Tag: "Chris Merrill"

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

| October 4, 2017

Larrimore to Program WPRO, Providence.  News/talk programming pro Neil Larrimore is named program director for Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence “News Talk 630 and 99.7 FM.”  Most recently, Larrimore was serving with iHeartMedia managing talk stations in the Phoenix and Tucson markets.  Cumulus Providence vice president and market manager Holly Paras comments, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, I am pleased to have Neil Larrimore joining the WPRO team.  The impact of Neil’s vast experience in the spoken-word format will no doubt be felt immediately.  His ability to think strategically and use the digital platforms to grow the already-successful brand will be a welcome addition to WPRO.”

Talk Host Chris Merrill Exits KFYI, Phoenix.  After three years hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFYI, Phoenix, Chris Merrill exits the station, saying in a Facebook post last Friday, “Can’t handle the crazy. Stepping away from radio for a bit.  Today is last show.”  In 2014, Merrill moved to Phoenix from San Diego where he’d been hosting at the company’s news/talk KOGO.  Prior to that, he’d been a talk host at KMBZ, Kansas City.

Amanda Guerra Named to KRLD-AM, Dallas Mornings. At CBS RADIO’s all-news KRLD-AM, Dallas, Amanda Guerra is named to the “KRLD Morning News” program as co-anchor alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams.  KRLD program director Paul Mann states, “Amanda is a trusted voice in Dallas-Fort Worth news.  We look forward to her assuming an even bigger presence on KRLD in this new role.”  Guerra has been a midday news anchor and reporter for KRLD since October 2016.  Prior to that, she was an EMMY Award-winning anchor and reporter for KXAS-TV.

Sales Exec Moves at Scripps Milwaukee.  At the Milwaukee operations of E.W. Scripps, Bill Herriott comes aboard as director of sales and national sales manager.  The company says he’ll lead the revenue team for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  In this role, he’ll also concentrate on the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers radio networks.  Herriott comes to Scripps from his most recent role as general sales manager for news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago.  At the same time, the company announces that Eric Lauer – general sales manager for WKTI – adds the same duties for WTMJ.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “Bill is a dedicated, mature, battle-tested, experienced leader who knows how to accomplish goals in a very competitive marketplace – and he most certainly understands how to lead at legendary stations like ours.  Bill has driven strong results, selling major league teams.  I saw this firsthand at WGN in Chicago with the Cubs, Blackhawks and other team partners – and it will be great to see what he’ll do here with the Packers and Brewers.  We’re also very fortunate to have the confident and encouraging leadership of Eric Lauer.  Eric has already made a big difference with our WKTI team – and he’s earned the opportunity to formally bring his passion and knowledge to the WTMJ team, as well.”

Two Execs Join PodcastOne.  Podcasting giant PodcastOne announces the addition of two media executives to the company.  The company says it is expanding its focus on scripted programming and is building on the recently announced PodcastOne Sports Network and names Casey Jacobs vice president of sports and development and Allyson Marino as director of special programs.  Speaking about his new position, Jacobs says, “I’m thrilled to join the PodcastOne team as we build the premiere sports podcast network.  In fact, this will be the first all-podcast sports network.  Not only do we have top talent like Shaq, Steve Austin and Dan Patrick, but an incredible pipeline of new programs, including Jim Harbaugh’s new show, the legendary Dick Enberg, pro-football personality Dave Dameshek, and more.”  Marino comments, “I am excited about my new role at PodcastOne because they have made a strong commitment to enter the narrative and scripted content world.  Our founder and chairman Norm Pattiz has 40 years of success in personality driven programming, and our CEO is an expert in development, as the studio head behind The Help, Lincoln, Contagion and 50 other great films.  We see narrative and scripted podcasts through a filmmaking lens, and know listeners, artists and brands all benefit from elegantly crafted brand messages that are additive to the podcast content.  My role combines development and brand partnerships to execute this mission.”

TALKERS News Notes.  A college basketball referee is suing Kentucky Sports Radio alleging tortious interference with a business, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.  The civil suit stems from a game between the University of Kentucky and North Carolina during last year’s NCAA tournament in which referee John Higgins was criticized for calling excessive penalties on Kentucky players.  In the aftermath, the Kentucky Sports Radio network is alleged to have shared personal information about Higgins and his business that resulted in fans harassing him and his family and issuing death threats, according to the complaint.  Higgins is seeking more than $75,000 in damages…..CBS RADIO’s WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” comes to terms with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to serve as the flagship station for Washington Capitals hockey this season.  The games will also be heard on the team’s Caps Radio 24/7 digital service…..Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Elder is vising Minneapolis for a live event called, “An Evening with Elder” on October 24.  Elder is heard in the market on Salem O&O WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot.”  Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com is moderating the event that will entail Elder and Morrissey discussing current events and the top 2017 news headlines.

Las Vegas Massacre/Gun Laws, Trump Visits Puerto Rico, SCOTUS Gerrymandering Case, 20-Week Abortion Ban, Trump Tax Plan, Yahoo Hack, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  The aftermath of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and the related gun control issues; President Trump’s visit to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico; the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Wisconsin district gerrymandering case; the House passes a bill making abortion illegal after 20 weeks; the Trump Administration’s plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code; the report that all Yahoo accounts were breached in the 2013 hack; Major League Baseball’s playoffs begin; and NFL action and the national anthem protests issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At adult contemporary WKQC, Charlotte “K 104.7,” Melany Myers is named the new midday personality.  Beasley Charlotte operations manager and “K 104.7” program director John Reynolds states, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Melany to Beasley’s Charlotte team.  Not only is Melany a native from the Carolinas, but she has also been very successful at being on the air in this market for a long time.  We are very excited to have her in the Beasley family.”…..The suit filed by Guaranty Broadcasting against self-syndicating morning duo Walton and Johnson – John Walton and Steve Johnson – has been “settled amicably,” according to a statement by Guaranty.  Walton and Johnson recently left Guaranty’s rock WDGL, Baton Rouge “Rock 98.1” for iHeartMedia’s crosstown WJBO and clearance on iHM’s WRNO, New Orleans.  Guaranty had claimed that there was an auto-renewal clause in the contract and since neither Walton and Johnson nor Guaranty notified the other about ending the deal, the auto-renewal was effective.  No terms have been announced other than that it’s been settled…..Radio pro Kerry Collins returns to the radio biz, joining iHeartMedia’s Hartford cluster as director of production.  Collins left iHeartMedia’s Connecticut operations, and the radio business, in 2005 but had recently been doing part-time on-air work at adult hits WHCN, Hartford.  During his career, Collins has also served with Cumulus Media‘s news/talk WPRO-AM, Providence and CBS RADIO‘s WTIC-AM, Hartford.

 

 

Round Three of September PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of September 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s September 2017 PPM survey period covered August 17 – September 13. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The market headline here is found at the top of the leader board where Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB, which had occupied the runner-up position in each of the past 21 sweeps, takes over at #1. Recent trends for the news/talk outlet are +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; +.6 in August; and now a whopping +1.4 in September (7.7 – 9.1, 6+). It replaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which was #1 in 39 of the last 41 ratings periods but segues to #2. “K-103” is a collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+). June’s 9.1 was the highest 6+-share for KKCW since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. Down by a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew Portland’s Rock Station” recaptures all of it – plus two-tenths more – (5.2, +1.1, 6+), jumping from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-share since September 2015’s 5.5. Huge fluctuations are nothing new for “The Brew” which has been +1.0 in April; -.6 in May; +1.1 in June; -.6 in August; and now +1.1 in September. In the process, it bypasses Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which is down for the third straight time for a collective loss of one-half share (5.6 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+) but remains at #5. Within 3.2 – 3.9 (6+) range in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 – Uniquely Portland” dials up a +.8 to 4.3 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for KINK since June 2016’s 5.1. After improving by six-tenths in August to 5.4 – its best 6+-showing since 6.0 in March – Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” surrenders eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.6, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by just over one-share as “The Buzz” cluster-mate KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” (-.4 in July) sputters by six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” returns in its entirety the one-half share it achieved in July (4.9 – 4.4, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, April – May – June, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. A -.5 cuts the 6+-share of Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” in half (1.0 – .5, #28, 6+). Having posted a 2.6 (6+) six times in the previous seven survey periods, iHeartMedia-owned KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #16 to #17, 6+), while Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KWEE “WE 96.3 – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” gains three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, #20 to #19, 6+).

2) Charlotte – This is the third month in a row that WKQC notches an increase with “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” up one full-share in that timeframe (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Moreover, the Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary outlet advances from tenth to seventh. Logging a one-half share August – September increase as well is iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” (3.3 – 3.8, #15 to #13, 6+), which posted a 3.1 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps. By picking up four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+), Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” pulls the plug on seven straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.7 since January (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Up two-tenths in both August and September (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” marches from second to first. In four straight decreases between March and July, WRFX lost two full-shares (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fox” had been #1 in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June by co-owned WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 For New Country.” Turnaround is fair play as “The Fox” now succeeds “The Kat,” which falters by one-half share, segueing from first to third (6.1 – 5.6, 6+) with its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. Its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” – is without an increase for the fourth straight month for an overall -.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+) and moves from fifth to sixth. WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in July and WKKT supplanted WSOC at #1 in August. Sputtering by one-half share – in addition to WKKT – are Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” (sixth to seventh, 6+) and its CHR sibling WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to ninth, 6+). “Power” is a combined -1.1 in August and September (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), while “Kiss” has lost an overall full-share in three straight declines (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+). As far as the direct competitors of those two stations are concerned, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC posted a +1.2 (2.2 – 3.4, 6+) in July, but “92.7 The Block” has squandered all of it in August and September, returning to 2.2 (#17 to #18, 6+). Following five consecutive downward trends for a collective -1.4 (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 and carries on at #14 (6+). In March, “Channel 96.1” had its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Trending 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.5 (June – July – August, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” breaks out an impressive +1.4 to 5.9, its strongest 6-share since February’s 6.6, and rockets from eighth to second. On the other hand, Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KSAH “Norteno 104.1” records its fourth consecutive loss for an overall -1.2 (3.8 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, #16 to #18, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “Que Buena” is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the eighth successive time (6.6 – 6.3, -.3, 6+). It departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; and August’s -.5. Down or flat in each of the last six ratings periods for an overall -.6 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” applies the brakes by adding four-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to fourth, 6+). A similar streak ends for iHeartMedia’s KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which was off eight-tenths in three down or flat trends (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7- 2.7, 6+), but picks up three-tenths to 3.0 (#17 to #15, 6+). When co-owned WOAI gained one-tenth in August, it curtailed six straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). The news/talk facility adds one-half share in September (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) to advance from #15 to #13. Prior to June, the last time WOAI fell below a four-share (6+) was September 2014 (3.7). At the same time though, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (#13 to #15) erodes by eight-tenths to 3.0, its lowest 6+-share since April’s 2.5, 6+). Having regressed by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+), KSTX recouped that loss in its entirety with a +1.0 in August. It had been two years since KSTX last reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+) and owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, it nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). In the market’s always intriguing country contest, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” forfeits one-half share to 5.1 (second to fourth, 6+) and is within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) for the eleventh straight time. This, however, represents its lowest 6+-share in almost five years (5.0, “Holiday” 2012) and the decrease ends three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” recaptures 60% of August’s one-half share loss (4.7 – 5.0, +.3, 6+), but actually backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to August, “KJ-97” registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths.

4) Pittsburgh – Owing to a +.2 to 7.2, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” (steady at #4, 6+) concludes a skein of three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+); August’s 7.0 was its lowest 6+-share since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Locked on 9.6 (6+) in June, July, and August, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” erupts with a +1.1 to 10.7 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth straight month with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.7. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). In second-place for the third consecutive sweep – after being tied at #1 with WWSW in June – rock sibling WDVE posts its third straight decline and is off one full-share (9.6 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.6, 6+) with its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.4. A combined +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is now a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). Its format rival – CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” – adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, 6+) to climb from ninth to seventh. A -.1 in August snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Following three straight improvements for an overall +.9 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” returns roughly half that gain (4.6, -.5, 6+) to skid from seventh to nine. At the same time, Steel City Media’s similarly-programmed WLTJ drops one-tenth to 3.3, curtailing at four a consecutive streak of up or flat moves for a cumulative gain of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “Real Variety Q-92.9,” however, actually inches up from #12 to #11. Dropping by one-half share in addition to WBZZ is Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP (1.4, unchanged at #14, 6+), which gained six-tenths in August to 1.9, the best 6+-stat in the station’s PPM-history.

5) Sacramento – With a +.8 in September to 4.8 (6+), Entercom’s KRXQ jumps from ninth to fifth and more than erases its combined -.6 in July and August (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “98 Rock” since “Holiday” 2016 (4.8, as well). In seven consecutive sweeps without a decrease, co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” is up one full-share (2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+). Moreover, it cracks the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #9) and has its best 6+performance since March 2016’s 3.8. Not only is this the third straight improvement for KFBK netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the iHeartMedia news/talk hybrid advances from third to second with its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 8.2. Regaining the one-half share it lost in August (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” elevates from #19 to a four-way scrum at #15; 1.4 in August was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 1.4. Picking up one-half share as well (3.0, steady at #14, 6+) is Entravision-owned country KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf,” which pulls the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of a loss of one-tenth in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 end at five (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+). Following August 2017’s +1.4 to 9.7, its strongest 6+-showing since 9.9 in August 2016, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” surrenders all but four-tenths (8.7, -1.0, 6+) but is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to August, “The Eagle” posted an 8.3 (6+) three times in the previous four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+). The classic rock format takes a further hit in September as iHeartMedia’s KYRV “93.7 The River” falters by seven-tenths (4.5 – 3.8, 6+) to drift from fifth to ninth; 3.8 is the lowest 6+-share for “The River” since March (3.5). There are more ups and downs for CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” (second to third, 6+), which was a combined -.6 (February – March – April); +.6 in May; a collective -1.4 in June and July; +.5 in August; and now -.8 in September to 7.5, its softest 6+-share since November’s 6.6. Ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” rebounded from January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). As Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.9, -.2, flat at #8, 6+) concludes four straight gains for an overall +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KHTK “Sports 1140” (#16 to #15, 6+) extends to four its string of up or flat trends that has netted three-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT is a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” in exactly one year (6.6 in September 2016) as it inches up from fourth to third. In only three straight downward moves (5.7 – 5.2 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), format foe – Broadway Media’s KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” – has eroded by -2.6 and drops from #11 in August to #15. “Mix” was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; and +1.6 in June to 5.7, the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Repeating in the runner-up slot is Bonneville news/talk KSL (5.8 – 6.9, 6+). Eleven recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); and now +1.1 (September). Improving by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (seventh to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (#16 to #10, 6+). This is the fifth consecutive improvement for KODJ for an overall +1.7 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+) and its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6; “B-98.7” has its third successive gain for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+) and matches March’s 3.5. More than four full-shares ahead of “B98.7” is Bonneville’s similarly-formatted KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which occupies the #1 slot for the fourth straight month (7.4 – 7.8, +.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My-99.5 More Music, More Variety” surrenders one-half share to 3.0, spiraling from #11 to #16 (6+). Off by one-tenth (5.8 – 5.7, 6+) and dropping from second to fourth is Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was +.5 in August and -.6 in July. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 16th consecutive sweep, Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18. Separated by just one-tenth and finishing back-to-back at #7 and #8, respectively, are country rivals Cumulus Media’s KUBL “K-Bull” (5.1 – 4.7, -.4, 6+) and independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.9 – 4.6, -.3, 6+). A -.1 in July by “Z-104” halted at four its streak of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). June’s 6.1 represents the strongest ever 6+ PPM share for “Z-104,” which was -1.1 in August.

7) Las Vegas – While ratings information for the 12 PPM-markets listed here was released one day after the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas (and covered August 17 – September 13), any impact of associated listening will not be seen until results from the October sweep (September 14 – October 11). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE “The Coyote – We Are Country,” which logged three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+) before faltering by an overall two full-shares in June, July, and August (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). It answers in September though with a +.7 to 3.6 as it returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). Replicating August’s +.6 is CBS Radio hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which inches up from third to second in what is actually its third successive gain (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). A positive spike of one-half share nearly doubles the 6+-stat of Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KYLI “Campesina” (.6 – 1.1, #23, 6+). This is the third straight month at #1 for Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (6.7 – 6.9, +.2, 6+). July’s 7.1 was its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 7.2. Following an August +1.3 to 5.3, its best 6+-stat since March (5.5), CBS Radio-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas #1 Hit Music Station” relinquishes all but three-tenths of that increase (4.3, -1.0, third to sixth, 6+). In an up/down pattern, Lotus classic rock KXPT “97.1 The Point” was off by six-tenths in July; up one-half share in August; and now down eight-tenths in September (5.4 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 4.5, third to fifth, 6+). Via three straight decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” erodes by nearly two full-shares (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6, second to third, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; -.8 in July; and now -.7 in September. Owing to a one-half share decline to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio for Life” returns 50% of the full-share it gained through three straight increases (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Despite being an overall -1.9 in three straight decreases (6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KOAS “Old School 105.7” actually improves from eighth to seventh.

8) Cincinnati – Powered by a gain of one full-share to 4.8 – its highest 6+-performance since November’s 5.3 – iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” erases the combined half-share it lost in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) and progresses from tenth to sixth. Owing to a +.7 to 4.3 (6+), co-owned CHR WKFS pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). When Educational Community Radio’s WOBO dialed up a +.7 in August to 1.6 (6+), that became the highest 6+-share “The Station with Something for Everyone” reached since first appearing in print in April 2014, eclipsing November 2016’s 1.0. It is a short-lived record though as WOBO follows with a +.5 to 2.1 (#18 to #16, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (9.6 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW repeats at #1. It had been one year (August 2016) since WLW was last in sole possession of the top spot – it was tied for the lead in May 2017. “The Big One” returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back stays in the runner-up slot. Locked on 5.5 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” (fifth to eighth) sputters by -1.1 to 4.4, it lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.8. Falling by one-half share each are co-owned WFTK “96 Rock” (#8 to #13, 6+); Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); and Cincinnati Public Radio-owned classical WGUC “Music For Your Heart, Mind, and Spirit” (1.9 – 1.4, #16 to #18, 6+). “96 Rock” ends at three a consecutive string of increases that netted one full-share (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

9) Orlando – No doubt influenced by recent hurricane activity that ravaged Florida (and neighboring locales), news/talk scores huge points in September. Heading the list is Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM, which follows August’s positive spike of nine-tenths with a whopping +2.0, the largest 6+ August 2017 – September 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. With a robust 6+ July – August – September line score of 3.2 – 4.1 – 6.1, WDBO-FM cruises from tenth to sixth. Prior to August, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Having lost more than two full-shares of its 6+-share as the result of six consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” roars back in September with a +1.1 (2.6, #17 to #15, 6+). Spiraling by two full-shares in July, Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” was flat in August, but chalks up a +.9 to 11.6 (6+) and is #1 for the ninth consecutive month. The 12.8 it registered in April was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The +2.2 co-owned WJRR achieved through five consecutive increases (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) is sliced in half with a -1.1 to 4.8 (sixth to seventh, 6+). “Orlando’s Rock Station” previously showed a (6+) December 2016 – March 2017 line of 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. A loss of eight-tenths (7.9 – 7.1, third to fourth, 6+) takes Cox Media Group classic rock WMMO to its lowest 6+-share since April’s 7.0. Registering a 5.4 in three of the last four ratings periods, CBS Radio hot AC WOMX falters by six-tenths to 4.8 but “Mix 105.1” remains in eighth-place. Co-owned CHR WQMP was without an increase in each of the last three sweeps for an overall +.7 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “101.9 Amp” drops one-half share to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Actually advancing from fourth to third, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is -2.4 in five straight monthlies without an increase (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), following a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Three consecutive declines by Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB result in a collective -1.3 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+) yet “Star 94.5” progresses from eighth to seventh. In June, “Star” bounced back from May’s -.9 with an increase of six-tenths.

10) Cleveland – A combined -.7 in July and August (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Cleveland Indians flagship – WTAM (sixth to third, 6+) trots out a whopping +1.3 to 7.9, its highest 6+stat since November’s 9.1. The key FM station of the Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, CBS Radio sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan,” is up a collective full-share through three straight gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #12. The combination of a one-half share loss by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” (8.9 – 8.4, 6+) and a three-tenths gain by Radio One urban AC WZAK (8.1 – 8.4, second to first, 6+) results in a tie between the two at #1. WMJI progressed from second to first in July with a +1.1 to 9.1, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016. “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April and was in the runner-up slot in May and June. WZAK logs its third consecutive positive move for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” (sixth to fifth) is a combined +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a decrease (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). With a +.3 to 2.4 (steady at #13, 6+), Ideastream news/talk WCPN pulls the plug on four negative trends in succession that produced a collective -1.3 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the September sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK was trending 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 7.6 (6+), but “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by one full-share to 6.6 (third to sixth, 6+). Unchanged at #9, CBS Radio adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” regresses by six-tenths to 5.4, its softest 6+-share since November 2013’s 5.3.

11) Kansas City – Registering an August – September improvement of eight-tenths is Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” (4.6 – 5.4, seventh to fourth, 6+), which notches its strongest 6+-share since January’s 6.0. This marks the fifth straight increase for Steel City Media’s KFKF (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+), which is +1.3 in that timeframe; “Country 94.1” holds down the #3 slot for the fifth month in a row. Co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 #1 for New Country” gains four-tenths to 3.8 (#15 to #12, 6+), applying the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” is off four-tenths to 4.4 (fifth to seventh, 6+) after August’s +.7 to 4.8, the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 4.9 in April 2015. Perhaps things are setting down for Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox,” which is a modest -.2 to 8.5 (6+) and #1 for the ninth consecutive time. A -1.6 in August halted five straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). By reaching 10.3 in July, it marked only the fifth time a Kansas City station has registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, it recorded three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends in which it nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom’s sports talk and Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” returns six-tenths of that +3.2 (3.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Trending 4.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 (June – July – August, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All the Hits” drops one-half share to 4.0 (eighth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” is off by one-tenth to 2.8 (flat at #16, 6+), thus drawing to a close seven straight up or flat trends for an overall gain of one full-share (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

12) Columbus – Roaring back from July’s loss of seven-tenths, Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM follows August’s +.9 with an even greater +1.2 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+) as “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” enters the top ten (#12 to #7) with its best 6+-performance since May’s 4.1. “The Fan” ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by slumping -1.5 in June to 2.6 (6+). After sputtering by six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” answers with a full-share gain to 5.5 (seventh to fifth, 6+). It is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since February’s 5.6. Without an increase the past five ratings periods for an overall loss of
seven-tenths (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WTVN picks up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+) to climb from fourth to third. Albeit off a combined -1.5 in August and September, country cluster-mate WCOL is #1 for the third straight time. In June and July, WCOL produced a whopping +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; and now -.6 in September (11.8 – 11.2, 6+). After being an overall +1.9 in four straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU-FM relinquishes roughly half that gain (3.8, -.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Another positive streak concludes as Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind” drops seven-tenths to 2.2 (#10 to #14, 6+), halting three successive upticks that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

| October 16, 2014

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Cease Production of NBC News Radio. Affiliates received the word yesterday (Wednesday, 10/15) by way of a note from senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green that NBC News Radio newscasts and other programming will no longer be produced/distributed by Westwood One.  As a substitute, Westwood One will soon provide its own CNN-powered branded news network.  Green writes that Westwood One News will offer stations “enhanced programming, correspondent reports and news features.  Westwood One News is designed to help stations integrate their local branding into newscasts with greater flexibility, including selecting one- to five-minute newscasts based on need and preference.” Westwood One will halt production/distribution of the NBC News Radio network as of 12:00 midnight (ET) Monday, December 15.

merrillchrisChris Merrill Moves to iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  It turns out that Chris Merrill – most recently morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego – will not be banished to the evening slot there but will move to the company’s KFYI, Phoenix to take over the afternoon drive show being vacated by Mike Broomhead, who moves to mornings.  KOGO shifted to a newsier show format for its morning and afternoon drive dayparts and had slated Merrill to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  But with Barry Young retiring from KFYI and Broomhead taking over his mid-morning slot, an opening on the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show was created that Merrill will fill beginning November 10.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “We are beyond thrilled to bring Chris into town!  He is an up-and-coming superstar who understands the evolution of talk radio.  With Chris joining the team, KFYI is perfectly positioned for much success in 2015 and beyond.”

salisburyseanSean Salisbury Gets More Air Time in Houston.  According to a report by the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, Sean Salisbury will replace Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon on the KFNC, Houston “ESPN Houston 97.5” 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program alongside station sports director Dave Tepper.  Salisbury also co-hosts the Yahoo! Sports Radio afternoon show with John Granato heard on KGOW in the market.  Solomon is leaving the radio show to focus on his news duties.

frantzbobBob Frantz Lands at Toledo Sports Talker.  After being ousted in July from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he hosted the evening show, Bob Frantz finds a radio home at Cumulus Media’s sports talk WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket” on the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  WLQR recently parted company with Norm Wamer who held down that daypart.  According to a story in the Toledo Blade, Frantz will broadcast from his home in Northeast Ohio as well as from the station’s Toledo studios.  The paper quotes Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart saying the program will be “a Northwest Ohio sports talk show” that will also cover Detroit, Cleveland and South Bend sports.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington to Present Live Ebola Program from Newseum.  Washington all-news outlet WTOP is presenting a special town hall program on Monday, October 20 at 10:00 am live from the Knight TV Studio at the Newseum in DC.  The Hubbard station says it will examine the threat of Ebola in the U.S. and beyond.  The program will be hosted by WTOP anchors Bruce Alan and Debra Feinstein and will feature expert guests Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and active infectious diseases clinician at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center.  The station also extended an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control to join the panel.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “WTOP is pleased to facilitate an in-depth discussion on this important subject.  The town hall format gives everyone a chance to ask questions directly of two preeminent physicians on the forefront of the battle against this deadly disease.”  The Knight TV Studio will seat 150 people for this broadcast.

salemcommunicationsPerez Appointed VP/GM of Salem Miami.  At the Salem Communications Miami cluster, Felix Perez is tapped to be vice president and general manager.  Perez – who has nearly 23 years of experience in Spanish media – was most recently vice president and general manager of Univision New York.  Salem radio division senior vice president Allen Power comments, “We are excited about having Felix at the helm in Miami.  His years of leadership in media; his focus in Spanish radio; and his track record for exploiting new opportunities and solving problems make him uniquely qualified for this role.”  Perez remarks, “Salem’s values and mission are a great match for my own personal business philosophy.  The company’s record of delivering for all of its constituencies while holding true to its mission makes it unique.”  Salem’s Miami cluster consists of Christian talk WHIM “The Answer”; Spanish Christian talk WKAT “Radio Luz”; Spanish variety WOCN “La Nueva”; and business talk WZAB “The Biz.”

word logoCool Job Opportunity.  Incredible talk show talent needed.  WORD 106.3, the news/talk leader in Greenville, SC, has a rare and immediate opening for an exceptional talk show personality.  The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator able to connect with the conservative values of our on-air and social media audiences and will have the skills and desire to become a trusted talent that WORD 106.3 listeners can depend on for local, state and national topics.  You will have a team of like-minded professionals, with on-air skills.  You will work in a fast-paced, challenging environment and you will have unbridled desire to dominate your time slot and make your brand iconic in the 59th largest market.  You’ll work at the largest cluster in the State of South Carolina for Entercom, the best broadcaster in the radio space.  You’ll live in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina and have the support and tools you need to be successful and create a powerful local brand.  Is this you?  You have experience preparing and executing an interactive, engaging, successful talk show.  You are a master of creativity, imagination and professional judgment in writing, producing, interviewing and creating content.  You are wired to what’s important to your audience and know how to deliver it to your audience on air and with social media.  Required Experience: A demonstrated track record of on-air success that will translate to success at WORD 106.3.  Please submit your resume to greenvillejobs@entercom.com.  Entercom Greenville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ebola Pandemic Threat/CDC Criticism, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Financial Markets Activity/Falling Oil Prices, Battle Against ISIS, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15).  The threat of an Ebola pandemic, criticism of the Obama Administration’s and CDC’s handling of the matter and concerns over the lack of travel bans from countries with Ebola outbreaks; the looming mid-term elections and talk about the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the tumultuous global financial markets and falling oil prices; the battle against ISIS, and the two MLB championship series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

| October 14, 2014

bridgeratings logoNews/Talk Radio and the Oversaturated News Cycle – Study Reveals Listener Fatigue.  Highly respected media research firm Bridge Ratings has been annually monitoring the consumption patterns of news/talk radio and has just released its latest findings which shed light on the perceived softening of listenership to this format that remains one of the most popular broadcast radio formats among Americans.  The study, which analyzed perceptions and behavior from a national news/talk listener panel, uncovered a significant level of listener FATIGUE – not only with the format but with news coverage; more specifically, talk radio topics related to politics and the frequency with which they air.  To read the entire report on the study and how a general national news coverage malaise has affected American radio listening, please click here.

kogo-am logoKOGO, San Diego Gets Newsier.  The programming at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego was tweaked on Monday to reflect its “commitment to news programming,” according to program director Brian Long.  To accomplish that, the station shuffles some of the talk shows to different dayparts and moves talent accordingly.  LaDona Harvey leaves her midday talk show and is paired up with Ted Garcia to host “San Diego’s Morning News.”  Moving out of morning drive is Chris Merrill who is now heard from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  In afternoon drive, Bob “Sully” Sullivan vacates that daypart and is now heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Ernie Brown and Marilyn Hyder are hosting “KOGO’s Afternoon News.”  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh remains in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Finally, former longtime program director Cliff Albert is back at the station hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “KOGO’s News at Noon” program.  Brian Long comments, “We have assembled a fantastic lineup that will keep our audience informed on-air, online and through social media platforms.”

tantarosandreaTantaros and Talk Radio Network Settle.  The terms of the settlement will remain confidential as they almost always do in cases such as these, but a US District Court in New Jersey has dismissed the suit brought by Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros against Talk Radio Network with prejudice after the two sides settled the matter.  Tantaros had claimed in her suit that Talk Radio Network had breached its contract with her and that it had misrepresented its operations – including its ability to market her radio talk show – and that it had neglected to make her aware of its suit against ad rep firms working with it when it wooed her to begin hosting a nationally syndicated program.  Tantaros is a host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

hancockjohnWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Videos Bold Look at Legal Pot.  The experience of WBT, Charlotte talk show host John Hancock buying weed at a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation has been chronicled on video and the Greater Media news/talk outlet posted the video on its site here.  TALKERS asked Hancock, who does a tremendous job walking the viewer through the process of buying legal pot and asking questions of the proprietor in the video, how his decidedly conservative audience has responded to his posting a video of himself buying marijuana to consume.  He says, “My older demo is either ‘disappointed’ in me, or vowing to quit listening.  The majority seem intrigued by the process of buying weed legally.  Many wonder how I enjoyed ‘experimenting’ again!  Bill Clinton may have never inhaled, I still haven’t exhaled…”  Hancock laughs when he tells TALKERS that a listener called in to say, “Can’t wait for the video of your trip to Nevada,” joking about exploring legal prostitution!

missanellimikeOdds & Sods.  At the Toledo operations of Cumulus Media, Norm Wamer exits his positions as host of “The Front Row with Norm Wamer” heard on sports talker WLQR-FM, and as program director for sister news/talk WLQR-AM, the latter a post he’d held for the past 14 years…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia host Mike Missanelli is catching flak from the media, football fans and more after his Tweet following the season-ending knee injury of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Missanelli Tweeted, “Hey Giants Fans: Victor Cruz is over.  Dance to that.”  Missanellli removed the Tweet minutes later and apologized claiming he thought Cruz just dropped the ball and that he was unaware Cruz was injured on the play.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Financial Markets Activity, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Oregon ‘First Fiancee’ Scandal, NFL and MLB Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The heightened concern over the CDC’s and U.S. hospitals’ ability to combat Ebola in America; the battle against ISIS and the Obama Administration’s ability to build a coalition of nations in the region to fight the organization; the dipping U.S. stock market and the state of the global financial markets; the looming mid-term elections tied with the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the scandal plaguing Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 16, 2013

| September 16, 2013

merrillchrisKOGO, San Diego Debuts New Lineup; Chip Franklin Exits AM Drive.  After a six-year run at KOGO, San Diego, Chip Franklin exits the station as the programming lineup is tweaked at the Clear Channel news/talker.  Moving into AM drive is former afternoon personality Chris Merrill.  He’s followed by Rush Limbaugh.  At 12:00 noon, LaDona Harvey – who had been partnered with Franklin in AM drive – is on air solo from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully”franklinchip Sullivan moves from the early afternoon slot into PM drive.  Franklin came to San Diego after a long and successful run at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore.  He tells the San Diego Union Times he has no hard feelings about the change. “I had a great run at KOGO, and they have and continue to treat me in a highly professional manner.  Believe it or not, I have been very lucky.  I still have a lot of great friends there and I sincerely wish them the very best.  The new morning guy, Chris Merrill, is a friend and a tremendous talent.  Don’t underestimate him.”

wnymlogoSalem Communications to Move New York Stations into Current WOR Facilities.  Salem Communications announces it will move its two New York properties – news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA – from their current New Jersey location to Lower Manhattan into what is now the studios of Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR in the Trinity Building next to Trinity Church at 111 wor710Broadway where WOR has been located since 2006.  Since Clear Channel bought WOR from Buckley Broadcasting more than a year ago, plans have been made for WOR to move into CC’s larger New York studios.  Salem VP director of spoken word format and regional VP for New York Phil Boyce says, “Salem has a major commitment to winning in New York and this move will help us take both stations to the next level.  We know for years great radio came out of this building when it housed WOR and now we have the opportunity to continue that tradition with both WMCA and ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  As an added plus, WMCA, known as ‘New York’s Christian Talk,’ will be re-locating next door to historic Trinity Church, founded in 1697,  as the oldest church in New York City.  There is some divine providence going on here,  as WMCA,  which is licensed to the city of New York now moves next door to the oldest church.”  The move is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

pendlchrisCHRIS PENDL: Help Your Best Clients Thrive in Local Searches.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes that some of radio’s best advertisers can be the most difficult to find when it comes to mobile-based local searches.  What’s more, there can be a huge difference between how one of your clients rates on a desktop search and where they rate – if at all – on a mobile search.  Pendl notes, “With smartphone ownership now 56% among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase.  A recent local search study revealed, there’s an 87% increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.”  Pendl offers simple solutions to help your valuable advertisers appear where they should in mobile searches.  Read his column here.

komovoiceofevilKOMO-AM/FM, Seattle Scores Exclusive Interview with ‘Green River Killer.’  This morning, Sinclair Radio’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle begins broadcasting an exclusive interview series with serial killer Gary Ridgway, conducted by the station’s Charlie Harger.  Titled, “Voice of Evil,” it begins with a special preview at 7:15 am (PT) on ‘KOMO Newsradio.’  Reports will be broadcast at 7:15 am, 12:15 pm and 5:15 pm all this week and mark the culmination of a near year-long investigation.  The station says “Harger spoke exclusively with Ridgway on six separate occasions in what are the killer’s only media interviews since his incarceration in 2001.  Ridgway was convicted on 49 counts of murder but reveals to KOMO that he committed many more.  In his conversation with Harger, Ridgway shares frightening details of his crimes, tells detectives where to look for additional remains and even explains why he did it.  Is he sorry?  KOMO posed that question to the man serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and his answer stunned the veteran reporter.”  Harger adds, “I think it’s important that people understand just why we’re giving voice to a guy like this.  People deserve answers and the families deserve some kind of closure.”  KOMO-AM/FM program director Paul Duckworth adds, “It’s also about justice.  There are a number of unsolved cases and we’re hopeful that our investigation will prompt the task force to reopen its investigation.”

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Present Health Care Town Hall.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting an “unprecedented town hall event and day-long series of special reports, titled ‘KNX 1070 Healthcare Uncovered,’ on Thursday, October 3 giving Californians a broad range of information about choosing health insurance under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.”  The station reports that more than a dozen guest speakers representing various entities involved with healthcare reform, from federal, state and local officials to health professionals and consumer advocates, will appear at the town hall forum at The Autry in Los Angeles from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Guests will include Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s overseer and marketplace for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.  Also scheduled to appear are Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Janice Rocco, California’s deputy insurance commissioner; Rocky Delgadillo, CEO of the L.A. County Medical Association, and many others including doctors and consumers of different demographics.  The event will be hosted and moderated by KNX news anchors Diane Thompson, Bob McCormick and Frank Mottek and investigative reporter Charles Feldman who is co-producing the event with Laraine Herman.  Feldman states, “This is the biggest change to our healthcare system since Medicare was rolled out in 1966 and a lot of people are confused.  Because this law is so new, we’re bringing together panelists with knowledge covering a wealth of issues so that whether you’re self-employed, a business owner, the head of household or just entering the workforce, we’ll provide answers to questions you’ve never had to think about before.”

nprHaaga Gets Nod As NPR’s Acting President/CEO.  Two-year NPR board member Paul Haaga, Jr. is named acting president/chief executive officer.  The appointment takes effect at the end of this month for Haaga, who most recently was vice chair of the board and finance committee chair.  He will succeed Gary Knell, who leaves for similar duties at thehaagapaul National Geographic Society.  “Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the board,” comments NPR board chair Kit Jensen.  “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”  The retired chair of the board of Capital Research and Management Company, Haaga is the former chair of the Investment Company Institute, and he was a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music, and cultural programming on an interim basis,” he remarks.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”  The former National Public Radio renamed itself NPR in July 2010.

wrso logoStar Over Orlando Retakes Control of WRSO, Orlovista, Florida; Doubles Transmitting Power.  Star Over Orlando operators Carl Como Tutera and his son Carmine announce they have taken back WRSO, Orlovista which operates as a sports talk outlet carrying CBS Sports Radio Network programming.  The Tuteras also announce that they have received FCC approval to increase the daytime power to 20 kw and the night-time power to 1 kw — double the power of its original license.  Earlier in the week, the FCC placed the Carl Como Tutera FM Translator application for Channel 226 in Orlando on a ‘singleton’ list for the operation of an FM on 93.1 with 250 Watts of Power.  The pair built the AM station in 2005 and it began operations in early 2006.  WRSO operates from a studio location in Altamonte Springs and at a tower site in Orlando.  They say CBS Sports will continue to be an affiliate and be heard on both the AM and FM.

sharelljerryJerry Sharell Stable After Being Held Hostage, Stabbed. The Los Angeles radio and music communities remain stunned this morning following news that broke last night involving former five-year (1987 – 1992) Westwood One senior vice president of talent marketing Jerry Sharell, who was reportedly held hostage and attacked in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles).  Sharell was with his girlfriend when her ex-husband was said to have arrived with flowers and a machete at approximately 8:00 am yesterday (Sunday, 9/15).  He apparently held the couple hostage for more than three hours.  “Sometime during that time, [Sharell] had been stabbed repeatedly,” Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jeff Nuttal told KABC-TV, Los Angeles.  The woman was injured when she tried to halt the attack, but was able to escape and called authorities.  Police say that owing to a history of domestic violence, she had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Sharell, who hosts “Sundays with Sinatra” on Los Angeles public outlet KKJZ “KJazz” – is in critical, but stable condition at Northridge Medical Center with injuries to his head and neck.  The unidentified attacker turned the weapon on himself; his condition is listed as critical as well but both he and Sharell are expected to survive.  The alleged attacker is in police custody at the hospital.  Sharell was co-executive producer of Ronnie Milsap‘s 2004 Grammy-nominated “Just for a Thrill” album.  He began his career as a Mercury Records promotion rep, before joining Main Line Distributors in 1962.  Sharell held executive positions at Buddah Records and A&M Records.  He has helped the careers of artists such as Herb Alpert, Jackson Browne, Carpenters, Cars, Joe Cocker, Eagles, Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon.  He is past president of City of Hope, Entertainment Division, and is on the advisory board of MusiCares.  From 2002 – 2010, he was president/CEO for the non-profit Society of Singers.  Sharell’s wife of 48 years, Joanne, recently died after losing her fight against cancer.

boomercarton‘Boomer & Carton’ Off MSG Network as Contract Expires.  Last week TALKERS reported that the Yankees-owned YES Network is in talks with WFAN, New York’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to do a cable TV simulcast of their AM drive show on the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Up until last week, the duo had been seen on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), but that deal elapsed on Friday and for now, Boomer & Carton are only available on the radio.

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston adds ESPN “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico to its stable of football experts.  Tirico will call in to the Salk & Holley show every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 throughout the season…..Plain Talk Radio Network’s internet radio show “Talk Live with Peter Gantenbein” – a “weekly news and commentary program that engages in straight talk not for the faint of heart,” has been recognized as must-hear radio with an “Editor’s Pick” recognition from Windows Media Guide…..Good Karma flips WEFL, Tequesta, Florida to Spanish–language sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  The company had been simulcasting English-language sports on WEFL and WUUB-FM, Jupiter and the latter remains English-language sports talk…..CRN Digital Talk Radio‘s popular wine dinners return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 17.  Tobin James of Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles pairs a variety of wines with a prixabcdwtsradio fixe menu at Colombo’s Italian Steak and Jazz Club at 1833 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock.  CRN CEO and president Michael Horn says, “People still talk about our Tobin James wine dinner from a few years ago.  Toby brings a world-class selection of wines people enjoy.  He’s also a fun, down-to-earth person that everyone relates to.  Colombo’s provides a great atmosphere and delicious food that will make the night all that more special.”…..Today ABC Radio re-launches its popular “Dancing with the Stars” station on Slacker, providing fans with behind-the-scenes access to the ABC hit reality TV show. Now in its third season, “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will deliver an on-demand audio experience and unlimited access to key moments throughout the competition.  Each week “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will follow the Season 17 cast as they battle it out on the dance floor for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on tonight on the ABC Television Network.

newhouse logoNewhouse School Presents Audio Industry Summit.  The half-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, September 27 and will feature two panels of experts from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 E 61st St.  The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.  RSVP with your name and professional affiliation to Ed Gorham at ejgorham@syr.edu by Wednesday, September 18.  Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham states, “Given the seismic shifts in radio and newer audio platforms, much attention is being paid to the medium’s future.  It is crucial that we understand where the industry is headed so we can appropriately prepare our students.  We want to hear from thought leaders in management, programming and other key areas so we can get a better handle on best practices in radio moving forward.”  Industry players attending will include: Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Emmis Communications; Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio; Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media; Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming for CBS Radio; Deon Levingston, vice president and general manager at WBLS Radio (New York); Kevin Straley, vice president of programming at TuneIn; and Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, among others.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| April 25, 2012

Feature Series – Part 2:  Walter Sabo on Finding and Nurturing FM Talk Talent.  In the second of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo writes that the best FM talk hosts come from the ranks of successful music jocks.  “I look for talent who have invested their time doing excellent radio taking advantage of a strong format.  A great CHR jock has remarkable broadcasting skills.  He/she is taught the importance and necessity of getting to the next event.”  Sabo says talent must be willing to prep two hours for every hour they are on the air and that matching this type of host with a skilled radio programmer presents the best opportunity for great success with targeted talk on the FM band.  Read part 2 of this series here.

KMBZ, Kansas City Names Jonathan Weir Late Morning Host.  The search for a new late morning talk host at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City began when Chris Merrill took a talk host position at Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego earlier this year.  Merrill’s been doing double duty while the search was on.  Now, KMBZ program director Jack Landreth announces Jonathan Weir comes aboard to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show.  “Jon’s enthusiasm and unique approach to his audience instantly drew me in as a listener first.  His ability to weave his life experiences into the fabric of the show is a real quality that endears him to his listeners.”  Weir comes from Entercom’s WSKY, Gainesville, Florida where he was producer and co-host of “The Drive Time Happy Hour” program.  Weir, a St. Louis native, states, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining such a landmark station in the Midwest.  I’m inspired and so thankful to everyone at KMBZ for giving me this incredible opportunity.  I look forward to the challenge of living up to the incredible standards set by KMBZ, and the chance to be close to my family again is a great bonus.”  Weir begins his new gig on April 30.

Talk Legend Barry Farber to Receive TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Talk show host Barry Farber, still heard regularly on both Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk, has been named the 2012 recipient of TALKERS magazine’s annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  The venerable host, named in 2002 and 2010 by TALKERS as one of the most important radio talk show hosts of all time, has been performing regularly scheduled talk shows on radio since 1960 when he started a groundbreaking program on WINS, New York.  He is credited by historians as being one of the seminal pioneers and architects of today’s talk radio.  Farber, also a prolific and accomplished author, has a new book coming out this summer titled Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detours (WND Books).  The award will be presented to Barry Farber by Michael Harrison at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  This event, nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media only.  For registration information call 413-565-5413.

Merlin Media LMAs Third Chicago FM Signal.  Merlin Media is agreeing to lease the signal of Venture Technologies Group-owned WLFM-LP, Chicago at 87.7 on the dial to program and sell advertising on it.  Of course there’s a ton of speculation about what Merlin will do with the low-power smooth jazz outlet.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the station has been faring well with the smooth jazz format – garnering a 1.6 share in the March PPM.  Since the deal was announced, news from Merlin’s FM News 101.1 has begun airing on the station.  Though the Tribune notes Randy MichaelsRadioactive LLC has applied for the WKQX-FM call letters of the former alternative rock station (now FM News 101.1) and that’s leading to rumors the station will flip to alternative rock.  Program director and midday host Rick O’Dell confirms via the station website that a format change will take place Monday (4/30) but doesn’t say to what.

Rodney King Visits Rev. Al Sharpton.  The 20th anniversary of the verdict in the case of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King is Sunday, April 29.  The acquittal of the four officers sparked the riots that consumed part of the city for days.  King (pictured here at left) visited Syndication One talk show host Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the historic event and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne 2012).

Steve Dahl Reduces Staff at Podcast Venture.  New-tech broadcasting models are subject to the same economic forces that affect terrestrial radio and Chicago’s Steve Dahl is making changes to keep his podcast initiative going.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Chicago radio legend let three staffers go recently — technical producer Pete Zimmerman, assistant technical producer Jim Ruffatto and assistant Stephanie Fallara – in order to continue operating in a way that works for him.  Dahl wrote on his blog, “It was not a decision I came to easily, but I think that it was the right move for the show.  I know when I am not growing as an entertainer and I know what I need to do to keep that process moving forward.  It’s ‘The Steve Dahl Show, and that at some point is the brand that I need to protect, not only for my own creative integrity, but in order to support my family.”  Dahl recently added two staffers – Dag Juhlin, director of creative services and Eric Drogoszewski, marketing/operations director – to his subscription-supported venture.

Backstage in Phoenix.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck (third from right) poses for a photo with KFYI, Phoenix hosts and staffers backstage at the Phoenix stop on his “Unelectable Tour II” on Friday, April 20.  Beck is hitting the road this spring bringing his standup comedy routine to audiences in Southern and Southwestern cities.  Pictured here with Beck are (from l-r): KFYI GSM Jim Wilson, KFYI early morning host Jim Sharpe, KFYI PM drive host Mike Broomhead, Beck, KFYI program director Neil Larrimore, and Mike Broomhead show executive producer Andrew Fountaine.

2012 Presidential Race, North Korea Nukes Test, Euro Zone Jitters, Secret Service Scandal and SCOTUS Hears AZ Illegal Immigration Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24).  The presidential campaign and Mitt Romney’s Northeastern states primary sweep; North Korea’s threat to test nuclear weapons very soon; economic sluggishness in the euro zone; more dismissals in the Secret Service hooker scandal; and the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Arizona illegal immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

| February 21, 2012

No-Holds-Barred Opinion:  WDAE, Tampa Morning Sports Talk Phenomenon Dan Sileo Says Your Show Is About You!  According to Dan, too many sports talk hosts are putting bad callers on the radio, conducting long, boring interviews and emulating bad radio.  He boldly proclaims the best thing a host can do is listen for bad radio, recognize it for what it is and make sure you’re NOT doing it on your show.  Read more here.

KOGO-AM/FM, San Diego Adjusts Program Schedule; Bryan Suits Exits Station and Chris Merrill Comes Aboard.  Talk show host Bryan Suits had been hosting the midday show from Seattle and he tells his fans via his Facebook page that he and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment could not agree on the terms to bring him back to Southern California in order to move into the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program slot so they’ve parted ways.  The new lineup is LaDona Harvey from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Chris Merrill from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully” Sullivan from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Merrill’s “The Voice of Merrill” show airs on Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

Plans Being Set for 15th Annual New Media Seminar.  Full details will be announced later this week, as TALKERS prepares to announce plans for the 2012 installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national conference.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “This next conference will be extremely innovative – not just in content, but structure as well — and will be specifically geared to the nature of these economically challenging times.  All I can say at this moment is it will again take place in New York City in early June – but this version of the event will be a significant departure from and improvement over traditional radio business conferences in terms of accessibility to the hard-working folks of our industry.  Stand by!”

Stitcher Integrates News and Talk Programming with Facebook’s Timeline Feature.  Stitcher is an app that allows iPhone and iPad users to listen to news and talk audio content in much the same way Pandora does for music.  Stitcher says users have access to more than 6,000 programs and podcasts ranging from talk titans like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to news from CNN and NPR.  Now, according to CNET, Stitcher has integrated with Facebook’s Timeline feature which essentially allows Timeline users to see what their friends are listening to.  Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok tells CNET this means the ability to discover new programs and share favorites with friends has become even easier.  “We have a huge selection of NPR content but there’s other content like NPR that you might like that could be exposed through a social integration and viewing the listening habits of a friend who you know has similar habits as you do.”

Clear Channel Media Holdings Reports 2011 Financials Today; Positive News for Media and Entertainment Division Expected.  The parent company of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment holds a conference call with analysts this morning and although the company’s financial structure is very different from the days when it sold common stock like other publicly traded broadcasting companies, the industry is always interested in hearing from Clear Channel about its performance as a bellwether for the media industry as a whole.  The industry can expect an announcement coming from this conference call that CC’s radio revenue was up 4% in 2011.  According to the Clear Channel-owned, in-house radio trade publication Inside Radio: “Propelled by the addition of Westwood One’s traffic division in April and higher digital radio billings, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment revenue swung to $6.16 billion in 2011, a 4% increase from 2010. Like most of the industry, fourth quarter revenue was softer, growing 2% to $15 million.”  Today, Clear Channel Media Holdings and subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings will give 2011 fourth quarter earnings and revenue numbers for the whole of 2011 as well as guidance for the current year.

Houston Police Looking into Investigation of Hit-and-Run Incident Allegedly Involving KTRH, Houston Host Michael Berry.  Last week TALKERS reported on the story out of Houston in which KTRH talk host – and former Houston City Councilman – Michael Berry is alleged to have hit a car outside a well-known gay bar in the city and left the scene.  At that time, local news reports indicated Berry was also seen inside the bar prior to the incident.  At this time Berry has not been charged with anything but the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland is ordering an investigation into his department’s handling of the case.  At issue here appears to be whether police, who initially offered little evidence to the district attorney’s office to charge Berry, may have ignored other testimony from the scene clearly linking Berry’s SUV to the incident.  Berry has said on his radio show that he can’t talk about it but asks people to hold their judgment until all the facts are out.  Berry’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, tells the paper, “It’s much ado about nothing, it seems to me.”

Independently Syndicated George Jarkesy Show picked up by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  An hour of the recently launched independently syndicated Houston-based program, the George Jarkesy Show recently featured at Talkers.com has added CRN Digital Talk Radio as one of its distribution platforms carried on the Mike Horn-owned venue’s “CRN 5” airing Mondays at 1:00 pm.   A money manager and successful professional investor, respected financial and corporate advisor, George Jarkesy has founded, invested in and helped to build companies engaged in a broad range of industry sectors, including financial consulting, media, real estate investing, natural resources, and healthcare.  He also appears as a regular guest commentator on most of the major cable news/talk channels where he gained talk media industry attention as a solid information resource for the common sense blending of money matters and politics geared to the middle class investor and entrepreneur.  Jarkesy’s daily show runs Monday through Friday 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm with plans in the works to expand to three hours per day.  For more information, visit www.GeorgeJarkesy.com.

GOP Primary Race/2012 Presidential Race, Iran Oil Blockade Threat, Rising Gas Prices, Greece Bailout and Lin/ESPN Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The battle among GOP primary contenders and the larger 2012 presidential race; Iran’s threat to block oil out of the Persian Gulf and rising gas prices in the U.S.; the Euro Zone’s approval of another bailout for Greece; and the controversy over a racial slur used by ESPN staffers referencing Knicks player Jeremy Lin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Charlotte Talk Media Personality to Moderate Debate.  Charlotte, North Carolina talk media personality and regular WBT, Charlotte fill-in host Wayne Powers is set to moderate today’s 8th Congressional District Republican Debate.  The debate, sponsored by the Cabarrus Republican Women, takes place tonight at 7:00 pm at the Vintage Motor Club in Concord, North Carolina.  All six candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell will take part in the debate.

Live from L.A. Plaza.  ESPN Deportes stepped outside its studios to celebrate the first anniversary of Spanish-language sports talk show “Nacion ESPN.”  Pictured here are co-hosts Adriana Monsalve and David Faiteslon.  The two were joined on the program by ESPN’s Rafa Ramos and Bernardo Osuna, Mexican-Brazilian soccer star Luis Alberto Zaque, renowned Mexican soccer stars Ramon Ramirez and Claudio Suarez, and boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez.  On a state-of-the-art set, Adriana and David welcomed the crowd and its special guests presenting several surprises, heated debates and friendly competitions.