Tag: "country"

Monday, April 3, 2017

| April 3, 2017

RTDNA Establishes Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  In obvious response to statements by President Trump that the press is the “enemy of the people,” the Radio Television Digital News Association announces it is creating the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Saying that the task force is being founded amid “growing attacks on journalism,” the RTDNA “is renewing its commitment to speak out for freedom of the press…The goals of the task force include not only reacting to threats to First Amendment Freedoms, but proactively supporting journalists and educating the public about the importance of a free press to our democracy.”  Task Force co-chair Sheryl Worsley comments, “If the public comes to believe the news media are the ‘enemy of the people,’ one of our country’s most fundamental rights could be lost.  Freedom of the press helps ensure a check on government and helps America stay free.”  RTDNA says members of the task force will be meeting with leaders from radio and television station groups across the country at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month.  They will discuss recent threats to press freedom and begin to develop a strategic plan to protect and promote the vital role of journalism.

Long-Rumored ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup Still Full of Uncertainties.  A piece in Philly.com reports that the break-up of 18-year ESPN Radio morning show “Mike & Mike” – with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – is going to happen, but when and how is still a well-kept secret.  Writer Rob Tornoe cites a Sporting News piece in which both Greenberg and Golic appear to admit the end is near, but both insist they don’t know when or what will take the show’s place in the ESPN Radio lineup.  Also in that story is the report that Mike Greenberg recently signed a new deal with ESPN to work the television side of the company for about $6.5 million per year.  That’s always been part of the narrative – that Greenberg’s new duties necessitate his departure from the radio morning show.  Read the Philly.com piece here.

Derrick Martin Appointed Region President for iHM St. Louis.  Moving from his market president position with iHeartMedia in Norfolk, Derrick Martin returns to the St. Louis area to serve as region president for the St. Louis Region that includes 33 radio stations in St. Louis, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Davenport, Iowa and Springfield, Missouri.  He’ll report to Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division.  McConnell says, “I’m very excited to have Derrick return to the St. Louis Region in this important role leading our brands.  He has a proven track record of success and understands how to build and maintain a strong culture that rewards innovation and team work.”

Beasley Promotes Steve Meyers.  Rising from his director of digital operations with Greater Media to executive vice president of digital for Beasley Broadcast Group is Steve Meyers.  He joined Beasley with the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations last fall.  In his new role as Beasley’s EVP of digital, Meyers will oversee the Charlotte and Detroit corporate digital teams.  He says, “I’m honored to take on this leadership role in Beasley Media Group.  Our digital landscape has brought such a unique opportunity to the media space, and combined with our strong Beasley brands, we are creating an outstanding formula for continued growth and success.”

Beasley Names Craig Shemon PM Host at ‘99.3 ESPN’ in Fort Myers.  Sports media pro Craig Shemon is signed by Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WWCN, Fort Myers “99.3 ESPN.”  Shemon has worked at both Yahoo! Sports Radio and FOX Sports Radio Network, in addition to handling play-by-play duties for Fox Sports and The Big Ten Network.  He’s done studio work for NBA TV and MLB Strikezone on DirecTV.  Beasley Southwest Florida operations manager Adam Star states, “Craig’s play-by-play experience with the NBA, MLB and NFL is remarkable!  His ability to carry a daily sports show and his highly successful achievements in other national broadcast platforms from Los Angeles to Chicago are truly impressive.  Hiring Craig is a game changer and we’re looking forward to have his success and positive attitude continue here in Southwest Florida on ‘99.3 ESPN!’”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the San Diego Reader, market radio personality Chris Cantore – XETRA, KPRI, and KBZT – is set to replace sports journalist Kevin Acee on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” in the evening slot.  The piece notes that Cantore has made references in the past to not being a fan of big league team sports and questions what management is expecting of his 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  TALKERS recently wrote about Cantore’s new venture into podcasting via his Yew Media LLC firm.  Read the San Diego Reader story here…..Talk media personality Joe Madison is being honored by his alma mater Washington University in St. Louis with one of this year’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.  The school says, “The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Arts & Sciences graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in so doing bring honor to Washington University through their lives, work, and service.”  Joe Madison, a.k.a. “The Black Eagle,” is heard daily on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s a 1971 graduate of the school…..Kate Delaney’s “America Tonight” nationally syndicated overnight program adds new affiliate stations KPAM, Portland; WGSO, New Orleans; KSPI, Palm Springs, California; WKAL, Rome, New York; and WVBG, Vicksburg, Mississippi…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence “NewsTalk 630 & 99.7 FM WPRO” announces that 10-year staffer Tara Granahan is named the permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Granahan began hosting the daypart in January after John DePetro’s exit from the station.  Granahan is an award-winning journalist who joined WPRO in 2007 as host of the morning show.  During her time there, she’s also served as sidekick and co-host with former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci and hosted the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm talk show.

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Looming Gorsuch Vote, Trump Foreign Leader Meetings, North Korea Threats, GOP Health Care Plan/ObamaCare Repeal, and NCAA Final Four Among Top News Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible contacts between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents; Republicans’ plans to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; President Trump meets this week with Egypt’s President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on Friday; North Korea’s nuclear missile threats; GOP plans for a new health care bill and promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Medved Broadcasts from Scottsdale. Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured above broadcasting his Salem Radio Network program live from Scottsdale, Arizona – a remote sponsored by KKNT, Phoenix “AM960/The Patriot.”  During the broadcast, Medved was joined by local hosts Seth Leibsohn and Chris Buskirk.  He also autographed copies of his new bestseller The American Miracle for fans.

Exclusive: Sean Hannity Guests on Harrison Podcast TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted an exclusive interview with Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity recorded Monday night (3/27) as the high-profile star was riding home from work. It is now playing on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” They discuss a variety of subjects including the talk show host’s contentious encounter this past weekend with CBS newsman Ted Koppel, who stated that Hannity is “bad for America.” The two also talk about Hannity’s relationship with President Donald Trump and the rapidly evolving state of conservative talk media. At one point, Harrison asks Hannity if it was true that he could corroborate that Trump had told him he was against the Iraq War early on – as the then-candidate stated in one of the presidential debates with Hillary Clinton. Hannity answered that, yes, it was true and that he and Trump had engaged in a number of private conversations and passionate debates over their differences of opinion at that point as to the merits of the U.S. becoming militarily involved in Iraq. To listen to an excerpt from the interview, please click here. To listen to the entire unedited 48-minute podcast conversation between Hannity and Harrison, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Sean Hannity to Receive the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The editorial board of TALKERS announces that Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity is going to be the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hannity in New York City on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular. According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others. It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts. It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive and indispensable.” Harrison continues, “Sean Hannity is the clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

 

 

Jeff Kapugi Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming for DC-Baltimore.  Programming pro Jeff Kapugi and iHeartMedia work out a deal to bring Kapugi into the company as regional senior vice president of programming for the Washington and Baltimore markets.  In addition to overseeing the programming of CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH, classic rock WBIG “BIG 100,” alternative W284CQ “104.7 Cherry Blossom Radio” in Washington and country WPOC, CHR WZFT “Z104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM,” and Gospel WCAO in Baltimore, Kapugi will also serve as program director for country WMZQ, Washington.  Kapugi was most recently VP of programming for CBS RADIO Chicago and PD for country WUSN “US99.”    iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments, “I could not be more excited to bring Jeff Kapugi to DC.  Having worked with him previously, I have firsthand knowledge of his exceptional skills and incredible character.  Jeff’s smart, strategic and passionate about the brands and he will be a tremendous asset for our stations.”

Bohannon to Lead Cumulus Memphis.  Broadcasting management pro Morgan Bohannon is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster.  Bohannon was most recently area president for iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations.  At Cumulus, he’ll be in charge of rhythmic oldies WRBO, rock WXMX “98.1 The Max,” hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe,” and country WGKX “KIX 106.”  Prior to his work with iHeartMedia, Bohannon was director of sales for Apex Broadcasting.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ” announces MO! takes over the morning show.  The Hubbard Radio alt rocker moves jock Ian Camfield from AMs to middays (10:00 am to 3:00 pm).  Hubbard Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb says, “Mo’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her listener appeal make her a great choice for this daypart.  Ian has got the ball rolling and will be great in middays.  We are thrilled with the new lineup.” MO! has worked at Hubbard Phoenix sister rock KUPD and, had been hosting the midday show on “ALT AZ” prior to the change…..iHeartMedia Sacramento drops the adult hits and the “JACK FM” format on KQJK to re-launch the station as classic rock “93.7 The River.”  The station will also feature longtime Sacramento personalities Dog & Joe, Monica Lowe and Derek Moore as well as the nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense” show with Nikki Sixx.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “We’re incredibly excited to bring ‘93.7 The River’ to the River City.  ‘93.7 The River’ is built on the Dog & Joe show, a destination morning show with two wildly creative and beloved personalities, a redefined take on classic rock for 2017, and a passion and commitment to community we’ve embraced and called home for many years.”…..iHeartMedia launches “ALT 97.5” on translator W248BQ, Nashville.  The new alternative rock outlet will feature on-air personalities Wells Adams, Gabby Sanderson and Battle.  Program director Rossi states, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘ALT 97.5’ to Nashville’s alternative rock fans. ‘ALT 97.5’ is an alternative station with Nashville sensibilities. We’re excited to serve the community, which has such a loyal and passionate fan base.”…..Country radio legend Lon Helton celebrated his 25th anniversary hosting “Country Countdown USA” over the weekend.  He also was honored at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards where he received his fourth ACM “National On-Air Personality” award…..Beasley Media Group moves Russ Parr from hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99” to sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Warren “Rhubarb” Jones, who passed away on April 2 at the age of 65.  He was most recently working at Gradick Communications’ oldies WWGA, Tallapoosa, Georgia “Great Classics 98.9.”  From 1985 through 2008, Jones was a personality on WYAY-FM, Atlanta when it was a country outlet.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rhythmic CHR stations based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing (6+) ratings data from January of 2017 to February, “Six of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (60%); approximately one of three are down (35%); and the remaining 5% of the sample is flat (6+).  Looking at the changes from February 2016 to February 2017, Kinosian reports, “For all practical purposes, year-to-year percentages represent a complete reversal versus month-to-month stats, as 59% of our eligible rhythmic CHR sample is off year-to-year (6+), while 35% improve; the remaining 6% are steady.”  See all the data here.

Miranda Lambert Visits with Elaina Smith.  Country star Miranda Lambert (left) sits down for a chat with “NASH Nights Live” host Elaina Smith (right) at the Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards Radio Row event last weekend.  The event saw some 100 country music stars visit with country radio personalities at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Cumulus Media and Westwood One served as the official national radio partners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards.

WYCD, Detroit’s Linda Lee Dies at 55.  Almost seven months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, WYCD, Detroit radio personality Linda Lee Young died on Friday (3/31) at age 55.  Young was a 20-year staffer at WYCD.  For 16 years, she co-hosted the “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show with Chuck Edwards.  For the past year and a half, she’s worked with co-host Rob Stone.   Young leaves behind her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina Holmes Mills, and a stepdaughter Alexa Young.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 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.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6), CBS Radio’s KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” is up two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) as it climbs from sixth to fifth. After improving by one-half share in January, KALW “Local Public Radio” surrenders seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+), as it plummets from #19 to #27. Down two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), Entercom urban AC KBLX “The Bay’s R&B” (#14 to #17) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a combined +.9 snapped at four (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Sports sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” loses one tenth to (1.7, #22, 6+), curtailing six straight monthlies without a decline that yielded a +.7 (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). On the other hand – and still in that Entercom cluster – KRBQ picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), as “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. Although the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nonetheless is without a gain for the fourth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18.

5) Dallas – Down by a collective -1.1 in three straight downtrends since November (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – Music Variety” dials up a +.8 to 4.1, as it elevates from tenth to seventh. It is a strong sweep for the market’s two Cumulus Media-owned country outlets: KPLX “The Wolf,” +1.2 in January to progress from fourth to first, repeats at #1 (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+), while cluster-mate KSCS “New Country 96.3” improves by seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+), advancing from eighth to fifth. “New Country” had been within 3.1 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods. In addition to KSCS, CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK notches a gain of seven-tenths as well (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) with “La Grande 107.5” cracking the top 20 (#22 to #16). Prior to picking up three-tenths in January, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB went five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+). “Smooth R&B 105.7” now adds another one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Five consecutive down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -2.3 for CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), which spirals from #19 out of the top 20 to #28. An extremely interesting contemporary Christian situation is developing in the market with Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Safe for the Whole Family” (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) freefalling from #11 to #19, while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” – which debuted in print at #20 in January – remains there in February (2.3 – 2.1, -.1, 6+). As recently as September 2016, KLTY was seventh with a 3.6 (6+).

6) Houston – It has been nearly three months (12/30/2016) since CBS Radio transitioned KKHH from CHR to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Over and above being up or flat for the fifth straight time for a net gain of two shares (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6, 6+), “The Spot” breaks into the top ten (#14 to #6). Its former CHR rival – Cumulus Media’s KRBE – loses three-tenths, ending at three its successive streak of increases for a collective +1.0 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) as “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Effective with the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One flipped KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI – ostensibly taking the CHR spot vacated by KKHH – dropped one-half share in January to .9, but gains three-tenths in February to 1.2 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It’s a very quick stay in the penthouse though for KLTN, which surrenders -1.3 (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and falls to third. Taking over at #1 – progressing from the runner-up slot – is Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ (7.2, +.3, 6+). Since November, “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). The HD3 channel of iHeartMedia’s KODA picks up one-half share (.2 – .7, #27). Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeits half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), but carries on at #4. Declining by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE, down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.4 – .8, #26, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – Replicating its January 2017 +.6, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) cracks the top ten (#12 to #7) and matches August 2016’s 4.3 (6+). Co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, #11 to #7, 6+) registers a gain of one-half share, as does CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). In four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but dialed up a +1.1 in January; meanwhile, WOGL was +1.3 in January. Flat at 7.9 (6+), Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” is nevertheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time, six-tenths ahead of WOGL. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” In its first adult contemporary sweep (January 2017) against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registered a 2.6 and picks up one-tenth in February (2.7 – #18 to #15, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; roared back with a gain four times that amount, +2.0; but now regresses by half that (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, 6+). The net result after the dust settles is a -.5 and “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” moves from second to fourth. In December, WMGK was -.6, curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Sports sibling WPEN-FM added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), but “97.5 The Fanatic” forfeits six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, 6+) and dips from #19 to #20. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia hot AC WISX “Mix 106.1” trended 2.4 – 2.8 (“Holiday” 2016 – January 2017, 6+) and now falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #18, 6+). Temple University’s WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) was unlisted in January 2017, but reappears in February with a 1.2 (#23, 6+).

8) Atlanta – Even though Cox Media Group urban AC WALR remains anchored in third-place, on the strength of a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kiss 104.1” records its strongest 6+-stat since June 2016’s 7.1. Improving by one-half each are co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #4, 6+); classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WSRV “97.1 The River” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+); and CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). Consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the past 12 ratings periods, “B-98.5” has its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in December 2016 and “Holiday” 2016 (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), “V-103” forfeited seven-tenths in January. Relishing its eighth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.8 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from eighth to seventh. Despite dropping eight-tenths (10.7 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM is #1 for the fourteenth straight ratings period. Its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January 2017); and now -.8 (February 2017). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” gives all of it back and one-tenth more (3.1, -1.3, 6+) as the Atlanta Falcons’ flagship spirals out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Unlisted in January 2017, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is back at #15 (3.0, February 2017, 6+).

9) Long Island – Progressing from #15 to #13, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” gains three-tenths to 2.9 (6+0, thus halting at three a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a -1.0 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). For the fourth straight time, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (third to second) posts a Long Island increase (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+); “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is+1.5 since November. A pickup of six-tenths (.5 – 1.1, 6+) by WQXR more than doubles its 6+-share and lands “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” at #26. The six-tenths of a share lead that CBS Radio all-news WINS had over co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to one-tenth as WINS is 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, seventh to eighth (6+), while WCBS-AM is flat at 3.8 and unchanged at #9 (6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January 2017. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeats at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9 (6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), co-owned New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, before sputtering by -4.6 in January 2017 and another eight-tenths in February (3.2 – 2.4, 6+), plummeting from #12 to #19. In addition to WINS, iHeartMedia talker WOR is also off by one-half share as it returns January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #10. This marks the 27th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #15) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.2 – 2.6, +.4, 6+).

10) Riverside – Off by one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptures all of it and one-tenth for good measure (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8, +.6, 6+) but remains at #8. After being up or flat in each of the last five sweeps for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” dips by two-tenths to 9.2 (6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June 2016, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. Apparently, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA can only increase or decrease by one-half share, as this represents the fifth consecutive fluctuation by that margin (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA finishes at #2, just as it did in January. Prior to November 2016, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well is regional Mexican KXSB (1.2 – .7, #11 to #14, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-share for “Radio Lazer” since September 2016 (also .7, 6+). Following 12 successive sweeps with a .1 (6+), CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#21, January 2017, 6+) disappears.

11) San Jose – On the heels of January’s +.9, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” does it one better by improving by one full-share in February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+) to zoom from seventh to fourth. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). On Christmas Day (12/25/2016) at 5:00 pm, Alpha Media’s KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), KBAY regressed by -3.6 in January and drops another three-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Seemingly taking advantage of KBAY’s format change, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” notches a +.8 (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), rocketing from #19 to #14. It is a different story, however, for Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which sputters by eight-tenths after January’s -3.3 (8.4 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in robust fashion in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1; the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeats in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+). Enjoying gains of one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (3.6 – 4.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza,” up for the third straight time (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+); KRZZ enters the top 20 (#23 to #17). Stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” was up one-half share in January but regresses by seven-tenths in February (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) to tumble from #16 to #20. Down by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders from #23 to #27. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the nineteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) is flat at #15.

12) Middlesex-Somerset-Union – One of the most intriguing February 2017 nuggets is found here and it involves iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM.” As noted above, “Lite FM” was off by one-tenth in its home market and down eight-tenths in Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk). Neither of those moves is especially surprising, given that all-Christmas music programming is gone from the station and it suffered the typical (substantial) January falloff. The curious thing in Middlesex though is that the largest (6+) January 2017 – February 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday was … WLTW (3.8 – 5.9, +2.1, 6+). The huge spike enables “Lite” – which logged a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+) – to cruise from seventh back up to second. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). In addition to catapulting from #16 into the top ten (#8), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (2.7 – 3.6, +.9, 6+) posts its best 6+-stat since November 2015 (3.6 as well). Having registered three successive upward trends producing a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” dipped by seven-tenths in January only to rebound in February by six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), soaring from #21 to #13. Just as it did in January, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” registers a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+), as does CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.5 – 3.0, 6+), which zooms from #20 to #13. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. The Townsquare Media talker adds one-tenth to 7.9 (6+) and continues at #1. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Sputtering by one share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” slips from third to sixth. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; but erodes by six-tenths in February (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+), dropping from #10 to a five-way logjam at #13. A loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 2.5, 6+) sinks CBS Radio all-sports WFAN-FM “The Fan” from #13 to #19. Trending 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.2 (6+) since November, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regresses by one-half share to 3.7 (6+) and skids from sixth to seventh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

| February 14, 2017

Alpha Media to Buy WFTL and WMEN in Palm Beaches.  This deal brings two spoken-word formatted AMs into Alpha Media’s West Palm Beach station group, joining current holdings adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” and hot AC WRMF.  News/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach are being sold by Mark Jorgenson’s ACM JCE IV B, LLC to Alpha for $ 2 million.  Jorgenson’s firm acquired the stations from James Crystal in a 2015 bankruptcy auction.  Alpha begins operating the two stations under an LMA until closing.

Westwood One and Entercom Partner to Syndicate ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  Last August, Entercom launched the “Beyond Reality Radio” program across a number of its news/talk stations.  Now, the company is partnering with Westwood One to put the program into national syndication.  “Beyond Reality Radio” airs weeknights live from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and is co-hosted by Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and the creator and star of Syfy’s hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, a long-time paranormal investigator and former publisher and editor of TAPS’ ParaMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the show include: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; WBZU/WKZN/WILK, Wilkes-Barre; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; WBT, Charlotte; and KNSS, Wichita.  Westwood One will roll out syndication to stations nationwide and represent ad sales as it launches on March 6.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Triangle market, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” and its affiliate digital platform WRALsportsfan.com partners with contributor Lauren Brownlow to present a special, eight-episode podcast investigating the “supernatural history” of North Carolina State University and the legendary “curse” that haunts Wolfpack Nation.  Brownlow says, “Growing up in North Carolina and covering the area teams for over a decade, I’ve long been fascinated with the dedication of NC State fans in spite of a recent string of bad luck, which contrasts sharply with a rich and successful overall athletic history.  When I learned about the recently conceived concept of ‘NC State Stuff – What can go wrong for NC State will go wrong,’ and that it had a name, I knew I had to learn more about it. I’ve never believed in it, but I kept an open mind going into this podcast and wanted to figure out, once and for all, if there’s anything to it.”…..Entertainment consulting firm Paragon Media Strategies names Michelle Conrad as social+mobile+digital consultant.  Paragon CEO Mike Henry said, “It’s great to add a true Millennial to Paragon’s consulting ranks.  Michelle Conrad is a native digital user and lifelong social media explorer.  Michelle brings hands-on experience working with entertainment brands, including ABC, Nickelodeon and GoPro.  She is uniquely suited to ensure that the social, mobile and digital experience is completely in synch with the overall brand experience.”…..Westwood One reports the results of a Nielsen study it commissioned to examine the return on investment for advertisers using WW1’s coverage of NFL football and NCAA basketball play-by-play.  WW1 says some of the key findings of the study include that, 1) radio elevated key brand perceptions.  For example, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 37% more likely to indicate the motorcycle manufacturer was the brand for people like them versus those who were not exposed to the campaign; 2) the radio campaign had significant advertiser recall among key demographics for the brand.  Among those who have ever owned a motorcycle, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 72% more likely to recall the brand’s ads; and 3) radio had a stunning impact on every stage of the purchase funnel, including purchase intent: Compared to those who had not heard the campaign, those exposed to the radio campaign had a 63% increase in plans to purchase the brand.  See more of the results in WW1 chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard’s blog post here…..The Radio Advertising Bureau names 17-year RAB staffer Tiffiney Wyatt to the newly created position, business development & insights associate.  At the same time, joining the membership team at the RAB is Rita Landells.

Trump’s Travel Ban Battle, North Korea Missile Incident/Trump Security Questions, Michael Flynn Under Fire-Resignation, California Dam Concerns, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Tumultuous GOP Town Halls, and Sunday’s Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The court battles over his original travel ban and potential new executive travel orders from President Donald Trump and related protests over his perceived anti-immigration stance; North Korea’s weekend test of an ICBM and related questions about presidential and national security after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe learned of and discussed the matter in the Mar-A-Lago dining room; National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigns after ongoing questions about his improper communications with Russian diplomats; the status of a Northern California dam spillway as it threatens the residences of some 200,000 evacuees; the flap over the series of Trump Administration spoofs aired on “Saturday Night Live”; the raucous town hall receptions some GOP lawmakers are receiving in their districts; and Sunday night’s Grammy Awards 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.  Music radio pro Zakk Babb stays in the Entercom family in his new position as afternoon drive personality and imaging director for CHR WZPL, Indianapolis.  Babb has been hosting evenings at Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” – a position he’ll continue to hold as he’ll voice track the show from Indy…..Due to his ongoing cancer treatment, John Thomas is stepping away from his SVP of programming role at iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster in which he oversees programming at news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM, and country WRNX.  In a Facebook post, Thomas writes, “After a lot of prayer, weighing the pros & cons and deep soul-searching – I’ve decided to resign from my position @ iHeart in order to FOCUS 100% on my HEALTH! Over the course of the next several weeks – I’ll be transitioning in order to put myself in the BEST possible position to benefit from the clinical trial that I started a few weeks back.”…..Cumulus Media announces that the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick show – starring Kellie Rasberry, Big Al Mack, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens – is the new morning program on its CHR KBIU, Lake Charles “HOT 103.3.”…..In the Lafayette, Louisiana market, programming pro Tyrone Davis exits Delta Media’s urban contemporary KFXZ “Z105.9” where he’d been serving as program director and music director.  His duties will be assumed by operations manager Erik Tobias.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

| February 9, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Lands at WWBA, Tampa-St. Pete.  The Genesis Communications-owned station WWBA-AM, Tampa-St. Petersburg “NewsTalk Florida” announces the Bubba the Love Sponge morning show will debut there on Monday (2/13).  Bubba’s show most recently aired in the market on Beasley Media Group’s former rock station WBRN (now AC “B98.7”).  The station says it will be the new flagship for the regionally syndicated program.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda says, “We are extremely excited to enter into a partnership with the Bubba the Love Sponge show.  The show has an incredibly engaged audience across West Central Florida and we felt we could serve that audience exceptionally well with our distribution platform.  We have assurances that Bubba will do his best to be a good boy while providing his unique brand of content.”  Bubba Clem is currently in a legal battle with Nielsen Audio.  The ratings giant is suing him claiming it suffered damages as the result of Clem’s attempts at manipulating the market’s PPM survey.  Clem has filed countersuits.

Nielsen Reports 2016 Revenue Up 2.2%; Net Income Down 12.5%.  Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. is releasing its financial numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016, and for the year as a whole.  Nielsen reports 2016 Q4 revenue of $1.6 billion – an increase of 2% over the same period in 2015 – and revenue for all of 2016 topped $6.3 billion, up 2.2% over the year 2015.  Net income for Q4 of 2016 was $160 million, down 45% from the same period in 2015.  For all of 2016, net income was $507 million, down 12.5% compared to 2015.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns states, “While 2016 was a challenging year, our results reflect the resiliency of our business.  We remain focused on our key strategic initiatives and we continue to drive productivity and efficiency in our operations.  In our Watch segment, our Total Audience Measurement initiative continued to excel, and we saw significant growth in adoption of its many components by both media buyers and sellers.  With the approach of the 2017 Upfronts, our Total Audience system is ready to play a key role for our clients.  In our Buy segment, emerging markets continued to deliver solid growth.  In developed markets, especially the U.S., trends in the fast-moving consumer goods industry put pressure on our business.  In response, we’ve accelerated investment in our Connected System initiative, designed to drive speed and efficiency for our clients.  We expect this to lead to a stronger, higher-margin business for Nielsen over time.”

Chris Matthews to Emcee RTDNF First Amendment Awards.  When the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s 2017 First Amendment Awards Dinner gets underway at the Grand Hyatt in Washington on March 14, MSNBC host Chris Matthews will be serving as emcee for the program.  RTDNF chair Kathy Walker says, “When it comes to American politics, Chris Matthews has seen it all and he’s done a remarkable job of explaining it all to a generation of viewers.  We’re delighted to have him as our master of ceremonies as we honor champions of the First Amendment and support the work of our Foundation.”  This year’s honorees include: Bill Whitaker, CBS News – Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Steve Jones, ABC News Radio – First Amendment Service Award; Stanley S. Hubbard, Hubbard Broadcasting – First Amendment Leadership Award; Mark Halperin/John Heilemann – First Amendment Award; and Nina Totenberg, NPR – RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jeff Sessions AG Confirmation/Sen. Warren Silenced, Trump Travel Ban Battle, Gorsuch on Trump Judge Comments, Yemen Raid Criticism, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Trump Nordstrom Criticism, and Christie Brinkley SI Cover Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8). The confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and the related rebuking of Senator Elizabeth Warren for violating senate rules against impugning a fellow senator; the court and public opinion battle over President Donald Trump’s order restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s comments about Trump’s attack on Judge James Robart; the political and military fallout from the recent U.S. raid on Islamic State targets in Yemen; Iran’s latest missile test, the U.S.’ putting Iran “on notice,” and the possibility of designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization; Trump’s public criticism of Nordstrom for severing its ties with Ivanka Trump’s lines; and chatter about 63-year-old Christy Brinkley’s posing with her daughters in the new SI swimsuit edition, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick In Remission and Winning His Fight Against Cancer.  “News Radio 740” KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick continues to show his determination to beat cancer, with 2017 off to a strong start.  Patrick recently shared with his “Houston’s Morning News” audience and his syndicated afternoon program audience (KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas/Ft. Worth) that the latest test results have shown that he is now in remission with no detectable cancer.  In September 2015, Patrick announced that he was receiving treatment for metastatic melanoma at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  The 37-year radio pro underwent brain surgery in late 2015, followed by multiple rounds of chemo, immunotherapy, and radiation in 2016.  Patrick has continued to work while undergoing additional treatments, including making his regular television appearances on Houston’s “FOX 26 News,” covering the 2016 GOP National Convention from Cleveland for iHeartMedia, and making public appearances delivering his “Overcoming Obstacles in Life” presentation.

TALKERS News Notes.  The nationally syndicated “Radio Night Live” show with host Kevin McCullough – a radio-television “supercast” – picks up new radio affiliates KKFT, Reno and legendary Atlantic City signal WWPG-AM (plus its FM simulcast on 104.9).  New TV affiliates include: WLLC-TV, Nashville; Adjuntas (Puerto Rico), KMRF, Reno; KPVT-TV, and Las Vegas…..SiriusXM is bringing actress, model, and best-selling author Brooke Shields aboard to host a new, weekly one-hour talk show on its Stars channel for a limited-run series.  The “Brooke Shields Now” show will feature “inspiring, passionate conversations between Brooke, experts and celebrity guests as they discuss topics and issues ranging from parenting and relationships to fashion, the arts and more.”  Guests already booked include: InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown and “TODAY” show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

The Dana Show Invades the Skype Studio in Portland.  The Radio America-syndicated program “The Dana Show” is pictured above during last Friday’s broadcast from Alpha Media’s Skype Live Studio in Portland.  Dana Loesch’s show is heard on the company’s news/talk stations KXL-FM and KUFO and her appearance at the Portland affiliates included a meet-and-greet with listeners.  Pictured above with Loesch (right) is Todd Hoffman (left), star of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At New York country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7,” Cumulus Media promotes Katie Neal to middays.  She’s been with the station for the past four years serving as a weekend/swing talent (she also was an AE for sister hot AC WPLJ).  She first joined Cumulus in Bloomington, Illinois as evening host at CHR WBNQ.  WNSH program director John Foxx comments, “Katie’s skill set, love for country music, passion for this city and understanding of the ‘NASH FM 94.7’ brand create the perfect alignment.  There’s a lot of creativity in Katie’s execution.  The investment that Katie has made in this product and in the relationships she has built on the dial, digital and social spaces have been explosive!”…..With the recent exit of afternoon personality and APD Todd Michaels, Beasley Media Group country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” makes some changes.  First, morning personality Kris Daniels again takes up the program director duties – a position she asked to relinquish back in July of last year in order to focus on her morning show.  She will remain co-host of the “Kris & Mad Dog” morning show.  Daniels says, “Now that I have a seasoned, experienced support team around me, I am excited and rejuvenated about the opportunity to lead the ‘Coyote!’”  The station welcomes 13-year market pro Emmanuel “Ransom” Garcia as afternoon personality and music director.  Daniels says, “Ransom Garcia’s music scheduling and social media skills are incredible and he will be enormously helpful!”  Also joining the “Coyote” is Paul Knight, who returns to the station to host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart.  Knight recently took an 18-month break from radio.  He says, “‘The Coyote’ is in my blood!  I miss the energy, listener interaction, events, and concerts. Let’s face it, I wanted to come home and be a part of my ‘102.7 Coyote’ family.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that Sunday “Gospel Diva” program host Connie Denell is leaving urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” at the end of this year after three decades on the air.  Denell has been with WQQK since 1983 and has been hosting her “Gospel Diva” program since 1987.  She has won numerous awards for her community efforts including a Stella Award and an NAACP Award…..At the Sunrise Broadcasting station group in Wilmington, North Carolina, Max Miller moves from nights at CHR WAZO “Z107.5” to sister alternative WRMR “Modern Rock 98.7” to host the “Max in the Morning Show.”  Miller fills the daypart vacated by Vaughn, a.k.a. Zach McHugh, who exited last September to join Entercom’s WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”…..Westwood One says it will be a “red, white, and blue celebration” when the syndicator’s “Red Eye Radio” lobby booth once again becomes the premier celebrity rendezvous spot at the March 23-25 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.  WW1 says “This year’s star-studded event features live appearances and musical performances from country artists Lee ‘God Bless the USA’ Greenwood, Shane Owens, Jayne Denham, Tony Justice and a celebrity appearance by Edgar Hansen from “Deadliest Catch.”  “Red Eye Radio” host Eric Harley will be on site at the convention that draws some 70,000 attendees to introduce the lineup of country music artists.

“Holiday” 2016 PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary

| February 6, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES— This is the industry’s most extensive and comprehensive overview of a “Holiday” ratings sweep and, of course, it’s for adult contemporary – the format leading the way for the all-Christmas music programming strategy.

While some hot AC, classic hits-oldies, contemporary Christian, country, and urban AC outlets engage in wall-to-wall Christmas music, adult contemporary was the originator and, by an overwhelming majority, it remains the most common proponent.

Not every adult contemporary station listed here, however, plays all-Christmas music during “Holiday” sweeps and, as you’ll see, some ACs register a December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 decline. Whether or not they program all-Christmas music roughly between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, adult contemporary facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM-market (6+, “Holiday” 2016) comprise the following scoreboards.

Another parameter is that Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings information in this “Holiday” 2016 report are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

In “Holiday” 2016, an adult contemporary station is #1 (6+) in nearly eight of every ten PPM-markets (79%) and one AC outlet has once again reached the 20-share threshold (6+).

Especially noteworthy as well are the format’s “Holiday” 2015 – “Holiday” 2016 stats.

To add perspective throughout this analysis, we are including several “Rewind” ratings comparisons from previous “Holiday” sweeps.

Read More

Friday, January 20, 2017

| January 20, 2017

Shocker: Dan Snyder’s WTEM, Washington Parts Ways with Andy Pollin.  Respected Washington, DC sports talk radio personality Andy Pollin was notified by management that his contract with WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – coming to an end next month – would not be renewed and that his Thursday afternoon edition ofpollinczaban “The Sports Reporters” with co-host Steve Czaban was his last.  Pollin had been on the air talking sports in DC for the past 25 years.  Czaban will go forward as solo host of the afternoon drive show.  The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg covers the story and Pollin tells him, “I’m not in any way bitter about this.  I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue.  I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.”  Czaban tweeted that he is “gutted” by management’s decision.  He says, “Andy started this station 25 years ago, and he has done more and seen more than you can imagine in this business.  He hired me off a driving range in 1994, and I owe my entire career in sports radio to him from the opportunities that followed.”  Read Steinberg’s Post column here.

Mark Mason Returns to KEX, Portland for New Midday Talk Show.  Portland radio personality Mark Mason is returning after a three-year hiatus to iHeartMedia’s “News Radio 1190” KEX to host a new midday talk show, beginning Monday (1/23).  Mason co-hosted the “Mark & Dave” show with Dave Anderson on the stationmasonmark for 18 years.  Anderson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year.  Mason says, “After I lost my good friend and co-host Dave Anderson, my perspective on life changed and I wanted to return to the Portland kexcommunity that embraced me.  I’m excited to return to the KEX family and bring my 100% hate-free brand of talk radio back to Portland.”  KEX says the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program will offer Mason’s “uplifting perspective on pop culture, national news, politics and currents events, as well as reports on local news, traffic and weather.”  KEX program director Cort Webber comments, “We are thrilled to have Mark back home at KEX where he belongs.  The place just hasn’t been the same without him.  We’re excited to kick off a new year and a new administration with a new show from an old friend.”  Mason continues to serve as the public address announcer for the Portland Trailblazers, a role he has held for the past 21 years.

Emmis Promotes Conner to Lead Network Indiana.  Longtime Emmis Terre Haute general manager James Conner is taking over the general manager role for the company’s Network Indiana, effective January 30.  Network Indiana is a statewide service providing news, sports and business programming to affiliated radioconnerjames stations.  Emmis Indianapolis senior vice president and general manager Chuck Williams states, “James will lead Network Indiana with a mission to continue our history of building meaningful value with our Network Indiana team and for our affiliates.  Network Indiana is a strong brand and an important ingredient in the success of our Emmis Indianapolis Radio Division. James will be focused on helping our team grow Network Indiana relationships, operations and of course, growing value for this historic Emmis Brand.”  The company says Conner has successfully managed the radio stations in Terre Haute the last 22 years, noting that the cluster has consistently accounted for more than 40% of the market revenue.

talkersten logoTrump Inauguration Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 16-20, 2017.  The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States and the protests against Donald Trump tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the last days of the Barack Obama presidency.  Coming in at #3 was the several cabinet confirmation hearings, followed by the Chelsea Manning commutation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Covering the Trump Inauguration.  Pictured above are staffers from two of the radio networks covering the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States in Washington DC today (1/20).  At left are (from left to right) Jeff Matzka, Salem Radio News chief engineer; Linda Kenyon, SRN U.S. Senate correspondent, and Greg Clugston, SRN News White House correspondent.  At right is Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini in position at Westwood One’s broadcast post overlooking the Inauguration at the West front of the Capitol.

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RadioInfo Web bannerBeasley Names Randy Bliss to Programming Role and Promotes Tap Money in Fayetteville.  At the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster of Beasley Media Group, a new programmer comes aboard and another adds new PD duties.  First, Randy Bliss joins theblissrandy company as operations manager of the Fayetteville cluster, he takes on the program director role at adult contemporary WAZZ-AM/W232CI “Sunny 94.3,” and he’ll host the afternoon drive show on country WKML.  Market manager Erika Beasley comments, “Randy moneytapbrings his hands-on experience and success in a number of formats, which we welcome in Fayetteville.  From his extensive research skills to his ability to incorporate both sales and programming to ensure success, Randy has proven he is a tried-and-true radio pro!”  At the same time, hip hop WZFX “FOXY 99” program director Tap Money adds programming duties for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 JAMZ” to his responsibilities.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “Beasley is an organization that enjoys promoting good people from within and it is especially exciting when it’s a rock star like Tap Money!  Tap is a radio hero who has lifted WZFX to an entirely new level in ratings and revenue.  We have no doubt he will improve our urban footprint in Fayetteville as he begins working with WUKS.”

Cassiday Proctor Joins 106.5 The Arch’s ‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ Morning Show.  In St. Louis, radioproctorcassiday personality Cassiday Proctor becomes a cast member on the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” show at Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” effective January 30.  Proctor was most recently with Entercom in Atlanta appearing on the WSTR “Star 94” morning program.  During her career she’s served with CBS RADIO in Charlotte where she also did television, hosting “The Edge” on WCCB-TV.  WARH program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is known to be the platinum standard for live, local talent.  Cassiday is not only pure class, but hilariously fun and genuine – the perfect complement to Spencer’s and Brando’s humor.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show isroversmorningglory logo airing on iHeartMedia’s rock WBFX, Grand Rapids “101.3 The Brew,” effective Monday (1/23).  Shane “Rover” French comments, “We’re excited to be on ‘101.3 The Brew’ in Grand Rapids, a city that has more craft beer breweries than anywhere else on the planet.  It’s a perfect match since my staff has consumed more craft beer than any other radio show on the planet.”…..In Jacksonville, iHeartMedia debuts the new “Rumba, #1 Para Éxitos y Música Variada” simulcasting on translator W295AZ at 106.9 FM and the HD2 channel of country WQIK.  Rumba’s broadcasting a variety of Spanish tropical music…..Talk about dedication to the cause, in Peoria, WSWT PD and morning host Randy Rundle and WXCL afternoon personality Joe Greenwood spent 12 hours overnight in cardboard boxes in 25-degree weather to call attention to the homelessness problem in Peoria.  The “Gimme Shelter – A Night to End Homelessness” event took place last Friday and together the two jocks raised $2,675.  The event, as a whole, exceeded its goal of $50,000 – hitting the $63,000 mark.  Proceeds benefit the South Side Office of Concern and its efforts to provide permanent, supportive housing and to end homelessness in the community…..CBS RADIO Houston and BBVA Compass are teaming up to host “Live Bright Bash,” a free stadium party tomorrow (1/21) for city ambassadors and volunteers during Super Bowl week.  The event – intended to inspire the community to welcome visitors and encourage local volunteerism – will feature live music and speeches from city leaders and radio hosts.  wxrt logoRadio personalities from KILT-FM, KHMX-FM, KLOL-FM, and KILT-AM will be on hand to reinforce the “Live Bright” message…..CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago “93XRT” is presenting two nights with Los Lobos at the Tivoli Theatre on February 15 and 16.  XRT music director Kelly Ransford says, “Long-time XRT favorite Los Lobos is the ideal band for two nights of high-energy fun at the historic Tivoli Theatre in Aurora. Emerging from East LA in the early ‘80s, Los Lobos has become one of America’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host them for two special shows.”

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Laura Alaina Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Stopping by the NASH Campus in Nashville on Thursday evening (1/19) was Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records artist Lauren Alaina (center) pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left).  Alaina chatted about her new album, Road Less Traveled.

Friday, July 17, 2015

| July 17, 2015

wgow logoWGOW, Chattanooga Gives Listeners News, Avoids Opinion and Conjecture During Initial Hours of Deadly Assault on Military Sites.  News of the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines at a recruiting center in Chattanooga and the wounding of others at a Naval facility seven miles away broke just a couple of hours before WGOW, Chattanooga talk host Brian Joyce was preparing to go on the air for his 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the station decided right away to go into full news mode to provide as much information to the public as possible andjoycebrian avoid opinion and conjecture.  Joyce, program director Kevin West, and APD Bill Lockwood worked together to get the information that was trickling in on the radio.  Joyce says he and West co-hosted his show while Lockwood gathered information from authorities.  He says, “WGOW decided that there will be plenty of time to present opinions on radical Islam, gun laws, security at military facilities in the weeks to come, at that moment yesterday though, our job was to inform.”  Joyce says they did put callers on the air if they were in the area and had something to report, but they were careful with what was said.  “It was important that we don’t broadcast any misinformation and our call screeners were instructed to avoid that when putting people on the air.”  Today, Joyce is on a planned vacation and the station has Robin Smith – the former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party – sitting in for him.  She will be speaking with Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander as well as other state and local officials as the station remains in information mode.  Joyce says that when he’s back on the air next week, he’ll begin to delve into the opinions that will come in the aftermath of the attacks.

entercomEntercom Closes on LFM Deal; Begins Operating Bonneville’s KSWD, Los Angeles.  On the heels of this week’s announcement that Entercom Communications and the Department of Justice reached an agreement on its acquisition of  Lincoln Financial Media’s radio stations comes today’s news that the deal has closed and it begins operating the stations today (7/17).  Entercom iskkfn logo also beginning operation of Bonneville’s classic rock KSWD, Los Angeles “The Sound” under a Time Brokerage Agreement and Bonneville begins operating the four Denver stations it is acquiring from Entercom as part of the larger deal.  Those Denver stations are: adult contemporary KOSI, country KYGO, and sports talkers KKFN-FM and KEPN.  Closing of the Bonneville-Entercom station exchange is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions.  Entercom expects this transaction to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

cosbyritaWABC, New York to Air Rita Cosby’s Donald Trump Interview.  There’s little question that the current poll success Republican candidate for president Donald Trump is enjoying means tremendoustrumpdonald content for talk show hosts who get him for a guest on their show.  WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby will air a conversation with the real estate magnate on her Sunday (7/19) 6:00 pm ET program.  The station says, “Trump shares with Cosby and her listeners his unvarnished and often provocative views…Trump calls for a boycott of Mexico in light of its illegal immigration/border issues and the escape of El Chapo.  He also discusses Bill Cosby and says they should take away his Medal of Freedom because, ‘He’s guilty as hell.’”

daykennyiHeartMedia Names Day to Political Marketing Post.  Named to the SVP, political sales and strategy position for iHeartMedia is Kenny Day, who joins the company on July 23.  He’ll report to president of national sales Jeff Howard.  The company says that in this new role, Day will oversee its “political and advocacy efforts by building a Washington D.C.-based team focused on working with political and issue advertisers as well as advertising agencies to create custom strategies, campaigns and content” that leverage all the company’s platforms.  Day was most recently director of platform solutions for unified programmatic video advertising platform BrightRoll.  Day comments, “With the introduction of its innovative programmatic buying platform and the upcoming 2016 election, there could not be a more exciting time to be joining iHeartMedia.  I look forward to the opportunity to provide iHeartMedia’s political and issue advertisers with the most targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.”

ktar-fm logoBonneville Names Bertrand Berry Host of Late Morning Show on KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  The former Arizona Cardinals defensive star known as “B-Train” begins hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on August when KTAR-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” replaces “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” with Bertrand Berry’s “Off the Edge with B-Train.”  Berry says, “I’m so excited to add a new sound to the mid-mornings on ‘Arizona Sports.’  I can’t wait to share my opinions and connect with the bird gang and all of the great fans of the local teams in the Valley.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch says, “The local sports market continues to grow, and we’re very excited to add more local content with such a unique and dynamic personality like B-Train.  He’s going to bring the same passion and energy he brought on game days to the Arizona Sports airwaves.”

harrisonCarrs15Howie Carr Celebrates Tremendously Successful Launch of His Independent Regional Network.  Approximately 100 affiliates, sponsors, staff and well-wishers of the Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network gathered last evening (7/16) at the Wellesley, Massachusetts home of Howie and Kathy Carr.  It was a festive party in celebration of the first seven months of Carr’s regional Northeast network now approaching a whopping 25 affiliates in all six New England states as well as attracting a significant listenership in neighboring New York.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in attendance and introduced Carr to the gathering stating, “Howie has created an example of regional talk networking that has attracted the attention of the entire industry.”  Carr told the affiliates and sponsors at the poolside event how grateful he is for all the support his show has received since going independent in November of 2014, stating “thank you for sticking with us and believing in us.”  Pictured at the party (l-r):  Kathy Carr, VP sales and marketing, HCRN; Howie Carr and Michael Harrison.

tradupHaiti15Covering a Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti.  The Salem Radio Network is reporting from Haiti this week on a “major humanitarian crisis unfolding in that island nation.”  Vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here with refugee children in Jimani, Haiti) tells TALKERS magazine, “The neighboring Dominican Republic has forced over 30,000 refugees (so far) over the border with Haiti and experts say Haiti — the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — could eventually end up with over 200,000 refugees from the Dominican Republic.  Tradup is working with the charity Food For The Poor.  He adds, “The mainstream media spends its time hyping the Confederate Battle Flag and Donald Trump…while 90-minutes from Florida, men, women and children face starvation and death.”  He says Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt and others are incorporating live reports from Haiti, as are local hosts Joe Piscopo – on WNYM, New York – and Mark Davis and Jon-David Wells on KSKY, Dallas.

nbcSchwartzmanToomerBarkley15NBC Sports Radio Stars at American Century Championship.  Pictured here at the celebrity golf tournament are NBC Sports Radio Network personalities Dan Schwartzman (left) and former New York Giants great Amani Toomer (right) with former NBA superstar Charles Barkley (center).  The 26th edition of this golf tourney is taking place at Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Schwartzman and Toomer are broadcasting their daily show from the event, as is fellow host Mark Malone.  Weekend coverage of the tournament will take place with NBC personalities Rodney Harrison and Brian Webber.

mcCulloughMetaxasSorbo15Talk Hosts on Broadway.  The radio personalities you see here aren’t performing on Broadway, but they were at the opening performance of the new show “Amazing Grace” now playing at the Nederlander Theatre.  The play is based on the life of John Newton, longtime 18th Century slave trader and composer of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  Pictured here (from l-r) are: actress Sam Sorbo (syndicated weekly by TRN), XtreMedia’s Kevin McCullough, and Salem Radio Network’s Eric Metaxas.

talkersten logoIran Nukes Deal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 13-17.  The U.S.-led deal with Iran for its nuclear program was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 were the activities of the candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the deadly assaults on the Chattanooga military facilities, and following at #4 was Caitlyn Jenner’s speech at Wednesday’s ESPY awards.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

| January 12, 2015

howellbigjohnCumulus Names Big John Howell Morning Host at WLS-AM, Chicago.  The arrival of longtime Chicago market personality Big John Howell at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago had been rumored for some time and now it becomes official as Howell will assume the morning show duties effective next Monday (1/19).  Most recently, Howell was morning host at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  He also was a jock at CBS RADIO’s country WUSN for many years as well as morning personality on CBS’ WCKG.  For seven years he hosted the Westwood One-syndicated “Country Gold” request show.  Howell comments, “I’m looking forward to joining WLS-AM.  It has been a longtime professional, as well as personal, goal. Growing up in West Michigan and listening to WLS influenced my initial decision to give the radio business a try.  Now, all these years later, and on the heels of many WLS broadcast legends, including Larry Lujack and Don Wade, it is truly an honor and a privilege.  I’m also looking forward to sharing the WLS airwaves with Steve Dahl, who taught all of us to ignore management and hate disco.”   Howell takes over for the team of Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf.

connroeRoe Conn to PM Drive at WGN, Chicago.  There’s no official word from Tribune Media on this…yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WLS-AM afternoon host Roe Conn will take over the afternoon drive show on WGN, Chicago from Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – both of whom have been in the post since last May.  Conn even appeared on WGN’s Steve Cochran show this morning (1/12), but chatted about issues and there was no mention of his joining the station.  The hiring of Leff and Snyder was part of the makeover of the station orchestrated by president Jimmy de Castro.  Feder reports that it’s expected that Leff and Snyder will stay on in some capacity.

rothlaurieDr. Laurie Roth Show Joins USA Radio Networks.  As part of a series of program rollouts, the USA Radio Networks announces Dr. Laurie Roth becomes part of the syndicated lineup, airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET effective February 2.  USA Radio Networks describes the show as an “issues-driven program known to tackle politics, crime and corruption.  Dr. Roth often visits with survivors and family membersusaRadioNetworks affected by crimes and conspiracies.  How do they survive and come back after losing a family member, being smeared or a being a victim of crime in some way?  Listeners learn the answers to such questions.  Roth says, “I expose the bad guys, stand for the good guys and don’t get caught in-between.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA’a parent company – Cross Platform Media Group – and he comments, “Dr. Roth covers the issues driving the conversation in America like no other radio host.  Her life experience brings a realness to the radio that, sadly, is uncommon in the network industry.  She is a welcome breath of fresh air.”  Recently, USA Radio Networks announced the launch of new shows including “AMERICA CONTINUES with Jim Sharpe,” and the syndication of the Steve Deace show, “DAYBREAK USA with Angie Austin,” and the hourly USA Radio News.

brooksericBrooks Promoted at WTMJ, Milwaukee.  At the Journal Broadcast Group-owned news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee, Eric Brooks is upped to assistant program director.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Eric has grown tremendously as a leader at WTMJ.  As producer of ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,’ Eric has helped the program leapfrog into the top news/talk position with both listeners 6+ and 25-54.  Eric has also deftly handled many day-to-day responsibilities in the programming department in his role as executive producer of WTMJ programming.”  Brooks joined WTMJ in 2011 as a news anchor and producer before being elevated to executive producer, WTMJ programming in 2013.

Odds & Sods.  This Friday (1/16), New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella will sit in for morning drive personality Harry Hurley on Townsquare Media’s Atlantic City, New Jersey news/talker WPGG…..Here’s an interesting show, now available to radio stations across the country that draws on Americans’ interestrotellapaul in the Old West: Dakota Livesay’s “Chronicle of the Old West.”  It’s both a three-and-a-half minute show delivered five days per week and a weekly, one-hour show that features friends, authors and experts who chat with host Livesay about this romanticized period of American history.  Check out OldWestRadio.com…..The WYD Media-syndicated “Huckabee Report” with Mike Huckabee and the Stephanie Miller program are both joining the lineup at CRN Digital Talk Radio.  CRN states that “The Huckabee Report” will air throughout the day on CRN effective today (1/12) and CRN 4 channel will broadcast encore presentations of the Stephanie Miller show Tuesday through Saturday, beginning January 13.

beckaliveeventTalk Pro Tom Becka Does ‘Friday Night Live.’  Longtime Omaha (not to mention Kansas City and Fargo) talk radio personality Tom Becka rhetorically asks TALKERS magazine, “What does a talk show host do when he’s on the beach?  He keeps talking…”  And that’s what you see in this photo.  Recently let go from KOIL, Omaha in a cost-cutting move, Becka reports on his latest venture – a live version of the Tom Becka Radio Show.  He says, “We set up a stage at a local watering hole, charged admission, and did an interactive audience participation show just like it was on the radio.  A sold-out crowd came to talk about the hot issues of the day with ‘Honesty, Integrity, and a Sense of Humor.’  It was spirited, entertaining, and profitable.  I used social media and my daily podcasts to promote the event and it turned out great.  I’ll be doing these on a regular basis.”  Becka can be reached at: 402-321-9590 or via Tom@TomBecka.com.

ferraranickRemembering Nick (Bazoo) Ferrara. Word and condolences spread throughout social media on Saturday, January 10 about the passing of noted CHR programmer Nick Ferrara. Conspicuously absent though were specific details of when, where, or even if Ferrara had indeed passed. The Harrison County (Mississippi) coroner though has unfortunately confirmed that 59-year-old Gulfport resident Ferrara was killed Friday (1/9) in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. According to officials, Ferrara was not wearing a seatbelt while driving his 2013 Honda Accord sedan; he died at the scene from blunt-force trauma. According to a report in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, police responded at 6:05 pm to a report of a crash with injuries. Ferrara’s car apparently rear-ended another vehicle. The Gulfport Fire Department and American Medical Response were at the crash scene. Eerily, a Friday Facebook posting ostensibly made by Ferrara – known to many from his earlier top 40 programming days as Nick Bazoo indicated simply that at approximately 5:30 pm, he was at Biloxi’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  The previous day (Thursday, 1/8), Ferrara made 17 original Facebook posts. Tony Gray had the most succinct – yet possibly the most powerful comment on Ferrara’s home page, with the noted consultant simply writing, “B-97 New Orleans.” Specifically, WEZB “B-97” is the New Orleans station (then owned by EZ Communications) at which operations manager Ferrara (Bazoo) rose to prominence in the early-1980s.  He was famously linked to that Louisiana metro.  NBC Sports Radio programmer Jack Silver though first met Ferrara in Mill Valley, California in 1984. “He was coming in to flip KMEL from rock to top 40,” Silver recalls. “He and Keith Naftalyhad the vision – I was in the right place to help them as well.  Heaven is full of great program directors who touched us all – God rest your soul.”  Media Monitors music manager Anita Bonita writes, “Godspeed Mr. Bazoo – you will be missed.” Renowned talk radio consultant Valerie Geller is “so sorry to hear this news – RIP.”  According to Giant Records vice president Jean Johnson, Ferrara was, “The consummate Facebook poster. I shared many of your hilarious posts. Rest in peace Mr. Bazoo – taken way too soon.” Legendary voiceover/imaging talent Howard Hoffman sums it up perfectly by stating, “This hurts. Selfless, strong, and just a real honor to work with you, Nick.  One of the best field marshals ever and you deserved so much better. I am glad you knew that before leaving us way too soon. Godspeed, friend – thanks for everything.” Longtime industry executive Rob Sisco laments, “Oh my dear sweet Bazoo. I am so profoundly sad to hear this news. You were one of the true good guys. I am proud and honored to have called you friend. You will be missed forever. Rest in peace, Nick.” Former New Orleans programmer Pat Matthews recalls, “Met you when you were just 18 and starting out at WIXO. A funny, talented, caring guy – wow, this is so unbelievable.” Veteran programmer Joel Burke remarks, “You were one of the smartest radio people I knew and had such a contagious laugh – RIP.” Consultant Dan Vallie comments, “Good man – good heart. Rest in peace my friend. Heaven is going to enjoy your sense of humor and big smile.” Yet another twist: A “Life Event” posted on Ferrara’s Facebook page less than two weeks ago – New Year’s Eve (12/31) – states he “started working at retired.” Commencing in 2001 and lasting approximately through 2013, Ferrara was an operations manager in State College, Pennsylvania at Forever Broadcasting and then doing similar duties at cross-town Results Radio (2006 – 2013). In addition to WEZB “B-97,” Ferrara (Bazoo) held the operations manager title at several other New Orleans outlets, including WLMG, WLTS, and WWL. In the mid- and late-1980s, he spent time in California as an OM for KMEL, San Francisco and then Gannett Broadcasting‘s properties in San Diego. Sandwiched between those stops was a two-year stint as operations manager in Pittsburgh for EZ’s WBZZ “B-94.” Information is not yet available regarding Ferrara’s funeral arrangements.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

| October 2, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO-Beasley Station Swap Announced.  It’s sort of close to some of the rumors that had been moving through the industry about CBS RADIO and Beasley Broadcasting Group swapping Florida and Philly stations.  Here’s what the companies are announcing:  Beasley will take ownership of: sports talk WIP-AM, Philadelphia; in the Tampa market it gets sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hop WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM; in the Charlotte market it acquires urban contemporary WBAV, sports talk duo WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM, AC WKQC, CHR WNKS, hip hop WPEG, and country WSOC-FM.  In exchange, CBS RADIO will take ownership of five stations.  They are the three Miami market signals: hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talk WQAM; and Philadelphia outlets country WXTU, and hip hop WRDW.  Despite CBS RADIO’s major market tradition, this move will give it its first Miami holdings.  CBSbeasley logo long RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason states, “This transaction reinforces our strategy to concentrate on large-market properties.  We already have television duopolies in both Philadelphia and Miami, so these new stations will be a terrific complement to our existing local broadcasting portfolio, and a welcome addition to the overall CBS family.”  BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The asset exchange agreement with CBS RADIO addresses all of these strategic objectives as, upon completion, we will expand our station base by nine stations and add completed clusters in Tampa and Charlotte which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.  Furthermore, the transaction is also consistent with our long-term strategy to operate leading clusters in large- and mid-size markets.” These are straight-up swaps — no cash involved — and, obviously, are pending FCC approval.

redskins logoCan the FCC Really Outlaw ‘Redskins?’ TALKERS magazine legal editor attorney Steven J.J. Weisman writes today in response to the hoopla surrounding both the petition to deny the license renewal of one of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s sports talkweismansteven stations, but also public comments by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that he is sympathetic to the movement to change the football team’s nickname.  As TALKERS readers are probably aware, three of the FCC commissioners have come out against use of the term during broadcasts and that’s led to the conclusion – drawn largely by the consumer media – that the agency will make the term illegal.  Is this possible?  See Steven Weisman’s column on this matter here.

mohrjayFox Sports Radio Network Renews Jay Mohr.  Comedian and actor Jay Mohr began his sports talk radio show on Fox Sports Radio Network in January of 2013.  Now, the network reports the two sides have signed a new “long-term agreement” to keep him part of its syndication efforts.  FSRN and iHeartMedia say the show is currently heard on more than 150 affiliate stations.  About the new deal, Mohr comments, “I’m so happy to be on the air with FOX Sports Radio and iHeartMedia for years to come.  I have always been a huge sports fan, and obviously, I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut.  Now, for three hours a day, in upwards of 150 cities, it’s actually my job.  This is a dream come true for me.  The old cliché is true — ‘Pick a job you like…’  I love this job and hope to have many more multi-year deals after this one!”

halldonnaNew Market Managers for CMG in Atlanta, San Antonio and Tulsa.  There are three new market leaders for Cox Media Group to announce today.  In Atlanta, former Cox Media group VP Donna Hall is named VP and general manager.  She’s been with Cox since 1987.  Ben Reed moves from the Atlanta VP/GM post to the same position at the San Antonio station group.  And Dan Lawrie jumps from the San Antonio cluster to CMG’s Tulsa properties to serve as VP/GM.  CMG EVP of radio Kim Guthrie states, “We are thrilled that we can tap such phenomenal internal talent across Cox for these important leadership positions.  Ben, Dan and Donna are proven leaders who know how to build strategic, award-winning teams.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Rep Sports USA Media.  More football to sell for Westwood One as it and Sports USA Media announce an agreement for the former to rep the latter’ssportsusa Sunday NFL games beginning with the 2015 season.  Both Westwood One and Sports USA Media currently broadcast an NFL doubleheader every Sunday afternoon during the regular season.  Sports USA founder and CEO Larry Kahn states, “We are thrilled to partner with Westwood One and with the NFL.  We have worked with them in various capacities over the years, and they are the gold standard when it comes to the NFL.”

wdnc logoWDNC, Raleigh-Durham Adds Translator to Multi-Cast.  With the addition of translator W246CG at 96.5 FM (licensed to Durham), Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talker WDNC “620 The Buzz” is now available to listeners on four signals.  Back in April, the company added the station’s signal to W257CS at 99.3 FM (licensed to Morrisville near Raleigh).  It is also heard on WCMC-FM’s HD2 channel at 99.9 FM.  Company OM and PD for sports programming Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is working to ensure that our Raleigh-Durham listeners have the best opportunity to tune into our outstanding sports talk programming, along with Duke football and basketball on FM.  In this fast-changing radio landscape, we’re looking for every advantage to grow our listenership for the Triangle sports fan.  I think we’ve accomplished that with the addition of these two translators in Raleigh-Durham.”

kilmeadebrianKilmeade on Remote from Texas.  Today (10/2), Fox News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade is broadcasting his “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show from Irving, Texas, site of the 2014 Warrior Open golf tournament.  As part of the broadcast, Kilmeade will interview former President George W. Bush.  The radio show will emanate from the Las Colinas Country Club and some of the guests in addition to President Bush will include: General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Peter Chiarelli, former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; and wounded warrior Luis Avilar, who has the honor of doing the ceremonial first hit.  The Warrior Open is a competitive 36-hole golf tournament, including an 18-hole Pro-Am.  The event honors U.S service members who serve and sacrifice to defend the United States of America and heralds the many effective organizations that give their time, talents and resources to support men and women of our military.

nielsen logoRound Three of September PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of September 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was August 14 through September 10.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  Joining the growing Cross Platform Media Group, is Russ Jones who is named SVP of news operations for the IRN/USA Radio Network and director of news and public relations for Cross Platform Media.  Jones is co-founder of Christian News Service, a news release distribution and content creation firm and publisher of ChristianPress.com. Both entities are now under the CPM umbrella of companies…..CBS RADIO Washington makes staffing changes and out is promotions coordinator Cain McCoy.  He’d worked with sports talk WJFK-FM and all-news WNEW-FM.

U.S. ISIS Strikes/Intelligence Debate, U.S. Ebola Case/Pandemic Fears, Secret Service Controversy, Jimmy Carter CNBC Interview, Immigration/Amnesty Issues, Hong Kong Protests, Financial Markets Activities, Washington Redskins Name Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  U.S. military strikes on ISIS and discussion about the quality of intelligence information the administration is receiving; the first documented U.S. Ebola case and questions about how a Dallas hospital handled it; the controversy over the effectiveness of the Secret Service after a man got all the way to the East Wing before being apprehended; reflections of President Jimmy Carter as he celebrates his 90th birthday; the immigration legislation and Barack Obama-promised amnesty issues; continuing protests by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong; the activities on the world’s financial markets; and the ongoing flap over the Washington Redskins’ name were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

| January 16, 2014

cclogoTerrible News:  Clear Channel Managers Slashing Another 5%.  Numerous reliable sources throughout the radio industry are saying Clear Channel Media + Entertainment market managers are under the gun to find another 5% of their budgets they can trim to come into compliance with the corporate dictate.  What was rumored just a week or so ago appears to be true and as positions at CC-owned stations are eliminated over the coming weeks and months we’ll see what departments are going to feel it the most.  Regular readers of TALKERS are aware of the on-air positions that have been cut and industry watchers say some of the most obvious solutions in the programming departments at stations are: double-duty for talk hosts (two shows per day), voice tracking multiple dayparts for jocks, and the importation of national shows such as Bobby Bones for country outlets and Elvis Duran for CHR stations, which greatly reduces the money spent on morning shows.

bubbaBubba the (Country) Love Sponge?  No name change is impending but Florida-based hot talk star Bubba the Love Sponge is reporting success as morning show host at Asterisk Communication’s country duo WTRS-FM, Dunnellon and WYGC, High Springs “My Country” in the Ocala and Gainesville markets, respectively.  Bubba reports he’s thankful to station management for taking a chance on his show on a country outlet.  His Bubba Radio Network reports “WTRS-FM moved from 12th to 4th place with Men age 25-54, an all-time high for the station.  Bubba was very excited and thankful that women have taken to his program so well.  ‘You ladies get what’s hot and new and we love you for that.’  The Bubba the Love Sponge syndicated morning show also proudly reports it currently ranks top three Men 25-54 and top five Persons 25-54 in all markets it currently airs.  Bubba expresses interest in working with additional program directors to bring his program to country and urban format stations.”

callahanthomSCBA Reports 6.3% Revenue Surge in December.  The latest figures from Miller Kaplan Arase are giving the Southern California Broadcasters Association reason to cheer and the organization announces the Los Angeles radio market “enjoyed a robust 6.3% growth rate for the month of December 2013.”  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “December was a great month for our region as we were finally out from under the political comps from 2012 and the market flexed its true revenue muscles as only Southern California Radio can.  All key revenue segments posted impressive gains: local and national spot combined was up 3.6%; digital posted an impressive 20.7% gain; and NTR/network was up 19.6%.”  For the 12 months ending December 2013, total market revenue growth was 1%, according to Miller Kaplan Arase.  Callahan says he’s more optimistic about the region than the 1% hike indicates.  “In our view, our real growth rate for 2013 was 4.4%, when factoring out 2012’s huge political revenue of $20.5 million.  It’s more than fair to deduct those comps, which are never a true indicator of market growth or the health of our business.  Political revenue on a YTD basis is not an apples to apples comparison.  As any station will tell you, it’s impossible to replace $20.5 million in 12 months, yet these incomplete YTD revenue comparisons continue.  These lopsided revenue reports help feed the misguided narrative that radio is a legacy medium, and nothing, I repeat nothing, is further from the truth.”

nymrad logoNew York Market Boasts 6% Revenue Hike in 2013; 5% in December.  On the Right Coast, the New York Market Radio Association reports that not only was its December up – 5.3% for all revenue – the year was way up over 2012 notching a 6% increase in total revenue.  The NYMRAD says for the month of December 2013, total revenues, including total spot, digital, and network/NTR/other, were up 5.3%.  For the 12 months ending December 2013, market growth was up across all sectors: +5.6% for local spot, +5.1% for national spot, +5.5% for total spot and +6.0% for grand total market revenue.  NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan comments, “New York radio is healthy, vibrant, and strong.  Advertisers and their agencies are investing in our medium and utilizing radio’s audio, online, mobile, and social platforms to reach engaged and loyal listeners.  The robust revenue results for the 2013 and December position the market well as we head into 2014.”

sabowalterSabo:  HD Radio Is Going to Explode.  In a new opinion column posted today (1/16) in TALKERS, noted consultant Walter Sabo makes eight predictions pertaining to the radio industry for 2014.  They include his prognostication that it will be a good year for HD based on iBiquity’s claim of 16 million automobile installs, stating “HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash.”  He also comments on the immediate future of websites and social media as well as the difference between corporate debt and personal debt.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

bergensamCreative Advisory Council Scholarship Winner Announced.  The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment are announcing Sam Bergen, SVP and creative director of Deutsch Inc., is the winner of the Berlin School’s “Clear Channel Scholarship for Leadership in Audio Innovation” program.  Bergen will receive a full-tuition scholarship (worth 53,000 Euro) to attend the Berlin School’s prestigious Global Executive MBA in Creative Leadership Program starting in March of this year.  The Berlin School and Clear Channel’s recently formed Creative Advisory Council (CAC), featuring advertising thought leaders who focus on the development of innovative approaches to the audio and out-of-home media landscape, reviewed over 40 entrants from more than 20 countries around the world, based on their professional and academic profile, as well as their response to a special essay question about innovative audio strategies.  Berlin School of Creative Leadership founding president Michael Conrad states, “We are pleased to welcome Sam Bergen into our Executive MBA program.  Focused on leading radio and audio commerce to the forefront of media thinking, the Berlin School-Clear Channel scholarship drew an amazing amount of high-quality applications from around the world.  We were extremely impressed by the caliber of applications as well as the many compliments applicants had of our young school.  We thank Clear Channel for this exciting and collaborative opportunity.”  CC’s Bob Pittman adds, “Driving education and awareness on the value audio advertising offers is a key initiative for us.  We are proud to work with the Berlin School and our new Creative Council to award this scholarship to the audio industry’s next creative innovator.  Sam Bergen distinguished himself among a very elite group of applicants and I am confident that with his continued development at the Berlin School, Sam will be a trailblazer on the media landscape for both audio and out-of-home.”

radioioDigital Pure Play Radioio Takes RDIO Stock Ticker in Post-Merger Organization.  The digital music service Radioio – operated by Radioio Inc. – is being traded under the new stock ticker RDIO on the OTC market.  The merger resulted in the company’s name being changed from ioWorldMedia, Incorporated to Radioio, Inc.  In a statement, the company’s board of directors says it believes that the name change is consistent with the direction of the company. President and CEO Zach McAdoo says, “Radioio is a marquee name and brand of great distinction.”  He added that RDIO is a fitting ticker symbol for the company’s new name.

14mirrorawardsDeadline for Newhouse School’s ’14 Mirror Awards is February 14.  The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University’s ’14 Mirror Awards is accepting entries through February 14.  The Mirror Awards competition for “media covering media” – established in 2006 by the Newhouse School – “honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who ‘hold a mirror to their own industry’ for the public’s benefit.  They are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting.”  The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience.  Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment.  All entries must have been published or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2013.  Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators.  An awards ceremony will be held in June 2014 in New York City.  For more information, click here.

russochrisChris “Mad Dog” Russo to Host History of New York NFL Championship Games Special.  For those who are critical of the NFL’s decision to locate the Super Bowl in chilly New York (okay, New Jersey) this year, some may not be aware that this will not be the first championship that ever took place in the New York area.  SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will host “Deep Freeze: A History of NFL Championship Games in New York,” a special broadcast to air first on Tuesday, January 21 with encore airings to follow.  Special guests on the program will include NFL greats Frank Gifford, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Raymond Berry, plus more.  The three-hour special will focus in-depth on four of the most memorable championships in NFL history – played in 1934, 1956, 1958 and 1962.

Obama Executive Order Threat, Chris Christie Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, GOP IRS Investigation Push, New Mexico School Shooting/Indiana Grocery Slayings, and ‘Duck Dynasty’ Returns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The statement from President Obama about using executive orders to accomplish his administration’s goals; the aftermath of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lane closure scandal; criticism of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the effort by GOP members of Congress to investigate the process by which the IRS is being scrutinized for allegedly targeting conservative organizations; the school shooting in New Mexico and the double murder at a grocery store in Indiana; and the debut of the new season of “Duck Dynasty” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 13, 2013

| January 13, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Media + Entertainment Chairman and CEO John Hogan Retires; Position Eliminated.  In a move that comes as a surprise to many, John Hogan is retiring from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment as chairman and CEO and will take on the title of chairman emeritus.  At the same time, his position will not be filled and folks in the CCM+Ehoganjohn division will report to CC Media Holdings chairman Bob Pittman and president and CFO Rich Bressler as Pittman announces he’s signed a five-year extension of his contract.  In a statement this morning, Pittman says, “John Hogan has made tremendous contributions to Clear Channel during his tenure – particularly during the unprecedented economic headwinds our country, our industry and our company, faced in 2008 and 2009.  He has been an pittmanbobexcellent partner for me and for Clear Channel’s leadership as we have evolved into the only multi-platform media company with national reach and the ability to execute locally.  As my friend and partner in Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, John has been an important element in Clear Channel’s transformation into a multiplatform media company.  There is never a perfect time to make big decisions like this, but his logic was compelling and making this change at the start of a new year made sense.  We thank him for his long service and the enormous positive impact he’s had on both our company and the radio industry, and we are delighted that John will remain part of the family with his title of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman emeritus.”  Hogan joined Clear Channel when Jacor – for which he was serving as senior vice president of radio – was acquired by the company in 1999.  He became president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio in 2002 and took on the chairman and CEO of CCM+E role in 2012.

bauerletomWBEN, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Is the Subject of Talk Himself After Police Visits to His Home.  From a piece published in the Buffalo News, we learn that there is concern among WBEN, Buffalo afternoon drive host Tom Bauerle’s Williamsville, New York neighbors and local police about his recent behavior that some might describe as paranoid.  Here’s the short version: the paper reports that police responded to a 911 call to Bauerle’s home last Wednesday where Bauerle complained he was under surveillance by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s operatives.  Police found Bauerle in his backyard with a loaded weapon.  He surrendered the weapon to police – who were not able to find evidence of anyone spying on Bauerle – and was also willing to surrender additional weapons in his home to his attorney.  The paper also reports that Bauerle’s neighbors held a recent meeting with the talk host after he sent them emails raising the issue of him being “watched.”  Neighbors told the paper his concerns seemed “quirky” and “made you scratch your head.”  Nonetheless, Bauerle – who was off the air last Wednesday and Thursday but returned to the air on Friday to explain his absence was due to hitting a “physical wall of exhaustion” – did agree to a voluntary psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday of last week.  No reports have been released yet and the Buffalo News received its information from neighbors and interviews with police officers who are remaining anonymous until the report is released.  No charges have been filed in connection with the incident.  Read the Buffalo News story here.

gallaghermikeProfile: Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher.  Talk radio personality Mike Gallagher has been in the business since he talked his way into a substitute position at WAVI, Dayton while a junior in high school in 1978.  Thirty-six years later and heard in syndication across the country, Gallagher tells TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian that he’s still going strong after a career that’s seen him in morning drive at WABC, New York; in business for himself running his own syndicated show; and moving on with his career after the heartbreaking loss of his wife Denise to endometrial cancer in 2008.  His philosophy about programming a talk show remains simple, “I go where my gut takes me.  You have to reflect the ‘hits,’ and in our business, the ‘hits’ mean the headlines.”  He tells TALKERS that he has always stayed on top of how his show is performing from a business perspective.  “It is self-preservation, and my secret to longevity.  I learned many years ago that ratings in our business are very volatile, and in particular, talk radio ratings can be cyclical.  We are subjected to a political season and a post-political season, so ratings go up and down.  I will always win, however, if I deliver revenue…I know where we are to the penny at any given point, and right now, I’m 7% over my January budget.  It is a tough environment, so I am very proud of that.  We are fighting and scrapping for every dollar.  I have always viewed the radio show as a business.  I learned that many years ago from Greg Anderson.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire profile of Mike Gallagher here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento FM Signal Changes.  News/talk KFBK, Sacramento’s FM simulcast had been 92.5 for much of the past two years.  But after Christmas, Clear Channel Sacramento flipped KFBK’s FM signal to 93.1 – most recently the location of classic hits KHLX.  Now we know that the company made the switch so that it could turn the better 92.5 signal into new country outlet “The New B92.5.”  The 93.1 frequency is licensed to Pollock Pines – some 40 miles west of downtown Sacramento – whereas the 92.5 signal is centered on the market and provides full-market coverage.

canzano logoKXTG-AM, Portland Sports Talker Named Sportswriter of the Year.  Midday sports talk host John Canzano – heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland – is named 2013 Oregon Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame.  Finalists for the award were nominated by NSSA members from mid-October to mid-November.  Final balloting took place during the month of December.   In addition to his work on KXTG-AM, Canzano writes for the Oregonian and makes regular appearances on KGW-TV.  Oregonian editor and vice president of content Peter Bhatia states, “John is a terrific columnist and reporter.  He brings something special to our city and state every day and it is great to see that recognized.”  KXTG-AM PD Bernie Bokenyi adds, “I am honored to have John as a part of our team on ‘750 The Game.’  His commitment to readers, listeners and viewers every day is unmatched.”  Canzano comments, “This market offers the most compelling news anywhere in the country.  I love working and living here and being able to bring that to readers and listeners and viewers.  We’re different than other markets — we have an ongoing dialogue.”

longjaleighLong Named Co-GSM at WSB, Atlanta.  At Cox Media Group’s Atlanta Radio, Jaleigh Long is named new co-general sales manager for news/talk WSB where she’ll work alongside fellow GSM Beth Bowers.  Director of sales Walt Phillips says, “Jaleigh Long has a proven track record of leading her teams from the front.  Her focus has and will continue to be on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives.  She’s strategic in her problem solving and decision making with an extensive background in digital ad products and strategy.  Partnering with current GSM Beth Bowers only strengthens our position when it comes to coaching and leading this team into a new era at news/talk WSB.”  Long spent the last seven years as GSM for South Central Media in Evansville, Indiana.

sportsusaBrandon Randazzo Named Social Media Director at Sports USA.  The executive producer of Sports USA’s “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” and podcasts “Leigh Steinberg on Sports” and “Odds Are with Jimmy Vaccaro” is upped to director of social media for the company,  Sports USA president Bob Moore says Brandon Randazzo “is a go-to guy with a vast history of getting the job done.  His background in programming, producing, promotions, and voicing radio stations tied to his skill set of social media makes him the ideal person for this position.  Brandon will front all of our social media platforms going forward.”  Randazzo comments, “Sports USA is one of the most respected names in radio.  Their relationship with a significant network of over 400 radio affiliates and massive audience will increase the exposure of our social media platforms every day.  I am excited for this opportunity to expand the Sports USA brand into social media.”

hollandbrianTalk Personality Brian Holland to Host Syndicated Overnight Show.  The program is called “The Graveyard Shift” and host Brian Holland is planning to self syndicate it beginning March 17.  In a statement, Holland says, “Overnights are often a forgotten daypart because everyone assumes that one show is unstoppable.  That was true a few years ago, but now, the fact of the matter is when a program isn’t challenged, it’s of course going to stay number one.  We are getting a lot of attention from stations that are either concerned with the drop in their overnight audience, or are looking for something serious and sustainable to carry in that daypart.”  Holland’s press release states the program will focus on the paranormal and what he calls “fringe topics,” but will also cover popular culture, movie news, video game news, and other topical items.  Each program will feature at least one guest for an interview, listener phone calls and emails, and a look at current affairs from all walks of life.  The show was formerly syndicated by Harris Broadcasting Network but ceased after the death of that company’s principal.

Three Broadcasters Facing Legal Action for Copyright Infringement.  Orange County California-based Mavrix Photographs LLC has filed complaints against Clear Channel, CBS Radio and Townsquare Media for copyright infringement in the United States District Court Central District of California.  Mavrix claims that the three companies all posted images it owns – specifically, images of pop star Katy Perry – to some of their stations’ websites with full knowledge that the photos did not belong to them.  As in the past, Mavrix is seeking $150,000 per illegal use per company but it is more likely that the issue will be settled out of court for less than what Mavrix seeks.  Still, the lesson for website operators is that – especially with celebrity photos – the companies that own the copyrights will seek out violators and will file complaints if they recognize their property being used without permission.

wwtn logoCool Talk Radio Opportunity.  WWTN-FM, Nashville seeks full-time midday host.  This is a rare opportunity in the city The New York Times calls “it!”  Nashville is on the rise and WTN is the dominant talk station in Music City.  We are a live and local operation.  With the addition of this position the station is live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm every weekday.  And “yes,” we usually beat Rush.  This is not an entry level job.  We are looking for some authentic, fresh energy – someone that is a people person and will weave themself into the fabric of the community in short order.  Expect to work social media and participate in public events.  We’re looking for someone who is a voracious consumer of news and info – someone that brings solutions with the problems, someone with a sense of hope.  You should be as good as any trial lawyer at convincing people of your position using indisputable logic to connect the dots.  You can’t ‘just’ do national-political; you have to sound like Nashville.  You must be good at sensing the mood of the community and covering a wide range of emotions.  If you are just angry, don’t bother applying.  Being a fan of and having interest in country music is a plus.  Email resume, references, optional cover letter, and un-scoped air-check to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com put “WWTN-FM Nashville Host” in subject line.  Cumulus Media is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

Thursday, July 18, 2013

| July 18, 2013

pendlchrisGet Credit for Your Hard Work, Audit Your PPM Encoding.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes in this TALKERS column that it’s a very wise move to take the time to audit your PPMppmunit encoding ASAP.  Pendl says, “With radio audiences fragmented on different distribution platforms, it’s important to confirm all of our published content has the proper encoding to receive listening credit.  Regardless if you’re simulcasting commercials on your digital platforms, if you’re not using PPM-encoded audio to distribute content you’re missing out.”  In this must-read piece targeted to programmers, Pendl details why this is so important and provides a step-by-step plan for working with the good folks at Arbitron to make sure your PPM encoding is up to snuff.  Read his entire column here.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Stay with ‘Coast to Coast AM’ for Many Years to Come.  Premiere Networks announces it has signed a new, multi-year contract renewal with “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory.  Premiere says that “Under the new agreement, Noory will continue his current role as host of ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ the most-listened-to overnight radio program in North America.  Heard by nearly 3 million weekly listeners on nearly 570 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Guam and Mexico, the program is ranked #1 in several markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Cleveland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Providence and Hartford.  In addition, Coast to Coast AM’s audience has grown 13% over the past two years, and in the past year alone, has experienced double and triple digit gains in major markets, including New York (+23%), Los Angeles (+25%), Houston (+121%) and Philadelphia (+167%).”  George Noory talks about his new deal, saying, “By renewing my deal with Premiere Networks, I’ll be around when astronauts land on Mars.  I want to thank Premiere and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for having the confidence in me and our amazing team to take ‘Coast to Coast AM’ into the future.  I look forward to many more years of bringing riveting programs during the late-night hours to our millions of listeners around the world.”

harrisonshannonshomperThe Conclave Is Off and Running in Minneapolis.  The nation’s longest-running national radio conference is in full swing in Minneapolis.  Conclave 38 featured a multi-dimensional, all-afternoon presentation yesterday (7/17) by Fred JacobsJacobs Media titled “Jacobs Media Summer School.”  This morning (7/18), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison delivered the keynote.  In it he addressed the future role of talent as radio continues to evolve and adapt itself to the new digital era.  He drew applause when he stated that music radio must bring back the active disc jockey and reclaim ownership of the music culture – just as news/talk radio has claimed ownership of the political culture and sports talk radio has claimed ownership of the sports culture – in order to survive.  Look for extensive coverage of the three-day event including a video of Harrison’s speech shortly in TALKERS.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Conclave executive director Bob Shannon; WCCO, Minneapolis, PD, Bob Shomper; and Harrison at the Conclave this morning.

baileyjasonJason Bailey Moves to Atlanta for AM Drive Gig on ‘92-9 The Game.’  CBS Radio announces Rick Kamla moves from “The Morning Grind” to the midday show alongside Jamie Dukes and former WTKS, Orlando personality Jason kamlarickBailey a.k.a. “Buckethead” (not the famous guitar player) partners up with Randy Cross and Kristen Ledlow for mornings.  WZGC notes that “some of Jason Bailey’s sports accolades include hosting the WYGM Pre-Game Show, voice of the Orlando Rage, and color commentary for Predators radio broadcasts.  Bailey has also been the sideline reporter for the Orlando Predators and Tuskers, as well as a host for WWE and TNA Wrestling.”  WZGC program director Terry Foxx says, “As we continue to position ‘Sportsradio 92-9 The Game’ for success, we are excited to have Jason join us to bring his unique and entertaining personality to our team.”

hortonstacyMedia Management Group Appoints Stacy Horton EVP of Sales and Affiliations.  Media affiliate sales pro Stacy Horton joins the team at Media Management Group as executive vice president of sales and affiliations.  The company states that in this new role, “Stacy will execute the affiliate growth strategy for the MMG Radio Network, as well as play an integral role in revenue growth and content development.”  MMG VP of business development Alan Eisenson says, “When we launched MMGRN in April with Warren Eckstein’s ‘The Pet Show,’ we had no idea it would grow so quickly.  There’s a great demand for quality, niche weekend programming, and Stacy will be invaluable in not only adding affiliates for Warren, but also as we continue to expand our roster of programs and services to affiliates.”  Horton comments, “This is an exciting time for the media industry and I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team at MMG.  The company is ideally positioned at the nexus between talent, technology, and content.  My job will be to leverage those synergies, and create value to fuel growth for the company, our partner stations, and the personalities we represent.”  Horton started her radio career in the early 1990s as part of the marketing team that launched the Universal Studios Radio Broadcast Center, which hosted thousands of A-list radio personalities from around the world for live remote broadcasts during which Horton would join the guests for on-air banter.  Most recently she was VP of affiliate sales at the Business TalkRadio Network.  Prior to that, she was a producer and affiliate relations manager at Yahoo!, USRN, Launch Radio and Sony Music where she produced content and managed relationships with hundreds of stations around the United States.

pinchjonFinding Radio Advertising Solutions.  Radio is fighting for its piece of the American ad budget pie and numerous industry experts have been calling for better creative and better production in order to compete with the trend that ismarshallrobin moving tremendous amounts of ad dollars to the digital frontier.  In a piece published today (7/17), TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a brief shout-out to a couple of the industry’s legendary creative talents and then spotlights Cumulus Media’s marketing initiative Sound Solutions.  In this story he speaks with EVP/COO Jon Pinch and production manager Robin Marshall about how the company is using this division to woo advertisers to a medium that has a strong history of creating memorable spots that deliver results.  Read his story here.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications Latest Company to Face Copyright Infringement Complaint.  The bottom line for radio station website operators here is that if you didn’t take the picture, pay the copyright holder for the photo or receive it as a promotional photo from the copyright holder or owner, then you don’t have permission to use it and you may end up negotiating a settlement that will cost you money.  That’s more than likely what Midwest Communications will end up doing after BWP Media filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin alleging country WBFM, Sheboygan, Wisconsin “B93” posted a copyrighted photo on its website without permission.  As is usual in these cases, BWP is seeking $150,000 per infringement but it will probably be settled out of court for much less and that will remain confidential.  The photo in question was of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend in a bathing suit with the caption “Hugh Hefner’s Girlfriend Looks Like a Pregnant Barbie Doll.”  Many station websites feature – or have in the past featured – these copyrighted photos and continued the practice because no complaint was filed.  Now more than ever though, companies such as BWP Media are actively patrolling the web to catch violators in order to protect their property.  Radio station digital brand managers must be vigilant in staying within the law.

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix to Carry Arizona Men’s Sports.  IMG College owns the rights to University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball and the organization announces that Clear Channel sports talk outlet KGME, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910” will carry the play-by-play as well as coaches shows and affiliated programming under a newly signed deal.  CC Phoenix Scott Hopeck says, in a statement, “Teaming up with the Arizona Wildcats to provide full University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball coverage is a significant addition to our new ‘Fox Sports 910’ brand.  We are happy to serve the large base of fans and alumni who now have a new radio home where they can follow their Wildcats anywhere in the Valley.”

Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, Rolling Stone Tsarnaev Cover, Soaring Dow/Fed Policy, Eastern U.S. Heatwave, IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal, and Internet Sales Tax Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The ongoing aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict; controversy over Rolling Stone magazine’s cover featuring the surviving Boston Marathon bomber; the high-flying U.S. financial markets and the Federal Reserve’s policies; the heat wave affecting the Eastern United States; the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative organizations and individuals; and the proposed tax on internet sales were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 10, 2013

| May 10, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Study Shows Radio’s ‘Reach and Appeal Remain Strong.’  Those are the words of Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman about the results of the Latitude Research– and OpenMind Strategy-conducted study called the “State of Listening in America.”  Pittman says of the study, “This research confirms that radio’s reach and appeal remain strong regardless of the platform, geography, ethnicity, or age group.  American listeners – particularly younger generations – feel a strong connection to their favorite on-air radio personalities – which is made stronger by social media – in a way that isn’t replicated by other media.”  Clear Channel calls the study “the first comprehensive audio analysis that addresses the various ways people are listening today and also clearly demonstrates that the growing prevalence of mobile devices coupled with easy access to streaming apps have made radio more relevant to users.”  Some of the key findings include:  92% of all respondents listen to radio at least once a week; 69% agree “streaming services do not replace radio.”; 80% say radio is helpful in discovering new artists or songs; 82% say the first thing they do when they get in a car is turn on the radio; 66% agree that their favorite radio stations reflect who they are as a person; 78% agree that radio has the power to make a difference in the community;  and 72% believe radio is more community-oriented than TV; 85% say radio is more accessible than at any time before and 78 percent say they can access radio anywhere; Radio advertising is viewed more positively than ads on TV, internet and mobile apps; 72% believe that radio feels more “human” than the internet and 65 percent believe it is more “personal” than TV; and 71% say radio is a part of their daily routine.

mckayjeffInteresting and Useful Fact:  News/Talk Radio and Country Music Radio Share Significant Segments of their Audiences.  Two different radio formats: One plays music by artists such as Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood and Florida-Georgia Line.  The other has voices such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephanie Miller.  Ironically, both the country music format that does not talk politics and the news/talk format that plays no music each have something in common – they cater largely to the same audience!  Leading country radio consultant Jaye Albright calls country radio and talk radio the “universal donor” formats.  In an article posted on May 8, TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay talks to players in the field, cites research and provides an interesting overview of this phenomenon.  To read the entire piece, click here.

ramseyentreleadershipSpecial Dave Ramsey Program to Air as Part of EntreLeadership Master Series.  On today’s Dave Ramsey nationally syndicated program (live 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET), Ramsey will broadcast from Financial Peace Plaza as part of this week’s EntreLeadership Master Series.  This special broadcast will focus on leadership and business questions from callers, e-mails and event attendees.  Ramsey has been presenting this series at his offices in Nashville all this week and today’s broadcast is the culmination of that.  Ramsey’s company explains the EntreLeadership series this way: “EntreLeadership combines the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader.  This philosophy is how Ramsey has grown his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.  At EntreLeadership Master Series, Ramsey condenses 20 years of business and leadership wisdom into a seven-day event.  Business owners and leaders who attend walk away with practical ideas that can improve their communication, organization, team culture, finances, negotiating and selling skills, marketing, advertising, and ability to make tough decisions.”

raytomLighting Up the Stick (and Painting it Too).  Once again noted radio engineering genius, consultant and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray comes through with a priceless column in non-geek terms that is must-reading for today’s beleaguered, multi-tasking station managers who need to know what’s happening in terms of gear – and should be kept in a special in-house (or computer) file as a valuable resource.  In a new article posted today (5/10) Ray explains exactly how VITALLY important it is to keep your station tower(s) up to code in terms of painting and lighting and EXACTLY (down to the specific color of the paint) how to do it.  Plain, simple and to-the-point.  If you work at a station, download this article and make sure whoever is responsible for the place has access to it because in today’s stressed out environment, a lot of this stuff is falling through the cracks!  To read Tom Ray’s entire piece, click here.

wfangiantsCBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York Extends Giants Broadcasts Deal.  Sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, New York extends the 15-year relationship between the station and the NFL’s New York Giants with a multi-year deal for the stations to serve as the flagship station for all the team’s games.  The new contract also includes special programming including: A weekly 30-minute Giants-themed segment as part of the station’s Monday Night Football coverage; Giants Power Lunch – the new one-hour live program will be broadcast one Tuesday a month during the regular season from the Giants Training Facility in East Rutherford, N.J. within the “Benigno and Roberts” show; Exclusive weekly player interviews with Eli Manning and other Giants player(s) to be named prior to the start of the 2013 season; and an expansive schedule of weekly and daily updates and vignettes will be executed across several different programs on WFAN from trusted experts and station personalities.

crnlogoCRN Digital Talk Radio Offers Four New Shows.  Sunland, California-based CRN Digital Talk Radio announces four new programs added to its lineup.  They include:  Anthony Dias Blue’s consumer-oriented food, wine, and travel-oriented show “The Blue Lifestyle” that airs Tuesdays at 9:00 pm ET; “The Wise Guys Sit-down Hour” stars controversial former police officer Albert DeRobbio and East Coast-based businessman Nicky Barrilla and airs Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET.  The network says the two “respect, honesty, and integrity – traits on which they feel the world could use a little refresher.  They are real-life, old-fashioned gentlemen who’ve lead double-lives.  They come from two different neighborhoods – and two different families (if you catch their drift).  They are rough around the edges – but always gentlemen.  They’re street smarts experts – and aficionados of life.”; Tommy Hunter’s “The Edge at Night” fuses talk and music.  Stars ranging from alternative Christian rockers to mainstream celebrities merge Saturday nights at 10:00 pm ET.  His first guest this Saturday is Brian “Head” Welch from the heavy metal band KORN; and “The Steve Sanchez Show” stars entrepreneur, pastor, and author Steve Sanchez who tackles “the areas of finance, cultural issues and politics…all from a cutting edge, Christian perspective.”  CRN Digital president and CEO Mike Horn states, “We’re proud to offer our listeners an even greater selection of entertainment, news, politics, sports, and even music.  Food, wine, and travel fans will love Anthony’s show.  The Wise Guys instill lessons and tell jaw-dropping stories that everyone will find fascinating.  Tommy and Steve bring compelling content to the faith-based market – a huge demographic – two fantastic shows that are very different from each other.”

radiomercuryawards2013 Radio Mercury Awards Finalists Announced.  The finalists for the 2013 Radio Mercury Awards have been announced and 114 radio spots and campaigns have made it to the last round.  The Radio Mercury Awards honor outstanding radio created by advertising agencies, production companies, radio stations and students.  Entries are judged on their creativity, originality and effective communication of a brand’s message.  The 2013 finalists incorporate a wide range of small to large advertising agencies and radio stations alike, as well as national and regional advertisers from the automotive, consumer packaged goods, beer, entertainment, fast food, financial services, insurance, telecommunications and retail categories.  Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber states, “We continue to see marketers and advertisers leverage radio in unique ways.  I’m really encouraged by the level of agency finalists and radio station finalists as well.  This is a great example of the overall breadth and scope of radio; it continues to be an effective and strategic medium to build brand awareness and purchase intent, no matter the advertiser or marketer.”  You can see the finalists here.

brownejoyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America announces the Dr. Joy Browne program picks up new affiliates WWRL, New York; WSNO, Montpelier-Barre-St. Johnsbury, Vermont; KHGG, Ft. Smith, Arkansas; WNIX, Greenville, Mississippi; KWBW, Hutchinson, Kansas; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; WFEB, Sylacauga, Alabama; and KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana…..Talk Media Network reports “Frontlines of Freedom” and “Fat Guys At The Movies” add KBRF, Fergus Falls, Minnesota; “Financial Fitness Show” picks up new affiliates WJML, Petoskey, Michigan and WJNL, Traverse City, Michigan; and “USA Financial Headquarters” adds affiliates WJML, Petoskey; WJNL, Traverse City; KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri; and WJET, Erie…..“Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” is added to the program schedules at: WTCM, Traverse City; KWBY, Ranger, Texas; KRZR, Visalia, California; KBXD, Dallas; KBND, Bend, Oregon; and WCAP, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Benghazi Attack Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  The testimony before congress this week regarding the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 this week was the Cleveland captives case.  At #3 was the immigration amnesty issue followed by Mark Sanford winning the open South Carolina House seat 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

| May 9, 2013

emmisEmmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Results; Smulyan “Significantly Outperformed Our Markets.” Emmis Communications reports the results of its fiscal fourth quarter (which ended February 28, 2013) for 2013 with net revenue up 2%.  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan stated up front during the investor’s conference call, “I could not be more proud of what happened last year and I could not be more proud of what’s happening now. Because of our unique reporting structure, we have a pretty good handle on what the first quarter of our nextsmulyanjeff fiscal year will look like and we’re equally pleased with that.  I think it was a transformative year for Emmis for a couple of reasons.  I think we solved this industry’s most vexing problems with capital structure and we did it because we have a unique culture here and a culture that I think stands out and I think people are starting to understand that their culture makes a difference.”  Chief financial officer and COO Pat Walsh broke down the financials a bit, stating, “Pro forma for our station divestitures, radio net revenues consisting solely of our domestic stations grew 3%.  Revenues in markets where Emmis competes, excluding barter revenues, grew 2.8% during the quarter.  Emmis’ pro forma radio revenues reported on the same basis to Miller Kaplan grew 4.2%…automotive was once again our largest category, representing 11% of revenues, with the category growing nearly 20% as U.S. auto sales continued to accelerate.  Wireless and financial services also exhibited strong growth at approximately 20%. Education and pandoralogomedia also showed high mid-single-digit growth, high – mid to high single-digit growth.  Other top ten categories such as restaurants, entertainment, healthcare and retail showed flattish growth with beverages off during the quarter.”  During Q&A, Smulyan answered a question about whether IP-based services are sapping AM/FM audience.  Smulyan responded, “We’ve been streaming like most of our brethren for almost 17 years and we haven’t cracked the code.  We know Pandora hasn’t cracked the code.  We know TuneIn hasn’t cracked the code or Spotify, so we know that that’s a challenge.  I have one friend in the industry who says, let’s be honest.  When we take a terrestrial listener at a 35% or 40% margin and we can convert that same listener to an IP-based stream, that listener goes from a 30% or 40% margin to zero.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Read the entire call here.

entercomEntercom Reports Revenue Down 2% in Q1.  Entercom announces financials for the first quarter of 2013 and reports net revenue down 2% on $78.4 million.  Station operating income was flat at $20.5 million and free cash flow increased from $1.2 million to $3.9 million.  Entercom CEO David Field noted the drop in net revenue was offset by a 3% decline in station expenses. fielddavid Regarding sales during the first quarter, Field said, “Local and national revenues were essentially the same with both down low-single digits.  Our best-performing markets were Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis and New Orleans.  Top-performing categories were financials, travel, telecom, home improvement and drugstores.”  Looking at the company’s status in general, Field stated, “It is important to reiterate that our efforts to pursue smart ways to reinvent our business model have not come at the expense of reinvesting in our future.  To the contrary, we continue to boost our investment in new brands and content, expanded distribution, better operating systems and enhanced digital platforms to strengthen our value proposition to our listeners and customers and create new revenue opportunities.  And we are very pleased with the state of our brands.  We had a very solid set of winter ratings results and like how we are positioned in our markets across the country.”  Again, thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  You can read the entire conference call here.

arbitronArbitron Releases ‘Radio Today 2013’ Study to Clients; News/Talk #1 PPM Format.  The full study is only available to Arbitron clients but here are some of the takeaways from “Radio Today 2013”:  “News/Talk/Information and Talk/Personality remained the number one format in PPM markets and was number two in the rest of the U.S.  The 2,121 rated AM, FM, HD Radio, and streamed stations in these formats far exceed any other format.  Like other spoken word formats, they rank prominently in highly educated, high-income listeners.”  And relative to TALKERS magazine’s analysis of the shared audience between news/talk and country in Jeff McKay’s piece above, the Arbitron report notes that “country and new country, already number one in our report last year, grew again to remain in first place and reach another record audience share. The format benefited most from an influx of listeners aged 18-24 and is even number two among teen listeners nationally.”

wtmjOdds & Sods.  Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (along with its sister TV station with the same calls) was honored at this past weekend’s Wisconsin Broadcasters Association annual “Awards Gala” for broadcast excellence.  WTMJ won radio news station of the year and radio station of the year.  The station also won nine other awards including best radio show for “Midday with Charlie Sykes.”…..Andrew Marcus, director of the new film “Hating Breitbart,” which explores the life and impact of the late media guru Andrew Breitbart, will debate Wade Rathke, the founding organizer of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on Rathke’s radio show.  The show will air on May 17 at 10:00 am ET on KABF-FM, Little Rock, Arkansas, where ACORN was founded…..Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle will moderate a Town Hall special on SiriusXM with film star Hugh Jackman on May 28 at 7:00 pm ET.  Entertainment Weekly operates its own channel on the satellite radio service.

brownejoyRadio America’s Dr. Joy Browne Program Adds 10 Affiliate Stations.  The nationally syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program – now distributed by Radio America – picks up 10 new affiliate stations for the longest-running radio show of its kind.  New to the program are: WWRL, New York; WSNO, Montpelier-Barre-St. Johnsbury, Vermont; KHGG, Ft. Smith, Arkansas; WNIX, Greenville, Mississippi; KWBW, Hutchinson, Kansas; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; WFEB, Sylacauga, Alabama; and KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana.

sanchezmariaInternet Talk Station, LA Talk Radio, Continues to Grow – Adds Maria Sanchez to Daily Line Up.  Veteran talk radio host Maria Sanchez is now part of the growing LA Talk Radio team as the host of her own daily live radio program, “The Maria Sanchez Show.”  The show covers current events, newsmakers and lifestyles.  As a woman, a mother, and a Hispanic, Maria is being presented by LA Talk Radio as having “a unique perspective that is not represented in most of radio.”  A 20+ year career in radio, she developed her skills in the medium as a talk radio talent at KFI, Los Angeles, a weekend host and substitute host for such personalities as Bill Handel, John & Ken, and Phil Hendrie.   “I am thrilled to be back behind the mic and to be working with LA Talk Radio!  The ability to be relevant, topical, and without commercial interruption is a fabulous opportunity to really explore topics and guests” says Maria.  Sam Hasson, owner of LA Talk Radio, tells TALKERS, “We look forward to a long and storied relationship with Maria, a true pro in the radio industry.”

imusdon24th Annual Imus Radiothon Airs on WABC, New York Next Week.  WABC, New York-based Don Imus will broadcast the 24th annual “Imus Radiothon for the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer” next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 14 and 15.  The radiothon will also be broadcast to Imus show affiliates and be seen on Fox Business Network from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET.

gahofnom13The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Announces Candidates for Career Achievement Awards.  The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame announces the Career Achievement candidates.  Members will cast their votes in July and eight Georgia radio professionals selected will be announced in October. The 7th Annual Induction Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday October 19, 2013 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.  The 2013 candidates (some positions are former) are: Harry Beadle, newsman at WGST, Atlanta; Tom and Paul Collins, The “Tiger Twins” on WQXI, Atlanta; Bill Edwards, host of “Good Morning Savannah” on WTKS, Savannah; Robert “Flash” Gordon, morning host on WKZK, Augusta; Steve Goss, host of “Morning Edition” on WABE, Atlanta; Charlie Hill, announcer at WCEH, Hawkinsville; Kaedy Kiley, morning host on WRVR, Atlanta; Greg McClure, program director at WFOM, Marietta; Kelly McCoy, afternoon host on WSB-FM, Atlanta; Nelle Reagan, host of “Talk of the Town” on WRGA, Rome; Bill Rice, host of “Soul Session” on WLET, Toccoa; Mike Roberts, owner WQMJ, Macon; Deborah Richards, news director, WKHX, Atlanta; and Mark Summers, mornings at WBBQ, Augusta.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

| May 1, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Positive Q1 with Revenue Up 12%; Company Involved in Digital Dashboard Technology Rollout.  That 12% percent increase over the same period a year ago is on revenue of $897 million.  New permanent CEO Jim Meyer had every reason to be bubbly during his first investor conference call as official chief executive officer of the satcaster.  He reports the company grew its subscriber base to a new record high on new subscriptions of 453,000 during the quarter.  From a financial perspective he stated, “We are proud to have achieved the highest suggested EBITDA margin in the history of the company in the first quarter.  We expect to achieve a 30% adjusted EBITDA margin this year, up from 27% last year and we continue to target 40% plus margins over time.  You will see us move over the next few years to become one of the highest margin businesses among major media companies in the United States. meyerjim Our ability to convert the bulk of that EBITDA in the free cash flow is also unmatched in the subscription media world.”  He said the company is riding the “tailwind in the new car market as it recovers.”  Meyer told investors the company is committed to having the best content, spoke about new channel additions as well as new talent joining the company and mentioned talk host Michael Smerconish.  Addressing the specific question about GM’s plans for its future “digital dashboard,” Meyer said he couldn’t talk about any one manufacturer’s plans but was able to state, “I believe GM is on a leadership strategy in terms of where I believe the auto industry will go in general.  And that is, I believe, over a mid and long period of time — you can define how many years that is — you will see automakers move to what I will call embedded connectivity that will be LTE-based that will give them lots of options for what they want to do for their customers and their vehicles.  I think it’s very important that Sirius XM participates in that rollout of technology as it occurs over the next three to seven years and that’s exactly what we’re all about when we referred to our connected-car strategy.  This is something that…I want to reiterate again today, that we’re moving and reprioritizing a lot of our technical resources and frankly now our commercial programming resources towards making that goal happen as we go out over time.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can read the whole shebang here.

wheelertomTom Wheeler Gets Nod from Obama for FCC Chief.  On the political side of things, many Democrats wanted to see President Obama select a woman for the post being vacated by Julius Genachowski, but the president nominated a man with a telecommunications background who was very helpful in getting him elected.  Politico reports that managing director of Core Capital Partners, Tom Wheeler, (along with his wife) worked Iowa for six weeks straight during the president’s first campaign.  Although Wheeler will get some grief from those who are suspicious of his past tenure as a lobbyist with both the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industry Association), he has experience in the industry having founded numerous cable and communications services businesses.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB welcomes the nomination of Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC. He has the experience and temperament to serve the agency with distinction, and we look forward to working with him.”

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 Approaching Sellout Today.  At the present rate of registration bookings, all available seats to the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 will be sold out by the end of business today (5:00 pm ET).  The 16th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention has broken the record for reaching advance registration earlier than ever before.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are amazed and gratified that this conference has reached a sellout almost five weeks in advance of its actual date, which is a testimony to the vibrancy of the talk format and the enthusiasm of the industry that produces it.”  The one-day, power-packed event takes place on Thursday, June 6 in New York City between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  It features a speaker roster of more than 50 industry leaders from programming, sales, talent, management, technology and ownership. Registration ($199 for all events and food services) is open exclusively to members of the working media and can only be booked by phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  For complete registration and sponsorship information including an up-to-the-minute agenda, click here.

walton&johnsonWalton & Johnson Take Over Mornings on KPRC, Houston.  Just four months after the Walton & Johnson [John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)] morning show was dropped from Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston “97.3 The Arrow,” the program is brought back to the Houston airwaves as the new morning program on the company’s news/talk KPRC.  The duo was replaced on “The Arrow” by longtime St. Louis radio personality J.C. Corcoran.  Clear Channel Houston director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says, “We are thrilled to have Walton & Johnson back on KPRC.  They have a proven track record of great ratings and we look forward to them continuing that success on KPRC.”  Walton & Johnson made KPRC their flagship beginning in 2007 but moved to “The Arrow” in 2009.  Off KPRC as a result of the move is Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo who is based at Clear Channel’s WOAI, San Antonio and is heard there and on other Clear Channel news/talk stations.

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty to Join KFMB, San Diego in June.  Morning show duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty will be heard in the San Diego market beginning June 3 as their program bumps current morning host Mike Slater to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Armstrong & Getty are based at Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento and heard in other markets in Northern California including San Francisco on KKSF.  This is a big move for the duo as they are added to a non-Clear Channel station – Midwest TV’s KFMB.  Program director Dave Sniff states, “Like any great radio morning show, Armstrong and Getty have that unique ability to not only connect with the listener but to become their companions.  They fit in amazingly well among the great storytellers that are part of 760 KFMB’s character and lineage.  They’re not so much a ‘talk show’ as a ‘mock show.’”

wokv logoCox Media’s WOKV, Jacksonville Adds 104.5 FM Signal.  Market news/talk powerhouse WOKV got a little more powerful as Cox Media Group gives the 104.5 FM signal long-occupied by now-defunct rock station WFYV to the station to boost its coverage of the region.  WOKV program director Mike Dorwart says, “Our listeners told us loud and clear that we needed more power.  Moving to 104.5 FM means that, for the first time, our listeners can hear us crystal clear, everywhere in northeast Florida, both day and night.  The most noticeable improvement will be heard by listeners in Baker, Clay, St. Johns, and Nassau counties.  They now have full coverage from WOKV, 24/7, on 104.5 FM.  Duval residents will also hear a big difference, especially those who listen at work.  Our new signal also gives reliable coverage to listeners in Flagler, Putnam, Bradford, Union and Columbia counties in Florida, as well as Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.”  The station has been simulcast on the 106.5 FM frequency but that class A FM is much smaller.  WOKV will continue to be heard on 106.5 as the company directs listeners to the new 104.5 frequency.

sabowalterFive Critical Steps for Radio to Achieve Success with Online Video.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo outlines five crucial pointers that radio broadcasters should keep in mind when utilizing video in their digital initiatives.  In a column posted today (5/1) he suggests: 1) bad equipment is usually the best; 2) online video is NOT television (TV);  3) 80% of all videos are watched within 72 hours of posting; 4) most of the biggest stars of the internet (“webstars”) are self-cast; and 5) late evening is the best time to post.  To read the entirety of this timely and informative article, click here.

wnox logoThe End of an Era for Knoxville News/Talk; Country to Take Over 100.3 Frequency.  With Journal Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Oak Ridge FM’s news/talk WNOX, Knoxville about to close, the company is preparing to move the country format currently heard on its WCYQ to the much stronger 100.3 signal currently occupied by news/talk on WNOX.  A country simulcast will begin tomorrow on the two FMs (5/2) and the news/talk programming now on WNOX will move to Blount Broadcasting’s WKVL, a daytime AM at 850.

americaweekendlogoKTRS, St. Louis Newest Affiliate for Envision’s ‘America Weekend.’  The weekend news/talk radio program being nationally syndicated by Envision Radio Networks announces CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis is the latest station to add the programming to its weekend offerings.  Envision calls “America Weekend” “the winning antidote to bad brokered programming and tiresome ‘Best-of’ shows.  Hosted by Paul Harris, Rick Roberts, and Turi Ryder, ‘America Weekend’ is designed to increase ratings while providing an innovative system for maintaining or even increasing revenue from brokered programs.  The flexible ‘America Weekend’ system provides the perfect platform to break away for sports and other special programming as needed. Since ‘America Weekend’ is broadcast live via satellite, it is able to stay current by addressing breaking and developing stories of national interest as they happen.  The program airs live each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.”

midwestcomm logoFargo Stations Sales Close: Fargo-Moorhead Radio Cluster to Midwest Communications; Triad Broadcasting Group to Larry Wilson’s L&L.  The sales of both of these Fargo market station groups were announced last year and were approved by the FCC months ago.  Now the transactions close with Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications taking ownership of the former Fargo-Moorhead Radio cluster that includes: news/talk KFGO, sports KVOX, CHR WDAY “Y-94,” country KBVB “Bob FM,” talk KRWK “101.9 Talk FM,” and adult hits KMJO “Popster FM.”  Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy tells the Forum of Fargo Moorhead he doesn’t anticipate any immediate programming changes.  Larry Wilson, whose Alpha Broadcasting operates stations in Portland, Oregon, also is a principal in L&L Broadcasting and his company is closing on Triad Broadcasting’s stations that include: oldies KQWB “True Oldies,” classic rock KPFX “The Fox,” hot AC KLTA, country KVOX “Froggy 99.9,” full service KBMW, and rock KQWB “Q98.”  Triad vice president and market manager Michael Brooks also tells the paper he does not anticipate any immediate changes.

weei logoWEEI Names John Ryder to Red Sox Broadcast Team; Grande and Merloni to Handle Fill-In Role.  In announcing John Ryder’s ascension to a permanent role on Red Sox broadcasts as host of pre- and post-game coverage, the company says, “Ryder has been with WEEI since 1998 and is a regular contributor to the ‘Planet Mikey’ show, in addition to hosting ‘Red Sox Review’ and ‘Celtics Rewind’ after Sox and Celtics games.”  The company is also announcing that Sean Grande and Lou Merloni will join the broadcasts filling in for Dave O’Brien, who will miss Monday night games during the season due to his responsibilities for ESPN.  Grande has been the voice of the Boston Celtics since 2001, after having served as the TV voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves for three years.  Merloni is currently co-host of the “Mut and Merloni” show on WEEI 93.7 FM.  Merloni also enjoyed a nine-year professional career in Major League Baseball, the first five with the Red Sox.  Entercom Boston vice president of programming Jason Wolfe says, “John has done a stellar job in every role we’ve had for him and has absolutely earned this promotion.  He’s hosted the pre- and post-game shows for the Sox many times before and was a natural choice for us to fill this important job.  Sean’s play-by-play experience speaks for itself. He’s one of the greats in the industry right now, and Lou’s expertise is second to none.  There’s no baseball man in Boston who knows the Sox better than Lou.”

hayworthjdOdds & Sods.  Result Radio’s Christian contemporary KJJK, Fargo will flip to sports talk on Monday, May 6 using programming from Fox Sports Radio Network including Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr and the “Loose Cannons” with Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman.  The station will continue to serve as a Minnesota Twins affiliate…..Personality J.D. Hayworth – co-host of the “Hacksaw & Hayworth” show on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego – does some news/talk fill-in work this week when he sits in for Cumulus Media Networks host Michael Savage tonight through Friday from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  He’ll also sit in for the company’s Mike Huckabee tomorrow from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..Bouyed by coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas fertilizer warehouse explosion, cable news/talk channel CNN has improved in the ratings compared to the same period a year ago.  Based on April Nielsen numbers as reported in Deadline.com, CNN saw its total day viewers number rise 79% compared to April 2012.  CNN was also up in prime time, achieving an 81% increase in total viewers over the same period a year ago.  The network was able to climb over MSNBC into second place behind Fox News Channel in both ratings categories.

Benghazi Cover-up Investigation, ObamaCare Effects, Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Slow Job Growth Reports, and Immigration Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  New inquiries into the Benghazi attack; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and the search for possible co-conspirators; newly released reports indicating slow job growth in the United States; and debate over immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

| February 27, 2013

launchpad logoNorm Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media Announces Debut of PodcastOne.com.  Calling it “a single, online destination that makes it easier than ever to discover, download and enjoy the most popular podcasts,” Launchpad Digital Media debuts PodcastOne.com.  In a statement, the company says the site is “already home to more than 200 major podcasts including those from some of the biggest names in radio, news and entertainment, such as: Adam Carolla, CBS News, Dr. Drew, Tom Green, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Laura Ingraham, Penn Jillette, Maria Menounos and more.”  Chairman of Launchpad Digital Mediapattiznorm and Courtside Entertainment Group, Norm Pattiz, states, “What others have done with music, we are doing with the spoken word – helping listeners discover new programming based on their listening habits.  This is a powerful promotional vehicle for any program looking to grow audience in a big way.  In addition, by delivering talk, comedy, news, sports and entertainment radio as on-demand podcasts accessible via the internet, Podcast One expands the reach of national radio programs to every listener in the country – eliminating void and uncleared markets, while helping radio grow its audience and receive fair value for it.”  Users go to PodcastOne.com, pick their favorite podcasts and add them to their listen list.  Podcast One suggests new shows based on what they already enjoy and the list is continuously updated with the freshest episodes and users can listen online or download and take their favorite shows with them.  Launchpad Digital Media president Kit Gray says, “Podcast One helps people spend less time searching for great content and more time discovering and enjoying it.  The site’s discovery feature and easy-to-use social network interface allow Podcast One to provide programs with unprecedented exposure to a previously untapped audience.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Receive the TALKERS magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.  Veteran Dial Global radio talk personality Jim Bohannon has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2013 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.  Bohannon began his illustrious on-air career in 1960 at KLWT in Lebanon, Missouri.  He began working as a reporter at Mutual Broadcasting System in 1983 and went on to become the fill-in host for that network’s pioneering Larry King Show.  In 1993 he took over the hosting reigns of that program which he maintained through its ownership by Westwood One to its present incarnation as a Dial Global property.  Bohannon also hosts Dial Global’s “America in the Morning.”  The recipient of numerous industry awards and honors, Jim Bohannon has been a member of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred every year since its inception in 1995 and is an inductee in the National Radio Hall of Fame.  He will be presented the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award at the forthcoming national convention, Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6 in New York City.

bloomberglogoClear Channel Brings Bloomberg Radio to WXKS-AM, Boston.  The comedy format currently airing on Clear Channel’s WXKS-AM, Boston – formerly Talk 1200 – will move to WXKS-FM’s HD-2 channel and Friday will see the debut of a full-time business news station.  Bloomberg Radio programmer Al Mayers – who programmed news/talk WRKO, Boston almost 20 years ago – tells the Boston Herald, “There’s been a retrenchment in business coverage and we hope to come in there and fill that void.  Boston’s a great center for the things that our customers are very interested in.”  Mayers says there are 26 Bloomberg journalists stationed in Boston who will contribute to program content.  He says there will be eight hosts and that programming will be guest-driven.  The new venture will also include a relationship with Bentley University to use its faculty for content and commentary.

colmesalanAlan Colmes Show Moves to Earlier Air Time on Fox News Radio.  The late-night talk radio show hosted by Fox News personality Alan Colmes will begin airing live at an earlier time – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm – starting on Monday, March 4.  The network announces that it will continue to offer a re-feed from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and that Colmes will do live programming during the later hours during times when there is major breaking news.

melissaetheridgeMelissa Etheridge Wins Gracie Award for Syndicated Radio Show.  Musician and radio program host Melissa Etheridge will take home a 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Talk Show in the Entertainment/Information category for her Benztown Radio Networks-produced and syndicated radio program.  The 38th Annual Gracie Awards will be presented on May 21, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.  Etheridge says in a statement, “I have won Grammys and an Oscar, but there is something especially meaningful about being recognized with a Gracie.  I love radio, and it’s important to me to bring the voices of women to our audiences, as they share their respective truths about life, love and family — and as I share the same with them.  It’s also a great pleasure to provide a forum where we can connect with each other about the music that moves us.  I’m honored that people are responding to the show across the country and I thank the AWM Foundation for this award.”

heavyhundred logoHeavy Hundred to be Published Next Week.  Hang in there talk radio enthusiasts.  It’s almost here!  The 2013 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature annual feature, The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – otherwise known as “The Heavy Hundred” — is being readied for publication next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This feature is always a painstaking task for our editorial board to compile because it takes into account so many variables from the quantitative to the qualitative and plays such an important role in the lives and careers of so many established and rising stars of the industry.”  Casey adds, “It also offers a snapshot impression to industry watchers outside the business of just what makes ‘talk radio’ tick.  It defines its parameters, dispelling the widespread notion that spoken-word radio is any one single slice of a much bigger pie.”

wmcs logoUrban Talk/Music Hybrid WMCS, Milwaukee to Flip Formats.  The All Pro BroadcastingTimes Shamrock venture called Milwaukee Radio Alliance that operates urban talk and music outlet WMCS, Milwaukee says it will flip the station’s format after 20 years targeting the African American community in the market.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Duane Dudek writes that Milwaukee Radio Alliance vice president Bill Hurwitz says the station has been losing money for the past 10 years and that the move is a business decision.  He’s quoted saying, “Stations like this, basically super-serving the African American community — especially on AM — don’t exist in this country.”  All Pro Broadcasting is operated by Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis and Hurwitz says if not for Davis, the station would have disappeared long ago.  The move is affecting 15 full- and part-time employees including morning host Eric Von and PM drive talk host Earl Ingram.

albrightjayeThe Conclave Names 2013 Rockwell Award Winners: Jaye Albright and Tom Kay.  The Conclave Learning Conference announces country consultant Jaye Albright and Conclave executive director emeritus Tom Kay are thiskaytom year’s recipients of the Rockwell Award for 2013.  Executive director Bob Shannon says of this year’s honorees, “Jaye Albright represents the best broadcasting has to offer.  Always a student of radio, she’s also one of our best teachers and her influence on country radio is unmatched.”  Regarding Tom Kay, Shannon says, “This is recognition for a job well done.  If it weren’t for Tom, the Conclave wouldn’t exist today. Giving him the Rockwell Award makes all the sense in the world.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am.”  On her receiving the honor, Albright states, “As I think about the past Rockwell honorees, and how much I respect what each of them has given to our business over many, many years, I remain a bit stunned that The Conclave feels that I belong among them.  I’m humbled, surprised, flattered and honored.”  Albright and Kay will receive the Rockwell Award and be honored during “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” in Minneapolis July 17, 18 and 19.

wnox logoFCC Approves Journal Broadcast Group’s Purchase of WNOX, Knoxville.  When the sale of Oak Ridge FM-owned news/talk WNOX, Knoxville to Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group was announced late last year, M&M Broadcasting said it intended to sue Oak Ridge for breach of contract implying it had a deal to buy the signal.  Now, the FCC has approved the transfer of the license from Oak Ridge to Journal and the speculation about the station’s future format gets more intense.  Based on a scan of recent domain registrations, it appears Journal is considering moving its country WCYQ “Q93” to WNOX’s 100.3 signal and may be prepping a launch of a classic hits format for the 93.1 signal, thereby eliminating news/talk from the mix.  Domain registrations can be intentionally misleading so only time will tell for sure what Journal’s intentions really are.

grandephilPhil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” Show to Be Distributed on Business TalkRadio Network.  The independently produced and syndicated financial talk show “Phil’s Gang” – hosted by Phil Grande – will be available to Business TalkRadio Network affiliates beginning March 11.

Sequestration Battle, John Kerry in Germany, ObamaCare, Iran/North Korea Nuke Threats, Michelle Obama ‘Automatic Weapon’ Gaffe, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26).  The looming March 1 sequester; Secretary of State John Kerry’s European tour; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; nuclear weapons threats from Iran and North Korea; Michelle Obama’s “automatic weapons” gaffe; and the winter weather affecting large parts of the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.