Tag: "Chicago"

February 2019 PPM Ratings

| March 19, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| March 19, 2019

Cumulus Media Reports Q4 Net Revenue Up 5.2%; Net Income $43.7 Million.  The 2018 fourth quarter and full-year 2018 financial data from Cumulus Media is presented in two segments – the predecessor company (prior to emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization) in business from January 1 through June 3 of 2018, and the successor company in business from June 4, 2018 to the present.  Net revenue for Q4 2018 was $309 million, compared to $294 million in Q4 of 2017 – an increase of 5.2%.  The successor company realized net income of $43.7 million in Q4 2018, compared to the loss of $206 million the predecessor company took in Q4 of 2017.  For the full year of 2018, the combined predecessor and successor companies took in net revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 0.4% over the predecessor company’s 2017 net revenue.  For the year 2018, net income was $757 million compared to the predecessor company’s 2017 loss of $207 million.  For all of 2018, the Cumulus Media Radio Station Group’s net revenue was $780 million and the Westwood One segment’s net revenue was $357 million.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We are delighted by the company’s strong 2018 performance.  Despite the challenges presented by our bankruptcy in the first half of the year and industry headwinds throughout the year, Cumulus was able to deliver its first full year of revenue growth in four years fueled by digital growth of more than 60%, its eighth straight quarter of increased market revenue share and its second consecutive year of EBITDA growth after years of declines.  That EBITDA growth, in conjunction with our October 2018 $50 million voluntary debt prepayment, brought our net leverage down to 5.2x at year end. Additionally, as previously announced, we entered into two station transactions this quarter, which should further reduce net leverage when completed later this year.  In combination, these results demonstrate our firm commitment to the execution of our strategic priorities – maximizing operating performance, growing our digital businesses, and optimizing our asset portfolio – and the achievement of our financial goals of annually generating up to $100 million of free cash flow, reducing our net leverage to below 4.0x, and reinvesting in meaningful growth opportunities.  With the entire Cumulus team, I look forward to demonstrating continued progress against all these objectives in coming quarters.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Names Stephanie Tichenor Program Director; Brings Lauren Cohn Aboard News Team. After former program director Peter Bolger’s retirement was announced last month, Cumulus Media gets the next program director for news/talk WLS-AM from crosstown competitor WGN-AM, naming Stephanie Tichenor to the position.  She’s been with Tribune Media as WGN-AM’s director of news & operations.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “All of us at WLS-AM 890 are thrilled to have someone with the experience and talent that Stephanie brings as WLS enters its 95th year of broadcasting. Stephanie completes the rebuild of a legendary brand and positions the station for growth in 2019 and beyond.  Her history in Chicago will give her the insight and knowledge to positively affect our local and nationally syndicated programming for our Chicago audience.”  At the same time, Lauren Cohn – with WLS as a contributing reporter and fill-in host – joins the on-air news team.  Nyren says, “Lauren Cohn has been a valuable part of WLS-AM 890 for years as a part-time contributor that we will now be able to utilize on a full-time basis.  Lauren’s media experience in Chicago television, print, podcasting, and radio, makes her uniquely qualified to give the WLS audience a reason to listen on a daily basis.  Her journalism background and political knowledge fit perfectly within the station’s focus.”

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia.  Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018.  The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media.  Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications.  “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world.  Now, I have an opportunity to give back.”  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 daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.  Don’t miss this!

Deneroff Extends with Westwood One Sports. For three decades, Howard Deneroff has served with Westwood One.  Now, he signs a multi-year contract extension to continue serving as EVP/executive producer of Westwood One Sports.  Deneroff has been executive producer of the division since 2008 and he’ll continue to direct, coordinate, and execute all of the on-air coverage and production elements for Westwood One’s live, national radio play-by-play broadcasts as well as continue his role in talent and rights negotiations between Westwood One and its many prominent broadcast partners. He says, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working at a job I love and have loved since day one.  There is nothing that replicates the excitement and drama of live sporting events, and to be able to produce broadcasts for so many great games and historical events for Westwood One over the years has been a pleasure and an absolute honor.”

Salem Media Group Acquires PJ Media. Another digital publication is acquired by Salem Media Group to become part of its Townhall Media suite of conservative sites.  The conservative opinion and commentary site PJ Media was founded in 2004 by Roger L. Simon and operated by majority owner Aubrey Chernick.  Townhall Media vice president and general manager Jonathan Garthwaite says, “We’re excited to add PJ Media to the Townhall Media network.  PJ Media has done great work covering the issues that impact the future of the country. Townhall Media’s reach at a critical point in our nation’s history grows tremendously with PJ on our team.”  Salem says the addition of PJ Media will increase Townhall Media’s footprint to more than 15 million unique readers each month.

Sports Talk KLSD, San Diego Makes Program Lineup Changes. San Diego sports talk outlet KLSD “XTRA 1360 FOX Sports” makes changes to its daily talk show lineup.  The iHeartMedia station moves morning drive co-host Nick Hardwick to middays partnered with Jon Schaeffer; afternoon personality Mike Costa moves to mornings with Judson Richards as co-host; and midday host Rich Ohrnberger moves to afternoon drive as co-host with Steve Hartman on the “Loose Cannons” show. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs in the late morning daypart.

TALKERS News Notes. Charm City sports talker WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a sports talk station. The Entercom station is inviting listeners to “The Fanniversary” celebratory event at The Winslow in Baltimore that will allow fans to meet their favorite local sports giants, past and current on-air personalities, while noshing on food from local restaurants. Attendees will include: Vinny Cerrato, Jerry Coleman, Jeremy ConnTerry Ford, Scott Garceau, Bob HaynieRob Long, Ed Norris and Ken Weinman. The event will also welcome Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; Ross Grimsley, former pitcher, Baltimore Orioles; Bruce Laird, former defensive back, Baltimore Colts; Chris McAlister, former running back, Baltimore Ravens; Patrick Onwuasor, linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; and Gary Williams, former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach…..Cumulus Media’s Nashville sports talk station WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” conducted a charity event to benefit the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The station’s “Midday 180” show – led by Jonathan Hutton – hosted a basketball tournament called “Z-O-N-E” (like the game H-O-R-S-E) and brought in $32,510 for the charity.  The winner of the Z-O-N-E tournament was Titans Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern.….SiriusXM is providing comprehensive national audio coverage available for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, offering subscribers access to live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.  The 2019 MLB season begins March 20 – 21 with the 2019 Japan Opening Series featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome.  MLB’s traditional Opening Day is Thursday, March 28.

NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Trump-Russia Probe Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren CNN Town Hall, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18). The aftermath of the attacks on the New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead; the status of the Trump-Russia investigation; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s CNN Town Hall event; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket 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. In Houston, Entercom promotes Chris Huff to program director for country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” Huff has been serving as APD and music director for the station as well as APD for sister KKHH “95.7 The Spot.”  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “After an extensive nationwide search, we realized the best person to lead ‘The Bull’ was already with us here in Houston.  Chris’ knowledge of radio, and specifically country radio in Texas, is next to none.  His everyday actions display a pragmatic and hardworking leadership style and it is evident that he is the right person to lead this terrific team moving forward.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Shandra “Babs” Littleton midday host on rhythmic CHR WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1.” She was most recently with the company’s CHR WXKB-FM, Ft. Myers as co-host of the morning show.  She says, “I’m so happy to continue pursuing and realizing my dreams within the Beasley family.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of ‘WiLD,’ so I’m thankful and ready for this amazing opportunity in Tampa.”…..Programming pro Nate Bell exits iHeartMedia Detroit after a year as program director of urban contemporary WJLB and urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3.”…..Entercom’s rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ, New Orleans “Hot 92.9” adds the nationally syndicated “DL Hughley Show” for afternoons…..Legend Communications announces that Ted Peiffer is named general manager of the seven radio stations of the Basin Radio Network that serves Gillette, Wyoming, Campbell County, and the surrounding basin.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the February 2019 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 February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  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.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) sends iHeartMedia news/talk WOR out of the top twenty (#20 to #22); “710 The Voice of New York” was up four-tenths in January. It has a two-tenths lead over Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which adds three-tenths to January’s one-tenth increase (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), advancing from #24 to #23. This is the third successive time that Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records a 1.4 (#22 to #24, 6+).

Following a January gain of one-tenth, Entercom sports talk/Giants, Brooklyn Nets, Yankees flagship WFAN surrenders two-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Repeating its 1.8 (6+), after picking up four-tenths in January, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Jets and Knicks, exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Up one full-share in January (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS falters by seven-tenths to 4.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM relinquishes two-tenths, following a January improvement of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, #9 to #10, 6+).

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM drops from #11 to #14. Co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM squanders two-tenths (.6 – .4, 6+) and drifts from the top thirty (#27 to #31).

New York City Music Formats – Significant fluctuations continue for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station,” which netted a +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); surrendered all of it in January 2019 (1.4, -.9, 6+); and now posts a +.8 to 2.2 (6+), propelling it into the top twenty (#22 to #18). Following three straight decreases for an overall decline of seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight surveys for a cumulative loss of one-half share (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 (steady at #8, 6+). Tacking on one-half share to January’s increase of seven-tenths (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), urban AC sibling WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” climbs from third to second. Four-tenths ahead of WBLS is WLTW, which is a combined -5.3 in January and February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 20th successive sweep. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was +5.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Much like aforementioned classical WQXR, it has been an up/down affair lately for Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+);+1.3 to 6.4 (6+) in January; and now -.5 in February (5.9, second to third, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), immediately after an overall -1.2 via eight straight down or flat trends  (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, its internet stream debuts with a .6 (#38, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” notches gains of two-tenths (.6 – .8 – 1.0, #33 to #30, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it acquired in January (.8 – .9 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” skids from #31 to #34. Locked on .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” repeats January’s .6 (#37 to #38, 6+).

Albeit down one-tenth after a January gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Disney-owned/Rams and Lakers flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” carries on at #25. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – the key station of the Chargers and Dodgers – is up or flat for the third time in succession for a net gain of two -tenths (.7 – .7 – .9 – .9, flat at #31, 6+).

On the heels of January 2019’s +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips by one-tenth to 3.6 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Down one-tenth as well is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Voice of Southern California” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” erupts with a +.5 to 4.0 (eighth to sixth), its best 6+-showing since July 2018 (4.0, as well). Having surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST  answers with an uptick of three-tenths (6.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fifth straight time. Prior to January, “Coast 103.5” was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in succession (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). The yoyo effect continues for hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which erased “Holiday” 2018’s -.9 with a January 2019 +1.0 but is -.7 in February (4.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+), falling from third to fifth. When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped 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+). “My FM” spent five successive months at #1 before being dislodged in October. An increase of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+) is enough to push Entercom CHR KAMP from #20 to #12; “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 21st time in a row. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is a combined +.9 in January and February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Kiss” is tied with Entercom smooth AC KTWV “94-7 The Wave,” which is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” climbs from #22 to #21.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.3 (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Although flat at 1.7 (6+), following a January 2019 gain of six-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM inches up from #22 to #21.

Returning the three-tenths it scored in January (3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” not only curtails a string of three straight gains that netted one-half share (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), the flagship for the Cubs and Bulls departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Even though it remains at #26, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off a collective half-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

Having shifted from first to second in December, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM repeats its January #1 finish (6.2 – 6.1, -.1, 6+); the flagship of the Bears posted a January gain of nine-tenths.

A combined +.7 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ cracks the top ten (#12 to #9).

Chicago Music Formats – Replicating January’s six-tenths’ increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” cruises from sixth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (5.1) since 5.5 in August 2018. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” gains two-tenths to 3.0 (#16 to #13, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WPPN “Amor 106.7” regresses by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#19 to #22, 6+). A combined +10.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is now an overall -8.9 in January and February (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). Despite tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.6 (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” backslides out of the top ten (#10 to #11). A January increase of nine-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO halted its December – “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “Que Buena 105.1” forfeits one-half share in February (5.5 – 5.0, second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” remains in fifth-place.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats –In the last three sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+) has ranked #15 (“Holiday” 2018); #16 (January 2019): and #17 (February 2019). As a result of five successive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate KGO is a collective -.7 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, #22 to #24, 6+).

Co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #13. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in September 2018 (2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (-.2) slumps from #18 to #20.

Having logged three consecutive upticks for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM returns one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but continues in second-place. At #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December, KCBS-AM was in 5.3 – 5.8 range (6+) between February 2018 – “Holiday” 2018.

While it repeats at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED sputters by nine-tenths (8.0 – 7.1, 6+), erasing January’s one-half share improvement. Following 11 straight months at #1, KQED fell to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #28 to #27.

San Francisco Music Formats – On the heels of displaying a January 2019 increase of one-half share, iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” follows with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, fourth to third, 6+). Prior to January, “The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Advancing from tenth to seventh, co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of posting a fluctuation of one-half share: It was -.5 (3.5 – 3.0, December, 6+); +.5 (3.0 – 3.5, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and -.5 in January 2019 (3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Via six straight reports without an increase (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS was an overall -.7, but “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” records a +.3 to 1.7 (#24 to #21, 6+). After posting a +.6 in January, University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC spirals by -1.0 (3.6 – 2.6, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#7 to #14). KDFC notched one-half share increases in November and December (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+) before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. In December and “Holiday” 2018, KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but the Bonneville-owned adult contemporary is now a combined -6.4 in January and February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up six-tenths in January and February (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) after a -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” progresses from #16 to #15. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is unchanged from January 2019 in 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#34). Down or flat the past five times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .4 (#37 to #36, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), its sports talk cluster-mate – KTCK – bounced back with a one-half share gain in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” stumbles by three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM was a +1.0, but “105.3 The Fan” returns 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #13 to #18, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is down for the fifth time in succession for a collective -.4 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, #32 to #33, 6+).

Up a combined three-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” inches up from #20 to #19. Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM remains within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Stuck on 3.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is up by four-tenths in January and February (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas Music FormatsA December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 mini-slide by iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS resulted in a -1.2 (5.4     – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), but “Lone Star 92.5” answers with a February increase of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fourth to second, 6+). Having logged a 2.6 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” breaks out a +.6 to 3.2 (#18 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for a collective loss of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA “K-104” wipes away all but one-tenth of that deficit with a one-half share increase to 3.2 (#17 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-half share uptick as well – after a January loss of eight-tenths – is co-owned urban AC KRNB (1.7 – 2.2, #26 to #22, 6+). When “105.7 Smooth R&B” gained four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, it ended five consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” repeats at #1. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. On the heels of recording a January +1.3 to 4.9 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” relinquishes all but two-tenths of that bounty (3.8, -1.1, second to sixth, 6+). Five straight up or flat trends by Radio One urban AC KZMJ netted seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+) but “Majic 94.5 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” surrenders all of it plus another one-tenth (1.5, -.8, 6+), freefalling from the top twenty (#19 to #27). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1” is now a combined -3.4 in January and February (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7, fourth to ninth, 6+). Dropping by one-half share as well in February is City of Dallas’ WRR “Classical 101” (1.9 – 1.4, #29, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH recorded a move of seven-tenths: -.7 (4.3 – 3.6, December, 6+); -.7 (3.6 – 2.9, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, January 2019, 6+). While “News Radio 740” doesn’t continue that streak (3.6 – 3.9, +.3, 6+), it does progress into the top ten (#12 to #10).

For the sixth sweep in succession, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without a loss and is up three-tenths in that stretch (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, #23 to #22, 6+). It is tied with Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which has lost a combined half-share in January and February (1.4 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #22, 6+). Trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” continues at #27.

Off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, 6+), following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is flat at #18. Entering the January sweep, KUHF was without an increase the previous six ratings periods for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Mirroring its January increase of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” lunges from eighth to fifth. Within 2.1 – 2.8 territory (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” erupts with a +.6 to 3.4 (#17 to #16, 6+). An overall -2.0 in six successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Off one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is on top for the 11th straight time. “Sunny,” which was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive positive spikes (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+), spiraled by -3.5 in January. After improving by one-half share in January (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.2 (6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). In addition to being down or flat in four consecutive ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21). An overall +1.5 as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” surrenders three-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner does WSB-AM erase two-thirds of December and “Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4, the Cox Media Group news/talk facility relinquishes nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+). Even so, WSB-AM – which had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 – repeats at #1. Despite picking up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” backslides from #22 to #23; WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation. After eight successive up or flat sweeps for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK is a combined -.3 in January and February (.7 – .5 – .4, 6+) but stays at #28.

By gaining three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). “The Game” was a combined -.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+). In addition to slipping by three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s Atlanta Braves flagship WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is bumped from the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Notwithstanding that it tacks on a one-tenth increase to January’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE backslides from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period, WABE was a collective +1.2, owing to five straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) Georgia State University news/talk WRAS continues at #26.

Atlanta Music Formats – Zooming from tenth to sixth, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall +1.9 as the result of four successive upticks (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). In a bit of a statistical irony, urban AC sibling WAMJ-FM “Majic” (5.4 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAMJ-HD2 (#18) each improves by nine-tenths. WAMJ-FM posted a +1.0 in January, while WAMJ-HD2 has nearly tripled (+1.3) its 6+-stat in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.1 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from eighth to seventh, WAMJ-FM’s urban AC rival – Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” – logs a gain of six-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.5. The market’s country tussle tightens as Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” rebounds from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #16 to #14, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” which was a collective +1.4 via four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), erodes by -1.0 to 3.3 (#9 to #13). Flashing gains of one-half share (each) and continuing at fifth and seventh, respectively, are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Having almost doubled (+4.2) its 6+-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” faltered by -3.7 in January. A “Holiday” 2018 increase of one-half share by “B-98.5” halted at three a consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), but WSB-FM was off by -1.0 in January. A combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ logged a +.7 in January but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” forfeits six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #11). A combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+) Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (second to third, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January uptick of one-half share, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is unchanged in 6+-share (2.5) and 6+-market rank (#17). Despite being up or flat the third time in a row (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” backslides from #21 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies Entercom sports talk WIP – has the dubious distinction of registering the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here (7.2 – 5.9, -1.3, first to sixth, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, as well, was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); +.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -1.3 (February 2019). Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – February 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom’s KYW rebounded in January with a +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” drops four-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Three declines in a row by WHYY led to a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet is a combined +.3 in January and February (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A combined +2.1 in January and February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), immediately after a December and “Holiday” 2018 -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” jumps from a three-way tie for third to first. November’s increase of six-tenths curtailed 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 2018 and segued to second in September. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share increases by six-tenths as Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is up two-tenths (6.3 – 6.5, steady at #3, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites” improves by four-tenths (ninth to eighth). On top from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but is now a combined +2.3 in three upticks in succession (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM” returns in full the six-tenths it earned in January (2.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #18, 6+); January’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 3.4. Without a loss the past three sweeps for a collective +.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” forfeits that half share in its entirety (3.7, 6+) but continues in tenth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR accounted for a -1.5 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “710 The Voice of New York” adds a combined four-tenths in January and February (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, #15 to #14, 6+). The October 2018 through February 2019 Long Island topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (flat at #26, 6+).

Having gained four-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WFAN sputters by three-tenths in February (4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from a three-way tie at #2 to #4. Down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” slumps from #20 to #24.

Finishing back-to-back with a combined -.4 are Entercom all-news siblings WINS (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, flat at #10, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #12 to #11, 6+). These two news siblings – which were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November – were a combined +1.3 in January 2019.

Unlisted in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; and is down one-tenth in February (2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – On one hand, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by six-tenths (4.3 – 4.9, sixth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WBLI “106.1 BLI – Long Island’s #1 For All The Hits” regresses by one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, fifth to sixth, 6+). It is the best Long Island showing for “Z-100” since July 2018 (4.9, as well) and lowest 6+-stat for WBLI since September 2018’s 3.8. In addition to recording its strongest 6+-performance in Nassau-Suffolk since August 2018 when it reached 2.6, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” has its third up or flat report in succession for a +.6 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top twenty (#22 to 18). On top for the fourth straight time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” regresses by one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+), after January’s -4.5. “Real Variety” was a combined +6.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). Major shifts continue for classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #11 to #12, 6+). In six consecutive sweeps without a loss, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ  more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) but “La Mega 97.9” drops one-tenth to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+). Slipping from #15 to #18, Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” is an overall -1.7 as the result of seven straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth consecutive negative or even trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK (formerly KUBE) is likewise without an increase for the fifth successive time (.3 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+). “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; and added one-tenth in both September and October. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 14th straight sweep.

Following a January increase of four-tenths (1.1 – 1.5, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth to 1.4 (#11 to #12, 6+). The September 2018 through February 2019 topline for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is .3 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Without a loss the third sweep in succession for a gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is anchored in the runner-up slot for the tenth time in a row. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). Albeit down the third report in a row for a collective -2.4 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is on top for the tenth successive sweep. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. After four straight down or flat reports that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and is steady at #6. Not only is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD in one-share range (6+) for the 19th successive ratings period, “Recuerdo” has its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +.2 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, #13 to #11, 6+). Without a loss for the seventh report in a row (.1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .6, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is up one-half share in that timeframe and advances from #20 to #16. While it continues in fifth-place, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” falters by two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping five successive up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.8 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media’s KGO, which is an overall -1.1 in that stretch (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). Unchanged at #25, co-owned news/talk KSFO is a combined +.5 in January and February (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), following a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR added six-tenths in January to curtail five straight down or flat moves that yielded a combined -1.6 (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). While “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in February (3.4 – 3.3, 6+) it manages to climb back into the top ten (#11 to #9). Down three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” slips from #21 to #23.

Even though it is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat moves including remaining flat in February (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM is displaced from the top spot (first to second). January and February’s 7.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018’s 7.2.

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); added four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; but is a combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+). It added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; was flat in January 2019; and adds one-tenth in February (.7 – .8, #26 to #27, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Boasting the strongest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 improvement of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG more than obliterates its January’s -1.0 with a +1.5 (4.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Amor 100.3” was a combined +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). In four successive San Jose decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ lost roughly half (-2.3) its 6+-share (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” answers in February with a +.7 to 2.9 (#15 to #12, 6+). “The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which is an overall +1.0 via three straight upticks (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.3, #12 to #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media triple A KFOG (2.1, #18, 6+), which regains the one-half share it lost through three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). As a result of five consecutive declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX had its 6+ AQH share sliced nearly in half (-3.2), but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Three increases in a row netted it a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Piling on four-tenths to January’s +.7 (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is enough to boost Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” from second to first. “Bay FM” was a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). In November, KBAY reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” logs a shift of eight-tenths: It was -.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.8, 6+); +.8 in January 2019 (3.8 – 4.6, 6+); and now -.8 in February (4.6 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. Following four straight up or flat trends that yielded a +1.4 (2.2 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC returns half that increase (2.9, -.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Big ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was a collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (3.9 – 3.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). As the result of five straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), KOIT-FM was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Entercom adult contemporary facility, however, is unlisted in San Jose for the second straight month.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.2, WKXW drops two-tenths (8.2 – 7.9, 6+) but the Townsquare Media news/talk outlet repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” occupied the top spot six straight sweeps before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 with a -1.1. November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). On the heels of January’s +1.0 – which completely erased its overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 – iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is unchanged in 6+-share (3.4) and 6+-market rank (#12). Entering December’s Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). As is the case with WOR, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged from January in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#26). WABC had been down or flat seven successive reports for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+).

Faltering by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN slumps from #11 to #15. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” has lost six-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS improves for the fourth straight time gaining one-half share in the process (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, flat at #24, 6+), co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM is down one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+); was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+); and is up a combined eight-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, #18 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Down or flat four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by a combined nine-tenths in January and February (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). With a September 2018 through January 2019 topline of 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #8). Without an increase the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “95.5 PLJ – New York’s Best Music Mix” posts a one-half share gain to 2.6 (#22 to #19, 6+). Educational Media Foundation is expected to close on its purchase of WPLJ in early-summer. On the heels of its January gain of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+), Pillar Of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” surrenders six-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+). January’s 4.2 is its highest 6+ performance since May 2018’s 4.6.

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

MORE SPEAKERS BEING NAMED for 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019.  Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio.  A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group;  Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOneMike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102” ; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMediaJim Bohannon, host, Westwood OnePhil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show;  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi MediaSebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversityJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Dave Robinette, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed DialSid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio;  Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley BroadcastingDr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications NetworkBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

Friday, March 8, 2019

| March 8, 2019

WGN, Chicago Brings Back ‘Extension 720’ with Host Justin Kaufmann. The original “Extension 720” was hosted by the late Milt Rosenberg for 40 years but was canceled by station management in 2012.  Now, the Tribune Media station announces that Justin Kaufmann will leave his role with the morning drive Steve Cochran program to take over hosting the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.  Pete Zimmerman will serve as producer.  WGN station manager and VP on content Todd Manley says the new show will honor the format of Rosenberg’s program with long-form interviews.  Kaufmann will also “meet Chicago voices on location in the communities and neighborhoods where they live and work and will focus on a variety of topics, from arts & culture to politics and innovation.”  Monday evenings will still belong to “Andrea Darlas & The Reporters” and sports play-by-play will bump the show from time to time.  Kaufmann has been with WGN since joining from public media outlet WBEZ-FM in 2015.  He says, “I’m honored and humbled to be at the helm of one of the best radio shows in Chicago history.”

WHO, Des Moines Goes ‘All-Female’ in Honor of International Women’s Day. In recognition of today’s International Women’s Day, iHeartMedia news/talk WHO, Des Moines is presenting a lineup of entirely female hosts.  WHO’s International Women’s Day program lineup will include: Bonnie Lucas, Leila Rush, and Heather Burnside-Parizek from 1460 KXnO as hosts for “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” with WHO personality Adrianne Branstad and WHO news director Wendy Wilde as hosts for “Need to Know with Jeff Angelo,” and WHO news anchor Sue Danielson as the host for “The Simon Conway Show.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart says, “As a company we aim to celebrate the contributions of women in music and radio year-round and on International Women’s Day we are highlighting our accomplished radio personalities even more as we support and promote gender balance in the workplace and the world.”  The station adds that in addition to broadcasting 1040 WHO’s most renowned on-air personalities and hosts, the International Women’s Day programming will showcase a variety of different topics that inspire women – ranging from sports, business, and agriculture.  Cristen Clark, a successful farmer and founder of agricultural website Food and Swine, will be featured on-air with several successful women in Iowa agriculture and will be joined by co-host and producer, Morgan McEnany.  To end the day, 1040 WHO will also broadcast coverage of the nationally ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team as they play their first game of the Big 10 Conference Tournament.

KYW, Philadelphia Personalities Seek Federal Mediator in Union Negotiations. A report by Philadelphia Business Journal’s Jeff Blumenthal indicates that the SAG-AFTRA-represented on-air staffers at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia are asking for federal mediation to resolve their issues in contract negotiations with the company. As TALKERS reported previously, SAG-AFTRA publicly called out Entercom for what it is now calling “low-balling” during negotiations for the all-news stations previously owned by CBS RADIO.  Entercom responded, saying: “These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS RADIO, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”  Local SAG-AFTRA president Sam Clover tells the PBJ, “We’ve bargained for years with CBS RADIO and never had to take this step, but now we’re dealing with a new company who won’t compromise, so we’re reaching out for help.”  Most cutting to KYW talent is the company’s desire to cut severance benefits by 50% to 90%, according to the story.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: January 2019 Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the January 2019 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio to see which formats/specific stations are in the lead (#1 and #2) positions in their respective markets.  Interestingly, while no news/talk station finished #2 in its market, five news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in the market during the January survey.  They were: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and Cox’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

PodcastOne and Law & Crime Network Team Up. A new deal between PodcastOne and the Dan Abrams-founded Law & Crime will include a series of new podcasts focusing on the worlds of law and true-crime.   Law & Crime is a 24/7 linear and OTT live trial network.  The first podcast to debut is the self-titled “Dan Abrams Podcast,” set to release new episodes every Thursday.  Abrams says, “Law & Crime is excited to expand its distribution to yet another important medium.  Our partnership with PodcastOne will allow us share some amazing stories with expert legal analysis to a new audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Boston sports media personality Kirk Minihane is the subject of a profile piece in Boston Magazine.  Last fall, Minihane refused to sign a document promising to not attack the Boston Red Sox or the Boston Globe and to “not be mean-spirited” on the radio and that led to his departure from the WEEI, Boston morning show with co-host Gerry Callahan.  But, he’s still with Entercom, working on his own program emanating from the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  The piece recounts Minihane’s battle with depression and how WEEI changed its morning show…..Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network are partnering to distribute 14 of the latter’s talk programs to radio stations.  GAB’s shows cover topics including news, sports, music, lifestyle, and more.  GAB general manager Chuck Duncan says, “GAB Radio has become one of the premier production and distribution companies in network radio.  Partnering with Envision was the natural progression to our growth strategy.  Their unbridled vision and outstanding team are an extension of GAB Radio Network.”…..iHeartMedia announces Annette Geiser is promoted to SVP of sales for its Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets that include news/talk KCSJ, Pueblo.  Geiser was most recently a senior account executive.  Market president Jessica Farias says, “I’m excited to have Annette step up and take on this leadership role as the senior vice president of sales.  Annette’s depth of knowledge in the Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets along with her deep relationships are key in leading a best-in-class sales team at iHeartMedia Colorado Springs and Pueblo.”…..Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia is presenting the annual live event “SportsRadio 94WIP Birds Town Hall” – a discussion about the state of the Philadelphia Eagles led by WIP on-air personalities and featuring various NFL and Eagles experts.  It’s taking place all day at MaGerks Pub & Grill in Horsham, Pennsylvania…..Podcast company Cadence13, is presenting the SXSW Podcast Stage at this year’s SXSW in Austin taking place today through March 17. The SXSW Podcast Stage presented by Cadence13 will host podcasts across a number of genres — music, film, technology, comedy, politics, and more — recorded in front of a live audience during the SXSW conference…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show is added to the daily lineup of Spirit Broadcasting’s WINT-AM, Willoughby, Ohio (Cleveland market).

Cohen Sues Trump Organization Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4-8, 2019. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s suit against the Trump Organization and his congressional testimony about President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the U.S. House investigation into President Trump for obstruction of justice and more.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, followed by the state of the U.S.-Mexico border 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 and Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Morning Talk on a Classic Rock Station: Mike “Bax” Baxendale is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The co-host of what is pound-for-pound one of the most successful talk shows on American radio, Mike “Bax” Baxendale, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past 24 years, Baxendale has co-hosted the “Bax & O’ Brien Show” with his team-mate, John O’ Brien in mornings on the Saga Communications powerhouse classic rock station, WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts.  The all-talk show is an eclectic blend of local and national politics, regional issues, pop culture, lifestyle trends, frivolous “locker room” banter and compellingly candid insights into the personal lives of the show’s participants.  “Rock 102” boasts a “flame thrower” signal that radiates far beyond Springfield and Western Massachusetts to blanket the neighboring market of Hartford, Connecticut – going far north into Vermont, south to New Haven and west into parts of New York State.  Michael Harrison says, “Saga doesn’t need to subscribe to the ratings to sell advertising on this gem of a property in its primary listening area – the team of Bax and O’ Brien are superstars in this heavily populated region of New England.  Their success and impact are self-evident.  They are household names and two of the most beloved ‘bad boys’ I’ve ever seen in radio.  They are examples of the sheer power of this medium when done properly with authenticity and consistency.  They are also wonderful examples of the growing number of ‘all-talk’ shows that have popped up over the years on FM music stations – shows that defy the narrow, self-imposed restrictions that have come to define programming on traditional AM news/talk outlets.”  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 or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Jacksonville station WWJK-FM flips from adult hits to rock as “107.3 Planet Radio,” anchored by the morning drive “Lex and Terry” show.  The station is featuring core artists such as: AC/DC, Nirvana, Metallica, Linkin Park, and Sublime. iHeartMedia Jacksonville SVP of programming G-Wiz says, “Planet Radio is Jacksonville’s best rock station ever.  The legendary Planet Radio not only features Jacksonville’s highest rated morning show, ‘Lex and Terry,’ but has the hardest working, 24/7 radio staff.  I’m excited to have ‘Planet Radio’ back at its original frequency 107.3.”…..In San Francisco, morning personality Elvis Medina exits Entercom’s alternative KITS “ALT 105.3” and co-host Daena “DK” Kramer continues as solo host.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

| March 7, 2019

KGO, San Francisco Announces New Lineup.  Bay Area news/talk icon KGO 810 is unveiling its new lineup of talk show hosts that will begin on Monday (3/11).  Earlier this week the station elected not to renew the contract of midday host Ethan Bearman.  Now, the Cumulus Media station announces three personalities are joining the daily lineup: Mark Thompson, Pat Thurston, and John Rothman. Thompson’s show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Thurston is on from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and Rothman holds down the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm shift.  KGO program director and operations manager Lee Hammer says, “I’m excited to be able to add more live and local programming to KGO.  KGO is talking about the major stories of the day and the impact they have on our daily life.  To get those conversations started, we’ve added three outstanding and veteran talk show hosts, each with their own unique style of engaging, informing and entertaining our listeners.”  Mark Thompson has worked at KGO previously, in addition to KABC and KFI in Los Angeles. He’s also a veteran TV weather reporter and worked at KRON-TV, San Francisco.  Pat Thurston has been a weekend host at KGO for the past 12 years. She is an Army veteran who also worked for the Secret Service.  John Rothman has a varied professional background as a former college professor, author, lecturer, foreign policy consultant and expert on the U.S. presidency.  Rothman hosted various shows on KGO since 1996.

Chris Stigall and WPHT, Philadelphia Part Company.  Talk radio host Chris Stigall has exited Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia after almost nine years with the station.  As of Wednesday (3/6), Stigall’s bio, etc. was gone from the WPHT website and Jeff Bolton was sitting in on the morning show. Philadelphia Magazine reports it has confirmed that Stigall is no longer with the station.  Reporter Victor Fiorillo writes that “according to sources close to the Stigall situation, the split wasn’t ugly.  Those sources say that 1210AM simply decided not to renew Stigall’s contract.”  There’s been no public comment by Entercom about its plans to replace Stigall.  He’d arrived in Philly from Kansas City in 2010 where’d hosted a show on KCMO-AM.

Mike North Returns to Chicago Airwaves for Weekly Sports Betting Show on ‘ESPN 1000.’ Chicago sports radio icon Mike North is returning to the air as co-host of “The ODDS Couple” with Carmen DeFalco on ESPN’s WMVP “ESPN 1000.”   The weekly, one-hour program focused on sports betting debuts tomorrow (3/8) at 6:00 pm. WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says, “As sports betting moves from the shadows to the spotlight, we expect to be a destination for those who participate and those who want to be entertained.  This isn’t only going to be about updated betting lines and hot tips.  It’s about the highs, the lows, and how to succeed and have fun whether you’re a grizzled veteran or a newcomer to sports betting.  Those in betting circles already know of Mike’s incredible track record as a long-time gambling expert.  Bringing Mike back to Chicago’s airwaves to become a lead voice in local sports betting was too good to pass up.  Pairing him with ESPN1000’s resident gambling guru, Carmen DeFalco, was a no brainer.”  North spent most of his radio career on the air at crosstown sports talker WSCR “The Score.”  DeFalco co-hosts WMVP’s midday “Carmen & Jurko” show with John Jurkovic.

Details of Cox Media Group Assets Sale Revealed. Last month’s announcement by Cox Enterprises that it is selling its television assets, the Dayton Daily News and radio stations news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, classic hits WZLR, and country WHKO in Dayton to Apollo Global Management did not come with a price tag.  Now that details have been filed and made public, we know that Apollo will pay $3.1 billion for the media properties.  Technically, the buyer is Terrier Media Buyer Inc. and the two radio stations will operate under the Camelot Radio name.

Edison Research and Triton Digital Unveil The Infinite Dial 2019. The 2019 Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital has been made public and the companies say that the growth of podcasting is evident as among the U.S. population ages 12 and older, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone.  With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream.”  Other findings from this year’s study include that more than half the U.S. population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in the last week.  That number is now 70% among 12 to 34-year-olds.  It also found that the percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.  See more here.

Alana Lujan Named Director of Sales for CMG Jacksonville. Rising from integrated digital sales manager to director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Alana Lujan.  In her new role, she’ll lead the sales effort for the market’s radio and Local Solutions brands, including news/talk WOKV-FM, sports talk WOKV-AM “ESPN 690,” and six music radio outlets.  She says, “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead our strong and talented sales team in Jacksonville.  I’m excited for this new adventure and to bring my experience in broadcast and digital sales as well as my love of radio to help this team achieve new levels of success.”

MIW Group Extends Mentoring Program Application Deadline to March 11. Persons interested in applying for the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program have until Monday, March 11 to do so.  This notable experience pairs up-and-coming women, who have spent a minimum of five years in the radio industry, with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  A total of four candidates from within the radio broadcasting industry – including management, sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2019 program. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please visit www.radiomiw.com.

WOR’s Berman and Riedel Turn One!  Pictured above is the WOR, New York morning show team celebrating the one-year anniversary of the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” show.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Michael Riedel, executive producer Natalie Vacca, and Len Berman.

U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Sentencing, Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Resolution, North Korea Weapons Program, DNC Bars FOX, Anti-Vaxer Controversies, Alex Trebek Cancer Diagnosis, ‘Leaving Neverland’ Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The large number of illegals reportedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the fracture in the Democratic Party with no vote on the anti-Semitism resolution; reports of North Korea’s re-boot of its missile program; the Democratic National Committee’s barring FOX News from covering the Democratic primary debates; the various controversies over anti-vaccination beliefs; “Jeopary!” host Alex Trebek announces his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer; the banning of Michael Jackson records and the aftermath of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” film; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Metaphorical shock waves were felt across Southern California yesterday (3/6) when KROQ, Los Angeles morning personality Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he’d be leaving the “Kevin & Bean” show by the end of this year.  Baxter has hosted the show with Kevin Ryder on Entercom’s alternative station since 1990.  Telling his audience that “30 years is a good time to stop,” he says he plans to re-locate to England after he finishes his career with the station…..Cumulus Media and Westwood One announce that air personality Stew James will assume the afternoon drive host duties on WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 NASH Icon and the national Westwood One NASH Icon Network. James has most recently served with the company as weekend air talent and technical producer of “The Ty Bentli Show.”…..The syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” adds new affiliates to bring its total affiliate roster to 175 stations worldwide.  New stations include: XHTO-FM, El Paso; WLMI-FM, Lansing, Michigan; and KHTH-FM, Santa Rosa, California…..iHeartMedia and FOX Broadcasting Company announce that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter T-Pain will serve as host of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The live two-hour event will be broadcast live on FOX TV, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio platform.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

| March 5, 2019

Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins.  Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him.  Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.”  Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge.  “It’s a dark tunnel.  I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk.  I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”

Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes.  She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive.  Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season.  The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units.  iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks.  The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee.  Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1.  She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization.  McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.

Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations.  EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia.  iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).

House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops 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. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF.  Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11).  Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado.  Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’  Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native.  Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.”  She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel.  Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, 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.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China 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.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  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. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

| February 21, 2019

40th Anniversary of Founding of Guardian Angels Coincides with Release of SLIWONICS. Tonight, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and early afternoon personality Curtis Sliwa are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sliwa’s founding of the Guardian Angels at the company’s Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 at WABC Radio.  At the same time, Sliwa’s book titled, SLIWONICS, is being released.  Sliwa says the book “explains the many terms that I have used in 27 years of doing talk radio that are malaprops, spoonerisms, and fractured phrases.” He says that this evening he will read from the book “in a ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ way.”

Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media. Media executive Brian Mayfield is promoted to the role of executive vice president of Ramsey Media – the company founded by nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey.  The company says that this move expands his role to include the Ramsey Solutions Operating Board and Executive Committee speaking into global initiatives company-wide.  Mayfield continues to lead Ramsey Media managing distribution and monetization of The Ramsey Network that features “The Dave Ramsey Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Chris Hogan Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “Business Boutique,” and “The Anthony O’Neal Show.”  Mayfield joined Ramsey Solutions in 2009 and has led the Ramsey Media team since 2012.

Armstrong & Getty Interview Outspoken News Pro Lara Logan. On the heels of her much-publicized interview with former Navy Seal and podcaster Mike Ritland, former CBS News reporter Lara Logan appeared on the KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty program to talk about political bias, objective journalism, and more.  She’s been embraced by conservatives since this story first broke for calling out news organizations for their lack of objectivity.  However, she told Armstrong & Getty, “I just want to say one thing.  If I say one thing loudly and clearly, louder than anything I ever said, I want to say if there is any person out there or any group that is trying to paint me as some kind of ‘right-winger’ or some kind of conservative, I reject that with every fiber of my being and my soul.  I reject that with everything in me.  I am not a politician and I am not going to be labeled by any of them.  I do my job the same way no matter who’s in power.  No matter who’s in power I do my job the same on ‘60 Minutes’ as I did on a newspaper in South Africa or when I was filling in for radio stations.”  Hear the interview here.

Westwood One News Scores Deal for 45 Cox Media Group Music Stations. A new agreement to provide breaking news coverage on 45 Cox Media Group music stations in Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, San Antonio, and other markets – in addition to the signing of news/talk WWBA-AM, Tampa – puts Westwood One News at the 900-affiliate mark.  The company also reports the re-signing of affiliates, including: WINS-AM, New York and KYW-AM, Philadelphia.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One News has expanded rapidly due to our trustworthy global news reporting, which stations can locally brand and seamlessly embed into their programming. Reaching 900 stations over four years is an amazing milestone and a testament to Bart Tessler, Jim Jones, the Westwood One News team, and our affiliate sales team.”

Francesa-Kay Battle in New York Illustrates Challenges Faced in Selling Talk. The Andrew Marchand column in the New York Post addressing the sports talk radio battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay highlights some of the challenges facing talk broadcasters – sports, news/talk, or otherwise – when it comes to selling based on ratings.  Marchand reports that Kay beat Francesa in Nielsen’s January PPM (Men 25-54) with a 5.8 share over Francesa’s 5.0 share.  The piece goes on to address the difference in ratings when a station uses Total Line Reporting.  Further, Marchand notes that if total audience is the ultimate measuring stick, then Kay’s YES Network television audience needs to be included, too.

TALKERS News Notes. The mayor of Atlanta made news there by responding to a social media post by former WSB-AM/WSBB-FM talk host and current commentator Neal Boortz.  WXIA-TV, Atlanta reports that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took issue with Boortz’s tweet that compares the Democratic Party’s treatment of blacks today to that of plantation owners during slavery.  You can see the story here.  Though Boortz retired from his regular talk show in 2013, he still does a daily commentary for WSB…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago journalist and former WCPT-AM, Chicago talk host Ben Joravsky is back in the audio game with a new, daily talk show being streamed live by the Chicago Reader and the Sun-Times…..Podcast producer Cadence13 is named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2019. The list honors the businesses making “the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world.”  Cadence 13 partners Spencer Brown and Chris Corcoran say, “We are thrilled to be recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative media companies of 2019.  This wouldn’t be possible without the trust and dedication of our incredible partners, the hard work, passion and execution of our entire team, and the creative and innovative environment we promote here at C13.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall Emergency Declaration Challenge, Jussie Smollett Case, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Putin Threatens U.S., Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The expectation that the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents will wrap soon; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; actor Jussie Smollett is charged with filing a false police report after charging he was assaulted in Chicago; the Democrats declaring their 2020 presidential candidacy; Russian president Vladimir Putin threatens the U.S. with military retribution if the U.S. installs missiles in Europe; the Vatican’s plans to take up issues surrounding the cascade of sexual abuse charges against its clergy; the political unrest in Venezuela as conditions under Nicolas Maduro deteriorate; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Next month’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will include three new awards to be given to artists during the two-hour, live television and radio event. The 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Alicia Keys with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award; Garth Brooks with the Artist of the Decade Award; and Halsey with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L’Oréal Paris.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards airs live on Thursday, March 14 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on FOX TV and across iHeartMedia radio stations as well as the iHeartRadio platform from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekend radio show starring Elaina Smith called “With Elaina,” targeted to country music outlets.  WWO says the show is “designed for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans, and country music lovers” and “showcases Elaina doing what she does best – talking about life, love, movies, music, celebrity news, and of course, country music.” Smith says, “Launch day can’t come soon enough.  I’ve been waiting to do a show like this for years.  We’re going to have a blast bringing my pop culture background and millennial vibe to country music fans in a whole new way.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. 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.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June 2018 through November 2018 for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), WMAL was then a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Not only does the Cumulus Media news/talker bounce back with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, sixth to fifth, 6+), WMAL establishes a new record for its best 6+-stat (5.7) in the PPM-era.

Flat at #14, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” returns half (one-tenth) of the two-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, 6+). The +.2 in “Holiday” 2018 followed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). Stuck on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is a combined -.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (.9 – .8 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+).

After eroding by one full-share in “Holiday” 2018, Hubbard all-news WTOP roars back with a +2.0 (8.4 – 10.4, 6+) and returns to #1 with its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

It took just one ratings period for American University-owned news/talk WAMU to completely obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s massive -2.2, as “The Mind Is Our Medium” hangs out a January 2019 +2.5 (7.3 – 9.8, fourth to second, 6+). There have been a plethora of major (6+) “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases but this (WAMU’s +2.5) is the largest one we’ve seen in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far. Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). While this (9.8) is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since May 2017’s 10.7, its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat since 6.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten 10 times in calendar year 2018.

Down or flat five straight times for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Entercom business news outlet WDCH doubles (+.3) its 6+-stat to .6 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Not only is Entercom hot AC-turned-classic hits-oldies WIAD an overall +1.5 via four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” rockets into the top ten (#16 to #9). With a September through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.0 (6+), co-owned Spanish tropical WLZL “El Zol 107.9” posts a one-half share gain to 1.5 (#20 to #19, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat in just over one year (1.5, as well in “Holiday” 2017). Owing to four straight upticks (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” is an overall +1.1 and continues at #3. At the same time, its format foe – Howard University’s WHUR – tacks on two-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.9 (6.2 – 6.4, 6+), advancing from fifth to fourth. A collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” picks up one-tenth to 3.6 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Manning Broadcasting hot AC and classic hits-oldies cluster-mates WAFY “Key 103” and WWEG “106.9 The Eagle”  surface at .8 (#21, 6+) and .6 (#23, 6+), respectively. A combined +5.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” sputters by -6.1 in January 2019 to 4.3 (6+), tumbling from first to sixth. Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Forfeiting nearly all of the seven-tenths it accrued in “Holiday” 2018 (4.0 – 3.4, -.6, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” exits the top ten (#7 to #12). When WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Having faltered by -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notches a +.1 to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17.  November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

There are more wild fluctuations for this market’s two mammoth sports talkers as Entercom’s WEEI-FM answers “Holiday” 2018’s loss of seven-tenths with a +1.7 (3.7 – 3.0 – 4.7, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #8), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” piles on a +1.6 to its one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.6 – 7.2, third to second, 6+). Off by -1.0 in December, WBZ-FM is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December.

While it is unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” posts a +1.2 to 5.5 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+).

In one fell swoop, Boston University news/talker WBUR makes its overall -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+) vanish with a +1.5 (5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Even though WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gains two-tenths (2.4 – 2.6, 6+), it backslides from #14 to #15.

Boston Music Formats – Off one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” responds with a gain of six-tenths to 7.3 (6+), marching from second to first. This (7.3) is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” records a +.6 as well (6.2, steady at #3, 6+). Logging improvements of one-half share (each) are Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (3.4 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+) and co-owned WAAF “107.3 – The Only Station That Really Rocks” (1.2 – 1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 19 sweeps, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” busts out a +.4 to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+). Owing to three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX netted a +9.2 and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by -8.4 to 6.1 (6+) and slips to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5 is its strongest 6+-showing since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share takes a further hit as iHeartMedia’s WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), surrenders one full-share to .5 (#20 to #27, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus ending seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” backslides from eighth to tenth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – is without an increase for the third straight time for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #18 to #19, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” recaptures two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and carries on at #18. Its December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Over the course of the last nine sweeps (May 2018 – “Holiday” 2018), Entercom’s WQAM has logged a .9 (6+) six times and a .8 (6+) the other three. In January 2019, however, “Sports Radio 560” is down three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #26, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which is without an increase for the third straight time (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, #30 to #26, 6+).

After surrendering six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN answers with a +.7 (2.2 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – As the result of a +.7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR reaches a 5.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+) and ends three straight flat or down trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Moreover, this (5.2) is the first time since February 2017 that “99 Jamz” isn’t within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+). Flipping “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a January 2019 gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” climbs from ninth to eighth; 3.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. Flat at #15, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). On the other hand, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up one-tenth to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+), thus snapping three successive down or flat trends that produced an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Without an increase the last three reports for a three-tenths’ deficit (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” posts a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). For the ninth straight ratings period, an adult contemporary occupies Miami’s lead position (6+). This time, it’s Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.1 – 7.4, +.3, second to first, 6+), which dislodges/trades places with Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.4, -.9, first to second, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. It bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Meanwhile, “Lite FM” had been an overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and notched its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF erased half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. A collective +1.0 via five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” returns two-tenths to 4.7 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Off six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). With similar call letters of aforementioned WRMA, Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WRMB all but disappears (1.5 – .2, -1.3, #32, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM responds with a January 2019 +.7 to 5.6 (fifth to third, 6+). Its November loss of six-tenths curtailed three straight gains which yielded a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Co-owned KTTH breaks a negative streak as well: “Conservative Talk Radio” dials up a +.4 to 1.9 (flat at #22, 6+), ending a December and “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that nonetheless resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Continuing this theme, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which was a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.4 (#25 to #24, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Not so lucky as its Seattle news/talk counterparts, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM is an overall -1.1 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#10 to #14). “ESPN 710,” the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners, was up by a combined seven-tenths in October and November. By logging a +.6 to 1.6 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM climbs from #24 to #23. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Trending 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

On top in September 2018, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW registers a robust +1.5 (5.9 – 7.4, 6+) and returns to #1, after spending December and “Holiday” 2018 in the runner-up slot.

Seattle Music Formats – Adding a +1.3 to its “Holiday” 2018 increase of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from third to second with its highest 6+-stat (7.0) since July 2018’s 7.8. Down four-tenths in December and then by another six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF not only erases that entire full-share deficit with a +1.0 to 4.3 (6+), “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” zooms into the top ten (#15 to #8). In eight consecutive down or flat reports, hot AC sibling KHTP was a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “Hot 103.7” erases nearly half that shortfall with a +.6 to 2.6 (#20 to #18, 6+). There’s a bit of a similarity with iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which is up a combined seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4, ninth to seventh, 6+), immediately after being a collective -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). December 2018’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Notching a January 2019 uptick of one-half share as well is Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End – Alternative Seattle,” which is a collective +1.1 via five straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). Without an improvement the past eight reports for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+) and remains at #8. Having more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” surrenders a -6.4 to 4.8 (6+) and drops from first to fourth. Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). On the heels of recording a “Holiday” 2018 +1.3, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” returns it entirely (5.1 – 3.8, -1.3, 6+) and skids from fourth to tenth. “Holiday” 2018’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since 5.7 in “Holiday” 2017. A collective +.8 through three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” sees it all disappear with a January 2019 loss of nine-tenths (2.8, #11 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.7 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR responds with a +.7 to 3.7 (#13 to #12, 6+). Entering the December 2018 sweep, “News Talk 760” was +1.1 through four straight gains (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” which was +1.8 via three increases in a row (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.6 in January 2019 (4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Notwithstanding the increase, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers backslides from fifth to eighth.    

Transforming “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a lofty +1.4 (6.1 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” leaps from the runner-up slot to #1. Its November one-half share decrease halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM makes up for it with a +.3 in January 2019 to 1.9 (#20 to #19, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility is now without an increase for the third straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to registering a +1.6 to 5.3 (6+), which pulls the plug on three successive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.9 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” returns to the top ten (#11 to #6). Ironically, WYCD isn’t the only Detroit out making a “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 leap of +1.6, as Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” does so as well (4.4 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its October 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline was 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 (6+). With a gain of nine-tenths to 6.9 (steady at #3, 6+), co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” wipes away precisely half of its December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). A November improvement of one-half share suspended three straight declines that led to a -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Progressing by nine-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 5.3, seventh to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five sweeps for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” notches a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and continues at #10. Also logging a +.7 is Detroit Classical & Jazz Educational Radio’s WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days/Jazzy Nights” (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+), which reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 2.0. Owing to four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” plummets by -10.8 to 7.1 (6+) and segues to #2. “Holiday” 2018’s 17.9 is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Off two-tenths to 4.2 (6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” ends three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), after being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM picks up six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains one-half share (2.8, #18 to #17, 6+). After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

As a result of four straight setbacks, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM was a combined -1.2 (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but “98.7 Arizona Sports” logs a +.2 to 2.2 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20). September 2018 marked the first time the flagship of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

After being without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ erases that deficit with a gain of seven-tenths (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” which was a collective +.4 via three straight up or flat trends (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+); -1.2 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.9 in January 2019 (5.1 – 6.0, fourth to third, 6+). Dialing up a gain of nine-tenths as well is Entravision’s KVVA “92.7 La Suavecita” (2.5 – 3.4, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#15 to #10). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” notches a +.7 to 5.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Unchanged at #19, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot,” which had been without an increase the past six sweeps for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), ends that streak by picking up two-tenths to 2.4 (6+). While it is #1 for the fifth straight time, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ surrenders more than half of its 6+ AQH share (15.0 – 7.0, -8.0, 6+). The decrease suspends four upticks in a row that yielded a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. At #30, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” sees its 6+-stat slashed in half (1.2 – .6, -.6, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Applying the brakes to six straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.7 to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.7 (January 2019). Tied at #14 are iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” (3.3, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.2 – 3.3, +1.1, #18 to #14, 6+). KTLK, which gained seven-tenths in October, had been -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “My Talk 107.1” was off a cumulative seven-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), after being up a collective four-tenths in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that netted a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.8 in three decreases in succession (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild drops from sixth to eighth. Flat at #25, Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” regains the one-tenth it dropped in “Holiday” 2018 (.7 – .6 – .7, 6+).

In three straight setbacks KNOW lost a total of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), but the Minnesota Public Radio news/talker rebounds with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KNOW logged three straight increases for a collective +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – This particular sweep proves especially productive for the Twin Cities’ hot ACs as Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” hauls out a +1.9 (5.3 – 7.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” flashes a +1.2 (3.3 – 4.5, #12 to #11, 6+). Moreover, “KS-95,” which spiraled by -1.0 in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), leaps from seventh to first. It held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August; KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. In “Holiday” 2018, “Cities 97.1” eroded by nine-tenths to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). A combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” bounces back with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Fully erasing its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -.8 (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+) with a gain of that same magnitude (2.2, +.8, 6+), Minneapolis Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88” climbs from #20 to #19. There are more ups/downs for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X,” which was an overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+); -.5 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.6 in January 2019 (5.9 – 6.5, unchanged at #2, 6+). This marks the sixth time in a row that Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is without a decrease for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, #14 to #16, 6+). With a .5 (6+), Borgen Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WDGY “The Original Rock N Roll Station” pops on at #27. A combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL has its 6+-stat carved in half (12.6 – 6.3, -6.3, 6+), as “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” falls from first to third. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.6 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” falters by -1.0 to 4.8 and tumbles from fourth to ninth. It’s been a rollercoaster ride recently for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM, which was a collective -.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+); +.9 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -.6 in January 2019 (5.2 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” returns half that increase with a -.5 to 1.3 (#19 to #20, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – By logging a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO suspends three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Recent “News Radio 600” fluctuations include +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); -.7 (December); and +.5 (January 2019). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Over and above picking up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). While down a combined half-share in four straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” moves from #23 to #22.

A positive spike of six-tenths to 1.5 (#25 to #21, 6+) by Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” applies the brakes to three consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). This (1.5) is its best 6+-performance since February 2018’s 1.6. Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” records its third straight up or flat move for a +.4 (.7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which had been down or flat the past three reports for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), gains three-tenths to .8 (#26, 6+).

A mammoth +2.1 by KPBS (5.1 – 7.2, 6+) wipes away an overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+) and propels the San Diego State University-owned news/talker from second to first. KPBS was #1 in October, November, and December before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018.

San Diego Music Formats – Adding a +1.1 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaps from eighth to third. Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia’s KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5, 6+) and progresses from tenth to sixth. This marks the fourth straight up or flat trend for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which is +1.3 in that timeframe (4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.5, third to second, 6+). Down or flat six consecutive reports for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). As a result of six straight sweeps without a loss, Entercom adult contemporary KYXY nearly tripled (+5.4) its 6+-stat (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+) and posted its highest 6+-performance (8.4, “Holiday” 2018) in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A January 2019 -4.5 to 3.9 (6+), however, sinks KYXY from #1 to #11. Following a “Holiday” 2018 loss of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” drops another six-tenths to 4.4 (third to eighth, 6+). While flat at #6, co-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.1 in three straight declines (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ was a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+), but San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappears from print in January 2019. KLVJ posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Immediately after the 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM had been carved precisely in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+), “105.7 Max FM” sputters by another one-half share to .7 (#23 to #27, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” rebounds with a one-half share gain to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. Up three-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #15, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” halts three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths.

Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” advances from #19 to #18. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

After surrendering one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF recaptures three-tenths (1.7 – 2.0, #20 to #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – An overall +1.5 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” progresses from eighth to seventh. Three setbacks in a row by Beasley Media Group country WQYK resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+), but “99.5 QYK” makes up one-third of that decrease with a +.6 to 5.5 (fourth to third, 6+). Albeit that the first-place finisher holds an exactly two-to-one lead over the runner-up, the market has (Cox Media Group-owned) adult contemporary outlets at #1 and #2. Through four straight upticks, WWRM is +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) as “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music” bumps up from third to second with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.4. Despite eroding by -1.9 (13.7 – 11.8, 6+), its Cox Media Group adult contemporary sibling, WDUV “Lite Favorites,” is #1 for the 78th successive ratings period. Its January 2019 decrease interrupts three straight gains that netted a +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Having precisely doubled (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPBB craters by -2.9 to 1.7 freefalling from #6 to #20. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Back in the iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WMTX-HD2, which quadrupled (+.9) its 6+-stat through six straight up or flat moves (.3 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.2, 6+), falters by eight-tenths to .4 (#21 to #2.6, 6+), while sibling WXTB “98 Rock” sputters by six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). One streak continues for Cox Media Group-owned WXGL and another ends as “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.5 in four successive declines (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+), but after six straight times at #2, it slips to #4.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was an overall -1.9 but the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies hangs out a +.5 to 4.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+). KOA was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.6 in December. In a somewhat similar scenario, co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630,” which was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+), improves by three-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #22, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN erases 75% of the shortfall with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+). Directly before that, “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” posted four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5,” the flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, adds one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, #29 to #27, 6+). Up until September (2018), KKSE-FM was country KWOF “The Wolf.”

Not only does KCFR wipe away “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss with a January 2019 increase of seven-tenths (6.9 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+), the Colorado Public Radio news/talk station progresses from second to first. KCFR was on top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Although falling from #21 to #22, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC is in a repetitive 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.4 (6+) sequence.

Denver Music Formats – Off one-half share through three decreases in a row (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” logs a +1.2 to 5.7 (fifth to third, 6+). Racking up a January 2019 increase of +1.2 as well is Entravision’s KJMN (4.7, #12 to #8, 6+); “La Suavecita 92.7” had been trending 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.5, 6+, in November), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” records a +1.0 to 6.0 (6+) and advances from third to second. Along the same line, Entercom’s classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” which was frozen on 4.5 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 4.9, 6+, in November), improves by nine-tenths to 5.4 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Despite gaining three-tenths to 4.6 (6+), thus halting five consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.9 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO backslides from seventh to ninth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, adult contemporary cluster-mate KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” was an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, KOSI forfeits -7.5 to 5.3 (6+) and slips to fifth. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). In a reverse of the previously-cited KBCO and KQMT situations, KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix,” which notched a 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 3.4, 6+, in November), regresses by one-half share to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” adds nine-tenths (3.4, #12 to #11, 6+), Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” gains seven-tenths (2.7, #14 to #13, 6+). WCBM had been off by one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), while WBAL lost a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. Ever since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (#29 to #28, 6+).

A combined +.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – drops one-half share (4.4, fourth to eighth, 6+). Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 (May and June); -1.0 (November); +.5 (December); and -.5 (January 2019).

Rebounding from an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) with a +.8 to 3.1 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” climbs from #13 to #12. November’s +.3 was erased with a December -.3. After faltering by four-tenths, American University-owned news/talk WAMU answers with a gain of six-tenths (1.3 – 1.9, #17 to #15, 6+).

By picking up four-tenths (.7 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH cracks the top ten (#23 to #19) with its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (1.1, as well).

Baltimore Music Formats – Powered by a +1.3 to 6.0 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country,” which had a November through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.8 – 5.1 – 4.7 (6+), progresses from sixth to fourth. This (6.0) is its highest 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.2. Following 11 straight survey periods at #1, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM shifted to second in December. It remained there in “Holiday” 2018 when it lost seven-tenths, but “Magic 95.9” dials up a +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0, 6+) and is back on top, with its strongest 6+-showing (9.0) since July 2018’s 9.5. Improving by +1.1 as well is Hearst Television-owned WIYY “98 Rock” (5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+), which had been trending 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+). Three consecutive declines by Radio One urban contemporary WERQ resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+) but “92 Q Jams” responds with a +1.0 to 7.7 (third to second, 6+). An overall -1.2 in three straight setbacks (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” answers with a +.7 to 5.6 (fourth-place tie to fifth, 6+). Up seven-tenths as well is Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “Maryland’s Classical Music Station” (1.9 – 2.6, #15 to #14, 6+). Locked on 4.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.2, 6+, in November), Entercom hot AC WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” posts a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Having more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat as the result of five straight upticks (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” spirals by -8.7 to 6.5 (first to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 15.2 is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Also in the adult contemporary arena, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” has its 6+ AQH share cut by two-thirds (1.2, -2.4, #11 to #18, 6+). In six positive or flat Baltimore reports in succession, WASH nearly quadrupled (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, 6+). This is the sixth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -3.0 through three straight decreases (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX picks up two-tenths to 5.6 (6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” backslides from sixth to seventh. On top in September and October, the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, 6+), records a half-share increase to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #18. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

Flat at #10, Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” is a combined +.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Four straight June 2018 through October 2018 up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Without an increase in each of the last five sweeps for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU erupts with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+), its highest 6+-share since October 2017 (4.1, as well). Before faltering by three-tenths in December, KWMU had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Hubbard-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); and now a whopping +2.0 in January 2019 (6.1 – 8.1, fourth to second, 6+). The last time KSHE reached the eight-share level (6+) was in November 2016 (8.6). Adding a lofty +1.6 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (6.2 – 6.3 – 7.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Bouncing back from “Holiday” 2018’s loss of eight-tenths with an improvement nearly twice that magnitude (4.9 – 6.4, +1.5, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” advances from seventh to fifth. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+), Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” breaks out a +.9 to 3.4 (#16 to #14, 6+), matching the 3.4 it posted in June 2018. In addition to being up a combined six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (8.0 – 8.1 – 8.6, 6+), Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY progresses from second to first. Reappearing in print in April 2018, “99.1 Joy FM” has reached #1 in August, November, and January 2019 and this (8.6) is its highest 6+-share in the April 2018 through January 2019 timeframe. A collective -1.2 via five consecutive survey periods without an increase (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains four-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK tripled (+10.4) its 6+ numbers and spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019 though, “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” falters by -9.1 to 6.5 (6+), giving way to KLJY and falling from first to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. This is the fourth straight down or flat trend by Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #16, 6+).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Monday, February 4, 2019

| February 4, 2019

Jamie Allman Returns to St. Louis Air on Salem’s ‘The Answer.’ Former KFTK-FM morning talk host Jamie Allman will be back on the air in St. Louis after a 10-month absence when he assumes the morning talk show host position on Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380AM & 105.3FM The Answer.”  “Allman in the Morning” will launch on February 28.  He says, “I’m proud and super stoked to be joining a legendary broadcasting company. Salem always puts the listener first and we are a perfect match.  There is no bigger castle of common-sense conservatism in broadcasting.  I’m honored to inhabit a part of it with energy, insight, and entertainment.”  Allman and former employers Emmis Communications and Entercom were involved in a lengthy legal fight over Allman’s dismissal from KFTK-FM in the aftermath of this social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of 2018.  Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Salem St. Louis vice president and general manager Greg Lhamon says, “Jamie is a broadcasting legend in this market.  He’s bright, passionate, and asks tough questions when he interviews political leaders.  He’ll keep them on their toes, that’s for sure.  But his show is just plain fun, too.  We are thrilled to see him return to St. Louis radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Although 70% of the news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2018 survey to the Holiday survey, a relative handful saw modest increases, including iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach (+1.0).  Comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, four stations improved by a full share or better, led by Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+3.1).  No news/talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

Monday Memo: Say What?  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo about a number of bad habits and consistent errors that air personalities often make and that drive consultants (and programmers!) nuts.  Get Cooke’s thoughts on blue language, clichés, the benefit of forward momentum and more right here.

Chris Lavoie Named General Manager of SM Radio Productions. Former Stephanie Miller show executive producer Chris Lavoie is returning to the show as general manager of SM Radio Productions, parent company of “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Lavoie served as the radio talk show’s executive producer from 2004 to 2015.  He was public relations manager for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, California area for the past three years. Lavoie comments, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my longtime radio home and back into the arms of Mama.  I began working with Stephanie as her production coordinator back in 1997 at KABC-AM in Los Angeles and we have a long, 18-year history together.  I’m excited to return to the Stephanie Miller universe to help take the show and SM Radio Productions to the next level.”  SM Radio Productions co-founder Ron Hartenbaum adds, “Chris has been a valued member of The Stephanie Miller Show family for years and we are ecstatic that he is re- joining the team in this newly created general manager role.  He will be crucial in overseeing our exciting, soon-to-be-announced multimedia platform.”

WVON, Chicago’s Cliff Kelley to Leave PM Drive Role. Windy City radio personality Cliff Kelley will be leaving his afternoon drive host position at Midway Broadcasting’s urban talker WVON after his program on March 29.  The company says that Kelley – who has been with WVON for the past 25 years – will remain with the station as community ambassador and as the host of the independently produced “American Heroes” broadcast that airs Saturdays on WVON. He’ll also serve as a regular fill-in host.  Kelley has been the longest serving talk show host at the station since it switched to its all talk format in 1986.  He says, “I don’t want people to look at this as I am retiring.  I’m just rewiring.  There is plenty more work for me to do.”  WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski comments, “Cliff Kelley is one of Chicago’s most influential hosts and has been a trusted source of information for Chicago’s African-American Community for over three decades, forming a host/listener bond that is rarely seen in any market.”  Kelley’s replacement has not been announced.

Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers.  Longtime broadcaster and now college associate professor Donna L. Halper writes a special piece for TALKERS magazine that looks at some of the early African American talk show hosts who made inroads into the spoken-word end of the radio business during radio’s golden age.  Halper writes that at that time in the American radio business, “young black men and women who saw no chance to become announcers or newscasters went into print journalism instead, usually working for black newspapers.” But a few did buck that trend, including New Jersey and New York host Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell.  Read the entire piece here.

Jennifer Williams Promoted to VP of Digital Marketing for Beasley. Marketing pro Jennifer Williams is promoted to vice president of digital marketing for Beasley Media Group.  She has been serving with the company as director of interactive marketing.  In her new role, she’ll be responsible for marketing the company’s digital content platforms and leveraging data to drive traffic, audience engagement, and advertiser growth.  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Williams spent nearly 20 years with Greater Media, Inc where she worked as the director of digital marketing and was responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of the company’s 20 radio properties.  She joined the organization as the marketing director of WCSX-FM in 1997.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Jennifer’s programming background, combined with her digital knowledge, marketing expertise and can-do attitude, made her the perfect choice to lead Beasley Media Group’s digital marketing efforts as we continue to diversify and extend our brands into the multi-platform arena.”

Lorenzo Neal and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Renew. Former NFL star and current morning drive sports talk personality Lorenzo Neal signs a new, long-term contract with Entercom to continue co-hosting the morning drive “Joe, Lo, Dibs” program on KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” with fellow hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Lorenzo Neal continues to drive the San Francisco sports conversation every morning.  His experience as a professional athlete and gregarious personality translates to great radio for listeners of ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ and we look forward to this continued partnership.”  Neal spent 16 seasons in the NFL and he’s been a personality on KGMZ since 2014.

Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander Debut Midday Program on Townsquare’s ‘ESPN South Jersey.’  Former WPEN, Philadelphia “95.7 The Fanatic” personalities Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander are teaming up for a midday sports talk radio show on Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “97.3 ESPN South Jersey,” starting on April 1.  The program is being produced by JAKIB Media Partners and in a press release, Mayes says, “We are thrilled to be back on sports radio in Philadelphia and South Jersey on a powerful radio station that is a download away.  Our plan begins here with plans already to expand regionally before we launch an assault on the national sports radio market.”  The two partnered on a podcast called “Derailed” via WENJ that launched last fall.

Beasley Launches ‘FOX Sports Charlotte.’The new sports talker from Beasley Media Group is heard on three signals in the Charlotte market: WBCN-AM at 1660, W234BY at 94.7 FM, and the HD3 channel of WSOC-FM.  It launches today and carries the full FOX Sports Radio national lineup, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “We are thrilled to bring FOX Sports Radio to the Charlotte Market.  We’re giving sports fans another great option for compelling content in our community.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio personality Jon Weiner, a.k.a. “Stugotz” from ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” now has his own platform in the form of a new podcast called, “Stupodity.”  This is the second original offering from the newly formed Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network created by ESPN Podcasts.  “Stupodity” will be a weekly opportunity for Stugotz’s views on sports and life with visits from the people important to him both professionally and personally…..The University of Illinois and Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM partner to present play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball games – as well as the seasonal coaches’ shows – through the 2023-24 season.  The news, five-year agreement officially kicks off with the 2019 football season…..Westwood One was the official national radio partner of the NFL for the broadcast of last night’s Super Bowl LIII.  Pictured below is Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes (right) with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left).

Denver Sports Talk Personality Irv Brown Dies at 83.   Longtime Denver sports talk radio personality Irv Brown died on Sunday at age 83.  Brown retired from the business in April of 2016 after spending more than 40 years on the air.  He began as a sports reporter on KHOW, Denver in 1974.  For a portion of his career, he partnered with Joe Williams for “The Irv and Joe Show.”  Read Fox 31’s report here.

Ralph Northam Controversy, Border Wall Battle, State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist college yearbook photos; the ongoing battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa, Melanie Mineau joins the morning drive program as the new co-host of “The Morning Krewe with Marc and Melanie.”  Mineau has most recently been hosting her own, successful podcast.  Previously, she served as a co-host on the “Sarah, Ty & Mel Morning Show” on WRQX, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to be back in the building and to be working alongside so many talented people, some of whom are longtime friends.  I look forward to working with Marc and creating great content for the listeners of Tampa Bay.  I’m grateful to the Beasleys and Travis Daily for presenting me with this opportunity.  There is nothing better than hosting a morning show at a heritage station in your hometown!”…..Also from Beasley Media Group, WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert signs a multi-year contract extension to remain in his position with the station.  Robert joined the station in 1981 and has been hosting the midday show for more than 35 years.  Beasley rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR.  His warm, compassionate voice remains an important part of Philadelphia’s broadcast day.  A gifted interviewer and brand ambassador, he truly cares about the community he serves. We are so fortunate to have his talents grace the airwaves.”…..Jason Kidd exits Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington after a three-year stint hosting afternoon drive and serving as APD and music director…..In Wisconsin, Van McNeil joins Magnum Media’s country WVTY, Racine to host the early afternoon daypart.  McNeil comes to WVTY from his most recent position with WISN-TV, Milwaukee.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

| January 30, 2019

Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee.  Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6.  He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis.  Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’  I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations.  I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.”  Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family.  His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”

FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12.  The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates.  Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11.  The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer.  iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’  When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.”  Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal.  I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience.  I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature.  The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program.  Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.”  Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago.  The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market.  His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend.  Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.”  Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo.  January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month.  Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.  For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000).  It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%.  Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year.  For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.

iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets.  At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets.  iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt.  Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton.  Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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. A third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus.  Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February.  She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis.  Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show.  Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others.  Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City.  Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists.  It was crazy.  Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

| January 29, 2019

Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group.  In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources.  In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.”  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”

Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets.   iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company.  Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees.  I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.”  Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market.  The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled.  I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”

News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’”  WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.”  Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.

A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director.  Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities.   WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position.  He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years.  “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018.  In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup.  We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays.  With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”

Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72.  Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke.  The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL.  The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV.  After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM.  WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met.  He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia.  This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big TownLauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris JansonBobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes.  Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage.  He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year.  It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO.  Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships.  iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment.  I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah.  Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career.  He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years.  What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster.  What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion.  We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederMelissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show.  As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Americans, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, video, mobile, social media, and more.”…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the air at Beasley Media Group’s WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Talk” in the mid-afternoon daypart…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show starring Georgetown University head basketball coach Patrick Ewing.  He’ll co-host “Center Court with Patrick Ewing” with broadcaster and former NFL player Rick “Doc” Walker on ESPNU Radio.

The Government Shutdown and Postponed SOTU Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 21-25.  The ongoing federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation, including Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Subcommittee subpoena and Roger Stone’s indictment, followed by the Covington Catholic Washington, DC incident 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.

Cool News Gig in Los Angeles; KNX Seeks Full-Time Anchor. All-news KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles is looking for a full-time news anchor who can tell relevant, compelling stories with a credible and empathetic style. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, all-news environment and cover every type of story, including breaking news. Must be a strong writer of engaging content and have an authentic, conversational sound. This person will also be proficient in editing and packaging news, audio, and interviews. The next KNX anchor will understand how to integrate social media and digital assets into their daily routine. Must have a minimum of 5-plus years’ experience anchoring or reporting news. For details and to apply, click here.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Calling All Missouri Broadcasters. The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is trying to get the word out that it is seeking aircheck recordings of any Missouri station as part of its radio history preservation project.  Radio pros who worked in Missouri wishing to donate personal airchecks can contact Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.  Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK brings market radio pro Gordy Dysinger aboard to serve as production director, effective March 4.  Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula says, “I grew up listening to Gordy as a kid in Buffalo and his knowledge and professionalism will be a great help to our company, listeners, and advertisers.  Gordy believes in truly creative radio, not cookie-cutter material.  I am honored to be working beside him.”  Dysinger’s radio career in Buffalo began in 1977.  He worked for a long period as creative services director at iHeartMedia’s crosstown classic rock WGRF, rock WEDG, and classic hits WHTT…..Programming pro Jay Michaels announces he’s been named program director for Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana “Q93.7.” He takes over for Gary Nolan, who exited the post last year to move closer to family…..At Rubber City Radio Group’s country WQMX, Akron, morning personality Sarah Kay adds assistant program director duties to her responsibilities at the station…..The United Stations Radio Network-distributed “Billy Madison Show” is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s rock WYYX, Panama City, Florida “97X.”…..Pictured below is Seton Hall University alum Christina Stoffo (fifth from the left) at the school’s student-run station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey with members of the station’s staff.  Stoffo is a Total Traffic & Weather Networks air personality who is heard regularly on WHTZ “Z100,” WKTU, WAXQ “Q104.3,” WWPR “Power 105,” WKXW “NJ 101.5,” and more.  Her visit to her alma mater was arranged by WSOU news director Bob Towey and is the first in a series of talks and workshops by industry professionals taking place throughout the spring semester.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). 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.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – As a result of three down moves in succession (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is a collective -1.5 and falls from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.2 in October and November – its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well) – iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” is off by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #19. A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” forfeits a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

A combined +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is now an overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). It remains tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”), is down for the fourth consecutive time, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.7 – .6 – .7, #27 to #26, 6+).

While it repeats in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB sputters by -1.2 to 8.1 (6+), thus completely erasing the collective +1.2 it earned in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). December 2018’s 9.3 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018 (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); and now -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018).

Portland Music Formats – Topping December’s +3.2 with a +4.8 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” continues at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). Prior to a November 2018 loss of six-tenths, “K-103” was +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). Powered by a (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase half that of KKCW, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” (3.2 – 5.6, +2.4, 6+) catapults from #14 to #3. A December -1.1 by “Charlie” obliterated its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). It is tied at #3 with co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which replicates December’s half-share improvement (5.1 – 5.6, fourth to third, 6+). Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “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+). By displaying an increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (#34 to #22, 6+), Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD wipes away its full-share loss via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+). All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is up seven-tenths to 3.4 (#16 to #11), its best 6+-showing since August (3.4, as well). An erosion of -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+) by KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” takes the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.5. Faltering by -1.2 (each) are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.9, fourth to eighth, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” (3.6 – 2.4, 6+), which fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). “Live 95.5” had been a collective +1.1 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), “The Fish” dropped four-tenths in December. Within three-share range in each of the last ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). Immediately following its December gain of seven-tenths, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, KINK was a collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s 6+ country share shrinks by -1.2: Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” is a cumulative -1.9 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7,#11 to #15, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is off one-half share to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). With the loss, “The Bull” suspends three straight upticks that netted +1.4 (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Before the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a combined +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders half that gain (-.7) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, flat at #12, 6+). November’s 4.3 is the highest 6+-share for the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since February 2018 (4.3, as well).

Nearly tripling (+1.0) its 6+ share through six straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is anchored at #19. 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+).

Off nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” nonetheless continues at #17. Via three straight decreases, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is down four-tenths (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC an overall +7.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+),“K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” repeats at #1. This (12.9) is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. In a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” (ninth to fifth) is 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7 for a collective gain of six-tenths. In addition to WOSF, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “His Radio” is up one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (.3 – .8, #20, 6+). At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted  WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Entering the December sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 6.1 (steady at #4, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” pulls the plug on five straight negative moves that accounted for a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; -1.2 in June; and +1.2 in July. Following eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty (6.6, -1.2, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Trending  4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (seventh to tenth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Entering the November sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It has been a dramatically different story though in December and “Holiday” 2018 as “The Kat” is a combined -2.3 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, while it remains at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s WRFX is a collective -1.7 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from December’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 (6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight report for a -.4 (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops from #28 to #29.

After four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – A “Holiday” 2018 boost of +5.4 by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT surpasses its December +5.2 as “Q-101.9” repeats at #1 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+). Especially noteworthy is that KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. Prior to December, “Q-101.9” was down a collective two-tenths through three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” dials up a +1.0 (2.2 – 3.2, 6+) and zooms from #18 to #13. Substituting December’s one-half share loss with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of the same magnitude (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” advances from #18 to #16. December’s 2.2 is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2018 (2.2, as well). Regional Mexican sibling KROM “Que Buena 92.9” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive down or flat survey periods (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+). In back-to-back reports, Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” slumps by a combined -1.8 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, seventh to tenth, 6+). Slipping from fifth to sixth, Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” has a setback of one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+). The wild country ride continues in this Texas market as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” was +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); and now -1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.2 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Its format foe – iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – was +.5 (September; -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.0 – 6.0 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). After all that, the two combatants, which were separated by two-tenths in December, are now one-tenth apart. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 via four straight setbacks (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” lost 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+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK progresses from fourth to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). An overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” erases that margin completely in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #23 are Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #22 to #23, 6+) and Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without an increase for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, #25 to #23, 6+). After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), KIFM-AM surrendered six-tenths in December.

Five successive sweeps without a loss netted KXJZ a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk station forfeits one full-share to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI returns the one-tenth it gained in December (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Off four-tenths in November, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” nearly doubles December’s +2.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 +5.0 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. This (13.8) is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. As of early-November (2018), “Mix” has a new direct competitor. That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). In the “Holiday” 2018 report, “The Breeze” dials up a seven-tenths’ increase to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #13. While KBEB is no longer in the country arena, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” carry on there. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), KNCI followed with three straight gains for an overall +1.5 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+). That instantly vanishes though in “Holiday” 2018 as “New Country” is 5.7 – 4.2 (-1.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, KNTY returns the three-tenths it gained in December (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #15. December’s 2.3 is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. On top for ten (10) consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is off one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording its best 6+-stat (4.7, December 2018) since February 2018’s 5.3, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” forfeits seven-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” a combined -.9 in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.8 and carries on at #5. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in 19 consecutive ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG was up one-tenth in December to .3 (6+), but “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” returns it in “Holiday” 2018 (.2, -.1, #23 to #19, 6+).

Even though it wipes away December’s four-tenths’ increase with a one-half share loss (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” remains at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Without a loss for the third time in a row for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. This (13.6) is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An overall +4.6 as the result of five straight upticks (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” progresses from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (9.9) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. A one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) takes WQED Classical Multimedia’s WQED “Classical 89.3” from #16 to #14. A December loss of one-half share by WDVE suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the iHeartMedia-owned rocker plummets by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+) and segues from third to fourth. WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Three significant shifts in a row find Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” going from a -.5 (November); +1.7 (December); and now a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.7 – 7.7, second to third, 6+). In December 2018, “Bob” had its best 6+-performance (8.7) since December 2017’s 9.0. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.1 as Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” is off one-half share (ninth to tenth), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” sputters by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+). “Y-108” is now a collective -1.6 via four straight dips (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). With their (6+) December 2018 info in parentheses, four Forever Media properties once again disappear from print: country WOGG (1.4, #16); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.2, #18); country WOGI (1.2, #18); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (1.1, #20).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Faltering by -.6 and -1.4, respectively, are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.2 – 4.6, stable at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 3.3, 6+), which departs the top ten (#6 to #12). KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

A combined -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picked up one-tenth (November); forfeited two-tenths (December); and dips three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 2.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Emphatically underscoring its approval of the all-Christmas music strategy, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” registers its third straight increase and repeats at #1. Its overall improvement since October is a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) and KSFI is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets whose information we’ve seen so far to reach the 20-share level (6+). As astonishing as these numbers are, “FM 100.3” is actually down from a year ago (23.2, “Holiday” 2017). Among the many SLC outlets impacted by its “Holiday” 2018 stats is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) yet actually improves from tenth to ninth. Its December decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). In four successive sweeps without a loss, cluster-mate KHTB gains nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), as “101.9 Alternative Utah” enters the top twenty at #16. In addition to adding two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) thus applying the brakes to five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). There is another wild fluctuation for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); and now -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 4.4, second to sixth, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Its September gain of three-tenths halted three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). It has been an interesting period as well for co-owned hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” which was a combined -.8 in October and November (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); +.7 (December); and now -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). Flat at #5, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Sliding by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is Broadway Media-owned adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” (2.8 – 2.2, #13 to #16, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” regresses by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Z-104” has been -.7 (June); -.5 (July); +1.1 (September); and +.5 (November).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 1.9 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is off three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). In three (slight) dips in a row (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is off by a collective four-tenths and carries on at #25.

Having doubled (+.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” falters by a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .8 – .7, #26 to #28).

In six consecutive increases, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR netted a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), but is now off an overall three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – On top for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is a combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through “Holiday” 2018, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. This (12.8) is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Without a loss in seven straight survey periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” progresses from fourth to third; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A boost of six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Spanish adult hits sibling KWID “La Buena 101.9” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths to 2.7 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” are -.5 (November); +.6 (December); and now -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.0 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” has now surrendered a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, flat at #10, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is -1.6 in five straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Its +1.0 in August curtailed 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+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now a cumulative -.9 in three successive slips (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #15, 6+).

After faltering by eight-tenths in December, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is unchanged in 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#23). It is again tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in four straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6, steady at #23, 6+).

Down eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” slips from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Outdistancing December’s +4.0 with a +4.5 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat (14.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” erases that deficit with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). When Entercom hot AC WOMX lost three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Mix 105.1,” however, bounces back in “Holiday” 2018 with an increase of seven-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ loss (7.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” spirals by -1.1 to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+). In November 2018, WMMO was up seven-tenths to 7.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. Skidding from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). By regressing eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” ends its repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 sequence of 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” is off six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” repeats in the runner-up slot, after spending the previous 11 ratings periods at #1. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a 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. Off by one-half share as well in “Holiday” 2018 is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.3 – .8, #17 to #20, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recent shifts for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); and now a whopping -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.6 – 7.4, second to fourth, 6+). The flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) yet improves from #11 to #10. July’s eight-tenths’ increase stopped four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from December in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#17).

Continuing at #13, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has lost nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the strength of an astonishing +.6.3 (8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” – which was +3.1 in December – jumps from third to first. Furthermore, December 2018’s 14.6 by “Warm” is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. Displaced from the top spot – after a December-only stay – and segueing to third is co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR (9.9 – 8.1, -1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to its current -1.8, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. By dialing up a +.7 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” puts an end to its October-November-December 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (6+) trending. Despite being a collective -2.6 owing to five successive down or flat trends (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues at #5. The last three fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) and now (another) -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded 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+). This is the third successive sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappears from print. In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Regaining the four-tenths it lost in December (5.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK  jumps from tenth to seventh. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After gaining two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN plummets by -1.1 to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #14.

Cleveland Music Formats – A robust +2.8 (7.9 – 10.7, 6+) boosts iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI from third to first as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 10.3. Even though WZAK is up three-tenths (8.4 – 8.7, 6+), the Radio One urban AC shifts from first to third. A collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK dropped four-tenths in December. Nearly matching December’s +2.6, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is +2.1 (8.2 – 10.3, 6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. “Cleveland’s Star 102” is one-tenth shy of its 10.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” is trending 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#11 to #7, 6+). In July, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 popped on with a .1 (6+), but then failed to appear in the next five reports. It is back though in “Holiday” 2018 with a .7 (#17, 6+). Co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Immediately after posting a December increase of seven-tenths, adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by -1.2 (6.9 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” has its third setback in succession for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.3, #13 to #12, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (5.2 – 4.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Entercom cluster, news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+), while co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share over the course of the last two sweeps (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Climbing from #23 to #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+).

Flat at #12, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which 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, is a combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Following an October gain of four-tenths, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” loses nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The collective eight-tenths that University of Missouri news/talk KCUR picked up in November and December is all but wiped away with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – A December gain of nine-tenths by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC is followed by a +1.9 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.0) is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. By picking up one-tenth in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM applied the brakes to eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” – which was #1 in March 2018, April, and May – is +1.6 to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). There is plenty of activity in the country contest with Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (#14 all the way to #5, 6+); cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” a +.5 to 4.6 (steady at #9, 6+); and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” a -1.1 to 4.2 (#4 to #11, 6+). “Q-104” had been an overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), while “Country 94.1” was a collective -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). “The Wolf,” meanwhile, was a cumulative +1.3 in November and December, after being an overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). December’s 5.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). In addition to being #1 for the eighth ratings period in succession, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” counters December’s -.7 with a one-half share increase (9.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its December decrease suspended six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +2.0 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). These last three sweeps have seen Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” crater by a collective -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, second to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+).

Columbus

 Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” has lost a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and now -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, third to seventh, 6+). Continuing at #18, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Even though it is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU advances 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 – On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ improvement, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC tacks on a +2.9 (5.8 – 8.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” drives from seventh to third. Its December increase curtailed three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” yield a +4.0 (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.9, steady at #2, 6+). This (9.9) is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. Bouncing back from December’s -1.3 with a gain of nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.5 – 3.4, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Notwithstanding that it is a collective -5.7 through six straight downturns (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 13th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); and -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018). Four straight increases by Radio One’s WCKX netted a +1.2 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), but “Power 107.5” surrenders one full-share to 2.9 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). 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.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

Monday, January 21, 2018

| January 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in his weekly Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine that conservative news/talk stations should be working overtime to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  Cooke references a recent column in The New York Times by Frank Bruni in which he observes the president is covered by the media as “spectacle” and that makes Trump the “star” no matter what.  Cooke reasons that since the best way to increase ratings share with news/talk radio is to increase the TSL of its P1s, stations should “be to radio what Fox News Channel is to TV” – a safe space for like-minded conservatives. Read the Monday Memo here.

Entercom and DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Renew; Plan for Regional Distribution. The WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” morning drive program “The Sports Junkies” and Entercom agree to a long-term extension of their contract.  “The Sports Junkies” are John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim.  Entercom DC SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies’ have driven the sports conversation in Washington, DC and we couldn’t envision ‘The Fan’ without them. As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team.” The station says the program “is consistently rated number one among Washington, DC men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.”  It adds that “plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington, DC to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Harvey Wells Exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois Cluster. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells has resigned from his position as market manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WMAY-AM/FM and three music-formatted stations.  Wells served the Chicago market for years leading the then-CBS RADIO cluster of radio stations.  Wells is quoted saying, “I cannot say enough good things about Mid-West Family Broadcasting and feel fortunate to have spent two-plus years at an employee-owned company.  It truly makes a difference when you walk in the door and your fellow workers also have an ownership interest in the company.  However, the one family that has to come before the Mid-West Family is my own.”

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Issue, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, DC Students-Protestors Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Mexico Pipeline Blast, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020; the gas pipeline explosion in Mexico that killed more than 85 people; today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL Conference Championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk WSCR “The Score” weekend and fill-in host Barry Rozner – who is also a sports columnist with the Daily Herald – is considering leaving the station before the next season of the baseball show “Hit & Run” begins this spring.  Feder says Rozner has been in communication with station operations manager Mitch Rosen saying, “We’re still communicating, and we’ll see what comes of it, but I don’t – at this moment – see a path to returning.  No hard feelings. No one to blame. There’s just no role there for me comparable to the last 10 years when I hosted nearly 1,400 shows. If it’s over, I will miss ‘Hit & Run’ more than I can properly express.  It was a great run and I’m grateful for the opportunity Mitch gave me.”…..The sports media 2019 BSM Summit is taking place at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles February 21-22.   Barrett Sports Media president Jason Barrett says the event “will feature a star-studded lineup of guest speakers,” including CBS Sports personality Jim Rome, who will do a one-on-one with Barrett.  See more about the Summit here.….The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts officially name Matt Taylor the play-by-play voice for radio coverage of the team’s games.  Taylor has been part of the team’s broadcast operations since 2012.  He takes over the role handled by Bob Lamey, who exited the position after a controversial incident in which he used a racial slur off the air…..Binghamton market public broadcaster WSKG announces coming programming changes that will make it easier for listeners to find the programming they desire.  Currently, both WSKG-FM and WSQX-FM are airing programming consisting of news, conversation and music.  On February 3, the company will move all news and talk programming to WSKG-FM – its NPR member station – and WSQX will air classical, jazz and folk music programming…..Pictured below are the hosts of last Friday’s inaugural 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards that took place at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank, California. You can see all the categories and winners here.  Below from left to right are: Holly Frey, Bobby Bones, Charlamagne tha God, and Mario Lopez(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Sponsors Broadcast Booth at Local Science Center. Through his “Hurley in the Morning” charity, WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley donated $3,500 to the Patcong Creek Foundation Science Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey on January 19.  The charity sponsors the “Harry Hurley Broadcast Booth” in which Hurley is pictured above.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, air personality Ralphie Aversa exits his evening show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, as well as the company’s WPRO-FM, Providence and WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the show also aired. WPLJ APD Mike Allen is now handling evenings…..Chicago market hot AC WXLC, Waukegan parts ways with morning show personality Jimmy Novak.  He posted on Facebook, “The old building and loan has decided to cut ties with me as morning show host.  It’s been a fun decade of shows and I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible people.  I’m truly blessed with great memories and I look forward to new challenges and staying up past 7:30.”…..The 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert took place on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring: Twenty One PilotsRise Against, Muse, The Killers, Weezer, plus Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists.  Pictured below are The Revivalists with KYSR, Los Angeles midday personality Tamo Sein(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.)

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.

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