’ll find charts detailing the performances of the top two stations in each market, as well as a look at the top performers arranged by format.  Spoiler alert – adult contemporary stations comprised 22% of the #1 stations in the PPM markets while classic hits accounted for 22.9% of the #2-ranked stations. See the full report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally-syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KLIF-AM, Dallas, beginning in the New Year.  KLIF-AM and WBAP program director Kevin Graham says, “We’re thrilled to bring Dana to 570 KLIF.  Dallas-Fort Worth listeners are really going to connect with her honest opinions and authenticity.  And the fact she lives here in the Metroplex will also allow our listeners to easily relate to her.”  “The Dana Show” is syndicated nationally via Radio America…..Premiere Networkssyndicated Buck Sexton show begins airing on WCBM, Baltimore in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart, effective January 1.  The show will be followed by the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin program in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The station currently airs Michael Savage in evenings and he departs the station after 16 years as his three-hour show is re-configured into a one-hour live show and a one-hour podcast. WCBM program director Sean Casey adds, “This is the next chapter in our endless pursuit to bring the most powerful names in talk to Baltimore.  We’re really pumped to add Buck, an up-and-coming star and to have Levin, a Hall of Famer anchor our evenings!  I’d like to thank Michael Savage for a great run and continued success in his new venture.”…..The unique town of Tangier Island, Virginia – population 460 and shrinking – is the subject of a five-part podcast series from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington titled, “Going Under: The Story of Tangier Island.”  The series, hosted by WTOP’s Michelle Basch, takes an in-depth look at the “quirky, isolated place located smack dab in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay” that is gradually vanishing and could be uninhabitable in 25 years…..First Media Services closes on its purchase of two AMs and four FMs in the Bluefield, West Virginia market from Alpha Media for $1.8 million.  The stations are: news/talk WHIS-AM, hip hop WKEZ-AM, hot AC WHAJ-FM, country WHQX-FM, country WHKX-FM, and classic rock WKOY-FM.  First Media managing partner Bob Spencer says, “We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, and David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company.  In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region.  Many, of whom, have worked there for over two and even three decades.  It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias.” Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..WNIC, Detroit morning personality Jay Towers and Capedwonder.com founder Jim Bowers are co-hosting a podcast series dedicated to all things Superman in “The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.”  In the third podcast of the series, the hosts released never-before-heard audio of iconic Superman actor Christopher Reeve.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall-Government Shutdown, the Trumps vs the Media, ObamaCare Ruling, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Concerns, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s threat to allow the federal government to shut down if congress doesn’t fund the Mexico border wall; President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s complaints about the media’s treatment of them; a federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional; Friday’s Dow drops 400 points and talk about a recession in 2019; the new Aquaman film; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Jay Cruze joins the morning show at Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver alongside current morning host Jenny D.  Program director Jim Lawson says, “Jay’s experience, energy, and authentic personality is exactly what we were looking for to create compelling content in the morning.  Jay has been on our part-time staff and has been a tremendous asset.  He’s a natural fit.”…..An apparent abundance of programmers in the Entercom Philadelphia cluster has forced the company’s hand and longtime hot AC WBEB “B101” PD Chuck Knight exits the station.  Entercom acquired the station from Jerry Lee Radio back in September…..KDGS-FM, Wichita APD, music director, and afternoon host “Rolls” Royce Stevenson re-ups with Entercom to continue his work at the rhythmic CHR outlet.

Friday, December 14, 2018

| December 14, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth.  Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million.  The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local.  We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8.  The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us.  ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.”  Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions.  She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.”  Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11).  More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa.  Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet.  I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give.  Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary.  Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective.  It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz.  Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC.  Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government.  It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard.  The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution.  Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC.  Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background.  He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill.  Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada.  His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The Guardian.  In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17).  Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.”  She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years.  About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again.  Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way.  Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger.  However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years.  Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show.  The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)

Friday, December 7, 2018

| December 7, 2018

Sean Hannity Tops Mediaite ‘Influential’ List. Consumer publication Mediaite unveils its 2018 list of the most influential figures in news media, and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity is #1 this year.  Mediate says of Hannity: “There are many figures in media and on the air at FOX News that form what certain critics refer to as President Donald Trump’s ‘shadow cabinet.’  Only one of them has phone calls with the president on a truly regular basis.  When Sean Hannity isn’t chatting with the leader of the free world over the phone – they talk policy, media, ratings, and gossip – he’s speaking to him through his FOX News primetime show.  Did we mention Hannity is the highest-rated cable news show in the United States?  It has been for two years running.  And not by any small measure.  Hannity regularly notches a whopping three million viewers a night and sometimes breaks four.  His three-hour radio show garners millions of listeners too, making Hannity a veritable media empire in and of himself.  He has no shortage of critics who argue that his sort of advocacy doesn’t belong on a news network, but despite that Hannity has emerged as the king of cable news — after playing the long game over two decades at FOX.  Pair that with a direct line to the White House, and there’s simply no one more influential.”  The list – composed of 75 media figures including talk hosts, news anchors, comedians, executives, reporters and more – includes two other personalities doing radio work.  Laura Ingraham, who is transitioning her talk radio show to a podcast in the New Year, is ranked #36, and Westwood One-syndicated radio talk host Mark Levin is #67.

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Confirmation Hearing Postponed. That December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization is postponed to “a future date.”  We don’t know what date that is as it’s not been set.  According to a filing with Bankruptcy Court in Houston, iHeartMedia and Wilmington Savings Fund Society are agreeing to the extension. WSFS represents holders of two issues of senior notes and it appears they and iHM have more to hammer out before proceeding with the Confirmation Hearing.  In the meantime, as iHeart moves toward exiting Chapter 11 reorganization (sometime in early 2019, the company hopes) CEO Bob Pittman issues a company-wide pep talk memo reminding staffers they work for a company with a “unique position” in the media business.  Regarding the press the company’s bankruptcy proceeding is getting and the reports of companies like Liberty Media wanting a piece of iHM, Pittman says, consider it a “compliment” that there are those out there who want a piece of iHM’s equity.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk Radio. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  A comparison with the October survey indicates about half the sports talkers in PPM markets saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go up and the other half declined.  Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago saw the biggest decline as it was down 1.4 shares. The company’s WBZ-FM, Boston realized the highest gain of 0.8 shares.  Comparing November 2017 to this year, Entercom’s WVEI-FM, Providence was the big winner, up 2.2 shares to a 5.4 share, while Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh dropped 2.8 shares year-over-year.  WFAN is tops in Long Island as the Entercom sports talker ranked #1 in November.  A big month in sports talk in Boston saw WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” rank #2 with a 6.1 share and crosstown competitor WEEI rank #3 with a 5.7 share.  See the entire report here.

Michael Berry Show Adds Digital Director. The nationally syndicated Michael Berry show announces it adds Josh Benoit to the staff as digital director.  Berry’s KTRH, Houston-based talk show is currently heard in almost 20 markets. Berry states, “I’m adding critical skills to my team so that the Michael Berry show is equipped for the next few years of exciting growth and expansion. I want our on-air content to continue to engage and entertain and I want to use the tools of technology to take that content and share it in more places.  Josh is the perfect talent to do that.  His relationships within the industry, as well as his focus on quality daily content, will prepare for us for an exciting future.” Benoit, who works on air as Josh Reno, will continue his weekend roles with alternative KTBZ, Houston and classic rock KYRV, Sacramento.  The Michael Berry show features executive producer Chad Nakanishi, the “King of Ding” Ramon Robles, “Producer KennyWebster, research director Sandra Peterson, “and a cast of characters and frequent callers.”

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One Charity Assists Lincoln Presidential Library. Upon learning that one-of-a-kind Abraham Lincoln artifacts were in danger of being sold to pay off debt, Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charity launched the “5 4 Lincoln” campaign that raised $50,869. A collection of documents and artifacts, owned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and housed at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is not paid off and the foundation still owes $9.2 million.  If the foundation can’t make the payments, artifacts will have to be sold to raise the money.  Beck says, “When I heard about the museum and the help they needed last summer, we started a ‘5 4 Lincoln’ fundraiser.  Thousands of my listeners have signed up to donate $5 a month to help grow the library and preserve these treasures.  I wish we could do it all, but we are excited to play any role in helping.  Join us at 54Lincoln.com. We are committed through the long haul.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles news/talk KFI is presenting the eighth annual “KFI PastaThon,” an on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need all day today (12/7) at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Proceeds will benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that helps feed, house and educate children in need in the Orange County.  During the 17-hour live broadcast, all of KFI’s on-air personalities – Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. – are on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed local children in need.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “This is an entire station and community effort.  Not only does ‘KFI PastaThon’ help feed children in need but it also aims to end the cycle of poverty.  We are grateful for our incredibly giving listeners.”  Since 2010, KFI has raised more than $1.8 million and 340,000 pounds of pasta and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club…..CBS-TV’s “The Talk” is replacing Julie Chen – wife of embattled, former CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves – with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba.  Chen left the show as the allegations of sexual impropriety against Moonves began to heat up…..Westwood One News is producing a series of 20 year-in-review reports – one-minute vignettes showcasing the year’s biggest stories.  Westwood One News is also providing to affiliate stations two long-form, year-in-review programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano, and “The Year in Review – People and Entertainment,” hosted by correspondent John Trout.  These programs will replace “The Week in Review” and “America This Week,” respectively, the weekends of December 22 and 23 and December 29 and 30, 2018.

Death of George H.W. Bush Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 3-7. The passing of former President George H. W. Bush was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Jim Bohannon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the longest-running and most highly regarded talk show hosts in radio, Jim Bohannon, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bohannon broadcasts via Westwood One to hundreds of stations every weekday evening between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am ET. He has been a professional radio personality for 58 years and is still going strong. Along the way, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a nomination for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Radio Award for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year. He was named by TALKERS as the 2013 recipient of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being a perennial member of the publication’s “Heavy Hundred” – the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. He is also an inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Known for his even-handed approach to the issues and big, friendly personality, Bohannon is an extremely likeable figure, popular with his radio colleagues and listeners alike. He and Harrison engage in an informal discussion about the major issues and interests facing America during the Age of Trump from divisive political polarity and political correctness to the state of the First Amendment and celebrity gossip. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Philadelphia CHR WTDY welcomes new morning drive show “Coop and Casey” to the air.  Sean “Coop” Tabler (left) and Casey Reed (right) take on morning show duties as the station recently transitioned from country to CHR.  Reed comes to WTDY from crosstown CHR WIOQ.  Tabler was most recently morning host at country WGH, Norfolk, Virginia. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We are so excited to bring Coop to Philly and to welcome Casey back to the 96.5 TDY family.  Together, their focus on all things Philadelphia, along with their infectious energy is just what WTDY’s listeners are looking for in the morning.”…..At iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa “Mix 100.7,” Laura Diaz is leading the new “Mix Morning Show with Laura Diaz,” starting January 3.  She joins “Mix 100.7” from iHeartMedia Orlando’s CHR WXXL “XL106.7,” where she co-hosted “Johnny’s House” with Johnny Magic for the past seven years.  She says, “My great-grandparents emigrated from Spain to Tampa in search of the American Dream.  To think that 103 years later I have the opportunity to be the female lead on a morning show and continue the dream is overwhelming!  I’m grateful and humbled to be able to join a community-focused station like ‘Mix 100.7’ and to continue doing what I love with iHeartMedia.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WYGY, Cincinnati “97.3 The Wolf,” air staffers Ernie Brown, Pete Miller, and Jimmy Salzurulo exit as the station appears to be going jockless.  That report comes from WVXU’s John Kiesewetter who also talks with Brown about his career in Cincinnati radio…..Beasley Media Group parts ways with adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa “B98.7” morning team Chadd & Kristi after almost two years.  The station is in Christmas mode and rumors in the market are that a format change may be in store for WPBB…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend rock show “Chop Shop Guitar Show” is celebrating the production of the 800th consecutive program.  On this weekend’s program, host Steve Black is joined by Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitar maestro Al Pitrelli…..Superadio Networks and CTC Productions announce an affiliation and sales partnership agreement to syndicate “Explicitly Old School with T-Boz,” a daily radio show hosted by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from the legendary super group TLC.  The one-hour, daily show is designed to air on rhythmic, urban, urban AC and throwback stations and features hip hop and R&B artists such as Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, and more.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

| December 4, 2018

Armstrong & Getty Launch in National Syndication. KSTE, Sacramento-based morning program Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – is rolling out into national syndication.  The program is currently heard on 15 stations in the Western U.S., including KGO, San Francisco; KFMB-AM, San Diego; KEX, Portland; KKAT, Salt Lake City; KHHO, Seattle; and more.  But that’s going to change as the program goes fully national.  Craig Whetstine is handling affiliation relations for Armstrong & Getty Media and reports that the show is fed live on XDS from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET.  He adds, it would be “a great alternative for stations looking to replace Laura Ingraham with another live show in that daypart.”  Whetstine can be reached at 503-975-6153 or emailed at craig@armstrongandgetty.com.  Check out this video of a “behind-the-scenes” tour with Armstrong & Getty.

Report: Liberty Media Seeking Up to 35% of Reorganized iHeartMedia.  According to a story in the New York Post, John Malone-led Liberty Media is talking with iHeartMedia’s creditors to acquire approximately a 35% ownership in the post-Chapter 11 iHeartMedia.  The piece suggests that “gaining control of iHeart would give Liberty a music four-pack, as it already owns 71 percent of publicly listed SiriusXM Radio. Sirius in September agreed to buy streaming service Pandora Media. Liberty also owns 33 percent of listed Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster.”  The story goes on to note that post-Chapter 11, “creditors Pimco and Franklin Resources will own about 25 percent of the business, while Liberty, which owns $660 million of iHeart debt, will end up with between 4 percent and 5 percent of iHeart post-bankruptcy.  Liberty in June unsuccessfully tried to buy 40 percent of iHeart at a $2.9 billion valuation…Liberty is expected to want only a minority iHeart stake so it does not have to consolidate financials and hurt Liberty’s trading multiple.”

News Anchor Judy Pielach Takes WGN-AM Buyout. According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WGN afternoon news anchor Judy Pielach is taking the buyout being offered by Tribune Media.  Her last day handling the news on the afternoon show with Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes will be December 21.  She’s been with the station for 32 years.  Also taking the buyout are engineers Aubrey Mumpower and Ben Cortez.  The future ownership of WGN-AM is up in the air as television operator Nexstar has successfully bid to acquire Tribune Media and, should the deal make it through the regulatory process, most media watchers believe Nexstar would sell the lone radio outlet.  Potential suitors include iHeartMedia, Entercom, and Hubbard since all three companies have space under the ownership caps in Chicago.

Chris X Joins KSEV, Houston for Afternoon Show. Houston talk station KSEV names Chris X host of the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  The station is owned by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who introduces him as “a strong conservative and the new generation of conservative talk.”  Chris X says, “I couldn’t be happier to be part of ‘The Voice of Texas.’ Houston is my hometown and I’ve been listening to this station for the last 30 years.  There is plenty of anger and division out there, but I prefer to embrace this sociological environment with a little humor and lot of common sense, which has been lacking in today’s political discourse.”

Westwood One to Rep Fox News Radio Programming. Beginning on December 31, Westwood One will begin representing ad sales for FOX News Radio’s long-form talk programming.  As such, Westwood One will be the exclusive seller for FNR’s Brian Kilmeade, Todd Starnes, and Tom Shillue programs as well as the weekday and weekend editions of Benson & Harff,” the weekend “I’ll Tell You What with Perino & Stirewalt,” “FOX News Sunday,” and “From Washington” shows. WWO president Suzanne Grimes states, “Westwood One is known for unique, exclusive, premium content partnerships with iconic brands, and FOX News Radio is a terrific addition to our portfolio.  We’re excited to bring this impressive talk lineup to blue-chip advertisers on our radio, podcast, and streaming channels.”

TALKERS News Notes. This week, FOX News Radio is covering the passing of former President George H. W. Bush and the memorial services with live reports for all radio affiliates through Thursday, December 6.  Gurnal Scott, Jared Halpern, Jon Decker, Jeff Monosso and Tonya J. Powers are leading the coverage.  Additionally, FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide updates every 15 minutes on SiriusXM…..Chicago urban talk outlet WVON is presenting a five-part radio docu-series reporting on “the declining Black population in what was once considered America’s Black Mecca.”  The program is titled, “Exodus: Movement of the People,” and will chronicle the two migrations that occurred in the past century; the first that made Chicago home to more than 1.2 million Blacks and the series of occurrences which has caused the decline of nearly 300,000 of its residents.  WVON reporter and special assignment producer Josh McGhee wrote and produced the five-part series that includes exclusive interviews from a number of long-time residents, historians, demographers, and urban planners.  It will air Monday through Friday at 7:50 am, 11:50 am, 4:50 pm and 7:50 pm on WVON from December 9 – December 13, and can also be accessed live on the iHeartRadio…..NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn announces he will transition into the role of president emeritus of the media organization when his contract runs out at the end of June, 2019.  In a memo to NPR staff, Mohn also announced that he and wife Pam are donating $10 million to the organization to demonstrate their commitment to helping it “achieve long-term financial stability, particularly at a time when journalism is under economic and political pressures.”   The NPR board of directors are beginning a search for the company’s next chief…..Glamour and iHeartMedia are premiering the first episode of “Broken Harts,” Conde Nast’s first investigative podcast in collaboration with HowStuffWorks.  The series features director Justine Harman and books editor Elisabeth Egan joining field reporter Lauren Smiley to explore the case of Jennifer Hart, her wife Sarah their six adopted children who all died after Jennifer Hart drove off a cliff in California, killing all eight of them.  Also, from iHeartMedia on the iHeartRadio platform is “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” The audio series will launch on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network in early 2019, co-produced by Funny Or Die.  The first of 24 episodes will launch in the first quarter of 2019.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Year-End Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has launched its annual year-end appeal for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  The year-end drive asks broadcasters to reflect on their success and good fortune and give back with a tax-deductible personal or corporate donation that will help the Broadcasters Foundation continue its mission of delivering financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only charitable organization devoted exclusively to broadcasting professionals.  The year-end giving campaign comes as more broadcasters than ever before are reaching out for monthly or emergency relief. This year, the Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid, surpassing last year’s record-setting figure of more than $1 million.  Close to $300,000 of this year’s total is for the emergency assistance that is disbursed quickly to broadcasters whose lives or homes have been affected by the unprecedented number and severity of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Maria, Florence, and Michael and the wildfires in California.  Monthly aid is distributed to qualifying broadcasters who have been confronted with unexpected medical emergencies, including life-threatening critical illnesses and devastating tragic accidents.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Our lives can change in the blink of an eye.  In its 70-plus years of existence, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided financial aid to every broadcaster who qualified. It is only through the generosity of the people in our industry that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to deliver this much-needed assistance to those in our profession who need it most.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, the Passing of George H.W. Bush, Migrants at U.S. Border, Government Shutdown Threat, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Brexit Process, Paris Protests, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/3). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the death of former President George H. W. Bush; the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border where migrants seeking entry into the U.S. have amassed; the threat of a government shutdown over border wall funding; the tensions over the military incursion into Ukraine by Russia; the status of Britain’s exit from the European Union; the rollback of the gas tax in France after violent protests in Paris; the NCAA’s College Football Playoff selections; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio personality Brian “Sludge” Haddad is returning to Chicago from Philadelphia where he’s been creative director at Entercom’s sports talk WIP to host the morning show on alternative WKQX.  Haddad and co-host Ali Mattacola and executive producer Justin NettlebeckBrian Phillips has been hosting the morning show for past year and will transition to a part-time role with the station…..Former country WMIL, Milwaukee and country WKTI, Milwaukee personality Karen Dalessandro joins Saga Communications’ rock WKLH, Milwaukee for fill-in work.  She was most recently with WKTI before the station flipped to sports talk as Good Karma Brands assumed operations…..Programming pro Brad Hansen, most recently with country KRST, Albuquerque, is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Northern Colorado cluster that includes country KUAD and four other music formatted stations.

November 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. November 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin Spoken-Word Formats – A November gain of four-tenths to 4.5 (6+) by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM erases its combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” progresses from ninth to eighth. This (4.5) is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in October (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX continues at #16. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. The 2.5 in November (and September) is its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). Albeit flat at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+).

This is the third straight month at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT (8.6 – 8.5, -.1, 6+), which had been a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – After dropping three-tenths in October, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX erases it with an increase twice that margin (2.1 – 2.7, +.6, #18 to #15, 6+). Just before October’s -.3, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” is a cumulative +1.0 in three straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3, 6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned KLBJ-FM is a collective -1.3 in three straight sweeps without an increase; “93.7 The Rock of Austin” departs the top ten (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, #10 to #11, 6+). The last three sweeps have found Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); and now -.5 in November (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), but “Majic 95.5” continues at #3. Its 6.7 in August and October is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. Level at #20, urban AC KKMJ-HD3 hasn’t had a decrease since February and is up three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Off by one-half share in addition to KKMJ  is KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, the iHeartMedia-owned country outlet was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Moving from fifth to fourth is co-owned and similarly-programmed KASE (5.3 – 5.4, +.1, 6+), which has been within 5.1 – 5.7 range (6+) in each of the last 10 ten survey periods. “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and a combined +.6 in August and September. Up two-tenths (1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). With a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), KOKE-FM erased three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK dips from fifth to sixth. In September and October, “106.1 Stay Connected” was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). A July increase of four-tenths halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by two-tenths in November to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders two-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

Over the last five survey periods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); unchanged at second; and now in November, second to third (8.3 – 7.4, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Powered by a +1.8 to 7.1 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” zooms from eighth to fourth. The massive November increase obliterates its collective -1.7 in September and October (7.0 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Earlier this calendar year, “Mix” was an overall +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements; -1.3 (July); +.6 (August); and a collective -1.7 in September and October. Roaring back from October’s loss of two-tenths with a November uptick of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the third straight month with its strongest 6+-stat (10.3) since January’s 10.7. While it notches a gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.3, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” remains at #12. It is a bit over two-shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Prior to posting a one-half share increase in October, “G-105” was a combined -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Just after adding one-tenth in October, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” erodes by -1.7 (8.0 – 6.3, 6+), segueing from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.0. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR halted three straight downward moves that led to a collective -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” – is an overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #12 to #14, 6+). A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – By tacking on seven-tenths to a full-share October increase, Emmis news/talk WIBC – which was off seven-tenths in September – progresses from fifth to third.

Just as they were in October, WIBC sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” are tied at #16. Both are up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+). WFNI improved by six-tenths in September, while WNDE notched a one-half share gain in October.

Off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases that deficit with a one-half share increase to 4.6 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Despite being off one-tenth to 9.9 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK is #1 for the fifth month in a row. The loss, however, does pull the plug on five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Within 4.3 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps (4.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by one full-share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12, 6+). While the FM signal of Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” falters by one-half share (#13 to #12, tied with WKLU) and continues a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3      – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), its online “stream” debuts at .6 (#22, 6+). Five straight decreases by Radio One CHR WNOW for a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+) send “100.9 Radio Now” from #14 to #15. Dropping from third to fourth, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share shrinks one full-share as Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” sputters by seven-tenths (5.7 – 5.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” falters by three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, second, 6+). “Hank” improved by six-tenths in October after September’s -1.5. On top in April, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); and +.9 (October).

Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats – While it relinquishes 40% of October’s massive +2.5 (10.4 – 9.4, -1.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ repeats at #1. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is the key station of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers. Adding nine-tenths to October’s +.4 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN vaults from ninth to fifth. In advance of October, “News/Talk 1130” was a combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

The market’s sports talk scene has become more crowded as – approximately three-quarters through the November sweep – Good Karma Brands shifted country WKTI (3.4 – 2.3, -1.1, #12 to #15, 6+) to “94.5 ESPN.”   In addition, co-owned, Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee” debuts with a .5 (#20, 6+). It is tied there with iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920,” which has quintupled its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” drops four-tenths to 1.5 (#16 to #17, 6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Flat at #12, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM follows October’s gain of seven-tenths with a +.2 (3.4 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – November 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 (flat at #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – As of November 1, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is without a direct format competitor as Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” has transitioned to sports (see above). Already making the most of the situation, WMIL is a collective +2.2 in three positive spikes in succession, including November’s +1.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, fourth to third, 6+). WKTI finishes its country tenure with an overall -2.1 in six straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). After an astonishing 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” was knocked out of the top spot in October by Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ. WRIT trailed WTMJ by 2.5 shares in October but, with a gain of eight-tenths (7.9 – 8.7, steady at #2) and WTMJ dropping one full-share, “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” narrows the lead to seven-tenths. Notwithstanding that is an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in succession (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” manages to improve from #14 to #13. Flat at #6, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is off one-half share in three successive modest downturns (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), while co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” more than doubles (+.9) its 6+-share with its third straight gain (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7, #17 to #16, 6+).

Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – Once again, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” – which departs the top ten – logs a month-to-month fluctuation of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, -.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Dating back to March, it has – in that stretch – been 3.5 – 3.7; 3.7 – 3.5; 3.5 – 3.3; 3.3 – 3.5; and 3.8 – 4.0 (6+).

The May 2017 – November 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#20 to #19) indicates a (6+) high of 1.4 and (6+) low of .8: 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.2.

Having more than doubled (+3.3) its 6+-share in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” surrenders nine-tenths in November to 5.4 (fifth to seventh). October’s 6.3 was the highest 6+-share for the Tennessee Titans’ flagship since January’s 6.5. Steady at #18, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is a collective +1.0 via three consecutive improvements (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), wiping out roughly half of its -1.9 in four straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Owing to three setbacks in succession, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Transforming October’s loss of seven-tenths into a November gain of nine-tenths (8.1 – 9.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” sets the pace for the 10th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations this calendar year are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); and now +.9 (November). As a result of four upticks in a row (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.0. This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since 6.6 in March. A loss of one-half share to 2.6 (#14 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” suspends five consecutive sweeps without a loss that generated an overall increase of eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). In three straight downturns, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.3 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5, third to fourth, 6+). August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), since January (7.8, as well). In the market’s three-way country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (-1.0 in September) logs an improvement of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, sixth to third, 6+), while co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” posts its third increase in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, stable at #10, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which had been +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), falters by one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Providence Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight increases (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from eighth to seventh. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). A combined +.6 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is steady at #12. This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it picked up in October (.5 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” continues at #21. In five straight Providence sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is up three-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1, #16 to #17, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net gain of two full-shares (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI inches up from seventh to sixth. Before dropping six-tenths in July, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

After logging a +.4 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH surrenders six-tenths of that combined +.8 in November (2.0, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth. In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). It is tied at #10 with WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH, which follows October’s one-half share gain with a loss of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+). In September, WGBH returned the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – Having lost a combined eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” bounces back with a gain of one-half share to 2.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Stable at 9.4 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. June’s 10.3 is its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting 90% of its combined September and October +1.0 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” slips to 4.6 (-.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Off by one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (8.7 – 8.2, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (6.9 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+). Ironically, both “Cat Country” and “B-101” were up one-half share in October. Prior to October’s +.5, WWBB was a  combined -1.7 in August and September.

Norfolk – With a one-half share increase (1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WNOH has its best 6+-stat (1.7) since April’s 1.8 as “Alt 105.3” breaks into the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly tripling (+1.2) its 6+-share in four upticks in succession (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to this particular run, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Although it is without an increase for the third sweep in a row for a -2.4 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 24th straight time and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 32nd time in the last 33 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Following five consecutive months in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI falls to fourth, as “103 Jamz” is a combined -2.0 in October and November (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.2, 6+). Its erosion of -1.2 in October curtailed five consecutive up or flat moves that yielded an overall gain of nine-tenths (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+). In four consecutive (albeit slight) decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE is off a combined six-tenths and segues from fourth to fifth; “101.3 2WD” was +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks,” which was an overall -2.5 via four straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+); roared back with a +1.1 in October; and is now -.6 (6.9 – 6.3, 6+) but carries on at #3. Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” falters by one-half share to 2.9, its lowest 6+-stat since April (2.9, as well). There are two new Norfolk entries this month, the online “stream” of Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music,” which debuts with a .4 (#14, 6+) and the online “stream” of co-owned urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” popping on with a .1 (#15, 6+).

Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – By adding four-tenths to October’s +.3 (3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” climbs from tenth to ninth; WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Flat at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” hands over half of October’s +.2 (.4 – .3, -.1, 6+). Going into the October sweep, WSJS lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share as a result of six straight down or flat moves (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+).

One streak continues for Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD and another one ends. It’s the sixth consecutive time that “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13, but after four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD falters by one-half share to 1.9 (6+). Its +.1 in August concluded at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the May through November topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (unchanged at #15) is: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding one full-share (10.4 – 11.4, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” finishes at #1 for the 11th straight sweep and 24th straight time that it is in double-digits (6+). October’s +.2 pulled the plug on five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). After being off a combined nine-tenths in three straight declines (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” picks up two-tenths to 9.3 (6+) and stays in the runner-up slot for the 11th straight sweep. A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Having occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps, WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” bumps up to #11. The iHeartMedia CHR was +.5 in September (2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 in October (3.4 – 2.8, 6+); and now +.9 in November (2.8 – 3.7, 6+). Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Remaining at #3 with its highest 6+-showing (8.5) since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary sibling WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is up or flat for the third straight month for a collective +1.7 (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). In the market’s always competitive country battle, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gains three-tenths (6.4 – 6.7, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” falters by four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, 6+). The two rivals remain at #5 and #7, respectively. “Q-104.1” was a combined -.8 in October and September; “The Wolf” was up one-half share in October.

West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats – Answering October’s loss of four-tenths with a November increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” progresses from #12 to #11. October’s -.4 ended at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Conversely, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” drops one-tenth to 2.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). This is the third straight month at 1.8 (6+) for co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which slips from #13 to #14; WZZR gained one-half share in August. In addition to erasing the four-tenths it gained through three straight increases (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Miami news/talk sibling WIOD departs the top twenty (.9, #18 to #22, 6+).

Three straight improvements by WLRN resulted in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), but the Dade County School Board news/talk station forfeits 60% of that increase (3.3, -.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Tacking on one-half share to October’s robust +1.1 and advancing from sixth to fifth is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF (3.9 – 4.4, 6+). “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” was down one-half share in September but now has its best 6+-share (4.4) since January’s 5.3. Stable at #10, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” is +1.3 through five positive spikes in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Its similarly-formatted Miami sibling, WZTU “94.9 Donde Viven Tus Hits,” debuts at #22 in West Palm Beach with a .8 (6+). Having posted an overall +1.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF relinquishes all of that increase and one-tenth more to 8.9 (6+). The -1.8 represents the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here. Even so, “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 for the 11th survey period in a row. Its 10.7 in October was the highest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2017’s 11.2. The market’s two mainstream adult contemporary outlets continue to remain close together as iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” adds two-tenths to October’s +.1 (5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but drops from a second-place tie to third, while Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” improves by four-tenths (4.6 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4. Prior to October’s increase, “Kool” was an overall -1.2 via three straight decreases (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). “Sunny” was up four-tenths in August and September, but then down six-tenths in October.

Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last five survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has been -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); and now +.6 in November to 11.2, its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. The station’s “old” record of 10.6 (6+) was set … this time last month. Moreover, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

Having logged a .5 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” improves three-tenths to .8 (#20 to #18, 6+).

As a result of three consecutive downward moves (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT is a combined -1.2 and remains at #13.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Within 4.2 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL records a gain of eight-tenths to 5.2, its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in March; “V-101.5” carries on at #8. Not only is Cox Media Group CHR WAPE an overall +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+), “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its strongest 6+-share (7.0) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, WAPE sibling WEZI remains on a roll: “Easy 102.9” is an overall +1.9 through four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Simultaneously, Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). August’s 10.6 was the best 6+-showing for WEJZ, which was #1 in June, July, August and September, since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. WEZI and WEJZ remain at #7 and #3, respectively. After debuting in October with a 1.1, Delmarva Educational Association contemporary Christian WCRJ “The Joy FM” adds one-half share to 1.6 (#17 to #16, 6+). Following six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE notches a +.4 to 4.1 (6+) as “Gator Country 99.9” repeats at #9. Despite a loss of seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row.

Memphis Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining the three-tenths it lost in October (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” remains in tenth-place. July’s +.2 to 3.1 (6+) interrupted five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+).

Off six-tenths in July, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has followed with four straight gains for an overall +.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s top three stations are all in double-digits (6+). Boasting the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 upswing by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (8.8 – 10.7, +1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO advances from third to second. Moreover, this (10.7) is the highest 6+-share for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Anchored at #5, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is up one full-share in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Having logged six downward moves in succession for an overall -2.7 (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and remains at #4. A gain of three-tenths to 4.7 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -2.4 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the July sweep, the Entercom hot AC was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Basically stabilizing after October’s massive +2.4, its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRVR “104.5 The River,” is off one-tenth (11.0 – 10.9, 6+), repeating at #1. October’s 11.0 is its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (steady at #14) – is an overall +.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). When co-owned WGKX lost two-tenths in September, it suspended three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” however, falters by one-half share in back-to-back (October and November) sweeps (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), segueing from #7 to #9.

Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of October’s +.8, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is off two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+0 but continues in fifth-place. Going into the October sweep, “News Talk 1080” notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” has an ultra-consistent topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+) and remains at #14.

Despite faltering by four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” advances from #13 – #12.

A combined +1.1 in three positive spikes in a row (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” progresses from ninth to eighth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at 14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – While unchanged at #11, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 displays an increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+). In addition to being an overall +1.4 via three straight improvements (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” marches from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Up four-tenths to 6.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down eight-tenths (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRCH “Lite 100.5,” is #1 for the 28th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th time in the last 27 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which stymied four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKSS (7.9 – 7.1, 6+), which slides from second to fourth with its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.9. As a result of three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is an overall -1.3 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Monday, December 3, 2018

| December 3, 2018

Glenn Beck and Mark Levin Merge TheBlaze and CRTV into Blaze Media. Multiplatform media organizations TheBlaze and CRTV are merging into one company called, Blaze Media.  According to the press release, “The new company will have a monthly multiplatform reach of over 165 million and will be the largest independent, traditionally conservative multiplatform media company in the United States.”  The company will be led by co-presidents Tyler Cardon, formerly president of TheBlaze, and Gaston Mooney, formerly the president of CRTV.  Effective immediately, subscribers to CRTV and TheBlaze Premium will have access to the digital streaming content of both CRTV and TheBlaze, including over 30 original shows.  Blaze Media’s television lineup includes conservative programming, including, “The Glenn Beck Program,” “LevinTV,” “Louder with Crowder,” “The News and Why it Matters,” and “America,” hosted by Eric Bolling.  The new company says the merger will also allow Blaze Media to expand its lineup of linear programming in 2019 to reach its cable and satellite television audiences.  Mark Levin comments, “Tens of millions of Americans have had it with the biased, ideologically driven mainstream media outlets that sanctimoniously advance their own agendas under the guise of ‘news’ and ‘journalism.’  Conservatives actually believe in a free press and the rest of the Constitution.  This is why I started LevinTV, which grew into the CRTV digital network.  In order to further expand and offer the public an alternative to liberal media group-think, I’m very excited about the merger of TheBlaze and CRTV.  The timing is perfect.”

Phil Valentine to Wrap National Show; Focus on WTN-FM, Nashville Show. After 11 years in national syndication, Phil Valentine is ending his syndication effort via Westwood One, effective January 4, and will continue hosting his daily talk radio show at Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN.”   In a statement, Valentine says, “I want to thank all the affiliate stations and the Westwood One affiliate team for their support of ‘The Phil Valentine Show’ over the years.  It was a difficult decision for me to eliminate the syndicated show; however, after the recent success of my novel Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, I made the difficult decision to focus not only on my writing, but also the development of The Conservative’s Handbook into a podcast series complete with expert guests on each subject covered in the book.  I will remain the host of the popular Phil Valentine show in my hometown of Nashville, as heard on WWTN.”

Nexstar Media Group Agrees to Buy Tribune Media for $4.1 Billion; Fate of WGN-AM Unknkown. According to a report by Reuters, Nexstar Media Group Inc is offering Tribune Media $4.1 billion for its broadcast properties – 42 television stations, cable’s WGN America,  various digital properties, and lone radio asset WGN-AM, Chicago.  The story notes that Nexstar outbid private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC with its all-cash offer.  Unlike previous suitor Sinclair Broadcasting that owns three Seattle market radio stations, Nexstar Media holds no radio properties.  It is unclear at this time if Nexstar has any interest in operating a major market news/talk radio outlet or not.  Back in August, Tribune put the kibosh on the Sinclair deal after regulators referred to Sinclair’s previous divestments as a “sham” because the company still operated the stations in question.  The deal with Nexstar would make it the largest television operator in the country.  Expect the Justice Department to scrutinize this deal very closely.

iHeartMedia Reports Creditors ‘Overwhelmingly’ Support Fifth Re-Org Plan. Ahead of the December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization, the company issues a statement announcing that voting results for its Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization indicate that “every class of creditors entitled to vote has voted to approve the Plan.  More than 90% of the votes cast by creditors and shareholders who participated in the vote approved the Plan, demonstrating substantial support for, and far exceeding the votes necessary to confirm, the Plan.”  iHeartMedia calls this “a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the company’s funded debt obligations and positions iHeartMedia for continued growth and long-term success.  The Plan will reduce iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion—to $5.75 billion—and result in the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising businesses.”

iHeartMedia Net Revenue Soars in October.  As it has been doing since April, iHeartMedia is filing monthly financial data reports with the Securities Exchange Commission as it works through the Chapter 11 reorganization process.  The most recent filing for the month of October shows revenue was $349.4 million – the highest we’ve seen since April’s $417.9 figure.  But net income rockets to $100.2 million – an increase of more than 157% from September’s $11.9 million.  Operating income also rises, from $62.4 million to $104.8 million.  But those scrutinized payments to outside professionals (the one’s attending to the Chapter 11 business) spiked to the highest figure yet — $21 million.

Former KGO, San Francisco Host Ray Taliaferro Found Dead in Kentucky. The search for missing retired radio talk show host Ray Taliaferro ended tragically as his body was found in a wooded area in Paducah, Kentucky three weeks after he’d disappeared.  The story from KGO-TV, San Francisco states that authorities have released no details surrounding his disappearance and cause of death. Taliaferro – who hosted the overnight talk show on KGO-AM, San Francisco from 1977 through 2011 – was last seen talking with the manager of a Paducah pizza parlor before disappearing.  The initial public statement by local authorities indicated Taliaferro may have been suffering from symptoms of dementia.

Chad Benson Takes Over Afternoons on KXNT, Las Vegas. As TALKERS reported on November 19, longtime Las Vegas talk radio personality Alan Stock is exiting the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s KXNT-AM, Las Vegas. Now, the station confirms that Radio America-syndicated talk host Chad Benson will begin in the afternoon drive daypart today (12/3).  The KXNT website states, “If you’ve never listened to Chad’s show, we suggest you check it out – because he isn’t the talk host you’re used to!  He is conversational and informative, all while being irreverent and very funny.”  Meanwhile, Alan Stock begins producing “The Alan Stock Answer” – a daily feature that will air on KXNT at 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:30 pm every Monday through Friday.

TALKERS News Notes. The Salem Radio Network’s SRN News and TOWNHALL News announce they will provide live coverage of the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday (12/5) from the National Cathedral in Washington.  Coverage will be anchored by White House correspondent Greg Clugston.  Additionally, all SRN nationally syndicated talk shows hosted by Mike GallagherEric Metaxas, Hugh Hewitt and others will pay tribute to President George H. W. Bush beginning today (12/3).  SRN v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup says, “America has lost a great leader and a Godly family man.  I had the honor of personally interviewing George H.W. Bush in New Orleans the morning he was announcing Dan Quayle as his 1988 vice presidential running mate.  Even in that high-pressure moment, he was exceptionally generous with his time…exuding a grace and gentle strength that would define him for the rest of his days.”…..E.W. Scripps Company closes on its acquisition of Triton Digital for $150 million.  Scripps forecasts that the acquisition will generate more than $3 million in revenue.  President and CEO Adam Symson says, “The Triton acquisition aligns with the Scripps strategy of fueling company growth by being opportunistic in the marketplace and responsive to the changing needs of media consumers.”…..SiriusXM announces that former NBA pros Carlos Boozer, Caron ButlerRyan Hollins, and Kenyon Martin are joining the roster of hosts on its SiriusXM NBA Radio channel. They’ll join the rotation of hosts on the all-new afternoon program “No Look Pass,” airing weekdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

George H.W. Bush Dies, Trump at G20/Xi Jinping Meeting, Looming Government Shutdown, Migrant Caravan/Mexican Border Issue, Trump-Russia Investigation, Paris Riots, Qatar to Quit OPEC, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former President George H.W. Bush dies at age 94; President Trump’s appearance at the G20 summit in Argentina and his meeting to China’s Xi Jinping to temper the tariff battle between the two countries; the threat of a government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall funding issue; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S. immigration policy; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Michael Cohen’s plea deal; Qatar announces it will quit OPEC in the New Year; the NCAA names the four teams for this year’s College Football Playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederiHeartMedia promotes weekend personality Lisa Dent to midday host on country WEBG, Chicago “Big 95.5.”  She takes over for Amber “Alabama” Cole, who left the station for personal reasons. Dent previously served with Entercom’s crosstown country outlet WUSN “US99” as both a midday personality and co-host of the morning show with Ramblin’ Ray Stevens…..The changes at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis are not too drastic as the country format stays in place and the station is re-imaged as “102.9 The Wolf.”  SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke states, “‘102.9 The Wolf’ will be the Twin Cities’ station for the biggest country hits from then and now.  From today’s leading artists to all-time essential country favorites, every song beats the pulse of Nashville all day, every day.  We’re excited for our fans – ‘The Wolfpack’ – and clients to continue on this journey with us as we create a close-knit community of fans.”  On-air pro Greg Thunder joins the station as host of “The Wolf Wake Up Crew.”  Current morning show anchor Paul “PT” Thomas expands his role to also host the “Home Town Country Sunday Night” program…..In Rochester, Entercom names Whitney Young the new morning drive co-host alongside Corey James at CHR WPXY.  Young joined the station in 2017 as midday host, then became part of the morning show on an interim basis in May…..Dick Broadcasting names Mica Cadena, a.k.a. LA Rock program director, eliminating the “acting” from her title.  Company vice president Jason Goodman says, “It was an obvious decision to promote Mica to PD of WXQR as she was doing the role already.  WXQR has been on the air for 40 years and recently Mica has led WXQR to its highest ratings ever.”

November 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. November 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7.  See all the 6+ date from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

Portland Spoken Word Formats – Consistently in 5.0 – 5.3 range from July through November (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” repeats at #4, following four successive months (June – September) at #5. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is unchanged from October in both 6+-share (2.2) and 6+-market rank (#18), with 2.2 its best 6+-showing in more than two years (2.2, as well, in August 2016). Flat at #23, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is up a collective three-tenths in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+).

After returning the six-tenths it gained in September (1.7 – 2.3 – 1.7, August-September-October, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” sputters by another four-tenths in November to 1.3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21, 6+). Portland’s “Fan” was a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+); however, just prior to August, it posted six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). Right behind KFXX is Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” (-.2, flat at #22, 6+), which is trending (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2, July through November, 6+). Meanwhile, the flagship of the Portland Trailblazers – iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Rip City Sports Radio 620” – logs its third increase in a row (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, #28 to #25, 6+), which nearly doubles (+.3) its 6+-share since August.

Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.1 (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat (9.2) since March (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January to August (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October).

Portland Music Formats – Locked on 4.0 (6+) in September and October, Alpha Media CHR KBFF erupts with a +.9 to 4.9, its highest 6+-share in exactly two years (5.3, November 2016); “Live 95.5” advances from eighth to fifth. Owing to a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to five successive down or flat monthlies that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+). An overall -.9 in three straight decreases (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” improves by six-tenths as well (3.8 – 4.4, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Cluster-mate KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” posts a gain of six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and jumps from #14 to #12. Prior to October, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). As the result of its November improvement, KUPL bypasses Entercom’s similarly-formatted KWJJ, which is a cumulative -1.1 in five straight sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Despite more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-share in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Up four-tenths to 3.3 (#16 to #14, 6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” curtails four successive decreases that resulted in a combined -1.0 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). The seven-tenths increase that iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” posted in October is obliterated in November with a -.8 (7.6 – 6.8, flat at #3, 6+). Just prior to the October ratings period, “The Eagle” had been down or flat four straight months for a collective loss of four-tenths (7.3 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+). Four successive reports without a loss netted iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW a +1.6  (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), but “K-103” forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (flat at #2, 6+). October’s 8.8 was the best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9 for KKCW, which was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well in November is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” (3.2 – 2.6, #13 to #17, 6+). A collective -1.0 as a result of four decreases in a row (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON falls from fifth to sixth. Immediately prior to this streak, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+).

Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk outlet WBT add one-half share to October’s +.9 (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers enters the top ten (#12 to #10). This is WBT’s highest 6+-share since February (4.3, as well). Flat at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” more than doubles (+.7) its 6+ share via four straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+). This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Four downward trends in succession by University Radio Foundation news/talk station WFAE accounted for a combined -1.6 (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), but “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” picks up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), moving from #17 to #15. The July through November topline for South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is: .5 – .6 – .5 – .7 – .6 (flat at #20, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – In another ratings report full of tremendous news for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, “102.9 The Lake” nets an overall +3.0 as the result of seven straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+) and progresses from third to second. Additionally, this (7.1) is the strongest 6+-share for “The Lake” since December 2017’s 7.2. An increase of one-half share to 4.5 (6+) by Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” puts an end to its July – October sequence of 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 (6+); 4.5 represents its strongest 6+-share since 4.9 in March. Level at 7.5 (6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC is #1 for the third month in a row. A loss of two-tenths in October by “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), dips four-tenths to 6.7 (second to fourth, 6+). After being a combined +1.3 in September and October (2.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WHQC “Channel 96.1” surrenders nearly half that increase in November (3.4 -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Down by one-tenth in both September and October (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” posts a gain of three-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and ranks eighth for the sixth month in a row. In five straight decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is a collective -1.9 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Off one-half share in November as well is Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” (2.9, flat at #14, 6+), which had been a collective +.7 in September and October (2.7 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). While flat at #4, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is nonetheless -1.9 as the result of four straight negative moves (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+).  “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2.

San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Despite surrendering one-tenth to 4.4 (6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” improves from eighth to seventh. The loss, however, ends at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded one full-share (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) for the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship. October’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). The July 2018 – November 2018 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#21 to #22) is 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 (6+).

Without an increase for the third straight month (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” nonetheless advances from #29 to #28.

Anchored at #12, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX “Hear Yourself Think” nets one full-share as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – There’s a major development at the top of this Texas market’s November 2018 leaderboard as the  2.2-share (6+) advantage that Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” held in October over co-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” vanishes. The end result is that KONO-FM (8.3 – 6.9, -1.4, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past ten sweeps, trades places with “Y-100” (6.1 – 7.0, +.9, second to first, 6+). When KONO-FM sputtered by one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. As far as “Y-100” is concerned, September’s loss of eight-tenths curtailed three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, KCYY reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” levels off at 5.0 (fourth to sixth, 6+) after plummeting by -1.1 in October (6.1 – 5.0, 6+). A collective -1.3 in March and April, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Off by one-tenth in September and October (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Positive Hits” busts out a +.8 to 2.5 and enters the top twenty (#18), with its best 6+-stat (2.5) since May’s 2.4. Faltering by nine-tenths and one-half share, respectively, though are its contemporary Christian cluster-mates KZLV (3.4 – 2.5, #12 to #18, 6+) and KMLR (.8 – .3, #30, 6+), both of which use the “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” identity. A one-tenth gain to 3.0 (6+) in October by  KXXM interrupted five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). In November, the iHeartMedia CHR piles on another seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+) as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” zooms from #16 to #11. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall -1.6 (4.9 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” improves by six-tenths to 3.9 and jumps into the top ten (#14 to #10). By notching a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+), co-owned classic rock KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” elevates from fourth to third.  Completely erasing October’s six-tenths’ gain (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” tumbles from #10 to #14; October’s 3.8 was its best 6+-performance since February’s 4.0. While it remains at #7, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” has its consecutive string of up or flat moves that yielded an overall +1.0 stall at four (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is off one-tenth, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM manages to improve from ninth to eighth. The March through November high/low range for “News Radio 1020” is 4.6/4.0: (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+).

After picking up three-tenths in October, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths in November (6.4 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). “The Fan” was +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Unchanged at .2 (#23, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has notched either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 19 ratings periods.

A loss of two-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+) by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” ends three straight positive spikes that produced a cumulative +1.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Displaying its best 6+ showing since January (6.8, as well), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH is an overall +1.5 as the result of three upticks in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+). “Wish 99.7” progresses from fifth to fourth. Owing to three straight gains (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” is an overall +.9, as the flagship of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins inches up from eighth to seventh. Level at 9.5 (6+) after October’s loss of seven-tenths, classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 21st consecutive ratings period. Anchored in the runner-up slot for the 11th successive sweep, co-owned rocker WDVE posts its third bump in succession for a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+); WDVE was off eight-tenths in August. Led by Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country (4.8 – 4.4, -.4, seventh to ninth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (3.4 – 3.7 (+.3, steady at #11, 6+), four mainstream country facilities appear in the top twenty. The other members of that quartet are Forever Media siblings, both using the “Froggy” identity WOGG (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #16 to #14, 6+) and WOGI (.9 – 1.0, +.1, #20, 6+). Off one-half share to 7.0, its lowest 6+-showing since June (7.0, as well), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” carries on at #3. The January through November (6+) high/low range for “Bob” is 7.9/7.0.

Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #2, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” dips two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+) following October’s massive +1.4. Immediately prior to the October ratings period, KFBK hadn’t posted an increase in the eight previous reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is a collective +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and continues at #13.

Doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM carries on at #19. Just before this particular streak, “ESPN Radio 1320” lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). For the third sweep in succession, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has a fluctuation of one-tenth, 1.1 – 1.2, 1.2 – 1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 (6+) and is flat at #21.

As noted above, KFBK notched a huge (+1.4) October gain. It is the turn this time for news/talk KXJZ (+1.1, third to second). Moreover, the Capital Public Radio outlet is without a loss for the fourth straight time for an overall +1.9 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+) and KXJZ crosses the six-share threshold (6.4, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. This is the fifth occurrence in the last nine sweeps that Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has recorded a .6 (flat at #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI completely erases that deficit in October and November (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1, +.9, 6+) as “New Country 105.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, steady at #14, 6+), while the market’s other country outlet, Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf,” is flat at 2.0 (#16 to #17, 6+). By gaining six-tenths (4.4 – 5.0, steady at #6, 6+), Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” logs its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.6. Improving by one-half share each are KUDL’s rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KSFM (3.2 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101.1” (3.9 – 4.4, #10 to #8, 6+), which has its best 6+-stat (4.4) since August 2015’s 4.7. Notwithstanding that is a cumulative -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (9.7 – 9.2 – 8.1, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share (8.1) since April’s 8.0, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the 10th straight time. “The Eagle” was +1.0 (May); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); and now -1.1 (November). Up two-tenths and flat at #14 (2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” is within 2.2 – 2.9 range for the 13th consecutive sweep. As a result of having its 6+-share sliced in half (1.8 – .9, -.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” drifts from the top twenty (#18 to #25). In three down or flat months in succession (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KKDO is a combined -.8. “Alt 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” exits the top ten (#9 to #12) with its lowest 6+-share since May (3.4, as well).

Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – It’s another dramatic fluctuation for Bonneville’s KSL, which follows October’s massive +2.4 to 7.2, its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, with a -1.8 to 5.4 (6+). Consequently, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” has a one-month stay at #1 and slumps to fifth. Prior to October, the last time KSL reached #1 was in April. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, level at #7, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

The August 2018 – November 2018 topline for Broadway Media-owned KALL is 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), with “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” remaining at #21. Immediately in advance of that, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

A collective -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picks up one-tenth in November to 2.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuted in September with a .9 (6+); was off six-tenths in October to .3 (#26 to #27, 6+); and disappears in November.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Locked in a three-way tie at #3 in October, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” roars back from a -1.1 (6.7 – 5.6, 6+) with a +1.5 to 7.1 (6+) and takes over at #1. Previously this calendar year, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, and September. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Part of that October three-way scrum at #3 was KODJ’s format rival, Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow,” which improves by one-half share to 6.1, progressing to the runner-up slot. “The Arrow” had been off four-tenths in three straight (mostly) flat or down moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+). Notching one-half share October – November gains as well are independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Broadway Media alternative KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+). “Z 104” has its highest 6+ share since March (4.7, as well), while “X-96” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Even though Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE is a collective +1.8 via three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” backslides from eighth to ninth. “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned country KUBL “K-Bull 93” is an overall -2.1 in four consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – As it posts a 1.9 for the third time in the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT falls out of the top twenty (#20 to #21). Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). In a somewhat similar vein, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” records a 1.1 (6+) for the fourth time in the last seven survey periods, 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.1 (6+), dropping from #24 to #25.

Doubling (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #26 to #25.

In addition to being an overall +1.3 in six consecutive positive spikes (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR enters the top ten (#11 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven reports (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6   – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG explodes with a +.9 to 3.3, its strongest 6+-stat since March (3.3, as well), and “Hot 97.5” zooms into the top ten (#16 to #10). Trending .8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 (June through October, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 Jazz & More” logs a +.7 to 1.6, reaching the one-share level (6+) for the first time since May (1.1). Not only does Lotus Communications’ KXPT advance from fifth to third, “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” is an overall +1.8 in five straight positive spikes (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (5.5) in just over two years (5.9, October 2016). On top for the third month in a row is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday,” which basically stabilizes (8.4 – 8.3, -1, 6+), after September and October’s combined +2.1 (6.3 – 7.5 – 8.4, 6+). October’s (8.4) represents the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. This calendar year, KSNE has been on top in March, May, June, July, September, October, and November. Even though an increase of two-tenths to 1.8 (6+) by Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF suspends three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -1.2 (2.8 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.6, 6+), “103.5 Zona Mx” backslides from #21 to #22. On the heels of October’s -.7, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” erodes by another eight-tenths in November (5.1 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). As it entered the October ratings period, “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 in five straight increases (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Surrendering all of October’s +.5 and one-tenth more (3.8 – 3.2, -.6, 6+), Faith Communications’ contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” falls from the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.8 was its highest 6+-stat since January’s 3.9. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” (seventh to ninth), which is a collective -1.3 in three losses in succession (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” (third to fourth) drops one-half share to 5.4, its lowest 6+-showing since February (5.4, as well).

Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that WLW (10.8 – 10.0, 6+) remains at #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep, it has been a rollercoaster ride for the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet. Some recent fluctuations for WLW include: a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); and now -.8 (November). October’s 10.8 was the highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016) for the flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” has an up/down July through November topline of 3.6 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 (6+) and drops from ninth to tenth. July’s increase of eight-tenths halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Following October’s one-half share gain to 1.4 – its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well) – sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” levels out at 1.4 and repeats at #17.

Off a collective four-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is back to July’s 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Having logged six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS erases nearly half the loss with a gain of seven-tenths (4.1, 6+). “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Although it is without an increase for the third successive time for a collective -1.3 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+),  Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” remains in fourth-place. Anchored at #3, country sibling WUBE “B-105” is up one full-share via three straight up or flat monthlies (7.9 – 8.3 – 8.9 – 8.9,  6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “B-105” in more than two years (8.9, as well, August 2016). Elsewhere in the market’s country format, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” picks up one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+), while WUBE cluster-mate WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (#18) improves by two-tenths to 1.0, its best 6+-stat since February (1.0, as well). “The Wolf” had recorded either a .8 (6+) or a .9 (6+) in each sweep between March and October. In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies is unlisted for the third month in a row. At #19 in October (1.2, 6+), Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone” vanishes in November.

Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged in eighth-place, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is an overall +1.9 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (5.2) in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Conversely, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” has lost a collective eight-tenths in three straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and continues at #11. Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF surrenders three-tenths to 2.4 (6+) yet improves from #15 to #14.

At the same time that Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” gains three-tenths to 1.4 (#20 to a three-way tie at #17), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” drops two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Anchored at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” has been +.5 (September); -.7 (October); and now +.3 in November (3.3 – 3.6, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM on top for the 11th straight time, “Rumba 100” hangs out a +.8 to 8.9 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Moreover, “Rumba” breaks the October tie at #1 with co-owned CHR WXXL, which gains one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), but segues to the runner-up slot. A one-half share September increase by “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). By posting an increase of seven-tenths to 7.1 (6+), its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (8.1, November 2017), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO advances from fourth to third. WMMO was locked on 6.6 (6+) in July, August, and September, before dropping to 6.4 (6+) in October. Two-tenths behind “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is urban AC cluster-mate WCFB “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B,” which is an overall +1.4 in five straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+). Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” records its third sweep in a row without a loss and is a modest +.2 in that stretch (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Off a collective one-half share as a result of being down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” continues at #13.

Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its October gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” forfeits one-half share (6.8 – 6.3, 6+) and drops from a four-way tie at #3 to #5. October’s +.8 halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Meanwhile, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (steady at #9) is up an overall two full-shares via five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+), directly following a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+).

 Off four-tenths in October, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN erases half that decrease in November with a gain of two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0, 6+) and continues at #13; September’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.6.

Cleveland Music Formats – On top of being a collective +2.8 in three upticks in succession (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK marches from second to first. It is quite a turnaround for the Radio One urban AC, which had lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends between March and August (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after five straight months at #1 is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite registering a +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, 6+) – shifts to #2. Its October loss of -1.5 suspended four straight improvements that – ironically – generated an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+). Among WMJI’s fluctuations this calendar year are: -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); +.6 (September); and -1.5 (October). CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” completely wipes away October’s one-half share decrease with a like-margin November increase (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+) but remains at #12. Dropping from third to fourth, co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -1.6 in three successive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Over in the Entercom cluster, WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” (third to fifth) is an overall -2.1 (8.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+) via three straight dips and has its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.0, while adult contemporary sibling WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102.” is -.8 in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, seventh to eighth, 6+).

Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on four-tenths to October’s +.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” pushes ahead from sixth to fourth. An August gain of seven-tenths interrupted five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which was up four-tenths in October, is flat at 2.6 (6+), but slips from #18 to #19. When Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM picked up one-tenth in October to .7 (6+), it ended three down or flat reports that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+); however, “Talk Radio 710 AM” returns that one-tenth in November (.6, flat at #23, 6+).

Winning ways continue for Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which has more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and +1.2 in October. Forfeiting all but one-tenth of October’s +.4 (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” slumps from #14 to #17.

In October, KCUR returned the three-tenths it gained in September (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), but in November, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – By adding six-tenths to October’s +.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” shifts from #16 to #15. Off one-half share in October, Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” jumps six-tenths as well (2.7 – 3.3, #17 to #16, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.3) since April’s 3.9. Hot AC cluster-mate KZPT “99.7 The Point,” a collective -.8 in four straight down or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), adds one-tenth to 3.9 but moves from #12 to #13. This is yet another extremely powerful report card for Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which is #1 for the sixth time in a row and an overall +2.7 in six straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Furthermore, this (9.7) is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. On the other hand though, classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -3.1 in eight successive March through November declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May. Despite forfeiting one-half share to 7.0 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upticks for a cumulative +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” advances from third to second. Down one-half share as well is Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). A mere two-tenths separates the market’s three country outlets. Specifically, by posting a gain of three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), Entercom’s WDAF not only zooms from tenth to seventh, “106.5 The Wolf” pulls the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). It is tied at #7 with Steel City Media’s KBEQ, which is a combined -1.3 in October and November (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Nonetheless, “Q-104 New Hit Country,” which gained six-tenths in September, progresses from ninth (to seventh). Meanwhile, co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” is a combined -2.1 as a result of three downturns in succession (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11).

Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight positive spikes (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” is an overall +.9 and progresses from fifth to fourth.

Seventh-ranked in January with a 4.4 (6+) – but then vanishing from print – RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” reappeared in October with +1.1 (5.6 – 6.7, #4, 6+). The flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets relinquishes four-tenths in November to 6.3 (6+) but remains at #4. After posting an April through October topline of .9 – 1.0 – .9 – .5 – .9 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is off three-tenths to .6 (#16 to #18, 6+).

Answering October’s -1.1 with a November gain of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU inches up from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – In addition to being a combined +1.1 in three straight increases (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One’s WCKX “Power 107.5” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-showing since September 2017 (3.8, as well). By duplicating October’s +.6 (6.5 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” marches from third to second and displays its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 7.9. Despite being a cumulative +1.1 in four up or flat trends in a row (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” backslides from #10 to #11. Albeit that it has eroded by -3.3 in four straight setbacks (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0, 6+), co-owned WCOL is #1 for the 11th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. When “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); and -1.5 (November). Following 10 consecutive reports at #2, WCOL’s CHR sibling, WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (7.8 – 7.1, -.7, 6+), falls to #3. WNCI was +1.3 in June; a collective -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+); +.5 (September); -1.6 (October); and -.7 (November). Adult hits cluster-mate WODC is an overall -1.7 as a result of three consecutive dips (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” carries on at #7. This present streak immediately follows four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Monday, November 26, 2018

| November 26, 2018

Legendary KGO Talk Host Ray Taliaferro Missing; Last Seen in Paducah Pizza Joint. Retired talk show host Ray Taliaferro – an overnight personality on KGO, San Francisco from 1977 to 2011 – has been missing for 15 days now after last being seen at The Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in Paducah, Kentucky.  Media reports indicate Taliaferro was last seen talking with the manager of the restaurant and was wearing black pants, a black turtleneck and a black leather jacket.  Authorities say the 79-year-old may have been experiencing symptoms of dementia.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederTribune Media is offering its employees – including those at its only radio property, WGN-AM – voluntary buyouts as part of a year-end staff reduction program. Feder quotes Tribune Media SVP of corporate relations Gary Weitman saying it is a “very small program that will ultimately affect a little more than 1 percent of our employees.”  Feder notes that it’s not clear if layoffs would be the result of the voluntary program not meeting its goals…..Baltimore news/talk WBAL-AM now has an FM presence as Hearst fires up translator W268BA at 101.5 FM.  Station president and general manager Cary Pahigian comments, “While WBAL radio will continue to serve Maryland at 1090 AM with our powerful 50,000-watt signal, our new FM signal at 101.5 is a monumental advancement for the region’s most influential radio station.  FM 101.5, along with our popular mobile app, will help WBAL connect with significantly more listeners.  WBAL is now available on every available broadcast, mobile and digital platform.”…..Radio news pro Sean Hall was killed in a car crash in Richmond County, New Hampshire.  He was 63.  Hall – whose career experience included positions with CNN Radio; NBC Radio; Mutual Broadcasting System; WTOP, Washington; and more – was working as a weekend news reporter for Saga Communications’ news/talk WKBK, Keene, New Hampshire…..Pictured below is Pioneer Valley Radio general manager Brad Shepard (on set, at left) with Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser (right) during a co-production between hyper-local digital media platform, Springfield, Mass.-based Pioneer Valley Radio and East Longmeadow Cable Access Television.  During the program, Shepard and Lesser discussed the Senator’s continued efforts in an east-west rail connection in the state, the ongoing opioid crisis, efforts to keep seniors in their homes with appropriate care, recreational marijuana, and a controversial stance on the electoral college.

Interview: Salem Media Group’s Phil Boyce. Programming pro Phil Boyce, SVP at Salem Radio Network chats with Goldman McCormick Public Relations co-founder Ryan McCormick  about programming news/talk radio in the current era.  Boyce tells McCormick that his years in the business have taught him important lessons about what news/talk audiences want.  He says when analyzing effective talk talent, he looks for three basic things: “Are they teaching me something I want to learn about an important topic or are they doing a show focused on themselves and assuming listeners are into their every waking moment?  Second, are they able to take a complicated issue and break it down in a way that makes me understand and, in some cases, want to pump my fist in agreement?  And third is formatics: do they set up a topic well with a brilliant monologue?  Do they tease around the break to make me come back?  Do they give me the sense that this is the most fun a human being can have and they are having it?  If it is a team show, do they have that elusive ‘chemistry, camaraderie, and rapport?’” Read the entire interview here.

Migrants Arrive at Tijuana, Global Warming Report, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mississippi Run-Off Election, Chinese Gene-Edited Babies, U.K.’s Facebook Investigation, Thanksgiving Holiday/Midwest Blizzard, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The U.S. closes the San Diego-Mexico border as the migrant caravan attempts to overrun border security; the U.S. Global Change Research Program climate report that predicts dire natural and economic consequences from global warming; the expectation of a Trump-Russia report from special counsel Robert Mueller; the Mississippi special senate election between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy; a Chinese researcher claims success in first gene-edited babies; the U.K. gains Facebook documents related to the Cambridge Analytica case; the Thanksgiving holiday and the Midwest blizzard that affected holiday travel; Russia seizes Ukrainian ships in military skirmish; and the NFL’s weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A format flip appears to be in the works for Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ*N @ 102.9” after seven years as a country station.  The KMNB website says, “Thanks for BUZ*N with us Minnesota and western Wisconsin!  Sadly, though the buzz is about to wear off…on Monday, December 3rd at 7am.”  The station has been a consistent runner-up in the ratings (Persons 6+) to iHeartMedia’s KEEY.  Prior to adopting a country format, the station was an adult contemporary outlet as WLTE – a format that lives on on the KZJK-HD2 channel – and speculation is the AC format will return.  Will it be a “Breeze?”…..El Paso programming pro Ted “Bobcat” Brown is retiring from iHeartMedia’s country KHEY after a 10-year stint to relocate to Biloxi to help his wife care for her aging mother, he announces in a Facebook post.

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Friday, November 9, 2018

| November 9, 2018

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Sebastian Gorka in 2019; Michael Medved Moves to New Platform. Beginning January 1, Salem Radio Network begins airing the “America First with Sebastian Gorka” program in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart, replacing the Michael Medved program.  Salem Broadcast Division president David Santrella says, “The listener feedback we receive each time Dr. Gorka fills in for one of our network hosts is overwhelming.  I think Dr. Gorka is the right person at the right time and the Salem Radio Network is definitely the right place.”  Gorka is FOX News Channel’s national security strategist and is a regular guest on “Hannity” and the FOX Business Network.  He writes for The Hill and is the author of best-sellers Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies (Regnery) and Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (Regnery).  Gorka was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump and served on the staff of the White House in 2017 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategy.  Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “There is a culture war going on in this country and Dr. Gorka is uniquely qualified to take this fight to talk radio.  His program will deal with the hot breaking news stories of each day, and help listeners understand what to make of it.”  Michael Medved comments, “I feel grateful for the more than 21 years I’ve worked with Salem Media Group and I wish continued success to my friends and colleagues at the network.  Together with my team of producers here in Seattle, we’ll be continuing our daily broadcast with no interruption, making it available to our devoted listeners in an exciting new format.  We’ll also move forward with our emphasis on history programs and commentary to encourage public appreciation of the real blessings of this amazing country. Stay tuned.”

Tom Langmyer Forms Radio and Digital Acquisition Firm. Radio executive Tom Langmyer – most recently the vice president and general manager for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee – is forming Great Lakes Media Corp., a company that will “invest in local broadcasting and digital media opportunities through the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in small markets.”  A press release indicates the firm will investigate acquisition of “properties in small markets, focusing on opportunities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”  The company is meeting with investors and brokers – and others who are interested in specific markets; and plans to announce appointments of officers and partners in the weeks ahead.  Langmyer says, “Smaller communities are making a big comeback.  This new generation of people, to whom quality of life and community are very important, are building their lives and businesses in these places.  Over the years, the shifting economy and technology had ended an era of localism in media.  Today, people are once again in search of real community and the greater connection that comes with being a part of a ‘place.’  Local media builds that connection – particularly in smaller markets. The need is clear as many of the broadcast media platforms have been providing white-labelled, generic, unremarkable content.  And while it’s growing, the digital space is in dire need of compelling content to make it a more robust advertising and revenue platform.  Radio and digital complement each other as it’s not an either/or proposition.  There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms – and expanding the emotional connection between consumers and local brands.”  Langmyer is president and CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.  Prior to managing WTMJ and WKTI for Scripps Media, Langmyer was general manager for Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  Earlier in his career he transitioned from programming CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis to serving as general manager.  He exited WTMJ and WKTI on October 31 upon the transfer of the stations from Scripps to Good Karma Brands LLC.

Report: Mancow to WLS-AM Mornings, Shapiro Show to Air in Afternoons.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder says he has inside info indicating Cumulus Media intends to insert Ben Shapiro – whose current one-hour, podcast-for-radio program will morph into a two-hour live show beginning in January distributed via Westwood One – will be heard in afternoon drive and that Mancow Muller may assume the morning drive show, bumping Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from AM drive.  This comes after the station announced it would be re-tooling the programming on WLS, and that includes the announced departure of Windy City icon Steve Dahl from afternoons (though he continues his podcast relationship with the company).  Shapiro’s new show will be distributed by WWO live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Recall that Westwood One’s Michael Savage – currently heard live in afternoons Eastern Time – is transitioning his show to a one-hour live program (live 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET?) followed by a one-hour podcast available to stations in 2019. Stay tuned.

The Fall of Craig CartonTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the case against former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton and the concert tickets scam that will likely send him to federal prison for a number of years.  Weisman writes, “It is common for scammers to take advantage of positions of trust.  People trust radio personalities who they feel they get to know over years of broadcasting.  But sometimes that trust, as was the case with Carton, is abused.”  Read the whole column here.

Rush Limbaugh Show Presents Fifth Annual Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway. In honor of Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11 but observed on Monday 11/12), the fifth annual military promotion from Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America is underway.  In recognition of the service and sacrifice of our military, all active and veteran military service members are eligible to enter for a chance to win a Mahindra 1000 Gas Standard utility vehicle with roof and windshield in “The Rush Limbaugh Show’s Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.”  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 11 at 11:59 pm PT at http://sweeps.rushlimbaugh.com/mahindra2018/.   The winner will be selected in a random drawing on Monday, November 12.  Limbaugh says, “My thanks to Mahindra, makers of the world’s number one selling tractor.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.”

USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions Partner for Trucker-Targeted Programming. This deal between USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions entails Oasis broadcasting USA Radio’s top-of-the-hour national news on its truckersmusic-radio.com and truckersrock-radio.com sites.  Additionally, the “Truckers Radio Network” has added USA’s syndicated late-night show featuring veteran Dallas icon Charley Jones from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and USA’s “Classic Radio Theater” on Sunday evenings.  USA Radio Networks COO Janet Bro (left) says this is the first of several new partnerships and ventures that the company will undertake in the next year.  “We’re definitely in a growth mode.”  Oasis COO Rex Allen, Jr. (right) comments, “We feel that this is a great opportunity.  Truckers Radio expands USA’s reach to millions of listeners both nationally and internationally and provides our listeners with quality information and programming.”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 5-9.  The midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the top story on news/talk this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related status of the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials by President Trump, and the deadly California bar shootings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday and Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from country to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze” is iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento.  The company says the station will debut on Monday (11/12) at 3:00 pm with 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  Core artists will include: Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams, and more.  The on-air lineup for the station will be announced in the coming weeks.  iHM SVP of programming for Sacramento Curtiss Johnson says, “No doubt many in Sacramento will remember the station 92.5 for its decades-long heritage as an adult contemporary station and one of the top stations in the market.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing that format back.  ‘92.5 The Breeze’ is the perfect station for relaxing to favorites while you work, unwinding after a long day, or just for getting into that weekend frame of mind.”…..After more than 41 years in the industry Cox Media Group San Antonio market manager Ben Reed will retire at the end of this year.  Reed says, “When looking back on the last four decades and the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my career, all I can say is I’m blessed – it’s that simple.  The success we’ve achieved as an organization and the expectations we’ve exceeded year after year in the San Antonio market is truly remarkable.  The camaraderie I share with my team and colleagues at CMG will live in my heart forever.”…..Country radio pro Charlie Cook signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with the company as vice president, country formats; operations manager for the Nashville cluster; and program director for WSM-FM, Nashville “NASH Icon.”  Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay says, “Charlie Cook is not only one of the best known and most successful country programmers in the history of the format, he is a solid and strategic thinking multi-format radio expert.  We are excited to continue this partnership with him.”…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces today the debut of the new WBZY, Atlanta ‘Z105.3, Tu Estación Para Super Hits,’ effective immediately, flipping from regional Mexican to Spanish CHR. Core artists will include: Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Ozuna, Romeo Santos, Maluma, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Enrique Iglesias.  iHM Atlanta SVP of programming Brian Michel comments, “With the launch of ‘Z105.3,’ we are proud to continue the tradition of being the innovator and leader of Atlanta’s Hispanic media landscape. With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve our listeners, advertisers, and the community.”…..Westwood One announces affiliate sales pro Debbie Brand joins the company as manager of affiliate sales, country. Brand, who returns to Westwood One after having served with the company in the mid-1990s, takes over for Tim Closson.

PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on country. The number of country stations moving either up or down – weekly 6+ AQH Share – in PPM markets in October was split about 50/50 with the remaining stations unchanged, and the numbers were pretty similar comparing year-over-year.  Two country outlets were able to claim the 6+ #1 rank in their respective markets: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC, Charlotte and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus.  However, 10 other country stations finished in the top three in their markets.  See the whole report here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

| October 23, 2018

Report: WLS-AM, Chicago to Get Lineup Re-Vamp in 2019.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM will get a programming makeover early in the New Year.  Feder writes, “Once among the top-rated stations in Chicago, the 50,000-watt AM giant never recovered after the loss of longtime morning star Don Wade, who died in 2013.”  He reports recent ratings figures reflect more success in middays with Cumulus’ Washington-based Chris Plante and Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, leading one to conclude changes are more likely for drive time where market legend Steve Dahl hosts afternoons and mornings are hosted by Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren wouldn’t comment specifically but said the station will continue with a combination of local and syndicated programming.

NYPost: MSG Goes to War with Entercom and WFAN. A story in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand reveals the bad blood between Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan over WFAN sports talk host Maggie Gray’s rant against him that aired on the station this summer.  Gray didn’t hold back when she called Dolan a “vile piece of trash” while accusing him of hypocrisy after his band – yes, he plays in a band called JD and the Straight Shot – released a song about Harvey Weinstein called, “I Should’ve Known.” Gray alleges Dolan and Weinstein were close and that he did know.  In retribution, MSG banned all Entercom and WFAN staffers from getting special access to players and that players and coaches would not be allowed to appear on any show on WFAN.  Gray did ultimately apologize for her name calling during the rant but not for the thrust of her critique.  At the same time, WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa is being accused of throwing Gray “under the bus” during his comments about the feud.  Although Francesa is probably irked about losing access, he did call out MSG for holding a grudge after Gray apologized.

But Wait!… There’s More Francesa News. Also from the Post’s Andrew Marchand – or more accurately, from Mike Francesa himself – comes the question of whether Francesa’s afternoon drive program on WFAN can co-exist with his “Mike’s On” app. The Post story, based on Francesa’s on-air musings, indicates there are still contractual issues regarding the app between him, Entercom, and CAA that haven’t been settled.  Francesa went so far as to say, “We haven’t really come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and show don’t work together and that’s something we’re going to have to adjust one way or the other.”  He followed that by saying the app is here to stay.  He also reflected on his return to the station after a brief retirement, admitting that it’s been “more uncomfortable” than he thought it would be after bumping Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott from the afternoon drive daypart.

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Help Raise $35,000-plus for Veterans Charity. Pictured above (in scooter) is Korean Conflict veteran Denny Dorman, the oldest recipient of a Puppy Jake Foundation service dog – named Puppy Simon – along with WHO PM drive personality Simon Conway, who adopted the organization as his show’s official charity.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises, and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Conway tells TALKERS that five years ago they held a BBQ fundraiser in the WHO parking lot and raised $4,000.  The next year they brought in $6,000.  Years three and four pulled in $22,000 and $29,000, respectively, and last Friday’s event raised $35,500.  He says, “It is really incredible how my audience, and indeed some of my show’s sponsors, have taken this charity to their hearts.”

Ann Marie Mulholland Named Market Manager for Hubbard Seattle. Emerald City media management pro Ann Marie Mulholland joins Hubbard Radio as vice president and market manager for its Seattle properties, including “Alternative Talk” KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV “Movin 92.5,” country KNUC “The Bull,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9,” and nostalgia KKNW-AM.  Mulholland comes to Hubbard from CRISTA Media.  Prior to that, she served with Entercom and Sandusky in the Seattle market. Hubbard president/COO Drew Horowitz says, “We are looking forward to having Ann Marie, with her exceptional operational credentials, assume the leadership role in Seattle.  She brings strong market experience and will be an excellent fit with our Hubbard Seattle team.”

Midterm Elections, Khashoggi Death Aftermath, Migrant Caravan, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermedia-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air changes take place at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” as the company promotes Tyler Reese from his part-time role with sister classic country WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon” to midday host and assistant program director at WKDF.  Also, Kelley Bradshaw-Brock moves from Entercom’s WUSY, Chattanooga, where she was part of the “Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” morning show to host afternoon drive on WKDF.  Program director John Shomby states, “We are excited for Tyler and Kelley to join ‘NASH FM 103.3.’  These are two very talented stars that are ready to shine in the Music City!…..The vacant program director chair at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise doesn’t last long as Matt Derrick arrives from his most recent gig as director of FM programming at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster to assume the PD role.  Derrick takes over for Rich Summers, who exited the station last week…..Entercom rock WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 Planet Rocks” partners with the local Thomas Creek Brewery to create The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner inspired by the station’s morning show, “The Rise Guys.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We are excited about this partnership and the ability to share the best beer on ‘The Planet’ with our dedicated fans.  The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner is a salute to the P1 army.  This refreshing and crushable beer fits our personalities and those of our listeners.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

| October 19, 2018

Limbaugh Sits Down with Hannity on FNC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh sat down with Sean Hannity on the latter’s FOX News Channel program last night (10/18) for a freewheeling hour in which the two talked about everything from Limbaugh’s historic success as a radio personality, the radical left’s alleged “mob violence” tactics, the importance of the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh confirmation, Limbaugh’s concern for the future of America, and more.

Dibs Re-Ups with ‘The Game’ in San Francisco. Morning drive personality Dan Dibley signs a long-term deal to continue as a host on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show on Entercom sports talker KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Dan brings a unique style full of knowledge and humor to ‘95.7 The Game.’  He plays an important role on our morning team and we are excited to keep him around for years to come.”  Dibley was part of the first morning show when the station was launched in 2011. He left the station in 2014 and returned the following year.  Dibley works with co-hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal.

Former Radio Financial Advice Host Convicted of Fraud.  This story is even stranger than so many of the past cases of financial advisers who bilked listeners to their (usually brokered) financial advice talk shows out of their life savings.  The backdrop to the case against Dawn Bennett was tinged with allegations of her use of “hoodoo” spells to prevent authorities from catching her.  The jurors who convicted Bennett on 17 counts of securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and others did not hear about her attempts to keep investigators silent through the use of a “hold your tongue” spell using cow tongues nor her spending some $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to pray to keep investigators at bay.  But it certainly gave the press something to add to its coverage of the case.  Bennett was convicted of diverting millions of dollars from investors – both radio listeners and personal friends – to pay for her “lavish lifestyle.”  Her weekly “Financial Myth Buster” program was heard on WWRC, Washington.

More Than 500 Attend OAS and WHO, Des Moines Newt Gingrich Event.  Pictured above is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage before a crowd of 500-plus at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines.  “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” was presented by iHeartMedia news/talk WHO-AM and Lee Habeeb’s rapidly growing, nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (heard evenings at 10:00 pm on WHO).

TALKERS News Notes. Two tidbits of news from Chicago from media journalist Robert Feder.  First, all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM weekend anchor Regine Schlesinger is stepping away from the station after a 45-year career there.  She left her full-time anchor role with the radio news outlet in 2016 and has been handling weekend anchor duties since then.  She first joined the station as an anchor and producer in 1973.  Also from the Windy City, at urban talk outlet WVON-AM, general manager Melody Spann-Cooper gets some relief from a Cook County Circuit Court judge who issues a stalking no-contact order against a former station account executive whom Spann-Cooper and her husband Pierre Cooper say has been harassing them.  She issued a public statement, “This has been a difficult chapter, having to prosecute someone who once had such great potential in our industry.  But history has shown that you cannot take threats and intimidation lightly, especially in the workplace.  My priority has been and will always be protecting my staff, my family, and myself.”…..A new podcast is launched on the iHeartRadio platform.  “Alchemy This,” a new improv comedy podcast hosted by award-winning comedian Kevin Pollak makes its debut.  Pollak is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and was named one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central.  Each episode his team of alchemists will act out bizarre comical scenarios, giving listeners the opportunity to choose the settings/scenes…..SiriusXM is unveiling its new Big Ten Radio channel in cooperation with the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Conference.  Big Ten Radio will feature live play-by-play broadcasts from several Big Ten men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more. The new channel’s programming will feature exclusive new shows hosted by former Big Ten athletes, journalists and conference insiders, including former Ohio State star and 2005 Lombardi Award winner A.J. Hawk; former Illinois All-America offensive lineman Brad Hopkins; former Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Herron; former Penn State basketball player Jon Crispin; former Ohio State tight end Ben Hartsock; as well as Jason Goff, Tom Luginbill, Pete Pistone and Matt Schick…..Also from SiriusXM, the satcaster is presenting a special stand-up show, “Ricky Gervais and Friends: A Work In Progress,” featuring actor and comic Ricky Gervais.  It will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 8.  “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius” premiered on the Comedy Greats channel in October 2017 and featured Gervais interviewing an eclectic group of guests, including musician Noel Gallagher and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins. In the second year, Gervais is expected to sit down with Jerry Seinfeld and other celebrities, as well as friends and fellow comedians…..In the Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama market, Singing River Group is buying a station group from URBAN Radio Broadcasting that includes news WVNA-AM, rock WVNA-FM, hip hop WMSR, country WLAY, and urban contemporary WMXV.  The price has not been announced.  George Reed of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker for the transaction.

The Case of Presumed-Dead Saudi Journalist Top News Talk Story for Week of October 15-19.  The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – presumed murdered for his criticism of the Saudi regime – and the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations, tied with the numerous parties who’ve backed out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2020 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s video revealing her ancestry test results, followed by the Robert Mueller’s expected release of a report on the Trump-Russia investigation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry.  She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage.  Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change.  She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan.  Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team.  Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate.  Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight.  I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.

Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.?  We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral.  Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make.  Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker.  If you have the connections, we want to connect with you.  Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to celebsonradio@envisionnetworks.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro Borna Velic is promoted to program director for Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog,” taking over for Joe Calgaro, who recently left the station to program Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston.  Velic has been serving as music director and afternoon drive personality (with co-host Mitch Paget).  He’ll remain on the afternoon show in his new position.  WHQG general manager Annmarie Topel says, “Borna has been a major contributor since he joined us and an integral part of The Hog’s success.  He has great music intuition and knowledge of the format, coupled with a solid analytical ability that is essential in programming. It doesn’t hurt that the staff likes and respects him.”…..Farther north at Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.6 The Fox,” the station brings air personality Max back to host the afternoon drive show, effective Monday (10/22). He’s most recently been serving as operations manager at Case Communications’ triple A WLGE “FM 106.9 The Lodge” and classic hits WQDC “Rewind 97.7” in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  He worked at the Cumulus Appleton station group from 2002 through 2009.

Monday, October 1, 2018

| October 1, 2018

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Reveals New Morning and Midday Shows. A little more than a week after rumors in Philly swirled about the departure of Anthony Gargano from the morning drive show at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces its plans.  The new AM drive show is “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” with Philly sports media personality Marc Farzetta and former Eagles star William “Tra” Thomas.  The new midday program (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) will star Anthony Gargano and current midday host Jason Myrtetus.  Both shows launch on October 8.  Farzetta currently serves as co-host of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Philly Sports Talk.”   Previously, he served as an associate producer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Farzetta and Thomas will be joined by longtime Philadelphia sports journalist and current morning show co-host Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch.  Station content manager Eric Johnson says, “We are very excited to be adding Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas to ‘The Fanatic’ lineup.  I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000s.  He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from update anchor and time out entertainer at Temple basketball games to radio talk show anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia host.  Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling.  With Anthony Gargano leading our midday show with Jason Myrtetus, these moves will put the station in a much stronger competitive position.  This really ushers in a new era for a great brand…’97.5 The Fanatic!’”

Bob Pittman to Present at Advertising Week New York. The title of this panel discussion is “An America Divided: Are We Listening?” and it takes place this afternoon at day one of Advertising Week New York (AWNY runs through Thursday).  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will host a roundtable featuring Amy Brown, co-host of the “Bobby Bones Show”; Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino; WHTZ, New York-based syndicated radio star Elvis Duran; and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of “MSNBC Live.”  Noting that the ad business is run by those living and working mostly in Manhattan and that often skews its perspective, Pittman’s presentation addresses that fact that “the Hispanic population of America is now 18%; the African American population is now 13%; and a quarter of a billion people live outside New York and Los Angeles.  Effective marketers need to understand everyone – not just their neighbors here [in NYC].”  The panel will explore what the multiple voices are in America today, what marketers don’t understand about this audience, and the best way to reach them.

Bob Brinker Ends Weekend ‘MoneyTalk’ Program.  One of the longest-running weekend financial talk programs wrapped on Sunday (9/30) as Bob Brinker steps away from “MoneyTalk,” the program he’s been hosting for more than 32 years.  Westwood One says that Brinker has decided to spend more weekend time with his family.  He’ll continue to author his award-winning investment letter, “Marketimer.”  Brinker began his radio career as a news anchor on KYW, Philadelphia in 1966.  In 1970 he entered the investment banking business with Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager.  He began a financial investment talk show on WMCA, New York in 1981 and went syndicated with the program in 1986 via the old ABC Radio Network.  The show eventually transitioned to syndication through Westwood One.

Sales Pro Chuck Deskins Returns to iHeartMedia as SVP of Inside Sales. Sales and management pro Chuck Deskins Jr. is rejoining iHeartMedia as senior vice president of inside sales, effective immediately.  He’ll be based in St. Petersburg, Florida and will report to EVP of inside sales, James Donovan.  Deskins was most recently a partner at C3 Media but spent the majority of his career with iHeartMedia. He launched his career as an account executive with Jacor in Cincinnati and became a Clear Channel staffer when it acquired Jacor.  In his new position, Deskins will “manage iHeartMedia’s team of inside sellers and managers and create advertising opportunities for brands and iHeartMedia partners across the company’s vast array of platforms including radio broadcasting, digital, mobile, outdoor, live concerts and events and more.”  He comments, “I spent most of my career at iHeartMedia and couldn’t be more excited to help our clients tap into such a powerful combination of marketing assets.  The iHeartMedia inside sales team is the best in the business and I look forward to working with our great team of professionals.”

TALKERS News Notes. From Chicago media writer Robert Feder comes news that WSCR, Chicago sports director Brendan McCaffrey is exiting the Entercom sports talk station after 10 years there to join SiriusXM’s NFL Radio as a producer.  Feder quotes station operations director Mitch Rosen’s staff memo in which he said, “It is hard putting into words what Brendan McCaffrey has meant to ‘The Score’ for the last 10-plus years because B-Mac has done just about everything at the station and knows more about the inner workings more than anyone.  I, like many of you, will miss Brendan’s humor, wit, and most importantly his interest and care for others around him.”…..Also from Robert Feder is the reported move of urban talk WVON and regional Mexican WRLL to new offices in the South Loop.  Midway Broadcasting is moving the stations from their South Side offices to 800 South Wells Street by the end of this year.  Midway chair Melody Spann-Cooper is quoted saying, “We will miss the South Side terribly, and the sentimental value of being here can’t be overstated.  However, I am excited about the move.  Like Cumulus, WGN, the Trib and the Sun-Times, it is time for Midway to downsize for efficiency and we embrace this new chapter.”…..KXL, Portland associate producer Jackson Sager (right) is leaving his role with the Lars Larson (left) show to launch his own talk show on sister news talk KUFO “Freedom 970.”  The weekend program will air Saturdays at 7:00 am.  Sager tells TALKERS that he’s also doing podcasting and voice-over work and says the time and dedication necessary to produce the Lars Larson show wouldn’t allow him to handle his other duties as he pursues his dream of having his own talk show…..In the screen shot below of this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” opening skit, Salem Radio Network East Coast director of affiliate relations Jim Bligh can be seen behind and to the right of host Matt Damon as an extra.  Bligh’s second career has landed him roles in a number of New York-filmed movies as well as an extra on “SNL,” which he’s done several times.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Bligh told him, “Toughest thing was to keep from laughing at the guy lying on the floor next to me, who you can’t see, holding the Alyssa Milano pop-up on a stick!”

Well-Known Broadcasting Professional and TALKERS Exec Al Herskovitz Pens New Book.  Korean War veteran and renowned broadcasting industry “veteran” Al Herskovitz who, following his service to America, embarked upon a 68-year career in the radio business that’s still going strong, has written a new book published by TALKERS.  In The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018), he recalls the fascinating characters whom he met growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a child of hard-working Jewish, Hungarian immigrants, a young man in the army, and a broadcaster at some of the nation’s leading radio stations.  They include show business celebrities, sports stars, politicians, mysterious international figures (including a couple of spies), and even a few mobsters!  Stories include details about the world famous movie actress who served as his babysitter before she was a star; a local radio co-worker who went on to become a quirky TV actor with a scandalous lifestyle; an articulate young man he met at a dinner party who became a present-day world leader; a major presidential candidate whose campaign he served as media consultant; and the touching story of his family’s search for relatives lost in the Holocaust.  The book also recalls numerous wild and wacky radio promotions and provocative insights into the lives of a parade of celebrities.  Herskovitz’s fascinating life in the idiosyncratic world of radio brought him into contact with an array of hundreds of figures from Kate Smith and Bob Dylan to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu.  He writes about everything from skills he employed playing ping pong in the army recreation center to the pain of losing an officer friend accidentally blown up by a hand grenade in a war games maneuver.  It’s a story set against the backdrop of almost nine decades of American history – wars, protests, rapidly evolving pop culture and social norms – all the way to the author’s current activities on the leading edge of the digital era!  Today, pushing 90, Al remains fully engaged in the communications field and serves as senior marketing director for TALKERS.  He lives in Bradenton, Florida and is an active member of the Sarasota-based Media Round Table.  To arrange an interview with Al Herskovitz, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Kavanaugh FBI Investigation, Kanye West’s ‘SNL’ Trump Speech, New U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, Midterm Elections, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, Warren Re-Considers Presidential Run, California Net Neutrality Law, NFL Action, and MLB Regular Season Finale Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; rapper Kanye West’s controversial pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; the U.S., Mexico and Canada agree to new NAFTA deal; November’s midterm elections and the battle for control of congress; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement she’s considering running for president; the Trump administration sues California over its net neutrality law; the weekend’s NFL action and the final weekend of baseball’s regular season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KOST, Los Angeles morning personality Ellen K is launching The Ellen K Podcast Network designed to share “behind-the-scenes stories from Ellen K’s career and dive deeper into the stories of the day.”  The network will launch three new podcasts on iHeartRadio that will give listeners an in-depth look at what really goes on at the Ellen K shows.  Ellen K says, “I’m so excited to invite listeners into our studio through The Ellen K Podcast Network.  The opportunity to explore daily topics and everyday situations in a deeper way is thrilling to me.  I used to get in trouble in school for talking too much during class, and thanks to iHeartRadio I can continue my passion for connecting with listeners after the morning radio show is off air.”…..At Entercom’s classic hits KLUV, Dallas “98.7 K-LUV,” Jeff Miles is the new morning personality alongside Rebekah Black and David Rancken on the new “Miles in the Morning” program. Miles takes over for Jody Dean, who exits the program but will continue with KLUV in other capacities…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for its 2nd annual ALTerEgo concert taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The bill for the event includes: Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “This will be one of the strongest alternative performance lineups to ever appear on one stage.  It’s such a strong lineup that it’s impossible to refer to any one of these incredible artists as the headliner – in fact, several of the performers have told us that it’s a show they would want to go to even if they weren’t already on the bill.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 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. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 30, 2018

| July 30, 2018

Larry Wilson Steps Down from Alpha Media Chairman Role. The Citadel Broadcasting chief launched Alpha Broadcasting in 2009 with stations in Portland, Oregon.  The company would merge with L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting in 2014 and become Alpha Media.  Now, Larry Wilson will step away from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Media but will remain a member of the board.  A press release from the company says that under Wilson’s guidance, “Alpha Media has become the largest privately-owned radio broadcast company in the United States, operating 225 radio stations in 48 markets across the nation.  Wilson is also known for his work within the country music industry, having served on the board of directors for the Country Music Association from 1991 to 2001 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.” Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Wilson is a respected colleague and pioneer in the broadcast industry.  His vision helped craft today’s broadcast and radio landscape.” Alpha Media will elect a new chairman at its next scheduled board meeting.

Brett Winterble Re-Ups with KFMB-AM, San Diego. San Diego talk show host Brett Winterble signs a new contract with Tegna-owned news/talk KFMB-AM, San Diego to continue hosting the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Winterble originally joined KFMB-AM in 2012 as part of the Roger Hedgecock show and began hosting afternoons in 2015.  In addition to his radio show and podcast productions, he recently began hosting a two-hour show for Newsmax TV.  KFMB-AM program director Dave Sniff states, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Brett!  His ability to digest the daily news cycle and make it relevant for the San Diego community is unmatched and truly impressive.  Brett will play a key role in creating unique content, not only for KFMB-AM, but also for our various digital platforms.”

David Haugh Assumes AM Co-Host Role on WSCR, Chicago Today.  After 26 years with WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” Brian Hanley did his last regular morning show with Mike Mulligan on Friday (7/27) and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh debuts on the new “Mully and Haugh” show today.  Haugh says in a statement, “I’m excited to join The Score’s morning show.  Brian Hanley is a good friend and class act who set a high standard for me to meet.  Mike Mulligan has gone from fierce competitor to trusted confidante over the years, a relationship I’ve always valued.  I will continue to have the privilege of writing columns for the Chicago Tribune, where I have spent the last 15 years trying to serve the best interests of Chicago sports fans.  The job only gets better now.  Thank you to The Score for the opportunity, to the Tribune for the support and to everyone who will listen to “Mully and Haugh” do our best to entertain you every morning.”  Read Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s story on the changes here.

United States Traffic Network Sues Entercom for $5 Million.  Alleging that Entercom entered into negotiations with United States Traffic Network to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business based on information gathered during the discovery process, USTN is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.”  The complaint, filed  the District Court in Harris County, Texas, states, “During the transaction of the sale of equity in USTN, in April and the failed transaction, Defendants (Entercom) made false representations of fact, false promises or benefitted by not disclosing that a third party’s representations or promises were false.  The false representations or promises, set forth above, were made for the purpose of inducing Plaintiffs to enter into a contract regarding the equity of USTN.  Plaintiffs relied on the false representations or promises.  The reliance on the false representations, promises, and failures to disclose caused Plaintiffs injury and benefited Defendants.”  The suit further alleges that Entercom intentionally induced USTN to miss a scheduled debt payment to Entercom under the pretenses that this payment would be unnecessary due to the planned closing of the purchase transaction. USTN is owned by Fair and Equal LLC. For its part, Entercom issues a press release saying it has ended its reseller agreement with USTN and calls the suit “entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting.  Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues.  Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.”  Entercom says it “has successfully sold traffic and other short duration advertising on its own for many years.  In April, Entercom took back a portion of its broadcast inventory from USTN and is achieving great success selling that inventory through its own sales channels.  The Company expects to build on that success as it begins to monetize the remaining inventory taken back from USTN.”  CEO David Field says, “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger.  We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory.”

A Visit to WRKO’s New Digs.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to legendary outlet WRKO, Boston on Friday (7/27) to check out its new location and pristine, one-week-old studios at the iHeartMedia broadcasting complex in Medford, Massachusetts (a bustling area on Boston’s north side).  Until recently, WRKO was an Entercom property, but it was sold to iHeart after Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, significantly re-shuffling the playing deck in Boston.  While there, Harrison sat in from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the morning show’s regular co-host, Doug “VB” Goudie – something he occasionally does on the station.  Harrison (left) is pictured with the WRKO morning show’s co-anchor Kim Carrigan (center) and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin (right).  Carrigan will be the guest on the next installment of the award-winning podcast “The Michael Harrison Interview” set to be posted tomorrow (7/31).

Final Radio Talent Institute of the Summer Taking Place at Northwest Missouri State.  This week begins that final 10-day Radio Talent Institute of the summer. Students from 11 different universities are converging on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. MBA president Mark Gordon says, “This was made possible by the financial commitments from Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Broadcasters board of directors and broadcast companies that include: Hubbard Radio St. Louis; Eagle Communications St. Joseph; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; Alpha Media of Missouri: Union Broadcasting Kansas City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield.  We are pleased to bring this program taught by industry professionals to Missouri that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Founder and president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, comments, “To have so many students from so many different universities is a tribute to Mark and the MBA and their efforts as we work together to discover and prepare young talent for the industry.  These are the talent we will be hiring now and will be the leaders in our industry tomorrow.”

RI Talk Host John DePetro and Sean Spicer at Book Signing. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) returned to his home state of Rhode Island to promote his new book The Briefing (2018, Regnery Publishing).  He’s pictured here with WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro (right), who hosted him on his radio show and attended several of the book signings with him.  DePetro also emceed a private VIP event in Spicer’s hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island.

New Affiliates for ‘Our American Stories.’ Now airing in the evenings on iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHO, Des Moines is Lee Habeeb’s “Our American Stories.”  Additional new affiliate stations include: iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston and Inspiration Time’s WXTE, Erie.  Program host Lee Habeeb is a vice president of content at Salem Media Group and a contributing editor of the weekly essay series “Across America” for Newsweek Magazine and Newsweek.com.  “Our American Stories” airs on 139 radio stations across the U.S.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump’s Mueller Tweets, Trump-Sulzberger Fake News Meeting, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump Trade Wars, Facebook Value Plummets, California Wildfires, Les Moonves Allegations, New Mission: Impossible Film, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with President Trump’s weekend tweets about the matter; Trump’s meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger over the president’s fake news charges; Trump threatens to let federal government shut down unless border wall is funded; the effects of Trump’s trade wars on U.S. businesses; the plunging value of Facebook; the deadly California wildfires; allegations of sexual harassment against CBS chairman Les Moonves; the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NuVoodoo Study Reveals Listener Misconceptions.  Calling the results “startling new insights for radio stations,” NuVoodoo Media Services says its 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of more than 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets will reveal the findings in a series of free webinars for radio professionals, beginning Wednesday (8/1).  Register at http://www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars.  The study was fielded this June and indicates that about half of all radio listeners under age 35 believe radio’s tight playlists are a cost-saving measure to avoid paying licensing fees.  Among those respondents who are likely to accept a diary or meter, the perception jumps to more than 2/3 among 14-24-year-olds. The study also shows that nearly 60% of all respondents and close to 70% of likely diary and PPM participants conclude that radio stations play the music that record companies pay them to play.  NuVoodoo says the webinar series is part of its ongoing effort to inform the industry of emerging trends and to help uncover opportunities for stations to improve programming and marketing efforts.  The primary focus is on those who have accepted or are more likely to accept a ratings diary or become part of the PPM panel, since this small segment of radio listeners holds the key to any station’s financial success.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and iHeartMedia announce a renewed and expanded relationship in which Bones takes on the title vice president, creative director of iHeartCountry.  In addition to continuing to host his daily morning show and the weekly “Country Top 30,” Bones will executive produce a new, one-hour weekend program, “Women of iHeartCountry,” co-hosted by Amy Brown from the Bobby Bones show.  The program will feature music from established female artists and up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on air personalities. Bones says, “This is the opportunity I’ve been chasing my entire career.  Thanks to Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and Kevin Legrett for their years of support and for the space to build this partnership.”…..LARadio.com reports that CHR legend Rick Dees is joining KQLH-LPFM, Yucaipa, California to host the afternoon drive show.  KQLH-LPFM serves parts of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs.  It is a non-profit station but accepts sponsorships as tax deductible donations…..Entercom names Toshamakia Acevedo music director and afternoon drive personality for hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  Acevedo transfers from the company’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 Jamz.”  Entercom Denver SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team. We believe her on-air energy and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.”  Acevedo succeeds former APD, music director, and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM, Sacramento as program director and afternoon drive host…..Cumulus Media appoints Megan Stone co-host of WEBE, Westport, Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven markets) “WEBE Wake Up Morning Show with Jay Michaels.”  Operations manager Danny Lyons states, “It is exciting to welcome Megan to the Cumulus family.  I know her enthusiasm for radio, as well as for her listeners, will shine through every morning on WEBE 108.”…..At CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “ENERGY 93.9,” Robert “Sid” Sidloski takes over the program director role on August 6.  Cumulus Media Indianapolis operations manager Boomer says, “In seeking the next leader for WYRG I had the opportunity to speak with several skilled programmers from around the country, most with career credentials that would certainly be suitable for the role of PD.  However, I kept coming back to Sid’s positive attitude and seemingly relentless drive and determination to succeed in this situation along with his vision for the brand to pursue and achieve aggressive success right away.  Sid has an understanding of our obstacles and has shared impressive plans to seize upon our opportunities here in Indianapolis.  I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing his leadership in action as PD of ENERGY 93.9.”…..The nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” – led by Bert Weiss – enters into an agreement to be produced and distributed by Westwood One.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re excited to welcome ‘The Bert Show’ to Westwood One.  His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade.  Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.” The program was previously syndicated by YEA Networks…..In Detroit, Mildred Gaddis – host of the “Mildred Gaddis Show” on Radio One’s “Detroit Praise Network” is named community affairs director for Radio One’s Detroit cluster. The new “Praise Network” replaces gospel WPZR-FM that was recently acquired by EMF. As part of that transaction, Radio One acquires translators W228CJ at 93.5 and W252BX at 98.3 from EMF and plans to marry them with W260CB at 99.9 to build the new “Detroit Praise Network.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary star Delilah is publishing her latest book, One Heart At a Time (2018, RosettaBooks).  In the book, Delilah uses “stories from her extraordinary off-air life – full of trials, forgiveness, faith, and adventure (along with select well-executed pranks)” in calling on us to “connect, one heart at a time, to lift others, and in the process, our communities and ourselves.” Rosetta CEO Arthur Klebanoff states, “In her easygoing style and characteristic, beloved voice, Delilah shares the real woman behind the microphone. She tells her deeply moving story as the series of miracles and prayers it is.”

Monday, July 16, 2018

| July 16, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Tribune/Sinclair Merger.  Releasing a statement today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s sharing with fellow commissioners a “draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative judge.”  Pai’s sticking point is an aspect of the proposed merger that would allow Sinclair to control stations it doesn’t technically own.  “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction.”  The proposed sale of Tribune Broadcasting’s assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group includes Tribune’s lone radio property – news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Sinclair currently owns three other radio stations in the Seattle market: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments on Pai’s decision, saying, “I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings.  Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law — specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition.  After a lengthy and fair process, Chairman Pai acted in a non-partisan manner in making this decision – a marked departure from the Commission’s partisan actions during the Obama administration.

iHeartMedia Elevates Four to Division Presidents. Four iHeartMedia region presidents are being promoted to division presidents of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Linda Byrd, Scott HopeckBrian Olson, and Jeff Tyler are expanding their current region president roles to include division president responsibilities — joining current division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Tom McConnell — and will report to Greg Ashlock, president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

ESPN Extends Contract with Paul Finebaum. Sports media personality Paul Finebaum and ESPN announce they’ve inked a new multi-year contract that will keep Finebaum with ESPN and SEC Network.  Finebaum will continue to host his eponymous radio program and continue to serve as an analyst on “SEC Nation.