Tag: "Cox Media Group"

Monday, July 13, 2020

| July 13, 2020

Pending Business: What Would Maslow Do? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that motivation – a stop on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs – is something that can be challenging in times like these.  But, he says, “We are in a motivation transition that can solve the long-term need to stay in the game and give you the control to move the performance bar as high as you need it.” Read his piece here.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, Fall Schools Opening Debate, Portland Protests, Presidential Race, Trump Commutes Roger Stone Sentence, Violent Crime Surge, Washington Redskins to Change Name Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and projections for future infections; the debate over re-opening schools in the fall; the violent BLM protests taking place in Portland, Oregon; the November presidential election, plans for a Florida Republican National Convention, and Joe Biden’s polling numbers; President Trump commutes the sentence of former “fixer” Roger Stone; the surge in violent crime statistics in a number of American cities; and the NFL’s Washington Redskins announce they will change the team’s nickname were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Broadcasters, Podcasting? Radio was late to this party and is scrambling to follow listeners to the digital platform. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke describes an opportunity in broadcasters’ dilemma. Read it here.

New Hampshire Talk Host’s Relationship with WSMN-AM, Nashua Ends After Video Post Goes Viral. New Hampshire talk host Dianna Ploss is no longer hosting her program on Bartis-Russell Broadcasting’s WSMN-AM, Nashua, New Hampshire after posting a video of herself verbally assaulting a landscaping crew with racist language for speaking Spanish while doing their jobs. The station carries a lot of brokered programming and it’s believed that Ploss also brokered her program. Apparently, Ploss became incensed when she heard a white crew leader speaking Spanish to his staff. After the video went viral, the radio station severed ties with her and posted the following on its website. “Dianna Ploss is no longer associated or affiliated in any way with WSMN or Bartis-Russell Broadcasting, LLC. We at WSMN value freedom of speech, freedom of expression and assembly. We will not tolerate discrimination, racism or hatred. We continue to present and offer on air opportunities for discussion, education and the exchange of opinions and ideas.”

Round Four of June PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station performances in his “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of markets. Regarding the news/talk format, Waterloo Media Group’s KLBJ-AM, Austin stays in the #3 rank in the market after repeating the 5.5 share it posted in May. iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh sheds four-tenths, finishing the June survey with a 6.2 share good for the #6 rank. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis drops 1.5 shares to a 7.4 share and falls back to the #5 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN falls to #2 after losing 1.2 shares and posting a 7.2 share. Across town, Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops six-tenths for a 5.5 share finish good for the #6 rank. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville falls to the #2 rank after losing a half share and finishing the June survey with a 9.9 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” report here.

It’s Official: SiriusXM to Acquire Stitcher from E.W. Scripps for $325 Million. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that a deal between E.W. Scripps and SiriusXM for the latter to acquire the podcast platform Stitcher was imminent. Now, Scripps announces that deal is done and it’s getting $325 million for the unit that includes: the Midroll advertising rep firm; owned-and-operated podcast networks including the comedy-focused Earwolf; and the Stitcher podcast listening platform. The press release states, “Scripps was an early entrant into podcasting, acquiring Midroll in 2015 for $55 million and the Stitcher app in 2016 for $4.5 million. Since then, Stitcher has been a leader in the fast-growing podcast industry, growing revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 52% from 2016-19. Stitcher’s 2019 revenue was $72.5 million.” The deal includes $265 million of cash upfront; earnout of up to $30 million based on 2020 financial results and paid in 2021; and earnout of up to $30 million based on 2021 financial results and paid in 2022. It is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Cumulus Media Cuts 3% of Workforce. Atlanta-based Cumulus Media has permanently removed 3% of its staffers from the payroll. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that 94 staffers have been affected by the move. The company put the cuts into effect the same day it announced to affiliate stations that the Westwood One News service would be shut down at the end of August due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the radio industry.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mike Golic will remain with ESPN after ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” program ends on July 31. Schefter says Golic will work for the sports giant as a college football analyst – a position he held for 10 years before launching the “Mike & Mike” morning radio show with Mike Greenberg. The status of Golic’s co-host Trey Wingo – whose contract with ESPN is ending – is still unknown at this time…..Bonneville Denver announces that it is hiring Nate Jackson to serve as an air personality on sports talk KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” The station says Jackson will be heard across all of the station’s programs as a contributor and fill-in host, in addition to contributing digital content to 1043TheFan.com. KKFN program director Raj Sharan says, “Nate is a fascinating person with an incredible perspective on sports and life based on his experiences. While he’s obviously a talented writer, Nate also has a very entertaining and warm personality that we look forward to developing as one of our on-air talents.”

Atlanta’s Black-Targeted Radio Stations to Unite for Voter Registration Effort. This initiative involves Black-targeted radio stations in Atlanta owned by Cox Media Group (WALR “KISS 104.1”; Entercom (WVEE “V103” and WAOK-AM “1380 News/Talk); Radio One (WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic,” WHTA “Hot 107.9,” and WPZE “Praise 102.5”) and Core Radio Group (WWSZ) teaming up “with the common goals of voter registration, voter education, and voter mobilization in advance of the November 2020 election.” The goal of “Black Radio United For The Vote” is to register black voters across metro Atlanta, and to get them to the polls in the coming election on November 3, as well as encouraging them to participate in the 2020 Census. Black Radio United For The Vote is partnering with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and its affiliates to make these goals a reality. Each month through September, beginning on July 23, the participating radio stations will dedicate a full day of on-air programming to educate, inform and inspire Atlanta’s black community to register to vote, check their current registration status, and participate in the 2020 Census.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports the death of former Windy City radio executive and station group owner Seth Mason. He passed away on Saturday (7/11) after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 71. Mason was the general manager for legendary rock outlet WXRT in the 1970s and was managing WSCR for Infinity when the company debuted the sports format on WSCR at its original dial position at 1160 AM. Mason retired from radio management and ownership in 1998…..Programming pro Laura Lee is named interim program director for Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting’s alternative WWCD-FM, Columbus “CD102.5.” Lee will also host the midday program, taking over for Rachael Gordon, who recently resigned from the station. Lee was most recently program director and afternoon host at alternative WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina “Modern Rock 98.7.”

Judge Puts Three Ed Stolz Stations into Receivership; Larry Patrick to Sell Them. The result of a 2016 complaint against Ed Stolz’s Royce International Broadcasting Group by Warner Music Group and other music companies alleging KREV, San Francisco; KFRH, Las Vegas; and KRCK, Palm Springs played music for which it did not have the rights, was a $1.2 million award for the plaintiffs in the copyright infringement portion of the complaint. Stolz appealed that decision, to no avail, and later agreed to sell the stations to pay the award. However, after it appeared to the plaintiffs that Stolz was not really trying to sell the stations, they asked the court to appoint a receiver to sell the stations in order to receive their award. The court agreed and moved to put the stations into receivership to force the matter. Larry Patrick of media brokerage firm Patrick Communications – who is charged with operating the stations and selling them – estimates that the three stations are worth a somewhat less than half of the jury’s $1.2 million award.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

| July 8, 2020

ESPN Radio Reveals New Lineup; Mike Golic and Trey Wingo Exit. Previous news reports about the re-tooling of the daily lineup on ESPN Radio that predicted longtime morning personality Mike Golic was headed for the exit turned out to be accurate. The company announced its new lineup consisting of existing ESPN staffers – effective August 17 – and current morning hosts Golic and Trey Wingo are not part of it. Instead, the new morning show will be a trio co-hosted by Keyshawn Johnson, NBA and college basketball analyst Jay Williams, and “SportsCenter” anchor Zubin Mehenti. “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” remains in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET slot. Mike Greenberg, who was Mike Golic’s longtime partner before they parted and Trey Wingo joined the morning show, returns to radio to host the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET daypart. Max Kellerman launches his national radio show airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. In PM drive, two-time WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike and Mike Golic Jr. will host the “Chiney and Golic Jr.” program from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET. espnW and ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain reunites with former co-host Jason Fitz for the “Spain and Fitz” show from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, followed by “Freddie and Fitzsimmons,” hosted by Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons, airing from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. ESPN EVP and executive editor, production Norby Williamson says, “Our new lineup will provide sports fans informative and engaging content throughout the week from hosts who all have radio experience. They know how to connect with fans and keep them invested in the programming.  Our listeners will hear diverse perspectives on key topics from some of the most talented, knowledgeable and contemporary voices in the industry.”

Frank Morano Joins WABC, New York. New York market talk radio pro Frank Morano is joining Red Apple Media’s TALKRADIO 77 WABC as “part of its ever-growing commitment to quality live and local talk.” Morano will host the weekly “Frank Morano Program” Sunday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (beginning 7/12) and will anchor “Morano in the Morning” daily from 1:00 am to 5:00 am, effective in August. Red Apple says Morano’s show “will feature newsmakers, insightful commentary, expert guests, lively exchanges with callers, and a healthy dose of satire.” In addition, Morano presently is hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on WLIR-FM, Long Island, the station Red Apple is operating under an LMA and on which it is simulcasting much of WABC’s programming. Morano spent the last 10 years with Salem Media Group’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” serving as producer for “The Joe Piscopo Show,” “The John Gambling Show,” and “The Curtis Sliwa Show,” as well as hosting a weekly program. At WABC, Morano will continue to serve as a producer and on-air contributor to “The Cats Roundtable,” hosted by Red Apple CEO John Catsimatidis. WABC SVP of programming Dave LaBrozzi says, “Frank has already contributed a great deal towards furthering civic discourse in New York. To have him back on WABC is a major coup for us and we know he’ll be an essential building block in making radio fun again. We are incredibly honored that he is joining our team and look forward to working with him.”

Round One of June PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this batch of markets. Entercom’s New York all-news stations move in different directions with WINS dropping seven-tenths for a 4.2 share and the #7 rank in the market while WCBS-AM rises three-tenths to finish with a 3.4 share and the #9 rank. iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles sheds two-tenths for a 4.4 share and the #4 rank. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago maintains the #1 rank after dipping only one-tenth for a 6.9 share. But Nexstar’s news/talk WGN-AM loses seven-tenths to sink to #7 and Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM is off one-tenth with a 2.0 share and the #19 rank. In Houston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTRH gains three-tenths for a 6.3 share and the #4 rank. Although Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta loses seven-tenths, it finishes the June survey with a 10.4 share and remains ranked #1 for the 12th straight month. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s “Ratings Takeaways” here.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio personality Charlamagne Tha God, a.k.a. Lenard McKelvey, will launch a weekly talk show on Comedy Central according to a report by WJLA-TV, Washington. Charlamagne Tha God co-hosts the WWPR-FM, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” morning show with DJ Envy and Angela Yee. Comedy Central indicates it hopes to have the show on the air before the November election…..Conservative media figure Ben Shapiro is officially leaving his editor-in-chief role at the Daily Wire – the alternative news outlet he co-founded in 2015. TheBlaze reports that co-CEO Jeremy Boreing says John Bickley will officially assume the editor-in-chief duties that he’s been performing for the past two years and Shapiro becomes editor emeritus. Shapiro remains part owner and will continue to be featured on the Daily Wire…..The RAB says that given the recent Facebook boycott and “continuous concerns regarding brand safety, transparency and trusted environments for advertising, RAB thought it important to provide you the tools to reinforce to the advertising community and listeners that broadcast radio is not only a safe place for brand messages, but it is trusted by consumers and influential when it comes to their decision-making.” RAB and Yamanair Creative have created an audio campaign for stations to air to reinforce that “radio always has and will continue to fulfill the responsibility of the trust we have earned with our listening audiences and advertising partners.” The Trust and Truth spots can be customized with station branding and may be downloaded for free here…..Pictured at left is GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs donating blood. She says blood banks such as Vitalant and American Red Cross are testing blood donations for COVID -19 antibodies (for free) so people can in turn donate plasma to those in the ICU fighting COVID. She adds, “Despite the craziness this year we are still on course for National Blood Donation Week (this year 9/1/20 – 9/7/20) with National Blood Donation Day 9/4/20.”

Longtime Delaware Radio News Pro Allan Loudell Dies. Delaware Online reports that longtime Delaware radio newsman Allan R. Loudell has died at 64. The Colorado native joined WILM, Wilmington in 1988 after working in the Memphis market. He transitioned to WDEL in 2005 and served there until March of this year when station owner Forever Media cut staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The story does not report a cause of death but notes that Loudell took a medical leave in the spring of 2019.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Trump Pushes to Open Schools in Fall/Bans Foreign Students, Gun Violence Uptick/Police Reform, Mary Trump Book, Presidential Race, U.S.-China Relations, and Sports Leagues Plan Seasons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7). The rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; President Trump voices his push for U.S. schools to re-open in the fall and announces foreign students must leave the U.S. if their college moves to online-only classes; the surge of gun violence in several American cities amidst the calls for police reform; the family tell-all book written by President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump; the November presidential election; the tense relations between the U.S. and China; and U.S. pro sports leagues prepare for seasons 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. Philadelphia non-commercial triple A WXPN is transitioning its cancelled 2020 XPoNential Music Festival to a virtual event taking place July 25 through 27 in which the weekend will feature archived full-length sets and two-song sets presented online from some of XPoNential Music Festival’s most memorable past performers on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, new and exclusive live, full-length performances from seven of the artists who were scheduled to perform will be presented both online and on-air at the University of Pennsylvania-owned station. WXPN general manager Roger LaMay says, “XPNFest Weekend will be the next best thing to being outdoors on the Delaware Riverfront with thousands of other music lovers enjoying our unique, annual XPoNential Music Festival. To have almost a quarter of the artists who were to have appeared live at the 2020 festival still want to give WXPN members and listeners new and exclusive full-length, live performances on Sunday, July 27 says a great deal about their affection for the WXPN community.”…..Multi-platinum, award-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion is guest hosting Premiere Networks’  “American Top 40” this weekend (7-11/12). In addition to counting down the Top 40 songs, she will tease new music and talk about the making of her latest single “Girls In The Hood.” The 2020 BET Award winner will also share her advice for having a “Hot Girl Summer” while in quarantine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

| June 24, 2020

Former WFAN Star Craig Carton Released from Prison. Former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton was granted early release from a federal penitentiary yesterday morning (6/23) after serving a little more than a year of his three-and-a-half-year sentence on a fraud conviction. The New York Post reports that Carton will serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement or a halfway house. Of course, this gets the speculation going about a return to the WFAN airwaves for Carton and the Post’s Andrew Marchand writes about a possible scenario today. Marchand suggests in his column that while a return to mornings alongside Boomer Esiason is not likely, he can see Carton in afternoons facing ESPN’s crosstown WEPN-FM star Michael Kay. He writes, “Carton has what [current WFAN afternoon hosts] Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts lack — Carton is an entertainer, first and foremost.”

CMG Moves News/Talk WDBO to Translator; Spanish Music Format Airs on 96.5 FM. A series of programming moves by Cox Media Group takes news/talk WDBO off the class C FM signal at 96.5 and returns it to its original AM 580 signal – bumping the ESPN Radio sports format that’s been airing there – and simulcasts WDBO on translator W297BB at 107.3 FM that had been simulcasting urban contemporary WCFB-FM, Daytona Beach. CMG sees a bigger revenue upside to a Spanish-language music format than the news/talk format. CMG Orlando VP and general manager Jason Meder says, “With two dominant TV stations, six radio brands, and various digital platforms, Cox Media Group Orlando delivers the largest audience in Central Florida. This move strengthens our portfolio of radio brands and reflects our commitment to serving the diverse community of audiences and advertisers in the market.”

PPM Analysis: Coronavirus Cume Factor (Part 1). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian continues his analysis of Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today pivoting to the cume for all-news and sports talk stations. As Kinosian notes, when referring to a station’s ratings, AQH share is most often cited. But cume is just as important (if not more), so today he examines the performances of all-news and sports talk stations based on cume. He lays out charts showing cume increases and decreases from the April 2020 survey to the May 2020 survey for both formats. See it all here.

Starnes Media Group to Syndicate New Sunday Show Starring Jennifer Kerns. The new, Sunday talk radio program “All-American Radio with Jennifer Kerns” is launching on KWAM, Memphis this Sunday and will be offered in national syndication via Starnes Media Group. Kerns served as a press secretary for 15 years in blue states and swing states. She served as an appointee of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as spokeswoman and communications director for the California Republican Party, the Colorado Recalls (defending the Second Amendment), and the Prop. 8 initiative in California that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Starnes Media Group says the program will feature Kerns delivering conservative commentary and hard-hitting analysis of Sunday morning news shows, political news of the week, and a look ahead at what’s on tap on the campaign trail across America. Todd Starnes adds, “Jen is one of the top conservative writers in America today and her ability to connect the dots for her audience is going to lend itself well to talk radio. She is a champion for conservative causes who has won millions of votes across America. Her unafraid, outspoken, yet down-to-earth style is going to endear her to our listeners in Memphis.” The program airs live at 5:00 pm CT.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM evening talk host Ji Suk Yi is leaving the Nexstar Media Group radio station after her July 10 program to become the breaking morning news reporter for the company’s “News Nation” national news startup at WGN America. Though “News Nation” will be a three-hour, nightly newscast, Ji will appear on NewsNationNow.com and its app. WGN-AM general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle states, “‘News Nation’ is a marquee asset for Nexstar and we were thrilled that Ji got this opportunity.”…..The Buffalo NewsAlan Pergament reveals that Buffalo Sabres reporter Paul Hamilton is being let go by Entercom’s sports talk WGR, Buffalo. Hamilton was one of the company’s staffers furloughed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Entercom has made his departure from the station’s airwaves permanent. The story notes that a memo from Entercom Buffalo market manager Tim Holly says “these are difficult times that affect us in ways never considered. That being said, I am sorry to announce after a 25+ year career on WGR, Paul Hamilton will no longer be our resource for the Buffalo Sabres and no longer employed at Entercom Buffalo.” The company also lets promotions department staffer Rosemarie Paternostro go in the financially related move…..A new, daily radio feature is being launched by Marketplace and Westwood One. The “Marketplace Minute” is 60-second economic news report – delivered three times daily – produced in Los Angeles by American Public Media and distributed by Westwood One. Westwood One says this partnership “represents the first time a public media entity has partnered with a commercial audio network to distribute a news product in these formats.” Marketplace SVP and general manager Deborah Clark says, “Now more than ever, it’s clear every American needs to understand the economic realities we face. This partnership will help us realize our mission of raising the economic intelligence of the country by bringing new audiences to our storytelling. We’re in a critical time for smart, nonpartisan, solutions-based journalism, and we want to reach audiences where they are. To that end, commercial radio is a logical distribution extension.”…..SiriusXM announces a new, weekend radio program hosted by Stacy Washington that airs Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Patriot channel. Titled, “Stacy on the Right,” the program features the journalist and conservative commentator interviewing politicians and newsmakers. Washington also offers “her views on the week in politics plus the breaking headlines from the busy Sunday morning news cycle.” Washington is an Emmy-nominated TV personality, podcast host, and documentarian, who is already a familiar voice to the Patriot audience as a regular fill-in host on the channel, in addition to her appearances on FOX News, FOX Business, CNN, The Blaze, and PBS.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Bolton and Mary Trump Books, Presidential Race/Primary Elections, BLM Protests/Statue Removals, Second Round of Stimulus, Bubba Wallace Case, MLB to Open July 1 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23). The rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in some parts of the U.S. and projections about future cases as the country continues to re-open; the controversy over former national security adviser John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened book and the White House’s battle to prevent Trump’s niece Mary Trump from publishing her book; the presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and this week’s primary elections; the Black Lives Matter protests taking place around the country and the removal of Confederate and Colonial-era figures; President Trump’s desire for a second round of stimulus checks; the “noose” case involving NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace; and Major League Baseball’s plans to open camps on July 1 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. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN-FM – Jason Pullman and Katie Bright – is out. The story indicates that after Bright decided to resign her position to focus “on her personal life,” the company also decided to cut ties with Pullman and will execute a search for a new WUSN morning show. For the time being, midday host Drew Walker will be on air from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm…..A four-part, limited series titled, “Motown Countdown with iHeartRadio’s Angela Yee,” will air on FOXSoul.tv each Tuesday in July at 10:00 pm ET, beginning July 7. iHeartMedia, FOX Soul, and Motown Records announce the partnership. FOX Soul head of programming James DuBose says, “As we continue to grow FOX Soul into the premier destination for black culture content, being able to partner with iHeartMedia and Motown to bring this series to the community is the definition of black excellence and I couldn’t be more excited.” Each 30 minute episode will contain one countdown of the “top 5 current torchbearers” in a specific category. The series premiere will focus on hip hop’s best. The second installment will highlight the most impactful songs to encourage change and revolution. The third will discuss Andre Harrell-inspired hits, and the final will consider Motown songs throughout the decades…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Nashville is airing “Celebrate the USA,” an annual birthday party for America, over the Fourth of July weekend. CMA and ACM award winner Jon Pardi hosts the show with some of his all-star friends including: Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, among others. The four-hour special will be available for stations to air over the holiday weekend beginning Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5…..iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River” announces the lineup for its virtual music festival “River Under Your Rooftop” on July 9 that will feature performances from: Lewis Capaldi, Finneas, Jojo, Tones And I, AJR, Olivia O’Brien, Alec Benjamin, and Jxdn, with more performers still to be announced. The event will broadcast live on the @1075theriver Instagram page, with each artist participating in a small virtual meet and greet directly after their performance.

Monday, June 22, 2020

| June 22, 2020

Monday Memo: ‘Mainstream Media’ Redefined.  “For several decades,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, “the term has been weaponized, first by scrappy fringe voices railing against legacy networks and newspapers; more recently by FOX News Channel and Rush Limbaugh,” which Cooke finds “ironic, since ratings qualify them as ‘mainstream.’” Now, as Spotify pays former “Fear Factor” host and MMA commentator Joe Rogan a reported hundred million dollars to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounces him “the new Mainstream Media.” And after a bystander’s smartphone captured the George Floyd killing, Cooke asks, “Are not We The People now ‘Mainstream Media?’”  In special segment on his TV show, Cooke and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison discuss how the publisher/consumer balance of power has shifted, even during the pandemic. To view the segment, please click here. To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, please click here.

Pending Business: Creative Always Counts. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that “when it comes to selling a personality live read, audience size often takes a back seat. The power of personality reads is based on the trust the audience has in your on-air talent. The trust between them is real because your on-air talent earns that trust with every show. Until you see it at work for your advertisers, you will never truly understand the sell.” Read his entire column here.

NRG Media Names Allyson Hillman Market Manager for Waterloo, Iowa. Radio management pro Allyson Hillman is named market manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo, Iowa cluster that includes news/talk KXEL-AM, rock KFMW-FM, classic hits KOKZ-FM, and classic country KPTY-AM/FM. NRG Media president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We are thrilled to have Allyson join NRG. She brings extensive experience in management and sales to the market. She understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio. We are confident with Allyson’s belief that success comes from a positive culture and strength development that she will continue to develop innovative strategies for the market while providing great local radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. The weekly, 6+ AQH shares for news/talk stations in our panel are largely coming back down after skyrocketing during the April 2020 PPM survey. Comparing April to May, 65% of news/talk stations regressed while just 24% of news/talk stations improved. Gainers were led by Cumulus Media’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.4, 6.8 share) and iHeartMedia’s WKRC, Cincinnati (+0.8, 4.3 share). A year-over-year comparison shows 65% of stations improve while 24% of news/talk stations decline. Stations improving most since May of 2019 include Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (+4.8, 11.1 share), Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+4.1, 9.3 share) and iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus (+4.0, 9.0 share). During the May 2020 survey, six news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets. See the complete report here.

Pittsburgh Play-By-Play Talent Charged with DUI. Radio play-by-play personality Bill Hillgrove has been charged with DUI in Murrysville, Pennsylvania after driving his car through a grocery store’s plate-glass windows. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hillgrove – the announcer for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers football games – went into the store to fill a prescription after hitting the building and drove home in his damaged car. Authorities found him there and arrested him after he failed a preliminary breath test.

Trump Tulsa Rally, NY Prosecutor Fired, Bolton Book, Re-Opening of America/COVID-19 Stats, Police Defunding Debate, Presidential Race, and Deadly UK Stabbing Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s Trump campaign rally at Tulsa’s BOK Center; Southern District of New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman is fired by President Trump; the controversy over the tell-all book by former national security adviser John Bolton; states across the country continue re-opening their economies and the COVID-19 statistics and projections; the debate over protestors’ defund the police demands; the presidential race; and the stabbing in England that took the lives of three and is being investigated as a terrorist attack were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Larry Elder Premieres New Film UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (at center, waving) acknowledging a standing ovation at the Dallas premiere of his new documentary film, UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Elder is executive producer of the film that explores the personal journeys of black conservatives. Attendees at the premiere included former U.S. Congressman Allen West, 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, and media personalities, ministers and civil rights activists. SRN V.P. news & talk Tom Tradup says the film is “a groundbreaking documentary that examines self-empowerment and individualism of black conservatives in a compelling, eye-opening perspective.” Elder will talk about the film on FOX News Channel this evening (6/22) when he’s interviewed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Independent Broadcasters Association Momentum Growing. The movement to create the Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) is continuing to grow and is approaching its stated goal of 3,000 member stations. The IBA announces that an additional 600 outlets have joined during the past week. The movement was launched by Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone when he reached out to 4,000 radio stations gauging their interest in the association. Stone says, “The momentum we are seeing is incredible. We are now up to 424 owners and operators and 2,395 stations. It takes time to build any organization as we all know. To see this kind of growth every week it screams volumes of how much independents need the help this association can deliver. We are going to hit our goal for sure… and very few independents will shy away once the organization is formed and they realize the benefits. It would not surprise me to ultimately have most of the 7,000 independents participating. Our future is in our own hands and we have to make the right choices now.” Stone says benefits of membership in the organization could include: Group Employee Benefits – better coverage and lower prices, and potentially add additional benefits for our employees; Revenue Generation – An unwired network & digital platform supported by a national sales team to monetize for us; Digital Services Group – This would enable continuity across independent stations giving us the opportunity to accomplish double digit digital revenue through Web, Mobile, Alexa, & Streaming; Shared Resources – A system that allows sharing of that talent in non-competitive situations and reduces our dependence on national syndication that requires cash, barter and sometimes both; and Proprietary Systems and Services – Under the umbrella of a member owned association, we can create proprietary systems that we control and eliminate some of the costly monthly per station fees for traffic, accounting, CRM, Yield Management, even automation and music scheduling. Interested stations can visit the IBA website here.

QGoLive RV Radio Road Trip Seeks Affiliate Stations. The RV pictured above is the vehicle QGoLive’s James Copeland is using to tour the country visiting radio stations offering demos of the QGoLive software that enables studio-quality audio from anywhere on any smartphone or computer. AdLarge Media is serving as affiliate sales rep for the service and it notes that QGoLive is already serving more than 100 stations around the country and recently added affiliates such as Cenla Broadcasting of Alexandria, Louisiana; Jam Media; and classic hits WATH-AM and CHR WXTQ-FM, Athens, Ohio. AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman says, “Our QGoLive team are experts in remote broadcasting software. James is on the road to get the word out and to help all operators, large and small, equip their entire team and contributors with remote capabilities. The pandemic has taught us all that radio needs easy solutions for broadcasting from home that sounds great. QGoLive delivers just that, but we can be so much more as broadcasters open up to our new reality”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Saturday, June 27, Global Citizen and the European Commission will present “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert” hosted by Dwayne Johnson and featuring performances by Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Quavo, J Balvin, Chloe x Halle, Yemi Alade, and Christine and the Queens. The concert will air on 150 iHeartMedia radio stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app. The purpose of the event is to “combat the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities and to call on world leaders to make COVID-19 tests, therapeutics and vaccines available for everyone, everywhere.”…..Bonneville’s classic rock KUFX, San Jose “98.5 KFOX” officially announces its new morning show “San Jose’s Great Radio Experiment” featuring Joey V, Chris Jackson, and Karina Farias. Station director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Congratulations to Chris Jackson, celebrating 30 years of rock radio excellence on KFOX.  Joey, Chris and Karina’s unique chemistry has already resonated with rock fans all over the South Bay.”…..Reach Media nationally syndicated radio host D.L. Hughley is in quarantine in Nashville after passing out on stage during a performance. While being treated, Hughley was tested for COVID-19 and the result was positive. Hughley said via social media that he was asymptomatic….. Beasley Media Group Detroit radio personalities Mason and Angie Star (WDMK “105.9 KISS-FM), Gello (WMGC “105.1 The Bounce”) and Randi Myles from “The Detroit Praise Network” are hosting a Zoom conference call with community leaders to discuss ways to bridge the gap between residents and the police department to create “Solutions Not Slogans.” The event will take place on Thursday (6/25) at 7:00 pm and will feature Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Washtenaw Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Shiefield, Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, and Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren.

Friday, June 12, 2020

| June 12, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled “The Revolution is Being Televised!” looks back at this past week of June 8-12, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSCurtis Sliwa, talk show host, 77WABC, New York; Sean Spicer, talk show host, NewsmaxTVLee Habeeb, producer / host, Our American Stories; Colin Cowherd, talk show host, FOX Sports Radio-Television; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode,  please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of May PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets and notes that a number of the news/talk stations whose weekly, 6+ AQH shares had risen dramatically in March and April because of listeners’ desire for news and information about the coronavirus pandemic started to fall during the May survey. Waterloo Media Group’s KLBJ-AM, Austin lost nine-tenths to finish May with a 5.5 share and the #3 rank in the market. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” relinquishes 1.4 shares to wrap the month with an 8.9 share and the #3 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM remains in the #1 spot even after dropping seven-tenths to finish with an 8.6 share. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville loses only one-tenth but drops to the #7 rank on the strength of a 5.3 share. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville loses three full shares but still finished the May sweep with a 10.4 share, good for the #2 rank in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Kimberly & Beck Apologize for Racist Language. In a self-produced video, the former classic rock WAIO, Rochester morning show duo of Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck apologized for the language they used on their radio show that caused iHeartMedia to fire them on June 3. WROC-TV, Rochester has the story with a link to the video. You may recall that during a discussion about two local shop owners who were beaten by a group of black youths as they tried to protect their business during the violence and looting that evolved out of the George Floyd protests, Ray didn’t use the “N-word” but suggested the young men were acting “N-word-y.” In the video, the two offer their apology. Ray says, “We owe it to our listeners and to our amazing community to speak out. Both Beck and I have spent the last several days engaging in soulful reflection. We said hurtful, offensive things, but we are not racist. We do not have hate in our heart. We have only love for everyone.” Beck says, “We apologize, not to get our jobs back, but to say we are truly sorry and want to sincerely apologize. We will not attempt to make any excuses or explain what we said, because it was wrong, it was ignorant and inexcusable.” Ray adds, “We want our listeners and clients to know we are sorry. We let you down. We’re sorry we let Rochester down. Moving forward we want to grow, learn, and change from this experience. Our apology is sincere, and we wish we could turn back time.” Beck closes saying, “But we can’t. Once again, we have no hate in our heart, and we apologize. Thank you.”

Radio America to Syndicate Tony Katz’s ‘Eat! Drink! Smoke!’ Indianapolis-based talk radio personality Tony Katz’s new weekend radio program “Eat! Drink! Smoke!” is going into national syndication via Radio America, beginning the weekend of June 27-28. Radio America will also distribute and sell the podcast. Radio America says, “The two-hour weekly program combines good times and good friends, stepping away from the madness of each week with reviews of fine cigars, excellent bourbon, and interesting food. Hosted by award-winning radio host, writer, and regular cable news presence Tony Katz with a wide array of guests sharing their thoughts with humor and expertise.” Katz says, “Being able to bring ‘Eat! Drink! Smoke!’ to cities across the country is just sensational. We’re not trying to be the final word on cigars and bourbon; we’re sharing the word. Distillers are artists, and so are the cigar rollers and master blenders in the US and around the world.” Katz hosts “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis and the syndicated Tony Katz show that airs live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm CT. Radio America COO Mike Paradiso says, “Tony is a phenomenal talent that knows how to connect with listeners and advertisers. Stations are going to love his knowledge of cigars and bourbon along with his conversational and humorous style.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a piece in the Los Angeles Times, some ViacomCBS employees are demanding that the company end its relationship with streaming channel aggregator Pluto TV because it partners with The First which streams the “Bill O’Reilly No Spin News” program and they say O’Reilly has “a well-documented history of making racist comments, denying the existence of systemic racism, undermining the efforts of Black protesters and insulting Black public figures.” ViacomCBS doesn’t plan to make any immediate changes, telling the Times, “Pluto TV, by design, is a service that makes available a wide variety of channels programmed by third parties, and we think it is critical to represent a diversity of viewpoints, even those we disagree with.”.…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the results of its Executive Committee Board of Directors. David Santrella, president of broadcast media, Salem Media Group, was re-elected Radio Board chair and Emily Barr, president and chief executive officer, Graham Media Group, was re-elected as NAB Television Board chair. Bill Wilson, chief executive officer of Townsquare Media, Inc., was elected as Radio Board first vice chair and John Zimmer, president and owner of Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri, Inc., was elected second vice chair. Alfred Liggins, chief executive officer, Urban One, Inc., was elected to the Radio Board’s major group representative seat on the NAB Board’s Executive Committee. The board elections took place at the NAB Board of Directors meeting, held virtually on June 9…..In the Joplin, Missouri market, Michael Day Landis-owned sports talk outlet WMBH “FOX Sports Joplin” moves the “Mic’d Up” show from Saturdays to weekdays, airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. KSNF-TV, Joplin reports the show, hosted by Matt Miller, Mello, and Austin Cunningham will cover everything from “Mizzou football to KU basketball… emphasize sports around the Four States while also providing coverage of the NFL and other professional leagues.”

Black Lives Matter Movement and Police De-Funding Top News/Talk Stories for Week of June 8-12. The protests organized by and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and calls from protestors to de-fund police departments in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., health care concerns, and coronavirus statistics and projections. Coming in at #3 was the state of the U.S. economy – now officially in a recession – and the stock market activity, followed by the opening of America, sports leagues news, and the status of public events at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a regular basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes widely acclaimed New York Times best-selling conservative author David Horowitz available to discuss his new book BLITZ: Trump Will Smash the Left and WIN (Humanix Books, 2020). There’s also an expert on how to generate lost revenue due to COVID-19 via online marketing, an author who writes about Islamic matters, and an expert on finance who puts the race-oriented protests, demonstrations, and riots into perspective from an economic standpoint – plus a whole lot more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The News-Gazette reports on the exit of morning personality Steve Holstein from Saga Communications’ country WIXY, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He’d been host of the “Holstein and Company Morning Show” for 24 years and was recently let go for financial reasons. Holstein tells the paper, “These are tough economic times, and media is not an easy field to be in at all. The pandemic has certainly not helped anyone, especially media. That was their decision, and I accept it. I’m grateful for 24 years.”…..iHeartMedia Providence’s rock WHJY is celebrating the 30th anniversary of “The Paul and Al Morning Show” with a special broadcast on July 15. The station says, “On-air veterans Paul and Al joined 94 HJY in the summer of 1990 and have been familiar, trusted voices to listeners around the Providence area ever since. Thirty years after its debut, ‘The Paul and Al Morning Show’ remains a top-rated morning show and ranks second in Rhode Island radio history for all-time in longevity for a morning show on the same station, playing a considerable role in the success of the station. Throughout their career, Paul and Al have been recognized for their on-air presence and were inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.” Station program director Doug Palmieri says, “I remember the day Paul and Al signed on as the new morning show hosts at 94 HJY, replacing iconic morning talent Carolyn Fox. They hit the ground running and never looked back, becoming a Southern New England institution. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them over much of their 30 years on 94 HJY and their humor, generosity, and dedication to listeners are truly inspiring. Thirty years in one place performing at the highest level in this industry ain’t no joke, and these guys are the best in the business.”…..Entercom’s adult contemporary KEZK-FM, St. Louis adds Premiere NetworksDelilah for evenings beginning on Monday (6/15)…..Police in Baltimore are investigating the death of jazz WEAA, Baltimore air personality Tyra Phillips, a.k.a. Tyra Phillips Womack, who was shot to death outside her home in northeast Baltimore on Wednesday evening (6/10). WJZ-TV, Baltimore reports the 57-year-old host of the Sunday afternoon show “Gospel Grace Afternoon” died after being shot several times during an argument. Police report having identified a person of interest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

| June 9, 2020

Round One of May PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey have been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets and so far, it appears the weekly, 6+ AQH shares for news/talk stations has leveled off after enjoying ratings spikes during the April survey. In New York, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR went from a 3.0 share in April to a 2.6 share in May. In Los Angeles, iHM news/talk KFI dropped nine-tenths to finish May with a 4.6 share and the #2 rank in the market. Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago forfeits four-tenths for a 5.2 share but remains in the #3 slot. Entercom all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago loses 1.4 shares but stays at #1 with a 7.0 share. In San Francisco, Entercom’s KCBS-AM gives back 1.4 shares for an 8.5 share finish and the #2 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta relinquishes 2.8 shares but stays in the #1 spot for the 11th straight sweep. In the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” adds one-tenth to finish May with a 6.8 share and the #3 rank in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

New Podcast from Pollster Scott Rasmussen Debuts on Just the News. The Just the News multiplatform news network announces a new, daily podcast called “Number of the Day” from pollster, political analyst, and author Scott Rasmussen.  The “Number of the Day” has been a long-running feature at Rasmussen’s Ballotpedia.org that now becomes the newest show on the Just the News podcast platform. Just the News founder John Solomon says, “Scott has been conducting our widely quoted daily poll and now he will give our listeners a podcast that makes sense of the numbers that define what Americans are thinking. He is one of the most respected barometers of American sentiment. The context and insights he brings to politics are a must-listen opportunity as we head into the 2020 fall election.” Ron Hartenbaum is managing member of Crossover Media Group, which handles ad sales for Just the News as well as produces, sells and distributes audio and video programming for the platform. He says, “Scott has earned his place among America’s premier pollsters and political analysts. He gets it right more often than most and his insights can be essential to understanding the 2020 races.” The podcast will be published each morning at 8:00 am ET.

BLM Protests, De-Fund Police Movement/Police Reform, U.S. in Recession, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Prince Andrew & Jeffrey Epstein Case, and Fate of MLB Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8). The Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the country; the movement in several cities to de-fund police departments and New York’s discussion about reforming its police department; economists determine the U.S. officially entered a recession in February; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and concerns about rising numbers in the wake of re-openings and protest activities; the U.S. Justice Department’s interest in Prince Andrew in connection with the case of the late Jeffrey Epstein who was charged with sex trafficking; and the fate of the 2020 baseball season as players and the league continue to negotiate were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new content deal between FOX News Media and SiriusXM to report. FOX News Audio president John Sylvester announces that all of FOX News Podcasts’ original programming is now available to Pandora users across all tiers of the service. Also, the daily news digest “The FOX News Rundown” is now airing weekday mornings on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel. Sylvester says, “We are thrilled to expand our longstanding partnership, ensuring SiriusXM and Pandora’s combined over 100 million listeners continued access to our cutting-edge news coverage, as well as our best-in-class lifestyle and opinion programming.”…..iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee sports talker WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game” adds a new, Saturday evening show called, “On Your T’s and Q’s,” co-hosted by Milwaukee natives, Grady “Trey” Crosby III and Quinton “Q” Miller. Each Saturday evening from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm the duo will share their intense and passionate views on a variety of sports and discuss a multitude of topics within the Milwaukee community and worldwide…..According to May 2020 data from the London-based financial publication Learnbonds.com, just 10 podcast publishers accounted for 893.78 million streams and downloads. in May 2020. Learnbonds says, “iHeartRadio podcasts attracted the highest downloads and streams at 216.15 million, followed by NPR with 208.92 million. Among the top 10 podcast publishers, iHeartRadio and NPR accounted for 47.6% of the streams and downloads. In the third spot, there is New York Times podcasts which attracted 130.28 million streams and downloads. In the fourth spot, there is PRX which had 82.87 million streams and downloads while Barstool Sports closed the top five categories with 55.46 million streams.” Learnbonds says other publishers with top podcast streams and downloads include Wondery (53.64 million), NBC News (41.97 million), Cumulus/Westwood One (37.74 million), WNYC Studios (35.91 million) and Kast Media (30.74 million)…..SportsGrid announces its 24/7 linear video gaming network is launching on The Roku Channel. SportsGrid says its live video original programming will be available to Roku users “delivering insightful analysis with extensive team, player, pre- and post-game data and statistical intelligence. SportsGrid features a team of experienced anchors and analysts providing the network’s comprehensive signature programming coverage including “Ferrall Coast to Coast” hosted by Scott Ferrall, “Game Time Decisions” with Gabe Morency and “In-Game Live.”…..Beasley Media Group Philadelphia announces details about the Beasley Small Business Advertising Grant Program presented by PECO in which the company is giving away $250,000 in advertising grants to businesses located in the Philadelphia Metropolitan market. A total of five $10,000 advertising grants per Philadelphia station will be awarded. The stations include: country WXTU-FM, rock WMMR-FM, adult hits WBEN-FM, sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” and classic rock WMGK-FM and the initiative takes place June 8 – 21. A total of five $10,000 advertising grants will be awarded per station. Interested local businesses are encouraged to submit a 300-word essay on why they should be chosen to receive the advertising grant. Consideration will be based upon the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as community service, business culture, and employee loyalty.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Nate Reed is promoted to operations director for Cox Media Group’s Tampa station group. Reed has been serving as director of branding and programming for adult contemporary outlets WDUV “105.5 The Dove” and WWRM “Magic 94.9,” roles he will continue. His new position also gives him programming oversight for CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “Nate is a brilliant programmer, thoughtful leader, and an all-around great person. The entire CMG Tampa team is fortunate to have Nate leading the future of our content.”…..The Wichita Eagle reports that SummitMedia’s country KFDI, Wichita laid off staffers recently and among the casualties are midday host, APD and music director Carol Hughes and assignment editor Wil Day. Former KFDI news director Dan Dillon is quoted by the paper saying, “I have never seen a better ambassador for that radio station than Carol Hughes. Listeners loved her. Her contacts in the country music industry were unbelievable. They still are.”…..Beasley Media Group announces rock WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey air personality Curtis Kay has died after a three-and-a-half-year battle with lung cancer. Kay had been with the New Jersey rock station for 40 years. He launched his radio career in 1980 when he was hired by Howard Stern at WRNW in Westchester, New York. Beasley Media New Jersey SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Besides being an enormous and passionate talent, Curtis was the salt of the earth. He was such a kind person with an incredible disposition. I’m proud to have had the honor to work with him.”…..As the state of Connecticut continues to adjust guidelines related to graduation, Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven is helping one area high school with its graduation ceremony. Tomorrow (6/10) at 5:00 pm, the station will stop regular programming and air, commercial free, the full graduation ceremony of Amity Regional High School. The school is too big to comply with the state’s social distancing guidelines for an in-person graduation ceremony. Connoisseur VP of programming Keith Dakin says, “We have felt incredibly bad for our local high school seniors and we thought this was a great way to honor them. They won’t be able to walk across the graduation stage, but they will be able to hear their name over 50,000 watts throughout the state. Who else can say that?”

Friday, May 29, 2020

| May 29, 2020

Cox Media Group Names Daniel York President and CEO. The board of directors of Cox Media Group announces Daniel York is the company’s new president and chief executive officer, effective today. York most recently served as senior executive vice president and chief content officer of AT&T and its subsidiary, DirecTV. York assumes the role previously held by Kim Guthrie, who left the company last month. Executive chairman Steve Pruett says, “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to welcome Dan as the president and CEO of Cox Media Group. He has a background of success in media, content, distribution, operations, and successfully leading large organizations. Most importantly, he embraces contemporary thinking as the media landscape continues to evolve. We have full confidence he is the right person to lead CMG in the next phase of the company’s growth.” York says, “I am excited to lead Cox Media Group, a company that has the most talented team and leadership in the industry. I have always admired and respected the unparalleled quality of CMG’s 90+ TV and radio stations, digital and advertising platforms, and the company’s unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity. The past few months have underscored that there is no substitute for the most important and valuable content in the ecosystem, market-leading local news and entertainment. I look forward to working with the board and the CMG team as we continue to enhance our partnerships with our advertisers, content providers and distribution outlets to best serve our communities and millions of viewers and listeners.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Aside From That Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Beach?” looks back at this past week of May 25-29, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneBrett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beaches; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston / webmaster, Scamicide.com; Lars Larson, talk show host, KXL, Portland / Compass Media Networks; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; and Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio, Kennedy Space Center.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode,  please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Report: KFNS-AM, St. Louis Morning Host McKernan Leading Group to Acquire the Station. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that KFNS-AM, St. Louis sports talk personality Tim McKernan is leading a group of potential investors to buy KFNS from current owner Randy Markel. Earlier this year, Markel announced he was on track to sell 50% interest in the station to two local businessmen. But the coronavirus pandemic has put that deal on hold. Now, sources tell Caesar that Markel and McKernan have signed a letter of intent for the sale. McKernan hosts the morning drive program “The Morning After” on the station. The report indicates McKernan’s investor group includes former St. Louis Blues player Pat Maroon. Markel tells Caesar he’s in the process of selling the station for “seven figures” but he can’t reveal to whom – just that the deal will happen, or not, by July 1.

POTUS Appears on Buck Sexton Show. Several days after Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Buck Sexton visited the Oval Office for “private, exclusive conversation” with President Trump, the president made good on his promise to appear on Sexton’s radio program. The two discussed America’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic and why we have to move forward before it’s too late; how “Russia Gate” makes Watergate look like small potatoes; why his executive order curtailing the power of social media platforms was necessary; what his administration has accomplished the last three and a half years; what he thinks about running against Joe Biden, and more. Photo by Shealah Craighead

Urban One Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 3.6%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2020, Urban One, Inc., parent company of Radio One, revealed net revenue for the quarter was $94.9 million, a decrease of 3.6% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $37.6 million, an increase of approximately $4.3 million from the same period in 2019. Urban One is reporting an operating loss of approximately $27.3 million compared to operating income of approximately $14.8 million for the same period in 2019. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III says, “We got off to a great start to the year, with robust political advertising pushing same station revenues to +3.2% and +13.2% for January and February respectively. Then the impact of COVID-19 hit our radio markets and March rapidly turned from positive to finish -14.1%. Despite this, we were able to post double digit Adjusted EBITDA growth for the quarter, and this is a testament to both our diversified mix of assets and the dedication and skill of our employees. On a same station basis, radio advertising for April was down 58.3%, and Q2 is pacing -58.1%. Both local and national advertising is impacted by broadly similar percentages. Like many other businesses, we were forced to reduce fixed costs by means of furloughs, layoffs, significant salary cuts, and reduction of all discretionary expenditure. Our diverse mix of assets will help us through this crisis; in particular our cable TV and digital segments are not impacted to the same extent as radio, and due to a combination of strong ratings, deferred programming and marketing expenses plus other cost cuts, we expect the TV segment to deliver incremental EBITDA to help offset some of the declines in radio.  Liquidity remains strong, and I believe we have seen a floor in the revenue declines. As markets begin to re-open state by state, we intend to partner with our clients using all of our platforms to help them re-start their businesses and serve their communities in these unprecedented times.”

TALKERS News Notes. After announcing her retirement from Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago several weeks ago, morning news anchor Felicia Middlebrooks did her last shift at the all-news station today (5/29). WBBM gave her a “proper send-off” by airing a compilation of audio looking back at her time with the station as well as colleagues saying “good-bye.” Morning editor Zac Weber said, “The news can be ugly and scary and overwhelming sometimes, but you, more than anyone else, served as a constant reminder that we can always be hopeful, and always expect the best from you.”…..Three honors from the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter were bestowed upon Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” over the Memorial Day weekend. The awards were for work done in 2019. “New Jersey 101.5” deputy digital editor Sergio Bichao and reporter David Matthau won The Spotlight Award for their entry on how judges minimized sexual assault in New Jersey. Afternoon drive host Jeff Deminski won first place in the Blog category for a portfolio of opinion pieces. The team of Eric Scott, director of special projects; Patrick Lavery, afternoon anchor; Louis C. Hochman, digital managing editor; and Dan Alexander, digital news reporter won second place for Web Use, for the station’s on-air and online town hall event focusing on opioid abuse…..Entercom New York all-news outlets WCBS-AM and WINS-AM were honored with 10 2019 New York State Associated Press Association News and Broadcast Contest Awards. The two stations were jointly honored with a first-place award in the Podcast category for their collaboration on “The Breakdown,” a deep-dive into America’s infrastructure crisis. WCBS-AM took home nine other first place awards, including for Outstanding News Operation, Spot News Coverage, and Newscast…..SiriusXM announces that comedian Adam Carolla will host a special, virtual edition of his popular tour show “Adam Corolla Is Unprepared” on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 pm ET. This one-hour special video broadcast will feature Carolla hosting via Zoom. In this “Unprepared” show, Carolla – while sheltering in place from his home – improvises stand-up based on one-word suggestions from audience members pulled at random. Additionally, SiriusXM will also air a separate, exclusive two-hour “Unprepared” special featuring previously recorded comedy club shows from last year…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston at Joint Base Andrews preparing to board Air Force Two for Vice President Mike Pence’s flight to Atlanta for a memorial service honoring evangelist and best-selling author Ravi Zacharias, founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, who died on May 19.

Statistics & Projections and 100,000 Deaths Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 25-29. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the death toll of more than 100,000 and projections for future cases combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the re-opening process and the state of the economy. Coming in at #3 was health care, tied with antibodies, testing, and the wearing of masks, followed by President Trump vs NC over the Republican National Convention, the presidential race, and politics at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

 

 

News Anchor. With the retirement of a 35-year morning drive veteran, Chicago’s top-rated station, WBBM Newsradio, has a rare opportunity for a talented news anchor. Solid skills as a journalist are a must, including writing and reporting, along with strong on-air delivery and ability to handle high-pressure, breaking news situations with ease and grace. Requirements and expectations along with an online application can be found here. Entercom is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Great Talk Host Opportunity: WBAL-AM, Baltimore Seeks PM Drive Personality. The Hearst news/talk station says: “Meaningful live and local talk is very healthy at WBAL NewsRadio FM & AM in Baltimore. We have stayed true to our mission for 95 years: a 24/7 local connection and commitment to breaking news and captivating talk. We are also the home of the Baltimore Ravens and Navy Football. This is a rigorous search for a dynamic individual, or team, to host PM drive. Beyond on-air responsibilities, our team is active on social media and in the community. Our presentation aims to be lively, fast, riveting and our hosts understand the pulse of Baltimore, Maryland and the country. We believe you can’t spell ‘Baltimore’ without B-A-L. Your mission is to create a daily PM drive program that transcends all formats as a ‘must listen.’ Be prepared to provide audio samples, but let’s start with your philosophy for local talk in 2020 and your background and life experiences. Your first step is to apply on-line at Hearst Television Careers here. Please know your interest will be held in strict confidence. Check us out at Hearst.com…a dynamic privately held organization with unmatched cable, television, radio, magazines and newspaper platforms.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” show joins the program schedule at Midwest Communications’ urban contemporary WQTX, Lansing, Michigan “Stacks 92.1.” The program is hosted by DeDe McGuire and is syndicated via a partnership between Dallas-based Service Broadcasting Group and Compass Media Networks. Station operations manager Terry Stevens says, “The playlist on ‘Stacks 92.1’ has a very fun, upbeat vibe. We needed a morning show that fits that vibe. All fun and no drama. After listening to ‘DeDe in the Morning’ and seeing the results she delivers in markets similar to ours we are 100% confident that DeDe and her team are the perfect fit for AM Drive on ‘Stacks 92.1!’”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

| May 26, 2020

Memo: Copy Copy Like This. While listeners – whom your advertisers want to meet – have been disrupted, NOTHING resonates like empathy, succinctly conveyed. For this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke has collected examples instructive to commercial copy we craft for local retailers, and station imaging. Read it here.

Re-Opening Across America, Memorial Day Holiday, Michigan Protests, COVID-19 Tests/Vaccine Research, Presidential Race, Brazil Travel Ban, and ‘The Match’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. States across the country begin cautiously re-opening their economies; the Memorial Day holiday takes place without the usual parades and observances; Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s battle against lockdown protesters; the number of COVID-19 tests being done in the U.S. and the global work being done to create a vaccine; the November presidential election; President Trump puts a ban on flights from Brazil as the coronavirus sweeps through the South American nation; and “The Match” featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady playing golf were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: What’s All the Fuss About? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that great sellers have always been built to work remotely. He draws a sports analogy. “High-performing athletes are regularly well-coached and prepared. Then, on their own, away from the head coach – remotely – often with private coaches, they practice. When they return for the next session they are better… the takeaway here is the individual commitment to practicing ‘remotely.’” Read his column here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk formatted stations. It appears that radio listeners shifted from wanting straight news about the pandemic in March – when all-news outlets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares shoot up – to wanting to hear analysis and discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic in April. Seventy-eight percent of news/talk stations saw their AQH shares go up during the April survey, led by big gainers such as iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM, Milwaukee (+3.5, 9.3 share), Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+2.8, 8.8 share), and Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence (+2.3, 6.1 share). It’s important to note that radio cume was down across the board in April and that dramatic increases in time spent listening are driving these AQH spikes. With that said, some impressive year-over year AQH increases happened in April. Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was up 7.3 shares over April 2019 (13.9 share, #1), iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento shot up 5.6 shares (11.6 share, #1), and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis was up 5.1 shares (10.3 share, #1). Also, in April there were 11 news/talk outlets that ranked #1 in their respective markets. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Erick Erickson Interviews Mike Pence in Sanitized Space at Waffle House HQ. Pictured above is Georgia talk radio host Erick Erickson (left) conducting an in-person interview with Vice President Mike Pence (right) on Friday (5/22) at Waffle House corporate headquarters in Norcross, Georgia. The interview aired on Erickson’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta afternoon drive show on Friday and on his statewide syndicated late morning show today (5/26). Erickson says of preparing for the interview, “I didn’t have to wear a mask. The Secret Service took my temperature, made me set up all my equipment, then made me leave the room so they could sanitize everything themselves. I was not allowed back to my equipment until the interview. It was a new twist on these sorts of interviews.” The two discussed the progress being made in re-opening Georgia, the what-ifs of a potential flare-up of coronavirus cases, and what might be expected for college football this year.

KOIL, Omaha Launches New ‘Local 1290’ Program. Omaha news/talk KOIL “News Talk 1290” says it is debuting a new, daily two-hour program “focusing on the local community as our friends, neighbors and businesses begin to face the new normal.” The live program is being hosted by Neil Nelkin and will focus on everything “local” in Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa as businesses start to re-open and figure out how to go forward. Other NRG Media on-air talent will join the program as co-hosts, including Nikki and Laura from KQKQ-FM “Sweet 98.5,” Mike’l Severe and Damon Benning from KOZN-AM “1620 The Zone,” and Matt Tompkins from KOOO-FM “101.9 The Keg.” Neil Nelkin comments, “Finally a positive show about our listeners, our community and businesses within the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.  We want to highlight the local business and hear their stories about how they are doing and re-opening. It’s a community feel good, as we are all in this together.”

TALKERS News Notes. The global pandemic can’t keep Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Tour” down. Miller’s SM Radio Productions says, “Until it’s safe to travel and gather in large groups again, the hysterically funny ‘Sexy Liberal Tour’ is now set to come into fans’ homes with ‘Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Virtual Tour.’” It will debut virtually on Saturday, June 6 at 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT and will feature Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, Frances Callier, and Angela V. Shelton…..Nationally syndicated talk host Buck Sexton interviewed President Trump in the Oval Office for a conversation that aired on his Premiere Networks-syndicated show. Among the topics discussed were the president’s thoughts on the intelligence community, the judiciary, the “deep state,” “Russiagate,” Michael Flynn, and more. The president also told Sexton the country will “never do this again” and will deal with the coronavirus issue by employing the country’s “best resources” to put out any fires as they emerge…..The Times-Union of San Diego reports that Mexican signal XEPRS-AM, Tijuana could be back on the air as “The Mightier 1090” around July 4, to coincide with the return of Major League Baseball. As has been reported, Flagstaff, Arizona-based marketing executive Bill Hagen is leasing the former sports talk outlet and plans to build a lifestyle and sports talk station around afternoon personality – and former longtime “Mighty 1090” personality – Scott Kaplan. The sports talk format on XEPRS ended 13 months ago when Broadcasting Company of the Americas lost its lease on the signal…..GCN-syndicated host Kate Delaney is honored with a 2020 Communicator Award for Excellence from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Her DelaneyMediaGroup won in the Commercial Campaign category for “Her Story.” Delaney tells TALKERS magazine the feature airs on 70 stations and Amazon’s Echo…..Last Friday (5/22), WTKS-FM, Orlando’s “The News Junkie” radio show – hosted by Shawn Wasson, Sabrina Ambra, and Chris “C-lane” Lane – held “the World’s First Live Radio Broadcast With Social Distancing.” Pictured below is the trio at their broadcast booth. They say that fans arrived at staggered times to prevent a large crowd outside and those feeling sick were urged not to attend. Each table was limited to only a few guests and hand sanitizer and optional masks were available for all guests. Wasson says, “The show featured plenty of drinks, plenty of fun and games. What we didn’t do is have people shaking hands and hanging all over each other. We showed that with enough planning and preparation you can juggle being safe and having a blast.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last week’s WKQX, Chicago radiothon supporting the Chicago Independent Venue League netted $34,000 for the association and its live music venues. The morning show trio of Brian, Ali, and Justin were on air for 34 hours and interviewed artists including Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day, Grouplove, Silversun Pickups, Cage The Elephant, Local H, KFlay, All Time Low, Powfu, Chip Z’Nuff, and Jerry from JBTV. The event was sponsored by Goose Island Beer Company, supporting Chicago music venues since 1988…..iHeartMedia flips classic hits WJDX, Jackson, Mississippi to hip hop as “The New Real 105.1.” The station’s lineup includes “The Breakfast Club,” with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God in morning drive. iHeartMedia Jackson market president Mike Comfort says, “We are excited to launch ‘The New Real 105.1’ in Jackson and bring another choice for hip hop and R&B to the market. Based on our research, we know not only is this going to connect with our market’s audience, but this format is also going to produce a strong listener base for our advertisers – things just got real!”…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia re-brands alternative WRFF as “ALT 104.5.” Station PD and midday personality Amber Miller says, “Who doesn’t love the big reveal at the end of a makeover show. Well, ta-da! Philly’s Alternative Rock station is now sounding bigger and better than ever, combining the music and personalities our listeners love with this fresh, energetic new aesthetic. The station offers listeners the same music and entertainment they crave, just with a fresh new coat of paint.”

Friday, May 15, 2020

| May 15, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day!” looks back at this past week of May 11-15, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Channel / FOX News RadioIan Anderson, musician, Jethro Tull, UK; Ken Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of April 2020 PPM Data Released. Ratings information from the fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and some movement of note among spoken-word stations includes: Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin adds 1.4 shares in April to finish with a 6.4 share good for the #3 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis continues its upward trend with the addition of 1.5 shares to move into the #1 position with a 10.3 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM, Milwaukee takes the #1 rank after adding a whopping 3.5 shares to leap from fourth to first with a 9.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ adds six-tenths to finish at #3 on the strength of a 6.3 share; Cumulus Media’s Providence news/talker WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM shoots up 2.3 shares to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville tacks 1.6 shares on in April to remain at #1 with a 13.4 share. You can check out all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Michael Medved Show and CRN Partner to Expand Distribution. A partnership between CRN Digital Talk Radio and Medved Communications includes the launch of “The Michael Medved Show” on CRN 1 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  As part of the deal, CRN will distribute and provide marketing, ad sales, production, social media, and promotional support for Medved Communications. CRN Digital Talk Radio president and CEO Michael Horn says, “I am thrilled to help expand the Michael Medved show. Michael is one of radio’s best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective, and truly entertains his listeners every single day.” CRN will distribute “The Michael Medved Show” and the “Medved Entertainment Minute” with Genesis Communications Network on their XDS Satellite.

Josh Innes to Join ‘ESPN 97.5’ Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that sports talk personality Josh Innes is joining Gow Media’s KGOW-FM “ESPN 97.5” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective Monday (5/18). He’ll replace ESPN Radio’s Will Cain on the station’s program schedule. Innes has been hosting a podcast since he exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker KBME in March of 2019.

Adams Radio Group Transitioning Back to Offices. In all of the market in which Adams Radio Group operates, staffers are beginning to return to their offices and studios. Company CEO Ron Stone says employees have been working from home for the past nine weeks. He says, “Adams markets have begun the transition of returning to normal operations at our offices and studios. Each market is staging the return of employees in phases, beginning with on-air staff. We will have 100% of our employees back on all sites by July 15, which allows time needed for some employees that have requested additional time to transition. Our employees have done an incredible job keeping our stations live and local during this health scare. Listening to our stations, one would never have known our people were not in our studios. I can never say enough about our news staff and the incredible job they have done keeping our communities up to date with local information. We have amazing teams and I am extremely proud of every person on our staff. What radio has done all over the country over the past nine weeks certainly proves the value of live and local radio and why it is so important to every community.”

Health & Medicine Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 11-15. The medical aspects of COVID-19, including the drive to develop a vaccine, the push for more testing, and the treatment for infected patients combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the statistics on confirmed COVID-19 cases, the death toll, and projections for future cases. Coming in at #3 was the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by the debate over ‘lives vs livelihood’ and concern about the erosion of civil liberties 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 and you can see this week’s complete chart here.

NRG Media Omaha Offices Re-Opening with the Help of Plexiglass and Shower Curtains. Pictured above is Studio 1 at NRG Media Omaha as the company prepares to bring staffers back into the facility. As with many radio stations across the country, on-air personalities have been working remotely or in separate studios. The company says no studio was occupied with more than one on-air personality at any given time in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, NRG Omaha is starting to bring back all on-air personalities and staffers. As you can see in the photo, they are using plexiglass and shower curtains to mitigate movement of airborne particles. General manager Mark Shecterle states, “COVID-19 has challenged every business and made us all stop and think about how we operate. My number one priority during these challenging times has been and will continue to be keeping all of our employees safe. Therefore, we had to get creative and shower curtains are a perfect and safe barrier for our talent, sellers, and employees who share an office. Moreover, during the holidays we can have some fun with it. My promotions department already ordered a Freddy Krueger one for Halloween.” KOZN-AM “1620 The ZONE” personality Damon Benning commens, “I am so ready to get back into the building and work alongside my co-host Mike’l Severe even though there will be a clear shower curtain between us. We have not missed a beat, but nothing beats being in the same studio with your producer and co-host. I’m ready.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Nights with Elaina” program will feature special guest hosts all next week (5/18-22). The ladies are taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” as Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, and Lindsay Ell will each guest host an evening from home and provide their fans an update on what they’ve been doing during quarantine. Host Elaina Smith says, “Spending time away from listeners is always difficult, especially in these times. But I am so thrilled that these strong, powerful, talented women will be keeping everyone company while I’m gone! I know they’re gonna crush it and continue spreading positivity all throughout the country! Lord knows we need it.”

April 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| May 15, 2020

April 2020 PPM Data – Information for the April 2020 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from fourth to third, Waterloo Media Group-owned KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590” is +2.8 in four consecutive gains and crosses the six-share level (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+). In a bit of a statistical oddity, Entercom’s KJCE has logged either a .3 (6+) or a .4 (6+) in each of the past 15 ratings periods. Flat at #26, “Talk Radio 1370” records a .3 (6+) the third time in a row.

Off one-half share in March/April (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” repeats at #21. Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is up one-tenth in March/April (.5 – .5 – .6, flat at #25, 6+).

Following three successive spikes for a +2.9 and hitting double-digits for the first time in its PPM-history (7.4 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned public radio news/talk outlet KUT forfeits one-half share to 9.8 (6+) but is #1 the fourth month in a row. Recent (6+) fluctuations include: -2.0 (April 2019); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); +1.2 (August); +2.0 (October); -1.9 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.5 (January 2020); +.6 (February); and +.8 (March).

Austin Music Formats – A combined +1.0 in March/April (1.2 – 1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #15). Sinclair Telecable-owned regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” continues an alternating up/down pattern that began last August and includes its current increase of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Up four-tenths in March (3.4 – 3.8, 6+) co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” is down six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). A March increase of one-tenth to 6.4 (6+) by Entercom-owned adult contemporary KKMJ followed its January/February -5.5 (11.8 – 6.7 – 6.3, 6+). In April, however, “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” falters by -1.2 to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+). KKMJ was a combined +6.7 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (5.1 – 6.3 – 11.8, 6+) and had a “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1. In that sweep, KKMJ became the first Austin station to record double-digits (11.8, 6+) since it did so in “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Sinclair Telecable’s similarly-formatted KGSR “Star 93.3” follows “Holiday” 2019’s increase of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.7, 6+) with four downturns in a row for a -1.2 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+). In addition to being -2.6 in six straight decreases and falling below a four-share (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” departs the top ten (#7 to #13). Co-owned rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” has lost eight-tenths in three straight slips (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being down eight-tenths in March/April (7.6 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” progresses from fourth to third. WTKK was a combined +2.3 in January/February (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). After dropping two-tenths in March, Curtis Media Group’s WPTF answers with a +.9 to 2.7 (#16 to #15, 6+). “News Radio 680” was unlisted in January and reappeared in February with a 2.0 (6+).

As a result of three consecutive slips, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is –2.6 and falls under a two-share (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.1, #15 to #17, 6+).

Following three straight spikes that generated a +1.1 (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” falters by -1.0 to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Doubling (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 4.2, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” climbs from #14 to #11. Displaying increases of eight-tenths each are Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (eighth to fourth) and Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life/Your Music” (5.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “The Light” continues an alternating up/down pattern of 6.2 – 7.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 6.1 (6+). Entering the April sweep, WBBB was off one-half share in three losses in a row (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In the country skirmish, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM. “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” improves by one-half share (unchanged at #2) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” notches an increase of six-tenths (#12 to #11). WQDR-FM follows February’s loss of six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) with a combined +2.4 in March/April (5.2 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). Unlisted in January, WQDR-FM was previously a collective -1.9 through five successive decreases (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, WNCB logs its fifth sweep in a row without a loss for a net gain of +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+). By posting a +.6 to 4.4 (steady at #10, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” pulls the plug on seven consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). In six straight down or flat trends, Curtis Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPLW-FM “Pulse FM” is a collective -2.2 (5.2 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+). Not only is Radio One urban AC WFXC +2.5 through four consecutive gains (7.2 – 8.7 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.7, 6+), “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 the fourth time in a row. After four straight sweeps on top, WFXC shifted to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019. January 2019’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. A combined -2.7 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 4.8, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” stumbles from fifth to ninth. “Mix” was +2.2 (“Holiday” 2019) and -1.7 (January). As a result of five consecutive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia Greensboro’s similarly-programmed WMAG is -2.0 (2.2 – 1.9 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+). After being +1.1 in three straight bumps (2.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 3.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Carolina’s Greatest Hits KIX 102.9” falters by eight-tenths (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK was an overall -2.5 in four straight downturns (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In April, “K-97.5” sputters by one-half share to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Down one-half share as well is iHeartMedia alternative WDCG-HD2 (.9 – .4, #19 to #21, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not quite doubling (+4.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight upticks, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” achieves double-digits (6+) and progresses from second to first (5.4 – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 10.3, 6+). Its recent (6+) shifts include: -1.2 (April 2019); +.9 (June); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2019); +2.2 (January 2020); +.8 (March); and +1.5 (April 2020).

Its sports talk cluster-mate WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” however, is -1.2 via three straight slips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 1.8, #14 to #15, 6+). Regaining the two-tenths it lost in March (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” repeats at #17.

Three straight improvements by WFYI led to an overall +1.6 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3 , 6+), but the Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk station spirals by -1.3 to 4.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – The wild ride plays on for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which boasts an April +2.2 (6.9 – 9.1, fifth to third, 6+). Having occupied the top spot 11 sweeps in a row, WJJK dropped to second in December. Its 11.1 (July and September) represents the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Among WJJK’s recent (6+) fluctuations are: +1.7 (April 2019); +1.4 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.1 (September); -2.2 (December); -1.4 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.1 (January 2020); -1.0 (March); and +2.2 (April 2020). Bettering March’s +1.4 with an April +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” reaches the ten-share level (7.2 – 8.6 – 10.1, third to second, 6+). A combined -1.1 in February/March (6.9 – 6.6 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” erases that deficit with a +1.3 to 7.1 (6+) and continues in sixth-place. Off two-tenths in March (7.5 – 7.3, 6+), WFMS’ format rival – Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank-FM” – dials up a +1.0 to (8.3, 6+) and remains at #4. Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM purges February/March’s half share decrease (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+) with a +.7 to 6.0 (steady at #7, 6+). On top the past five reports, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” segues to fourth (9.5 – 8.3, -1.2, 6+). WYXB was an overall +10.8 through three increases in succession (7.4 – 8.8 – 10.2 – 18.2, 6+), but was then -9.3 in January/February (18.2 – 9.1 – 8.9, 6+). Its 18.2 (“Holiday” 2019) represents the strongest 6+-performance by any Indianapolis station in the PPM-era. Regressing by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are Cumulus Media hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (#10 to #14) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A “WTTS “92.3 Experience The Music” (#10 to #11). In an alternating down/up sequence that began last August, “The Mix” is 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.0 (6+). As a result of three drops in a row, WTTS is -1.6 (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Despite being down two-tenths to 4.3 (6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” advances from ninth to eighth. The loss, however, suspends three straight gains that yielded a +1.3 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a 3.4 (6+) in June but is unlisted the eleventh time in a row.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The news/talk station on top in this Wisconsin market in April 2020 is iHeartMedia’s WISN. “News/Talk 1130” is an astonishing +5.3 via four straight spikes including April’s mammoth +3.5 and crosses the nine-share level (4.0 – 4.2 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 9.3, fourth to first, 6+). Replicating March’s +.6 (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ jumps from sixth to third. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was off eight-tenths in January/February (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). In six straight sweeps without a loss, Alpha Media’s Kenosha-licensed WLIP doubles (+.3) its 6+ AQH share (.3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, #20 to 18, 6+).

It’s a mixed-bag for the market’s four sports talkers. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” is up one-tenth (.6 – .7, #17 to #16, 6+) and Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is flat at .6 (#17 to #18, 6+). Dropping one-tenth are Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (.6 – .5, #17 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” (.4 – .3, flat at #22, 6). The latter has lost four-tenths in seven straight sweeps without an increase (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

As a result of four straight gains, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.0 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, eighth to fifth, 6+). Repeating March’s 1.4 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD climbs from #13 to #12.  

Milwaukee Music Formats – In the Magnum Radio cluster, WVTY “92.1 VTY Country” more than triples (+1.8) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.8 – 1.6 – 2.6, #12 to #11, 6+); however, WMBZ “92.9 Buzz Country” surrenders all but one-tenth of March’s +.8 (2.1 – 1.4, -.7, #11 to #12, 6+). The December 2019 through February 2020 topline for WVTY was .9 – .7 – .9 – .8 (6+). Prior to March, “Buzz Country” hadn’t had an increase the previous four sweeps for a net loss of four-tenths (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+). An overall -3.0 in three straight setbacks (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” falls from second to eighth. WMYX had a January-only stay at the top. After posting an increase of seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.6, 6+), it faltered by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2019 before notching a +1.8 in January (6.1 – 7.9, 6+). Co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” is in an alternating up/down pattern which includes April’s -1.1: 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). In March, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” each plummeted by -1.2. Now in April, both falter by eight-tenths. After spending the past six reports at #1, WRIT segues to #2 (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Previously, “Big FM” spent four straight months on top before slipping to the runner-up slot in October. “Holiday” 2019’s 11.8 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its recent (6+) moves include: -1.5 (May 2019); -1.3 (October); +4.0 (“Holiday” 2019); -3.9 (January 2020); +1.0 (February); and -1.2 (March). Meanwhile, in four straight downturns, “B-93.3” has lost roughly 56% (-6.4) of its 6+ AQH share (11.4 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 5.8 – 5.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). “B-93.3” was a cumulative +6.2 as a result of three bumps in a row (5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 11.4, 6+). With their “Holiday” 2019 (6+) AQH share and market rank information in parentheses, the following Saga Communications stations are unlisted the fourth month in a row: WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (5.6, fifth, 6+); WHQG “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” (4.7, eighth, 6+); urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (3.2, #13, 6+); and rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.5, #15, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is up seven-tenths in March/April (4.7 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WWTN was -.7 (December/“Holiday” 2019) and then +.7 (January 2020). Up one-half share in March/April (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” progresses from #16 to #13.

Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is an overall -2.8 in three drops in succession (4.7 – 3.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In that same timeframe, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” has lost more than half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.0 – .6 – .4 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

Following January’s +1.1 (4.6 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” forfeits -1.7 in three straight slips (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Not only is Midwest Communications-owned adult hits WCJK an overall +3.0 in four straight spikes allowing it to cross the nine-share level (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 9.2, 6+), “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” advances from second to first. The last time Nashville’s version of “Jack-FM” occupied the top spot was November 2019. Knocked out of the penthouse after five consecutive sweeps there is WCJK’s adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (9.7 – 8.1, -1.6, first to second, 6+). A combined +8.3 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.5 – 9.7 – 15.8, 6+), WJXA has been: +1.0 (May 2019); -1.6 (October); +2.2 (December); +6.1 (“Holiday” 2019); -5.5 (January 2020); +1.3 (February); -1.9 (March); and -1.6 (April). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 The Rock,” which more than doubles (+3.4) its 6+-stat via four successive upticks including April’s hefty +2.1 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 6.7, tenth to fifth, 6+). Advancing from fourth to third, co-owned urban contemporary WUBT 101.1 “The Beat” posts its fifth straight spike for a collective +2.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+). As a result of three straight boosts, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” is +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #7).  Middle Tennessee State University’s WMOT “Roots Radio 89.5,” which lost three-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, 6+), triples March’s .4 and enters the top twenty (1.2, +.8, #18, 6+). Three straight down or flat moves by Educational Media Foundation’s WLVU resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is +.9 in March/April (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Drifting from fourth to tenth, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -3.1 in March/April (7.1 – 6.4 – 4.0, 6+), following January/February’s +1.5 (5.6 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). Just prior to the December 2019 report, WRVW netted nine-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+), but was then -.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+). Without an increase the past eight reports for a -1.2 (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .7 – .5 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), TBLC Media’s Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” disappears from print.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight positive or neutral trends – highlighted by April’s +2.3 – WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” has more than doubled (+3.6) its 6+ AQH share. The Cumulus Media-owned outlet  crosses the six-share level (2.5 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 6.1, 6+) and advances from seventh to fifth. Gaining nine-tenths in five straight sweeps without a loss (.4 – .6 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” progresses from #16 to #14. Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #20 to #19, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a cumulative -1.7 in three straight slumps (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+).

Following three improvements in a row for a +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” surrenders 70% of the windfall (1.5, -.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

After three straight up or flat moves yielded nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH drops two-tenths to 3.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.9 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Rhode Island Public Radio news/talk WNPN progresses from #13 to #11.

Down three-tenths in February/March (.7 – .6 – .4, 6+), The Wheeler School-owned news/talk WELH “89.3 The Public’s Radio” regains two-tenths to .6 (#20 to #19, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On the heels of regressing six-tenths in March, Hall Broadcasting’s WCTK roars back with a +1.9 (7.9 – 9.8, third to second, 6+). “Cat Country 98.1” was +2.1 in January/February (6.4 – 7.8 – 8.5, 6+), directly after “Holiday” 2019’s -1.9 (8.3 – 6.4, 6+). Up two-tenths in March (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). After being an overall +2.6 through three successive increases (8.0 – 9.4 – 10.2 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY drops four-tenths to 10.2 (6+). Nonetheless, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 the fourth time in a row. On top four consecutive months, WHJY segued to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019, when it was -1.3. The three latest shifts by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” are: -8.3 (16.8 – 8.9 – 8.5, January/February, 6+); +1.3 (8.5 – 9.8, March, 6+); and now -1.9 in April (9.8 – 7.9, second to third, 6+). Sputtering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are WWLI’s rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” (#10 to #12) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (#15 to #17). “Hot” is off eight-tenths in March/April (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), while WJMN is down the third time in a row for a -1.0 (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Unlisted the 11th month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from #11 to #13, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” is down or flat the seventh straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Expunging February/March’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+) with an April +1.1 to 7.5 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WOWI “103 Jamz” continues in the runner-up slot. More than five full-shares ahead of WOWI is Entercom urban AC WVKL (13.6 – 12.6, -1.0, 6+), which is #1 the 17th consecutive ratings period. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” was –1.5 in February and +.7 in March. Just prior to February, WVKL was an overall +2.7 in three straight gains (11.7 – 12.7 – 14.1 – 14.4, 6+). Its August 9.1 (6+) marked the first time since January 2014 (9.8) that WVKL failed to log double-digits (6+). The 15.5 it posted in August 2018 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After losing more than 60% (-7.7) of its 6+ AQH share through three straight downturns (12.4 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” picks up one-tenth to 4.8 (6+) and continues at #3. Faltering by seven-tenths each are Max Broadcast Group country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” (fourth to fifth) and iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN’ 107.7” (1.0, #11 to #14, 6+). “The Eagle” is without an increase the third time in a row for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+); WMOV was up six-tenths in February/March (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). Off one-half share each are Entercom rhythmic CHR and hot AC cluster-mates WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” (fifth to sixth) and WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #7). In March/April, “Z-104” is down seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while “The Point” has lost nine-tenths in the same stretch (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). In three consecutive increases, Max Broadcast Group CHR WVHT was +1.6 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6, 6+) and crossed the three-share level (3.6) for the first time since July (3.1). While down one-tenth in April to 3.5 (6+), “Hot 100 Today’s Hits Now” nonetheless advances from sixth to fourth. These three Saga Communications-owned properties are unlisted the third month in a row: WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock”; WNOR “FM 99 Rocks”; and adult standards WJOI “Joy FM – Great Songs/Great Memories.” WAFX was -1.5 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.3 – 6.7 – 5.8, #4, 6+); WNOR lost basically half (-4.5) its 6+ AQH share via four consecutive downturns (9.1 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+), finishing fifth in “Holiday” 2019; and WJOI logged a .2 in “Holiday” 2019 (#17, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A whopping +5.3 through five consecutive upticks (8.1 – 8.3 – 9.8 – 10.4 – 11.8 – 13.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1.

A combined +.6 in March/April (.8 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” advances from #17 to #15. After posting a .3 (6+) in February and March, Cox Media Group sports talk WOKV-AM “690 AM ESPN Jacksonville” is unlisted in April.

Public radio news/talk WJCT follows March’s half-share improvement (3.4 – 3.9, 6+) with a loss of seven-tenths and exits the top ten (3.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Augmenting its March increase of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) with an April +1.0, iHeartMedia’s rock-formatted WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio” enters the top ten (3.8, #13 to #9, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was -1.3 in March (6.1 – 4.8, 6+), rebounds with a gain of six-tenths (5.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 1.3 (#17 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” applies the brakes to nine consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -1.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share softens by -2.0 as Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is -1.4 (sixth to eighth) and iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1 is -.6 (ninth to tenth). WGNE continues its alternating down/up pattern: 4.0 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 4.0 (6+). Without an increase the third time in a row, WQIK is -1.0 in that period (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). Flat in seventh-place, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.0 in March/April (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.9 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from fifth to fourth. Following February’s -1.2 (2.9 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is a combined +.5 in March/April (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2, steady at #11, 6+). Without an increase the sixth time in a row for a one-third loss (-1.4) of its 6+ AQH share (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” nonetheless climbs from #21 to #16. Tied with WFTL in a four-way scrum at #16 is iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD “610 News Radio” (.6 – .7, +.1, #22 to #16, 6+).

The November 2019 through April 2020 topline for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” is: .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#25 to #22, 6+).

Despite being an overall +.9 in four straight reports without a loss (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Dade County School Board public radio news/talk WLRN backslides from eighth to ninth. WLRN was +.8 (December) and -1.0 (Holiday” 2019).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four latest fluctuations by Hubbard Broadcasting urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” are +1.8 (January); -2.3 (February); -1.5 (March); and +.8 in April (5.0 – 6.8 – 4.5 – 3.0 – 3.8, steady at #7, 6+). Nearly doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH stat in three straight spikes (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” continues in eighth-place. Co-owned CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains eight-tenths in three successive sweeps without a loss and reaches the four-share level (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). The three stations deadlocked at #1 in March all experience April erosion. Emerging in sole possession of first-place is Hubbard Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (7.7 – 7.2, -.5, 6+). “Sunny” was up three-tenths in February/March (7.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+). It now has a half-share lead over iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL (7.7 – 6.7, -1.0, first to second, 6+). Immediately prior, “Today’s Kool 105.5” was +3.1 as a result of three consecutive improvements (4.6 – 6.3 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), which directly followed five downturns in succession for an overall -2.8 (7.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). The third part of that March #1 triangle – Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” – falters by -1.2 (7.7 – 6.5, 6+) and falls to third. Off -1.0 in March, WRMF had been on top three straight months. WRMF dropped one-tenth in February, following January’s +1.1. After spending 12 ratings periods at #1, WRMF slid to #2 in “Holiday” 2019 (-1.5). It substituted November’s -.6 with December’s +.6  (9.2 – 8.6 – 9.2, 6+). Plummeting by -1.0 each are iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” (4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WZTU “Tu 94.9” (#16 to #20). A collective +1.9 in three bumps in a row (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 5.0, November 2019 through January 2020, 6+), WKGR erased February’s loss of six-tenths with a March +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WZTU continues an alternating down/up sequence: 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .9 – 1.8 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .4 (6+). Remaining at #10, Hubbard-owned WIRK “New Country 103.1” is down or flat the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.8 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of four straight bumps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a collective +2.6 (3.0 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) and pushes up from seventh to sixth.

Unlisted in January, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .7 – .8 – -.5 (February – March – April, flat at #15, 6+).

Off four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD exits the top ten (#10 to #11). It had been an overall +1.3 as a result of three successive increases (2.1 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). The “Holiday” 2019 through April 2020 topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public radio news/talk WUNC is: 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 (flat at #14,  6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Off three-tenths in March (3.0 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” answers with an April uptick of eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Adding six-tenths to its half-share gain in March (7.2 – 7.7 – 8.3, 6+), Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR “Rock 92” jumps from fourth to second. In addition to being a collective +1.2 in three straight spikes (9.9 – 10.5 – 10.8 – 11.1, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. This directly follows three consecutive losses that resulted in a -1.1 (11.0 – 10.9 – 10.1 – 9.9, 6+). In 2019, WQMG was #1 in January, February, April, May, July, and December. An overall -1.6 in three successive setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.1, 6+), Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” falls from eighth to ninth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM All The Hits” has lost eight-tenths in March/April (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.0, unchanged at #12, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (second to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (flat at #5, 6+); and Entercom’s country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (sixth to seventh, 6+). In three straight drops, “Simon” is -2.8 (10.4 – 8.9 – 8.1 – 7.6, 6+). Its recent (6+) fluctuations include: -1.6 (April 2019); +1.1 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.4 (September); +1.0 (November); -1.2 (December); -2.2 (“Holiday” 2019); and +1.9 (January 2020); In November 2019, “Simon” hit the eleven-share level (11.9, 6+) for the first time since February 2018 (11.4). After improving by seven-tenths in February (7.4 – 8.1, 6+), WMAG is -1.0 in March/April (8.1 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). Following its “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1, WMAG plummeted by roughly 54% (-8.8) of its 6+ AQH share (16.2 – 7.4, 6+). Immediately before that, four successive spikes netted WMAG a +9.9 (6.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 10.2 – 16.2, 6+). In an alternating up/down pattern that started in December, “The Wolf” is: 4.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 4.8 (6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.6 via four consecutive spikes, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” hits the seven-share threshold (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Repeating at #13, Entercom’s WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is -1.6 in three straight slips (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+). Locked on .3 (6+) in February and March, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” drops one-tenth to .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH stat by notching five straight up or flat moves (1.9 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). A combined +1.3 in March/April (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), WDIA’s urban contemporary sibling – WHRK “K-97” – continues in third-place. “K-97” was -1.0 in January/February (7.8 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). In six down or flat reports in a row, urban AC cluster-mate KJMS was -3.0 (10.5 – 10.5 – 9.7 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.8 – 8.5, 6+); however, “V-101” pulls the plug with a +.2 to 8.7 (6+) and continues at #2. In February, KJMS exited the top spot after 16 consecutive times there. The alternating up/down sequence by Shelby County Schools urban AC WQOX “The Voice of SCS” includes April’s half share increase: 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). While adult contemporary endured a very harsh April 2020 sweep, both of Memphis’ ACs notch modest increases: Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” gains four-tenths (5.0 – 5.4, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, #15 to #16, 6+). “The River” had been -4.0 as a result of three consecutive downturns (9.0 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+). The Bridge” was up three-tenths in February and down one-half share in March. In addition to being #1 the third month in a row, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO is +2.8 in three straight jumps (8.3 – 9.1 – 11.0 – 11.1, 6+). In March, “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” hit double-digits (11.0) for the first time since November 2018 (10.7). Entering the January sweep, WRBO was +1.4 in three straight increases (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+). A cumulative -3.1 as a result of three successive setbacks (8.3 – 7.8 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned gospel WHAL falls from fourth to seventh. “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” was off six-tenths in December and +1.8 “Holiday” 2019/January 2020. Including its current -.8, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” continues an alternating up/down pattern: 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 3.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+). In the country battle, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Today’s Best Country Kix 106” is down eight-tenths (#9 to #11), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” loses seven-tenths (2.2, flat at #12, 6+). The last four moves by “Kix 106” are +.9 (January); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); and -.8 in April (4.1 – 3.3, 6+). WGKX was -1.7 in December/“Holiday 2019.” Meanwhile, “The Wolf” gained one-half share in February and was -.6 in March (3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #4, Entercom-owned WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective  +1.9 through four consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2 – 7.6, 6+). After doubling its 6+ AQH share in February/March (.6 – .8 – 1.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” forfeits one-half share to .7 (#13 to #14, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WPOP  (.2 – .7, +.5, #15 to #14, 6+).“News Radio 1410” logged a .1 (6+) 21 straight times and then posted a .2 (6+) in back-to-back reports.

In three straight slumps, WPOP’s sports talk cluster-mate, WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” loses eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is -1.6 in March/April (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.0, #9 to #10, 6+). As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” loses half (-.2) is 6+ AQH share (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, #15 to #16, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats –  A combined -.5 in February/March (7.9 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” explodes with a +2.4 to 9.8 (6+) and storms from third to first. As a result, it ends at 46  Entercom adult contemporary WRCH’s consecutive string of #1 finishes. A combined -2.1 in March/April (11.0 – 9.9 – 8.9, 6+), “Lite 100.5” segues to the runner-up slot. WRCH was a combined +8.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (9.8 – 11.5 – 18.4, 6+) and -7.7 in January; 18.4 is the best 6+-showing of any Hartford station since WRCH’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2018. Recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: -1.3 (April 2019); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.2 (September); +1.7 (December); +6.9 (“Holiday” 2019); -7.7 (January 2020); -1.1 (March); and -1.0 (April 2020). Off three-tenths in February (6.8 – 6.5, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale” counters with a +2.4 in March/April (6.5 – 7.6 – 8.9, 6+) and is tied with WRCH at #2. Unchanged at #8, Entercom-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” continues an alternating up/down pattern that includes April’s -1.5 (6.2 – 7.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 4.1, 6+). Three drops in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” result in a -2.6 (7.4 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 4.8, flat at #7, 6+). Reaching the market from New Haven, co-owned/similarly-formatted WKCI “KC-101” is off six-tenths in March/April (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.5, #12, 6+). Without an increase the tenth time in succession for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Kool Radio – Good Times/Great Oldies” drops from #14 to #16.

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