Tag: "Cox Media Group"

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

| May 21, 2019

Progressive Talk Host and Pundit Bill Press Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the major players on the struggling liberal side of commercial talk radio, Bill Press, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Press is a pioneer in the “progressive” genre on both radio and cable TV.  He was the liberal voice in the historic CNN debate show “Crossfire” from 1996 to 2002.  Today, he is a regularly featured talking head on MSNBC as well as CNN and is an opinion contributor to the DC-based political publication, The Hill.  He is also a prolific author and critic of conservative talk radio who writes about the virtues of the Democrats and the dangers of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Press announced last week that he is about to conclude a 14-year run hosting a daily morning radio talk program that been heard on a variety of terrestrial and online platforms and has attracted a respectable critical mass of loyal listeners.  In its place, he will be devoting his energies to podcasting and has every intention of continuing to be an active voice in the national conversation as we approach the 2020 election. Harrison and Press talk about the difficulties that have faced the liberal brand of commercial news/talk radio, the emerging field of podcasting and the growing field of candidates looking to make Donald Trump a one-term president.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

WGN, Chicago Names Mary Sandberg Boyle Director of News and Operations. In Chicago, Tribune Broadcasting is promoting Mary Sandberg Boyle – executive producer of the Steve Cochran morning show – to the position of director of news and operations.  Sandberg Boyle assumes the role left open when Stephanie Tichenor jumped across the street to take on the program director position at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM.  Sandberg Boyle began her service with WGN Radio in 2015 and helped to launch the station’s weekday morning business show, “The Opening Bell.”  WGN-AM station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley says, “Mary brings us years of success managing high profile talent and a fresh vision for the next generation of WGN Radio.”

KTSA, San Antonio to Tweak Lineup.  The talk show lineup at Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio changes, effective June 17.  Trey Ware remains in morning drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and will be joined by current KTSA air personality Sean Rima from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Rima then goes solo from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. New to the lineup is the “Markley and Van Camp” program (featuring Jamie Markley and David Van Camp) for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Dave Ramsey remains from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and longtime midday personality Jack Riccardi moves to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Check out the station’s promotional video here.

Nielsen Audio Podcast Investigates Neuroscience and Radio Ads. In a two-part podcast titled, “Your Brain on Audio,” the Nielsen Audio Podcast features communications professor Dr. Rob Potter from Indiana University to share his findings from a career spent researching how the brain responds to sound, and what it takes to capture listener attention and create memorable commercials.  Nielsen Audio says, “The first step in that process is understanding how the brain works and how it’s evolved to process information.  This knowledge is important all along the marketing cycle, particularly in today’s cluttered media world.  There are distinct differences between automatic attention and controlled attention when it comes to our physiology, and different tools radio producers can use to trigger those parts of our brain.  Everything from the music bed in a commercial to the pitch and number of voices used affects how consumers pay attention to a particular message.  Then, once attention has been captured, creative shoulders the important task of imprinting the message into memory networks.  One simple way to affect memory is to play on emotion using words or music, and the cutting edge of neuroscience marketing research is exploring the specific ties between music and emotion for use as a tool in making better ads.”  Check out the first podcast here.

WSB, Atlanta Presents Video Documentary of the Jamie Dupree Story. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the story of WSB, Atlanta-based Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree’s battle with tongue protrusion dystonia that’s left him unable to speak.  Now, the station is featuring a video documentary telling Dupree’s story on its website.  Titled, “Voice of Reason,” the program details Dupree’s story and reveals how Cox Media Group identified a new, pioneering approach to return Dupree’s voice to radio.  CMG worked with Edinburgh-based speech synthesis firm CereProc. It sent hours of his archived radio reports to Scotland where engineers and audio specialists digitized and recreated his voice so that Dupree can write a script for a report that is converted into an audio file that sounds nearly identical to his natural voice.  Dupree says, “My health is fine, but my voice is not – and I honestly don’t know if I will ever speak normally again.  I’ll be forever grateful to my WSB and CMG family for getting me back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0.”  See the video, directed by WSB Radio videographer Jesse Brooks and produced by Cox Media Group digital content manager Zac Morgan, here.

Glenn Johnson Named OM for Cumulus Pensacola. The five-station Cumulus Media cluster in Pensacola has a new operations manager.  Glenn Johnson moves from the company’s NASH studios in Nashville where he was executive producer for “The Ty Bentli Show” to serve with the cluster that includes news/talk WCOA-AM and four music brands.  Cumulus Media regional VP Pete DeSimone says, “This is a win-win – a homecoming for Glenn and an opportunity to retain a very talented broadcaster.  We are extremely excited to have him leading the Pensacola programming team.”

Guaranty Media Brings Elliott Aboard as OM for Baton Rouge Stations. Programming pro Chris Elliott joins Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge as operations manager for the cluster that includes: news/talk WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3,” sports talk duo WNXX-FM/KNXX-FM “ESPN Baton Rouge,” and two music-formatted stations.  Elliott comes to Baton Rouge from his most recent position as brand manager for Manning Media’s hot AC WAFY, Frederick, Maryland.  Guaranty president and CEO Flynn Foster says, “Because great radio should reflect the ever-demanding needs of a local market, we are happy to announce the installment of our new OM to help us meet these demands.  Chris will be a powerful addition to our team.  He will lead our five stations, enhance our existing programming, develop new local talent, and expand our digital platforms. We are very excited to have Chris join us.”

Digital Talk Brand MoJo 5-0 to Support Veterans Causes. Digital talk radio station MoJo 5-0 – a new station focusing on conservative and libertarian content – is involved in two Memorial Day programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to assist veterans.  MoJo 5-0 was founded by late talk radio host Doc Thompson, who had a passion for veterans’ causes.  First, Matt Locke, host of the “Conservative Cartel” on MoJo 5-0, will broadcast live from the Warrior Tent on the 16th hole of Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge.  There he’ll interview numerous veterans to help bring attention to non-profits that benefit them.  Second, the 2019 Memorial Day Celebrity Softball Classic, benefitting CarryTheLoad.org, will be held on Saturday (5/25) at Airhogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas. MoJo 5-0 hosts Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci are scheduled to play alongside professional athletes, musicians, celebrities, and military heroes.  Locke says, “The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a huge part of what we are at MoJo 5-0, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back via both of these events.  We’ve been very vocal about honoring our military heroes and continuing the legacy that Doc Thompson established, and we’re thrilled to support these non-profits that play a vital role in veterans’ causes.”   MoJo 5-0 was developed, launched, and is managed by Cuddle Me Buff, LLC, a partnership of broadcasting experts encompassing all areas of the production spectrum, from operations to talent, business to sales.  Within six months of launch, MoJo 5-0 went from 0 listeners to 110K unique sessions weekly, and recently celebrated its one millionth download. MoJo 5-0 is distributed by iHeartRadio, and broadcasts from custom studios near Fort Worth, Texas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Kareem Chin to Investor Relations Position. Now that iHeartMedia is listed on the NASDAQ following its exit from Chapter 11 reorganization, it is naming media industry pro Kareem Chin SVP and head of investor relations.  In this position, Chin will manage iHeartMedia’s relationship with the investor community to ensure the company strategy is aligned with the needs of its equity holders.  Chin will work closely with COO and CFO Rich Bressler, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, EVP and general counsel Paul McNicol, and leaders of iHeartMedia’s finance and communications teams, and will oversee the company’s investor conferences, investor meetings, and quarterly earnings releases and financial filings.  He spent the last three years as VP of investor relations for Viacom.

iHeartMedia Boston Appoints Adam Ralston VP of Marketing. Boston marketing pro Adam Ralston is named vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia’s station group there that includes: news/talk WRKO, news/talk WXKS-AM, all-news WBZ-AM, and five music brands.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “Adam’s leadership, programming and sales strategy, event experience, knowledge of the market and long history of success coupled with his strong local relationships stood out and I know he is the perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to have him lead our best-in-class marketing team and contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Raiders Games to Air on KYMT-FM, Las Vegas. For the 2019 NFL season, Oakland Raiders’ games will air on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KYMT “93.1 The Mountain.”  Raiders games are produced and distributed by Compass Media Networks.  The play-by-play is being called by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger.  Former All-Pro tackle Lincoln Kennedy is handling color analysis and Chris Townsend serves as sideline reporter.  This is the team’s last season playing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before it relocates to Las Vegas in 2020.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, New Anti-Abortion Laws, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). A federal judge rules President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over documents requested by congress; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; reports Iran has heightened production of enriched uranium as the U.S. warns of possible military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured below is CMT personality Cody Alan (second from right) with members of Little Big Town at the second-annual “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” three-day music and wine festival.  Alan chatted with all of the artists appearing at the festival and interviewed Little Big Town for the syndicated radio show “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” on June 3.

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click 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 March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

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 February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

| March 27, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  The period between the end of the NFL season and the start of the MLB season usually means a dip in ratings for sports talk radio stations and this year is no different as 73% of sports talkers see a decrease in their weekly 6+ AQH share from the January 2019 survey to the February 2019 PPM survey.  Comparing last February to this, about half of the sports talk stations on our panel are up with the other half down or unchanged.  Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” was the highest-ranking station (6+) during the February survey, finishing the month at #3 in the Boston market with a 6.4 share.  Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 FM The Fan” is the sports station with the highest 6+ share in February with a 6.5.  See all the data here.

Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network Renew Through 2023. Talk radio pro Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network will continue to work together through 2023 as Salem announces the company and Gallagher have agreed to a new contract.  Gallagher’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show is heard on more than 420 affiliate stations via SRN.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are honored to have had Mike Gallagher in our Salem family for over two decades and thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with him.  Mike’s thoughtful and expert commentary is exactly what America needs in these turbulent times we live in, and it’s no wonder he is Salem’s highest-rated program.”  Gallagher comments, “Every broadcaster should be lucky enough to work for Salem Media Group.  I’ve worked hard and they’ve rewarded me with a partnership that will have spanned at least 22 years, a rarity in our business.  I’m so grateful to Ed Atsinger, Dave Santrella, and Phil Boyce for their support and visionary leadership.  And I will always appreciate Greg Anderson, who has since retired, for believing in me back in 2001 and bringing me into the Salem family.”

Jason Page Joins iHub Radio in Palm Springs. As the Palm Springs locally focused internet radio station iHub Radio approaches its first birthday, it announces that sports talk personality Jason Page is taking over the afternoon drive program, effective April 1.  Page has served with NBC Sports Radio, ESPN, and SiriusXM.  iHub Radio was founded by programmer John McMullen who asked Page to help with coverage of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  McMullen says, “Jason brought his A-game for the entirety of his stay in February and March.  After two weeks of upsets on the tennis courts, I felt that the timing was right on our final broadcast from Indian Wells to wrap up with a positive surprise. We offered Jason a full-time opportunity to not only take our 3 to 6 pm weekday slot, but to join our management team and put his vision in play for social media and other multimedia opportunities that are likely to involve expanding some of our local talent beyond the iHub Radio platform and local market.” In addition to hosting afternoons, Page will be director of multimedia platforms for the media outlet.  McMullen is giving up hosting the afternoon show to focus on management responsibilities. McMullen says iHub Radio is hyper-focused on its local connection to a marketplace rather than proactively seeking a national or global audience.  He adds that as the platform nears its first anniversary and continues to increase its weekly unique audience numbers that rival the terrestrial competition and double the time spent listening of most traditional talk stations, the company will enter its second year with an eye towards creating a handful of programming products that could ultimately be part of the terrestrial radio landscape by 2020.

Cox Media Group: Study Shows Our Customers Are ‘More Satisfied.’ The results of a three-year study designed to measure advertiser expectations and perceptions of traditional and digital advertising at CMG indicates CMG customers rate many CMG advertising solutions at least two to three-times higher than non-CMG advertisers rate similar competitor services on return on investment.  The survey of more than 450 businesses – including CMG customers and non-CMG customers – was done by research firm Magid. The advertising solutions include programmatic advertising, digital video, native, and traditional media.  Cox Media Group EVP of content, digital strategy, technology, and research Marian Pittman says, “This is part of the culture and commitment at Cox Media Group.  Our entire team is focused on driving results for our advertisers, providing innovative solutions and being a true partner for our clients.  We have a relentless focus on tracking, monitoring and optimizing every advertisers’ campaign.  The results of the survey show our clients agree.”

Westwood One’s 2019 Audioscape Report Highlights Podcasting and Smart Speaker Data. The company says this report examines the podcast and smart speaker consumer, listener, and user trends, podcast consumption among smart speaker users, and marketer and agency sentiment for advertising in podcasts and smart speaker environments.  Westwood One reveals some of what it calls the key findings on podcasting and smart speakers: 1) The podcast audience is maturing with the median age advancing from 29 in 2017 to 35 in 2018.  However, 2) podcast listeners are far more engaged and one-and-a-half times more attentive than social media audiences.  3) Smart speaker ownership has tripled in two years with 23% of U.S. households owning a smart speaker, and 4) GenXers – adults between the ages of 35 and 54 – represent the largest segment of smart speaker owners (38%). See more here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis-based, independently syndicated talk host Tony Katz adds Emmis Communications’ KLBJ-AM, Austin to his roster of affiliate stations for his “Tony Katz Today” program, effective April 15. Katz hosts the “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on WIBC-FM and his “Tony Katz Today” talk show airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  KLBJ-AM program director Mark Caesar says, “We are very excited about Tony Katz joining the NewsRadio KLBJ lineup.  Tony is a great guy who knows how to blend his excellent sense of humor with his strong insight on the day’s biggest stories.”…..MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” announce a new multi-year agreement that ensures the station continues to serve as the radio home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.   WEPN has served in this role since 2004.  “ESPN New York” vice president and general manager Tim McCarthy says, “We are proud to continue our 15-year relationship with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  As ‘98.7 ESPN’ continues to expand our listener base, the Knicks and Rangers serve as an integral component of our programming lineup.”…..Bonneville International’s sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix “Arizona Sports” inks a deal to serve as the radio and digital home for the Phoenix Rising FC for the 2019 season.  As part of the deal, “Arizona Sports” will stream all Phoenix Rising FC games live on ArizonaSports.com as well as air three Phoenix Rising FC games on sister KTAR-AM “ESPN 620,” beginning in June.  The partnership will also include a dedicated page of Rising coverage on ArizonaSports.com along with a weekly podcast hosted by Kellan Olson.

Mueller Investigation Aftermath, Obamacare Battle, Jussie Smollett Case, Green New Deal Vote, Israel-Gaza Tensions, Brexit Redux, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).The aftermath of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; the battle between the Trump administration and Democrats over the status of the Affordable Care Act; the Illinois state prosecutor’s decision not to charge actor Jussie Smollett; the U.S. Senate vote on the Green New Deal; the tensions in Israel over the missile strike from the Gaza Strip; the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit status; and NBA action and the NCAA Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is no longer with Radio One as the CHR format captain and program director for CHR outlets KROI, Houston and WNOW, Indianapolis.  Fruge had previously served with the old CBS RADIO in Houston as vice president of programming and operations manager as well as PD for KHMX and KKHH…..On-air personality Amber “Alabama” Cole is the new morning show contributor for iHeartMedia’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM.”  She exited the company’s Chicago country outlet WEBG “Big 95.5” where she was midday host back in December…..Griffin Communications announces that country recording artist Joe Diffie is joining the KXBL, Tulsa “Big Country 99.5” air staff, hosting the midday show.  Diffie is based in Nashville and will voice track the program, even when he’s on the road this summer.  Station program director Brian Jennings says, “Joe’s music is a reflection of the dominance of Oklahoma artists that have become part of the country music soundtrack across the nation. And ‘Big Country’ is the only station in Tulsa that is positioned to properly celebrate that legacy.  Think about the influence that Oklahoma music has on the nation: Joe Diffie, Reba,Garth, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood…shall I go on? Having Joe on as part of the team brings Tulsa pride to his national status.  I am so proud.”

Friday, March 8, 2019

| March 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 7, 2019

| March 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Sentencing, Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Resolution, North Korea Weapons Program, DNC Bars FOX, Anti-Vaxer Controversies, Alex Trebek Cancer Diagnosis, ‘Leaving Neverland’ Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The large number of illegals reportedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the fracture in the Democratic Party with no vote on the anti-Semitism resolution; reports of North Korea’s re-boot of its missile program; the Democratic National Committee’s barring FOX News from covering the Democratic primary debates; the various controversies over anti-vaccination beliefs; “Jeopary!” host Alex Trebek announces his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer; the banning of Michael Jackson records and the aftermath of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” film; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Metaphorical shock waves were felt across Southern California yesterday (3/6) when KROQ, Los Angeles morning personality Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he’d be leaving the “Kevin & Bean” show by the end of this year.  Baxter has hosted the show with Kevin Ryder on Entercom’s alternative station since 1990.  Telling his audience that “30 years is a good time to stop,” he says he plans to re-locate to England after he finishes his career with the station…..Cumulus Media and Westwood One announce that air personality Stew James will assume the afternoon drive host duties on WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 NASH Icon and the national Westwood One NASH Icon Network. James has most recently served with the company as weekend air talent and technical producer of “The Ty Bentli Show.”…..The syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” adds new affiliates to bring its total affiliate roster to 175 stations worldwide.  New stations include: XHTO-FM, El Paso; WLMI-FM, Lansing, Michigan; and KHTH-FM, Santa Rosa, California…..iHeartMedia and FOX Broadcasting Company announce that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter T-Pain will serve as host of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The live two-hour event will be broadcast live on FOX TV, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio platform.

Friday, February 22, 2019

| February 22, 2019

Entercom Q4 Same-Station Net Revenue Up 4%.  Since Entercom closed the CBS RADIO deal in mid-November of 2017, comparisons of fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter of 2017 are only relevant on a same-station basis.  Entercom certainly became a much bigger player in the radio business from a revenue standpoint as a result of the CBS merger. Its net revenue for the full year of 2018 was $1.46 billion – almost three times as much as the full year of 2017 that totaled $593 million.  On a same-station basis, the fourth quarter of 2018 was good – up 4% on same-station net revenue of $411 million.  But for the whole of 2018, same-station net revenue shrank 3.9% – from $1.52 billion in 2017 to $1.46 billion in 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic revenue and EBITDA growth in Q4 as our performance continues to accelerate across the organization and we gain traction on our various scale-driven growth initiatives.  2018 was a year of transformational enhancements on many fronts and we begin 2019 as a much stronger organization than we were a year ago.  We are making excellent progress across our strategic focus areas, including Radio.com which is now the fastest growing digital audio app in the US, Entercom Analytics which has grown to exceed 5,000 connected customers, and the Entercom Audio Network which is gaining significant momentum.  2019 is off to a good start with solid pacing growth in the first and second quarters and we are excited about the year ahead.”

Juliet Huddy Joins Curtis Sliwa for WABC Middays. Beginning Monday, 77 WABC Radio adds former FOX News Channel personality Juliet Huddy to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Curtis Sliwa for the new “Curtis and Juliet” show.  Most recently, WABC had paired Sliwa with Rita Cosby – who had been with the station as political editor, as well – but she exited the station in late December.  Huddy began her career with FOX News Channel in 1998 working out of its Miami and Los Angeles bureaus.  She moved to the NYC headquarters in 2001 and worked on “FOX & Friends,” “DaySide,” and her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.”  She left FNC in September of 2016 to launch the music website, BlondeAndCrossbones.com – dedicated to hard rock and heavy metal.   Sliwa says, “I worked with Juliet Huddy for four years on ‘Good Day Early Call NY.’  We were like a brother and sister arguing and discussing the issues of the day.  They were not just political.  We delved into cultural, social, and personal issues, especially male/female issues that most people are interested in.  WABC is giving us that opportunity to talk about those same issues in this age where Trump talk dominates the airwaves from a male/female perspective.”  Huddy adds, “I’m genuinely so excited to host alongside Curtis.  We’ve become more than colleagues over the years; we’re friends.”

Entercom Brings Cox Media Group and Bonneville Content Aboard RADIO.COM. In content distribution deals with both Cox Media Group and Bonneville, live channels for all of those companies’ stations as well as on-demand audio will be available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We are pleased to welcome Cox Media Group’s radio stations and Bonneville and their great content to the RADIO.COM platform as we continue to expand our premium content offerings to super-serve our large and rapidly growing audience of listeners across hundreds of devices.  Great partnerships like these further strengthen RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  CMG content on RADIO.COM includes live-stream broadcasts from 55 stations in 11 markets in addition to leading podcasts like “The Von Haessler Doctrine” and “The Mark Kaye Show.”  Bonneville content includes live streams from 22 local radio stations in six markets, as well as leading podcasts such as “Above & Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” “Your Last Meal,” “Mindfulness, Wellness & You,” and “Stuff Your Dad Knows.”

Border Wall Emergency Declaration Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 18-22. The political battle over President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the U.S.-Mexico wall project was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was the slate of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, followed by the Jussie Smollett “attack” case 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.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Bob Stei joins Media Staffing Network as account manager and recruiter.  The media staffing and consulting firm says that Stei is charged with guiding a variety of functions.  Founder and CEO Laurie Kahn says, “Over the past two years, MSN has significantly increased its number of hiring solutions, ranging from placing a wider array of positions across media to developing hands-on and online tools that help media companies hire more effectively, strategically, and proactively.  Bob brings a passion and knowledge about broadcasting and recruiting that will help MSN expand into new areas.”   During his career, Stei has served at such stations as WNEW-FM, New York; WMGK, Philadelphia; WBAB, Long Island; and WCHR, Toms River, New Jersey…..Singer and actor Joey Fantone launches a new podcast with manager and longtime friend Joe Mulvihill via PodcastOne called “Two Cups of Joe.”  The former NSYNC singer was recently “unmasked” on the hit TV show “The Masked Singer” and in the premiere episode he talks with Donnie Wahlberg, who was rumored to be under the rabbit mask as the show’s suspense built…..Tenderfoot TV and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new true crime podcast called, “To Live and Die in LA,” hosted by award-winning journalist and Rolling Stone contributing editor Neil Strauss.  The series takes a deep dive into the mysterious disappearance of 25-year-old aspiring actress Adea Shabani, who disappeared from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame in February of last year…..Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio announce a rare hockey hat trick happening this weekend as broadcasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will call three NHL games during a 24-hour period for MSG Networks, Westwood One, and NBC Sports Radio.  On Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, the New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Micheletti will be joined in the broadcast booth by play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen.  Albert, now in his 23rd season as the radio voice of the Rangers, will simultaneously call the play-by-play action on WEPN “ESPN 98.7,” the radio home of the Rangers, alongside analyst Dave Maloney.  Following the game, Albert and Micheletti will go straight to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET.  Albert and Micheletti will be joined onsite by rinkside reporter Kelly Chase and host Steve Mears.  After the game, the duo will then travel down south to Washington, DC for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Capital One Arena.  Albert and Micheletti serve as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead NHL broadcast crew and will be on the call together for select playoff games this year, including their fourth straight season calling the Stanley Cup Final.

TALKERS Publisher Visits Hubbard Cluster in West Palm Beach.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison paid a visit to longtime colleagues at the Hubbard Radio cluster headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday (2/21).  While there, he guested for an hour of on-air conversation about the hot issues with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach midday host (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Joyce Kaufman (above, left). He also visited with the cluster’s creative director (and production wizard) Mick McCabe (below, right) who worked with Harrison as producer/board op for the legendary “Harrison’s Mic” talk show on KMET, Los Angeles back in the early 1980s.

BFoA Announces New Time for Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. The Broadcasters Foundation of America reports that this year’s Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament will begin at 8:00 am for registration and breakfast, followed by a shot-gun start at 9:00 am on Sunday, April 7, at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas.  The annual fundraiser is held during the NAB Show in honor of the Broadcasters Foundation chairman emeritus Philip J. Lombardo and raises money to help broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says, “Every year, top-level broadcast industry leaders and celebrities turn out in support of the Foundation’s mission and to enjoy a morning of golf with their colleagues before the NAB kicks into high gear.”  For more information on purchasing a spot or a foursome, please click here.

Cumulus Rising Talk Radio Star Larry O’Connor Is This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. WMAL, Washington, DC/KABC, Los Angeles radio talk show host Larry O’Connor is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past several years, O’Connor, based in the nation’s capital, has been successfully hosting the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC powerhouse WMAL-AM/FM. Six weeks ago, he added a separate mid-morning 10:00 am -12:00 noon show on Cumulus’s KABC, Los Angeles, via remote, to his weekday schedule.  Harrison and O’Connor discuss his new two-station, bi-coastal schedule and the differences he perceives between talk audiences in these markets.  The discussion also explores Donald Trump’s impact on the media as well as society in general and delves back to the days of O’Connor’s pre-radio career in the legitimate theater where he spent a number of years as the general manager of the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles before joining the early incarnation of Breitbart News as an online writer and radio commentator.  O’Connor reflects on his relationship with the late Andrew Breitbart. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B96” names Kenzie K midday personality, taking over for Nikki Imbrascio, who exited the Entercom station last week after 10 years.  Kenzie K comes to Chicago from Tampa where she was midday host at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “WiLD 94.1.”  She says, “I cannot wait to join the amazing Entercom team in the city I’ve always dreamt of.  Thank you to [market manager] Jimmy de Castro, [VP of programming] Todd Cavanah and [music director] Erik Bradley for this incredible opportunity.  I’m looking forward to getting to know listeners in the Windy City.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Philly radio pro Nicole Siberry digital program director for classic rock WMGK-FM and country WXTU-FM in Philadelphia.  Siberry was most recently promotions and programming coordinator for Entercom’s CHR WTDY and classic hits WOGL.  There she was responsible for creating content and video for the stations’ social media platforms…..Max Media Denver names Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby operations and program director for hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1” and rhythmic oldies KJHM-FM “Jammin 101.5,” effective March 11.  Previously, Boogie D served with Radio One in markets including: Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington, and Charlotte.  Max Media president and GM Jeff Norman says, “We are thrilled to have Boogie D on board, he’ll bring a fresh prospective and approach to our programming department.  Boogie D has demonstrated an ability to win in competitive environments and our radio stations are poised to grow to the next level under his leadership.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – An improvement of four-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.1 (6+) and remains at #19. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” jumps from #26 to #23.

An overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” concludes that slump with a +.2 to 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and continues at #23. For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship logs a .7 (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, #26 to #27, 6+).

Blowing up “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January 2019 +1.2, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB advances from second to first (9.3 – 8.1 – 9.3, 6+). Continuing the “1.2” theme, prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, KOPB was a collective +1.2 in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.2 (January 2019.

Portland Music Formats – It took iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH exactly one report to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, 6+) as “106.7 The Eagle” soars to a January 2019 +1.7 (7.1, fifth to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 5.4 marked the first time “The Eagle” was below a six-share (6+) since March 2018’s 5.5. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” has followed with a +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a +1.2 (4.3 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional KRYP was 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupts with a +1.3 to 3.3 (#18 to #15, 6+). Not only is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC a collective +1.8 through three straight positive spikes (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), “All Classical Portland” enters the top ten (#11 to #7). In addition, it reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time in nearly two years ago (4.2, February 2017). Seven straight down or flat trends by Entercom’s KWJJ resulted in a -1.9 (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), but “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” suspends that streak with a +1.1 to 3.8 (#15 to #11, 6+). Its alternative and hot AC cluster-mates KNRK “94/7 Portland Alternative” (3.5 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+) and KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (3.1 – 3.6, unchanged at #13, 6+) are up seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. Even though co-owned KGON is +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth. Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Following back-to-back stays at #1 and a combined +8.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is -9.2 (7.0, first to third, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). On the heels of a massive “Holiday” 2018 +2.4 (3.2 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” surrenders seven-tenths to 4.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A January gain of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0, 6+) enables Entercom news/talk WBT to progress from #12 to #11. The Carolina Panthers flagship was a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), after being +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+).

Nearly tripling (+1.1) its 6+ share via seven straight positive or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned sports talk (and Charlotte Hornets key station) WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” climbs from #19 to #18.

Regaining in full “Holiday” 2018’s nine-tenths’ loss, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” moves from #17 to #16 (1.8 – 2.7, +.9, 6+). Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fourth straight time and is down four-tenths in that stretch (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – It is a strong sweep for the market’s two country FMs as iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is +1.2 (4.4 – 5.6, eighth to fifth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” posts a gain of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), but was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Four-tenths ahead of “Country’s Hottest Hits” is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, which all but erases “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (6.6 – 7.7, 6+) to march from second to first. Immediately in advance of that -1.2, “102.9 The Lake” posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Notching a January 2019 +1.1 as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” whose five most recent fluctuations are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+, December); -.6 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 in January 2019 (2.4 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive setbacks, iHeartMedia’s WRFX was a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), but “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends that streak with a +1.0 to 5.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” roars back with a gain of nine-tenths (3.9 – 4.8, tenth to seventh, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 3.9 was its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Radio One’s WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, “105.3 RnB” adds six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 half-share increase (5.3, 6+), but backslides from a three-way tie at #5 to #6. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive or flat moves which produced an overall +7.8 halted at four (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” slumps from first to eighth (12.9 – 4.6, -8.3, 6+). Its 12.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. Co-owned mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” is -1.2 via four consecutive negative or flat trends (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 gain of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” cruises from ninth to sixth. WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three a consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “January 2019 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#24, 6+).

While it stays at #29, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+).

A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a +.8 (3.5, #16 to #12, 6+).   

San Antonio Music Formats – Virtually each of the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has produced its share of substantial “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases, although we hadn’t seen a single station register an increase of three full-shares … until now. Accomplishing that truly noteworthy accomplishment is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA. Major shifts aren’t new for “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which was +.5 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +3.0 in January 2019 (6.0 – 9.0, 6+). Moreover, KAJA leaps from fourth to first. Continuing in third-place is similarly-formatted, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader.” Six of its recent fluctuations include: +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +1.8 (5.1 – 6.9, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). These two country combatants were tied in June and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Applying the brakes to four straight setbacks that accounted for an overall -2.8 (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” displays a +1.9 to 7.9 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth straight time. Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Meanwhile, its internet stream improves by one-half share (.2 – .7, #27, 6+). A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” answers with a January 2019 +1.3 to 4.8 (tenth to fourth, 6+). A +1.2 enables Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG to vault into the top five (#11 to #5). “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” had been down six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adding six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (2.6 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV advances from #18 to #16. When the December 2018 sweep concluded, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was -1.3 in three consecutive negative or flat trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Somewhat mirroring KZLV, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #11 to #10, 6+). Owing to three positive spikes in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KQXT was +10.6 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+) and #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, “Q-101.9” plunges by -10.7 to 4.2 (6+), drifting from first to seventh. KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. In four consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -1.9 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Off six-tenths as well in January 2019 is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KSAH “Norteno,” which is -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, #15 to #19, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a +1.5 to 7.6 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK completely eliminate its cumulative -.9 in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” jumps from third to a first-place tie. KFBK was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). Up two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Following four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains three-tenths to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+). Slipping from #23 to #25, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a collective -.7 in three successive down or flat reports (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+).

On the heels of forfeiting one full-share, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ sputters by another eight-tenths (5.9 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.0, KXJZ notched five successive sweeps without a loss, netting a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Entercom’s KKDO erupts with a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) sending “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock,” which was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 4.3, 6+) answers with a +1.1 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In early-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. Now, however, “The Breeze” is a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.7, 6+), advancing from #13 to #12. Making January 2019 leaps of six-tenths in addition to KBEB are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (3.7 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” (.8 – 1.4, #18, 6+). The wild ride continues for Bonneville’s KNCI. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “New Country 105.1” was an overall +1.5 in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September – October – November – December, 6+); -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.5 in January 2019 (4.2 – 4.7, steady at #7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River,” which is +1.1 in three upticks in succession (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #5, 6+). A boost of two-tenths (7.4 – 7.6, 6+) is enough to lift Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” from second to a first-place tie. On top for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). After notching a combined December and “Holiday” 2018 +7.6 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and occupying the #1 slot in both of those sweeps, adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” returns in its entirety that increase (6.2, -7.6, first to third, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 13.8 is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Lotus Communications regional Mexican KVMX “La Ranchera,” which had been trending 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+), drops one-half share to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from “Holiday” 2018’s -.7 with a +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” progresses from eighth to seventh.

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was off nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), is now a combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.5 – 5.8 – 7.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). The September 2018 through January 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#19 to #17, 6+).

Continuing at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bounces back from a one-half share “Holiday” 2018 loss with a +1.1 (3.1 – 4.2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.6 via four straight decreases (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.6 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Off a combined seven tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” wipes away that shortfall with a +1.0 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). After being without a loss the past three reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW erodes by -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), but “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Via five straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH was an overall +4.6, but “Wish 99.7” falters by -4.1 to 5.8 (second to sixth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL substitutes “Holiday” 2018’s -.6 with a January 2019 +.6 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” backslides from fourth to sixth. KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. Likewise, iHeartMedia’s KNRS completely eradicates “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.7 – 3.3 – 4.7, 6+). In this case though, “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from #12 to #7. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL sputtered by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” vanishes from print in January 2019.

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER recaptures all of it in January 2019 – and one-tenth more – with a +.6 to 2.9 (#14 to #12, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Albeit the height of understatement – but nonetheless – iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is on an incredible rollercoaster ride. It was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.0 in January 2019 (4.4 – 6.4, sixth to second, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Registering robust increases of +1.3 (each) are Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.8, unchanged at #5, 6+). “Now” gained two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, while KZHT was a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Five consecutive decreases by Cumulus Media country KUBL accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+) but “K-Bull 93” is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3, ninth to eighth, 6+). Gaining eight-tenths each are its adult contemporary and rock siblings, KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.2, steady at #9, 6+) and KUER “Utah’s Rock Station (2.7, #18 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), KBEE had a December decrease that interrupted three straight gains netting +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). “Utah’s Rock Station” was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Up six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7” (2.3, #20 to #16, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.3, #18, 6+). “Rock 106.7” was -.9 in three straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), while “The Wave” was -.5 via four successive setbacks (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .7, 6+). Progressing from #16 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The good news first for Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI is that it is #1 for the third straight report. After three straight increases that netted a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+), however, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” craters by an eyepopping -13.9 to 7.9 (6+). KSFI was the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its “Holiday” 2018 loss of three-tenths into a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude (1.6 – 2.2, +.6, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Off a collective four-tenths in three slips in succession (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” gains two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.8 – .7 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #28 to #25.

A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR posts a +.7 to 3.7 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – An improvement of one full-share by KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (6.1 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+) takes the Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to its highest 6+-share (7.1) since August 2018’s 7.5. An overall +1.1 through three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” leaps into the top ten (#11 to #6). By adding seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5 ” pops back into the top twenty at #16. Notching gains of six-tenths (each) are Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” (2.7 – 3.3, unchanged at #13, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” (1.4 – 2.0, #20, 6+). “Hot,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), rebounds from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though Lotus Communications’ KXPT is without a loss for the eighth straight survey period for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A one-half share increase by cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” to 2.6 (#17 to #15, 6+) ends a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). A combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE surrenders a -5.3 to 7.5 (6+) but “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 for the sixth time in a row. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS regresses by eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” is under a four-share (6+) for the first time since “Holiday 2017’s 3.8.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – All but wiping away its combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+) with a January 2019 +1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth. At the conclusion of the November 2018 sweep, “News 96.5” was an overall +1.9 due to five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, a six-tenths’ boost to 3.7 (#12 to #11, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” suspends five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+). Its August +1.0 curtailed three straight decreases that generated a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Anchored at #15, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is up four-tenths to 2.2 (6+), halting three successive setbacks that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Just before that, in four consecutive reports without a loss, WFLF nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+) propels Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” into the top twenty (#23 to #20). While it advances from #23 to #22, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” has lost more than half (-.8) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Regaining just over half of its “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 3.2, +.5, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” carries on at #13.

Orlando Music Formats – A cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” wipes away nearly all that shortfall with a whopping +2.0 (6.9, seventh to fourth, 6+). After spending 11 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM was in the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, with a combined -1.1 in those two reports (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “Rumba 100” breaks out a +1.5 in January 2019 (7.8 – 9.3, 6+) and returns to the lead position. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+) and climbs from third to second. Notwithstanding that it nearly replicates “Holiday” 2018’s increase of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +.6 (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” backslides from fifth to sixth. A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Slightly similar to “Mix,” Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB adds one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) but “Star 94.5” is able to jump from fourth to third. In addition to being a combined +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF was #1 in those two sweeps. In January, however, “Magic 107.7” erodes by -7.4 to 6.9 (6+) and drops to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. The internet stream of Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits,” which appeared with a .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, vanishes from print in January 2019.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia news/talk WLW manage to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -2.1 in one fell swoop with a +2.4 (7.5 – 9.9, 6+), the flagship of the Reds and Bengals zooms from fourth to first. WLW spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Its recent shifts include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.4 (January 2019). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati,” which was down three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), adds one-half share to 3.5 (6+), yet departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Even though sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” picks up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, 6+) it backslides from #17 to #18.

Down nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU ends that skid with a +.4 to 3.0, but remains at #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Following a December-only stay at #1, Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR shifted to third in “Holiday” 2018, as a result of a -1.8 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+). Roaring back with a January 2019 +1.5 (to 9.6, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” climbs to second. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. In three successive sweeps without an increase, its classic rock sibling – WOFX – had a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “92.5 The Fox” dials up a +1.4 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective -2.6 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” answers with a +1.2 to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Even though co-owned WUBE adds a +1.0 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.3 (8.1 – 8.4 – 9.4, 6+),“B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” shifts from second to third. The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) another -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.9 in January 2019 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is a combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+). A collective +9.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” spirals by -.8.2 to 6.4 (first to fifth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6 is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 +.7, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” regresses by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2018, but it resurfaces with a 1.2 (#18, 6+). At the same time, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “88.7 The Station For Something For Everyone,” which had an October through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .2 – .0 (6+), reemerges with a 1.3 (#17, 6+). In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a +.9 to 5.1 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Flat at 5.4 (6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from seventh to eighth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1 (2.1 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN progresses from #14 to #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” bounces back with a +1.7 to 6.1 (tenth to fourth, 6+). Similarly, after three consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” erupts with a +1.6 to 4.8 (6+) and lands in the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). Off four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” posts a positive spike twice that magnitude (6.9, +.8, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying gains of seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #12, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.7 – 1.4, #17 to #15, 6+). “Kiss” was down one-half share in “Holiday” 2018. WAKS-HD2 surfaced in July with a .1 (6+); failed to appear in the next five reports; but reemerged in “Holiday” 2018. While it repeats at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2018’s massive +2.8 with a -1.7 (10.7 – 9.0, 6+). A combined +4.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surrenders a -4.3 to 6.0 (6+) and segues from second to sixth. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Dropping from fourth to seventh, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is a collective -1.0 in four successive setbacks (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” vanishes in January 2019.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Two big bounce-backs in the Entercom cluster find news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather,” a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) logging a +1.2 to 4.6 (#14 to #7, 6+), while KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) notches a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #18, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Steady at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” breaks out a +1.3 to 5.0 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6). WHB more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, Entercom’s KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but “610 Sports Radio” adds three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, KCUR responds with a +.3 to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). The University of Missouri news/talk outlet was a collective +.8 in November and December.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” roars back with a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, fifth to third, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s half-share increase (9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the ninth straight time and has its strongest 6+-stat (10.1) since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Over the course of the last three ratings periods, Entercom-owned KQRC spiraled by an overall -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, 6+) but “98.9 The Rock” picks up four-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Its November one-half share loss suspended three straight increases that yielded a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). A combined +2.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC relinquishes a -3.8 to (3.2, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” freefalls from #2 to #15. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. Immediately after posting a +1.6, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM falters by -1.3 (6.7 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” pulled the plug on eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. As a result of five consecutive positive or flat sweeps, CHR sibling KCHZ was +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Urban AC cluster-mate KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B,” which was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), forfeits 25% of that bounty (4.2, -.5, sixth to tenth, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” dials up a +1.3 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Among the fluctuations for RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM since it reappeared in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+). “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted in January 2019. Climbing from #18 to #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+).

By posting a +1.1 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU ends a mini-slide that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.1 to its “Holiday” 2018 improvement of four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus Hit Music” jumps from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share (8.3) since September 2018’s 9.4. Slightly more than three full-shares ahead of it is co-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.4, +.8, 6+), which is #1 for the 14th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January 2019 uptick applies the brakes to six straight downturns that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and +.8 (January 2019). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC, which was a combined +3.7 in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) improvements (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), surrenders a -4.1 to 4.6 (6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” skids from third to sixth. Its December increase halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular sequence immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). As a result of three positive spikes in a row (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY was a cumulative +3.8, but “Sunny 95” relinquishes exactly half that increase with a -1.9 to 7.8 (second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.7 is WSNY’s best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

| February 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall Emergency Declaration Challenge, Jussie Smollett Case, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Putin Threatens U.S., Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The expectation that the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents will wrap soon; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; actor Jussie Smollett is charged with filing a false police report after charging he was assaulted in Chicago; the Democrats declaring their 2020 presidential candidacy; Russian president Vladimir Putin threatens the U.S. with military retribution if the U.S. installs missiles in Europe; the Vatican’s plans to take up issues surrounding the cascade of sexual abuse charges against its clergy; the political unrest in Venezuela as conditions under Nicolas Maduro deteriorate; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Next month’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will include three new awards to be given to artists during the two-hour, live television and radio event. The 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Alicia Keys with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award; Garth Brooks with the Artist of the Decade Award; and Halsey with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L’Oréal Paris.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards airs live on Thursday, March 14 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on FOX TV and across iHeartMedia radio stations as well as the iHeartRadio platform from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekend radio show starring Elaina Smith called “With Elaina,” targeted to country music outlets.  WWO says the show is “designed for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans, and country music lovers” and “showcases Elaina doing what she does best – talking about life, love, movies, music, celebrity news, and of course, country music.” Smith says, “Launch day can’t come soon enough.  I’ve been waiting to do a show like this for years.  We’re going to have a blast bringing my pop culture background and millennial vibe to country music fans in a whole new way.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston

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

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

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

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

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

Miami

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

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

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

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

Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit

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

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

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

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

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

Phoenix

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis

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

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

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

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

San Diego

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

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

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

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

Tampa

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

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

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

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

Denver

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

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

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

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

Baltimore

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

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

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

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

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

St. Louis

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 15, 2019

| February 15, 2019

Cox Sells Majority Stake of News/Talk WHIO, Dayton, Two Music FMs, and TV and Newspaper Properties. The “buyer” here is Apollo Global Management which – according to a piece in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution – is acquiring a controlling interest in Cox Enterprises’ 14 television stations, its newspapers, and its three Dayton, Ohio radio stations.  Cox made no secret of the fact it was shopping its television assets, but bunching Dayton radio outlets news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO-FM, and rock WZLR-FM was not expected.  Cox will retain a minority stake in the new company.  Interestingly, Cox Media Group will continue ownership of the AJC, as well as its other radio stations and media outlets in other markets.  Why is Apollo interested in the Dayton radio stations?  The AJC writes, “The newspapers, radio stations, and WHIO-TV in Dayton share a unique business model that involve full integration of their operations.  Apollo plans to maintain the Cox Media management and operating structure within the new company, which has yet to be named.”

Newt Gingrich Podcast Launches on Westwood One. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Westwood One partner to create the “Newt’s World” weekly, original podcast.   The press release states that the program “will offer stories, conversations, and context on a different topic each week, from history to health, national security to science, and much more…’Newt’s World’ isn’t a podcast about politics; it’s a show that explores the past, present, and future to help listeners contextualize current events and important discoveries across all aspects of our society.  The inaugural episode of ‘Newt’s World’ features the father of our country, the man who led the first Americans to freedom, George Washington.”  Gingrich says, “I spend most of my time doing two things: learning and teaching.  I’m looking forward to bringing others on the journey with me to fully explore fascinating topics together.  Some weeks we’ll be talking about history, some weeks we’ll learn about the future, and others we’ll look at what is happening right now in culture, science, and events.  We live in an amazing world, and there’s an enormous amount to learn and share.”

Former Sports Talk Host Marty Tirrell Faces Fraud Charges. Former KXNO, Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell is being held in a Polk County, Iowa jail until space opens up at a residential release facility.  The 59-year-old is charged with six counts of fraud as federal prosecutors charge he swindled at least eight people out of $1.5 million. The allegations against Tirrell include that he sought investors for a business in which he would buy tickets to sporting events and sell them at a profit.  Prosecutors say initially Tirrell paid back his investors, but later began lying to them and used their money for personal expenses and to pay back other investors.  When they sought the promised return on their investment, Tirrell allegedly wrote checks he knew would bounce or provided them with false wire transfer information. See the Des Moines Register story here.

Gomez ‘American Grit’ Podcast Addresses Immigration Reform. Radio pro Joe Gomez is producing a podcast called ‘American Grit’ that he tells TALKERS magazine is dedicated to covering immigration reform and current events.  Gomez, who served as a radio reporter for iHeartRadio (KOA, Denver and KRTH, Houston), CBS, and NBC, hosts the program.  The podcast is available via iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.  Check it out here.

Border Wall Issue Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11-15. The battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related ruling by a judge that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators.  Coming in at #3 was the Green New Deal, tied with the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, followed by the Andrew McCabe CBS interview 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.

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Names New Board and Directors. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces its 2019 National Board of Directors. New to the AWM board are Abby Greensfelder, co-founder & co-owner, Half Yard Productions; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC.  AWM/F board chair and president Christine Travaglini says, “We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”  Keisha Sutton James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, will serve as incoming chair, Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, will serve as treasurer. Josie Thomas, executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS Corporation, will serve as treasurer-elect, while Sarah Foss, senior vice president, strategic initiatives, Freewheel Advertisers at FreeWheel will serve as immediate past chair.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.; Jinny Laderer, president, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president of television, Litton Entertainment; Kelly DeLace Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Diane Schwartz, SVP and group publisher, Access Intelligence.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWMF: Anne Cowan, senior vice president, communications and marketing, CTAM; Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group; Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics.  At the same time the AWM/F announces that the 2019 call for entries for the annual Gracie Awards was the most successful in the program’s history. AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks adds, “The number and caliber of extraordinary programs and performances entered for the 2019 Gracie Awards is an unprecedented milestone for the AWM/F.  Gracies judges – women and more men than ever before – include executives and talent from across every form of media.  They have their work cut out for them in deciding the 2019 winners from this exceptional pool of nominees.”  The 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala will take place May 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will be held June 26, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” names husband-and-wife radio duo Chadd & Kristi (pictured) hosts of the station’s morning drive program, effective Monday (2/18).  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “As a husband and wife team, Chadd and Kristi will bring a unique perspective to our airwaves and we are excited to welcome them to ‘The Breeze.’  They are both full of energy and our listeners can look forward to hearing all of their entertaining relationship and family life stories every workday.” Chadd & Kristi come to Detroit from their most recent position at Beasley Media Group’s WPBB, Tampa (recently flipped from AC to classic rock)…..iHeartMedia’s WRVE-HD2/W260CH “Wild Country 99.9” enters in to an agreement with NASCAR to broadcast each Monster Energy Cup Series race, including the Daytona 500, FireKeepers Casino 400, and Food City 500.  “Wild Country 99.9” program director Terry O’Donnell says, “It’s an honor to be the new home for NASCAR in the Capital Region.  NASCAR is the #1 spectator sport in America and since so many of us are on the move, we can’t always catch the race on TV.  Now, listeners can hear the races live on their phone, smart speaker or in their car via iHeartRadio.”…..There’s a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast starring Mario Lopez titled “Listen To Mario” that launches today (2/15).  In its inaugural episode, Lopez sits down for a candid conversation with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (a.k.a. Zack Morris from “Saved By the Bell!”) in which they discuss their childhood hairstyles, reminisce about “Saved By The Bell,” and much more.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 17, 2019

| January 17, 2019

WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues.  Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”  Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst.  The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues.  Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.”  Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”  Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio.  You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media.  Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”

Radio for the 55+ Listener.  Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.”  Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio.  They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives.  At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.”  Read the entire story here.

Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group.  Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales.  Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations.  She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team.  I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert FederVioleta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX.  She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season.  Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo.  He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets.  Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast.  WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown.  Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough.  We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network.  His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening.  Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm.  Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL playoffs 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. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host.  She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

| January 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files November Financial Report; Net Income Up 3.9%. The most recent Monthly Operating Report from iHeartMedia was filed with the Securities Exchange Commission for the month of November. iHM has been releasing the reports since April 2018 as required by the bankruptcy court as it makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Although revenue dipped 1.6% to $343.7 million compared to October, iHeartMedia’s net income was up 3.9% to $104.2 million.  Operating income also rose from $104.8 million in October to $107.1 million in November.  The company paid $12.8 million to outside professionals assisting with the reorganization.

Michael Savage Says Threats Force Move. A report by both the Washington Times and FOX News, says that talk radio personality Michael Savage has had to move to an undisclosed location due to a particularly violent threat against him that authorities are taking seriously.  Savage tells the Times that he’s received threats in the past and has largely ignored them, but this threat was different.  “[G]iven the violent, vile times we are living in and the specific nature of this threat, both I and some serious agencies are taking this threat very seriously.”  An email was sent to a restaurant Savage frequents demanding that it stop serving him. It said, in part, “I DEMAND THAT YOU REFUSE TO ALLOW MICHAEL … IN YOUR F***ING RESTAURANT AGAIN.  HE IS A RACIST WHITE SUPREMACIST PIECE OF S**T.”

WTIC-AM, Hartford’s Jim Vicevich Profiled in Hartford Courant. Late morning talk show host Jim Vicevich is the subject of a profile piece in the Hartford Courant.  The piece focuses on Vicevich’s daily struggles with the effects of lupus and how he’s able to do his daily “Sound Off Connecticut” program on Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford every day.  The piece explains how Vicevich preps for his show and gets to work each day with the help of fiancé Jane Benson.  See it here.

Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree Marks 30 Years with the Company. Longtime news radio pro Jamie Dupree is well known across the radio industry not only for his years of professionalism covering DC politics, but as well for the attention he’s received from his struggle with a rare neurological disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – and how Cox Media Group has helped him with his efforts to work around his inability to speak well and still report the news.  Last summer, listeners heard Washington, DC-based Dupree’s voice on Cox stations again thanks to a text-to-speech app that uses old recordings of him to create new news reports.  CMG’s WHIO, Dayton reports on that and on Dupree’s celebrating 30 years with Cox.  Read it here.

Patel Appointed EVP of SmartAudio Intelligence Insights for iHeartMedia. Research pro Hetal Patel is making a return to iHeartMedia as the new EVP SmartAudio Intelligence Insights. Previously, she served with the company for four years, rising to vice president of research, insights & analytics.  Most recently, she was head of sales research & insights for Vox Media.  In this new role with iHM, Patel will lead the SmartAudio Intelligence Insights team to “create research and insights that shape iHeartMedia’s value proposition.  Her responsibilities will include providing critical consumer insights, market intelligence and industry trends to iHeartMedia teams, markets and executives by leveraging expertise in areas such as audience analysis, advertising sales metrics and media and digital consumer research.  In addition, Patel will work closely with iHeartMedia’s partners on the development of next-generation analytics, techniques and products including artificial intelligence, machine learning, sentiment analysis and more.  She says, “It really is the golden period of audio.  I am thrilled to be returning to iHeartMedia where data and consumer are genuinely front and center, which means working on truly disruptive and future ready research initiatives designed to address the client and marketplace needs.  It’s truly humbling and an honor to be a story teller and voice for iHeartMedia.”

‘TalkErie.com’ Debuts with SRN and Local Talk Programs. After stunting over the holidays with readings of the U.S. Constitution, the Inspiration Time, Inc.-owned trio of signals in the Erie, Pennsylvania market officially becomes a news/talk outlet as “TalkErie.com.”  Two Erie-licensed translators W277DS at 103.3 FM and W290BI at 105.9 FM are fed by WZTE-AM, North East, Pennsylvania.  Local host Joel Natalie is star of the afternoon drive show.  The rest of the lineup consists of Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis PragerMike Elder, Eric Metaxas, and Joe Walsh.  The station says, “We are Erie, Pennsylvania’s brand-new twin FM talker at 103.3 and 105.9.  Erie News Talk Radio at its finest, with national news twice an hour 24/7 and local news daytime weekdays, you’ll be informed and challenged every minute you spend with TalkErie.com.”

Marc Ryan Named Midday Host at Entercom’s ‘ESPN Upstate.’ Sports talk pro Marc Ryan announces he’s accepted a position with Entercom’s sports talk “ESPN Upstate” – WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL – in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.  There he’ll host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show and serve as assistant program director.  Ryan has been working on air at the company’s KILT-AM, Houston.  It’s unclear what the status is of current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm team “G-Mack & Lonzo” at “ESPN Upstate.”

TALKERS News Notes. Just as the FCC is shutting down – mostly – due to the stalemate over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the country has a complete Commission for the first time in a while.  Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Democratic nominee Geoffrey Starks and confirmed Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr for a full term. Commissioners are not affected by the shutdown since their salaries come from a different source…..SiriusXM extends the employment of president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein, who gets a new deal that will last through May of 2022.  Greenstein will earn $1.6 million per year in base salary with the opportunity to earn a bonus of as much as 150% of his salary based on various incentives…..NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One are launching “The Daily Line,” a new, weekday afternoon drive show, that focuses on sports betting.  It’s being hosted by Michael Jenkins of NBC Sports Washington and 10-year sports radio pro Tim Murray.  The program airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It will be simulcast on television across multiple NBC Sports Regional Networks…..CBS Television’s daytime program “The Talk” names Carrie Ann Inaba a full-time host on the show.  She’s been serving as a guest host for the past two seasons. Her arrival comes on the heels of Julie Chen’s exit from the program in the aftermath of husband and former CBS chief Les Moonves’ sexual harassment allegations…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the National Football League with live, radio play-by-play of the playoffs, beginning with this weekend’s Wild Card games.  WWO is the official national radio partner of the NFL and will also air play-by-play of Super Bowl LIII…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston renews its deal with the NFL’s New England Patriots to continue serving as the flagship for game day broadcasts.  The station has served in this role since it launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009. 

WBZ-AM, Boston Traffic Reporter Joe Stapleton Dead at 55.  Boston radio traffic reporter Joe Stapleton died unexpectedly on December 31 at the age of 55.  WBZ station operations director Bill Flaherty says, “Joe was our overnight traffic reporter here at WBZ.  He never walked through the door without a smile and friendly greeting for everyone he met.”  During his career he worked on the highly rated “Maynard in the Morning” program on WBZ-AM in the 1980s.  He appeared on rock WAAF, Boston’s “Hill-Man Morning Show” for many years as “Major Dick.”  Stapleton also reported on traffic for WBZ-TV and WHDH-TV.  A lover of films, Stapleton also appeared in a number of movies, including: “Spotlight,” “R.I.P.D.,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Mystic River,” and “Edge of Darkness.”

Chicago Media Pro Robert Feder’s Wife Janet Loses Battle with Cancer. The staff of TALKERS magazine sends condolences to Chicago media writer Robert Feder and his family after the passing of his wife Janet G. Feder who died on December 31 after a battle with cancer.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

New Congress, Government Shutdown/Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2). Today’s swearing in of the 116th Congress and the Democrats’ takeover of control; the ongoing battle to fund President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall and the government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the early entrants into the 2020 presidential campaign; and this weekend’s first round of the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison:  Trump’s Impact on News/Talk Radio Unprecedented.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Donald Trump’s influence on the subject matter and tone of news/talk radio in America is greater in terms of one individual newsmaker’s impact than any other during the 29-years that the publication has been tracking content.”  In his first weekly address of 2019 to the TALKERS editorial board earlier this morning (1/2), Harrison added, “…and the president’s influence is reflected on all aspects of spoken-word radio beyond traditional news/talk from sports talk, all-news, and specialty genres to pop culture personalities doing talk shows on music stations.”  Stating, “We can expect more of the same in this new year and probably beyond,” Harrison compared Trump’s pop cultural impact on talk radio to the effect the Beatles had on top 40 radio in the early sixties “when the entire genre changed everything from playlists to imaging to accommodate a new attitude and a flood of new players during the height of the British Invasion.”  Harrison advises broadcasters to keep a watchful eye on their core audiences during the year ahead pointing out, “The polarized nature of today’s target audiences can lull programmers into thinking the makeup of their P1s is etched in stone.  However, the turbulent nature of the times coupled with the emotional investment on the part of listeners to the rapidly unfolding ‘reality show’ can undergo subtle changes or shift on a dime.”  Harrison concluded, “2019 is going to be a great year for talk radio – especially if we stay alert and maximize the extraordinary raw material that these wild times are providing in creative and productive ways – keeping in mind our deeper responsibility to pursue truth over victory and vigilantly respect and defend the First Amendment.”   Editorial Note:  The original artwork accompanying this story below is titled “The Show Must Go On” by Bobbie Winston (a.k.a. La Femme Bobbíe).  She is an award-winning American artist living and painting in Rio de Janeiro since 1988.  She has a world-wide following that enjoys her highly identifiable style.  She paints wildly abstract portraits, full human figures, and imaginative, surrealistic scenarios marked by dramatic features and bold, striking colors.  Her perspective on the human condition is cosmic, inclusive and evolved. Bobbie Winston’s Facebook page and art gallery can be accessed at www.facebook.com/bobbiewinstonartist.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta CHR WWWQ tweaks its station name, leaving behind the “Q100” moniker for the more accurate “Q99.7.”  Cumulus Media VP of CHR and rhythmic CHR Louie Diaz explains, “‘Q100’ has been one of the most successful top 40 radio stations in the country, but now is the right time to refresh and rebrand the station as ‘Q99.7’ for the current and new generation of listeners.  Rebranding ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ reflects the simple fact that listeners find the station at 99.7 on the dial.  Our transition from ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ is now complete.”…..Service Broadcasting – owner of “Dede in the Morning” flagship KKDA, Dallas “K104” – and syndication partner Compass Media Networks announce the continued expansion of the “DeDe in the Morning” franchise with the clearance of the program in Atlanta (on Core Radio Group’s WTBS “Mix 87.7”).  KKDA director of operations Geo Cook says, “We are thrilled with our progress nationally and appreciative to now be heard in Atlanta.  The launch of ‘DeDe’s Weekend Kickback’ is in response to our growing list of affiliates who want unique and compelling content for weekends, in addition to weekday mornings.”…..Bonneville’s adult contemporary KYMX, Sacramento “Mix 96” names Amanda Carroll and Darik Kristofer co-hosts of the its new morning drive program.  Carroll has been hosting a syndicated program via Christian FM…..Former WHUD Hudson Valley, New York morning host and original WMCA Good Guy Ed Baer has died at age 82.   Baer launched his radio career in New York in 1957. In 1986, he joined WHUD and worked there for 29 years.

December 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. December 2018 ratings information has been RE-RELEASED for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. 

Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders one-half share to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM era.  

Off a collective seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends(3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” remains at #14 with its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). While remaining flat at .9 (6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). 

After spending 11 straight ratings periods at #1, Hubbard all-news WTOP (off one-tenth) segues to the runner-up slot. Nonetheless, WTOP is within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the ninth successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+).

It is succeeded at #1 by American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” which is an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). This (9.5) is the best 6+-stat since November 2017(9.6) for WAMU, which was at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018. The exceptions were in July, when WAMU finished third, and now in December (#1). 

Flat at #24, Entercom business news outlet WDCHis down or flat for the fourth straight time (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – More than compensating for November’s -1.0 with a December increase in excess of 50% (4.8 – 7.3, +2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” glides from sixth to third. At this time last year, WASH posted a 7.8 (December 2017, 6+). Prior to November’s -1.0, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). In early-October, Entercom transitioned hot AC WIAD “Fresh” to classic hits-oldies “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits.” WIAD is up one-half share to 2.9 (#18 to #16), its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.1. A loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+) takes its former format rival – Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” – to its lowest 6+-showing since June (4.0, as well). Having logged a 2.4 – 2.9 (6+) for 11 straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC added four-tenths in November to 3.2, but “DC-101” relinquishes seven-tenths in December to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). The nine-tenths lead that Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” held over urban AC competitor WHUR in November expands to 1.5, as “Majic” is up one-tenth to 6.8 (fourth, 6+) while Howard University’s WHUR is off one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, fifth, 6+). “Majic” (-.9 in October) had been in third-place the past four months, while WHUR (-1.0 in October) finished fourth in each of the previous eight ratings periods. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. After four straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Unchanged at #12, Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” drops three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus snapping at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to September, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22ratings periods. Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” is a collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+). Steady at #18, Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” surrenders one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+). 

 

Boston 

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO surrenders 75% of that increase and tumbles from #12 to #15 (2.6, -.6, 6+). November’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). 

In November, the market’s two FM sports talkers combined for an 11.8 (6+), which represented a +1.4 from October’s 10.4. It is a different story in December though as Entercom’s WEEI-FM erodes by two full-shares (5.7 – 3.7, third to ninth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” sputters by one full-share (5.1, second to fifth, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox – WEEI-FM – has the dubious distinction of having the largest (6+) November 2018 – December 2018 decrease (-2.0) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we’ve seen thus far. WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Meanwhile, December’s -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspends four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England PatriotsBoston Celtics, and Boston Bruins

Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM is off a collective one-half share via three straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), “News Radio 1030” actually advances from eighth to seventh. 

It is a bit of a similar scenario for WBUR, which drops four-tenths (5.5 – 5.1, 6+), but improves from sixth to fifth; the Boston University news/talker had registered a 5.5 (6+) in September, October, and November. WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH answers November’s loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 2.6, 6+) with a gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #13, 6+). Its June 2018 – October 2018 (6+) topline was 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4, but November’s 2.6 was its lowest 6+-showing since June 2016 (2.6, as well).

Boston Music Formats – A modest November increase of three-tenths (5.3 – 5.6, 6+) by Entercom adult contemporary WMJX is followed by a massive +3.3 as “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from fourth to first. Its December 2018 8.9 (6+) is one-tenth better from what it logged this time last year (8.8, December 2017). Competing roughly 40 miles to the west from Worcester, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” nearly doubles (+.5) its 6+ Boston stat (.6 – 1.1, 6+) and checks in at #22. The station that “Magic” displaced at #1 is WSRS’ CHR sibling, WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.9 – 6.8, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Kiss” had been on top the past 11 ratings periods. By picking up two-tenths in November, WXKS-FM halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” improves by eight-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to third), its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). A collective +1.2 via five successive increases (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” climbs from #13 to #12. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 18thstraight sweep, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.4 – 2.8, +.4, 6+) advances from #16 to #13. By dropping two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT not only has its successive string of increases that produced a +.8 end at three (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), “Hot 96.9” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the sixth successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.0 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” actually remains in ninth-place. Without a loss the past four months for a collective gain of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is off two-tenths in December to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). 

 

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Remaining at #18, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” drops one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). 

May 2018 through December 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 (#28 to #26, 6+). Off three-tenths (.9 – .6, 6+), co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” slumps from #27 to #30. Its three-tenths’ increase in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). 

Unchanged at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN regains the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #16 to #11, 6+) takes Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7 – Cubaton y Mas” to its highest 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.2, as well). Carrying on in sixth-place, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” is without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a collective +.9 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Rebounding from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths (7.2 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is on top for the seventh straight month. Prior to November, “Easy” was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three consecutive months without a loss for an overall advantage of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. The market’s other AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” – improves by one-half share (5.7 – 6.2, 6+) and inches up from fourth to second. “Lite FM” wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. WLYF was a collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). In six of the last ten survey periods, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has posted a 4.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7, sixth to seventh,6+). After dropping two-tenths in November, the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share falters by another six-tenths as Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (3.2 – 3.0, -.2, #12 to #13, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #10 to #14, 6+). Prior to October’s gain of three-tenths, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+).     

 

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in November, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM regresses by another three-tenths (6.0 – 5.7, 6+), sliding from second to third. Its -.6 in November pulled the plug on three straight positive spikes which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Three increases in a row for a collective +.9 by co-owned KTTH (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) are wiped away completely with a December loss of nine-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as “Conservative Talk Radio” exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). A similar streak concludes as well as Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” up three-tenths since May through six straight reports without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), loses one-tenth (1.2, #24 to #25, 6+). 

A collective +.7 in October and November, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” regresses by two-tenths in December to 3.9 (6+), but remains at #9. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” returns one-tenth to 1.3 (flat at #23, 6+). 

In a statistical oddity, all-news KOMO had been making moves in increments of two-tenths. The Sinclair Broadcast Group facility was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and up two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+). It is down in December – but – by three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+).

Following four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW lost one-half share in November, but recaptures two-tenths in December (5.8 – 6.0, third to second, 6+); KUOW was #1 in September. October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5. Entering the August sweep, KUOW was an overall -1.1 in three straight down or flat sweeps (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+).  

Seattle Music Formats – Not only does Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM tack on a robust +4.7 to November’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8, 6+), “Warm 106.9” rockets from ninth all the way to first; KRWM logged an 8.1 (6+) in December 2017. Its improvement of seven-tenths in November applied the brakes to four successive setbacks that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015;“Warm” was #1 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. The station dislodged from the top spot and sliding to fourth is KRWM’s CHR cluster-mate KQMV (6.6 – 5.3, -1.3, 6+). In calendar year 2018, “MOViN 92.5” ranked first in February, March, June, July, August, October, and November. KQMV was +1.7 (July); -1.4 (August); -.6 (September); +1.0 (October); and now -1.3 (December). It has been just over one year since Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound.” In the September 2018 sweep, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), “The Sound” was an impressive +1.7.That streak though is stymied in December with a loss of eight-tenths (4.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” adds sixth-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, #20 to #16, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which lost approximately half (-.7) of its 6+-share through four drops in a row (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.3 (#23, 6+). A collective -1.6in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” fades from the top ten (#5 to #12). This (3.7) is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK in exactly one year (3.6, 6+, December 2017). Evaporating by one full-share and one-half share, respectively, are Hubbard-owned country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (3.1 – 2.1, #16 to #21, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “93.3 Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3 – 2.8, #14 to #17, 6+). Entercom’s KISW is without an improvement for the seventh straight sweep for a collective -2.0 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), but “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” continues in sixth-place. Co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in seven consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), but advances from #20 to #19. 

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Through four straight gains, Cumulus Media’s WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), but “News Talk 760” forfeits six-tenths in December to 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.2 in August interrupted three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). 

Following three upticks in a row that netted a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/PistonsRed WingsTigers flagship WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns one-half share to 5.9 (6+), slipping from fifth to sixth.  

Rebounding from November’s one-half share loss with a positive spike of two-tenths (6.6 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” progresses from third to second. Its -.5 in November halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 was WWJ’s strongest 6+-stat since March 2017 (7.4).  

Off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #18 to #19. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM halted eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains byWDET yielded an overall nine-tenths (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility drops two-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #22, 6+). 

Detroit Music Formats – Over and above logging its third straight increase for a cumulative +6.5, easily doubling its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” marches from third to first. Not only that, WNIC boasts the largest 6+-share (12.2) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we have analyzed thus far. This time last year, WNIC posted an 11.8 (December 2017, 6+). Ousted from the penthouse and segueing to #3 is Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 6.6, -1.2, 6+). Its +.5 in November curtailed three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. A -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, second to fifth, 6+) sends Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” to its lowest 6+-stat (6.0) since November 2017’s 5.9. After four straight up or flat moves that netted six-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). Four negative trends in a row by Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” have accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+). 

Phoenix 

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.2 as a result of four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM relinquishes two-thirds of that increase (3.5, -.8, 6+) yet actually improves from ninth to eighth. In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI falls from #15 to #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). 

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.1in three straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+) and repeats at #21. September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix SunsArizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #16 to #14. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ result in a collective +3.6 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7, 6+). KESZ, which notched a 12.1 (6+) in December 2017, is on top for the third straight time. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Doubling November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” climbs from fifth to fourth. In sevenstraight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI “The Oasis” is a collective +1.2(1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, #19 to #16, 6+). Eroding by -1.2(4.5 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Down by one-half share (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #13, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAI “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .3, #34, 6+). “Live” was upone-half share in November and off seven-tenths in October. Despite losing a collective eight-tenths through four straight decreases (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” actually advances from tenth to ninth. Without an increase for the fifth straight month, TheYucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, #18 to #19, 6+). Returning the one-half share it gained in November (2.8        3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” slips from #13 to #14. 

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Via five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is off by an overall six-tenths, dropping from #11 to #12. Earlier this year, “News Radio 830” was +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8 (June); and +.5 (July). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which sputters by four-tenths (4.1 – 3.7, #11 to #14, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY has that gain erased in December with a -.5 (2.4 #15 to #17, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).   

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” returns one-third of that increase (5.7, -1.0, second to sixth, 6+). That particular streak by the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild directly followed four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1(5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February 2018 through December 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slumps from #21 to #24. 

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0(3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW drops two-tenths in November and three-tenths in December (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, flat at #10, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). 

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roaring back from a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+) with a +2.1 in December (to 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” progresses from third to first. It succeeds Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” (7.3 – 6.3, -1.0, 6+), which shifts to fourth. Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), KSTP-FM logged four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August. Tacking on eight-tenths to November’s +.4 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” jumps from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since July’s 5.9. This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” for an overall gain of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, fifth to third 6+). Advancing by six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (6.7, fourth to second, 6+) and Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN (#17 to #15). In advance of its December growth, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+); KSJN is +.9 in four upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9, 6+). After notching consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” erodes by -1.0 to 4.6 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” (unchanged at #9) and Minnesota Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88 FM” (2.2 – 1.7, #18 to #19, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, KTIS-FM is off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+). Following three negative moves in a row for a cumulative August through November loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP adds one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and stays at #16.

San Diego 

Spoken-Word Formats –There is another major fluctuation for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO (4.7 – 4.0, -.7, sixth to ninth). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and now -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Finishing back-to-back are Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is up one-tenth to 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+), after three straight months at 1.6 (6+), and iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” (1.3 – 1.2, -.1, #24 to #23, 6+).   

Off three-tenths (1.2 – .9, 6+),Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” slips from #24 to #25; November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Repeating at #27 and #29, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.7 – .8, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (flat at .6, 6+).  

Despite being down six-tenths (6.8 – 6.2, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS is #1 for the third month in a row. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and segued from first to second (September).  

San Diego Music Formats– With an April 2018 – November 2018 topline within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY busts out a +2.5 (3.3 – 5.8, 6+) as it zooms from #11 to #3, surpassing by one-tenth the 5.7 it logged in December 2017. There are half-share December 2018 increases for iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+); Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+); and Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to #13, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Star” since May (5.2, as well). KFMB-FM is bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” – drops two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #15, 6+), thus suspending three straight up or flat moves that generated an overall +1.1 (2.2 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to picking up three-tenths in November, Entercom’s KSON was an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). In December, however, “103.7 New Country” plummets by one full-share (5.2 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Having logged a 4.6 in three of the last four sweeps (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KGB “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock” falters by nine-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+). A December loss of six-tenths by co-owned CHR KHTS erases November’s one-half share gain (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. Down or flat for the fifth report in a row for a collective -1.1(5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” skids from fifth to seventh. In three downward trends in succession, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4, stable at #17, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). 

 

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths (3.8 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #11 to #13. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. WFLA was +.5 in January and February; -.5 (March); +.8 (April); -.7 (July);+.6 (August); -.6 (October); and +.5 in November. It has tied with Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” (3.6 – 3.4, -.2, 6+), which is unchanged at #14. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

The collective +.6 iHeartMedia-owned WDAE racked up in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) disappears in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+) as “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” slides from #19 to #20. 

It is now one-tenth behind University of South Florida news/talk WUSF, which is down one-tenth to 2.2 (#19 to #18, 6+), thus snapping at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); November’s 2.3 is its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.8.

Tampa Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group’s WPBB a cumulative +1.4 in three straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7, 6+), it vaults from #18 to #11 with its highest 6+-stat (3.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.0. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Good news continues for iHeartMedia hot AC WTMX as “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in four positive spikes in succession (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3, steady at #7, 6+). Adding a +1.1 to November’s +.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” sets the pace for the 76th successive ratings period. This (10.8) is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9; WDUV was 10.4 (6+) in December 2017. Ending its (6+) 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.7 sequence with a one-half share increase to 4.2, iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). On the heels of November’s one-half share improvement, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” surrenders seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). November’s +.5 halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” forfeits six-tenths (6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but ranks #2 for the fifth sweep in succession. Off by six-tenths as well is co-owned CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), which drifts from the top ten (#10 to #15). Entering the November sweep, its format rival, iHeartMedia-ownedCHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” was a collective +.6 via three straight up or flat moves (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). WFLZ dropped two-tenths in November but bounces back in December with a +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 eighthto seventh, 6+).  

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The May 2018 through September 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a fairly even 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), but the last three reports have included a +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and now a -.6 in November (5.1 – 6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), as the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies falls from third to sixth. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” continues at both 1.5 and #21 (6+). 

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9(2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+),Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” returns eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM“Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche is off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), but advances from #30 to #29.

Even though it adds three-tenths (6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR – on top the past three months – segues to #2. A one-tenth decline in November suspended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5(5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Earlier in calendar year 2018, KCFR was #1 in January, March, and May. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC picks up two-tenths (1.2 – 1.4, 6+) and moves from #24 to #22.

Denver Music Formats – A collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” busts out of the slump with a +2.7 to 7.6 (6+), marching from fifth to first. KOSI was up or flat five consecutive months (February 2018 through July 2018) for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). This (7.6) is the strongest 6+-showing since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5 for KOSI, which was 7.8 (6+) in December 2017. Stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia’s KRFX erupts with a +1.0 to 5.0 (6+), as “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” leaps from #11 to #3 with its best 6+-stat (5.0) since March (5.2). Wiping away November’s one-half share loss with December’s +.9 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” zooms from #19 to #14. A one-half share improvement by Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.1, #17 to #15, 6+) interrupts four straight negative moves that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to six, 6+) thus snapping at three its consecutive string of improvements that generated a +.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately after posting a November gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” regresses by seven-tenths (3.5 – 2.8, #13 to #17, 6+). Declining by one-half share to 2.1 (#16 to #19, 6+) is Max Broadcast Group rhythmic hot AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5,” which was a collective +1.2 via three straight gains (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). By dropping one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” slips from second to third. In four consecutive decreases, Bonneville’s country KYGO is a cumulative -1.7 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). 

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, flat at #11, 6+), while HearstTelevision news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, flat at #13, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 (#27 to #29, 6+). 

Recapturing 50% of November’s -1.0 (4.1 – 4.6, +.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” advances from ninth to seventh. An overall +1.1 as a result of four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and now +.5 (December).  

Even though it erases November’s +.3 with a December -.3 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” progresses from #12 to #11. WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Conversely, American University-owned news/talk WAMU is up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), yet drops from #16 to #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Shifting from #25 to #27, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through December 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 ( 6+).  

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than doubled (+5.1) its 6+-stat via four straight gains (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” advances from third to first. This (10.1) is the highest 6+-share for WLIF since 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017; WLIF was 9.7 (6+) in December 2017. Registering a gain of nine-tenths is iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today,”which more than doubles (+1.1its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat Baltimore trends (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Exiting the top spot after holding that position the last 11 survey periods is Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (8.7 – 8.6, -.1, first to second, 6+). In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2,but it responded in June with a gain of three-tenths. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ “92-Q Jams” (7.7 – 7.0, -.7, 6+), which had been attached to the runner-up slot the past seven months, segues to third-place. Not having an increase three months in a row resulted in a loss of nine tenths for iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), but “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” is up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). A loss of one full-share by Entercom CHR WWMX (5.2 – 4.2, sixth to tenth, 6+) sends “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” to its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (4.2, as well). Off by seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (5.8 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (5.0 – 4.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). For the fourth month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping nine-tenths in November, Entercom news/talk KMOX surrenders another six-tenths (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slides from second to third. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” forfeits three-tenths to 2.5 (6+), but stays at #17. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it suspended three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). 

Four straight up or flat moves by Hubbard sports talk WXOS netted a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). In November and December, however, “101 Sports” is off a collective four-tenths (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), yet improves from #14 to #12. 

After being up or flat the past six ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU falters by three-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #15, 6+). St. Louis Music Formats – Flipping a combined -.7 in October and November (5.9 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+) into a whopping +4.6 in December (9.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” rockets from seventh to first. At this time last year, KEZK logged a 6.7 (6+, December 2017). It is a quick one-month (November 2018) stay at #1 for GatewayCreative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which segues from first to second. Since it returned in print this past April, KLJY has the following topline: 7.2 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 7.8 (August, #1) – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 (November, #1) – 8.0 (December 2018, 6+). After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improves by one-half share to 6.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having racked up a +1.4 in September and October (6.7 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” follows with a combined -1.9 in November and December (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.2, third to fifth, 6+). In four successive sweeps without an increase, co-owned CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -.9 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+). The last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).As the result of four straight up or flat moves, Hubbard-owned WIL was a collective +1.0 (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+) but “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” falters in December by four-tenths to 6.1 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates 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.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

| November 7, 2018

Brown Moves to Nights on KOA, Denver; ‘Caplis and Kafer’ Launches on KHOW in PM Drive. Programming changes at iHeartMedia Denver take place as former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA Michael Brown moves from KHOW to sister KOA to launch the live “Heckuva Show with Michael Brown,” airing weekday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at first, then expanding to 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm on December 3.  On KHOW, the new “Caplis and Kafer” show with Dan Caplis (left) and Krista Kafer (right) assumes the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  iHeartMedia Denver region president Tim Hager says, “Adding these new shows on both KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM and TalkRadio 630 KHOW further enhances our commitment to original, local content.  We’re fortunate to have Michael, Dan, and Krista in these key roles and I’m confident they will quickly become a trusted source of information and entertainment for our listeners, clients and partners.”  Brown tells TALKERS magazine, “The opportunity to create a live, local evening program on iconic KOA News Radio is a chance most radio hosts rarely get to pursue.  I am especially grateful for iHeart’s confidence in this venture by entering into a multi-year contract extension, allowing me to build a live show in this unique time slot.  AM radio needs live evening programming and this is a fantastic opportunity to fill that need and eventually grow the program to a broader audience outside the Denver metropolitan area.  KOA News Radio is heard in 38 states during the evening hours and that is a solid foundation for building a broader program.  It is great to be back on the ‘blowtorch’ of Denver radio.”

KTRS, St. Louis Announces Air Talent Changes After Jon Grayson’s Exit.  Last week, station general manager Mark Dorsey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after letting late morning talk host Jon Grayson go, “Jon is a great guy and a great broadcaster.  We just decided to go in a different direction.”  Grayson had been co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Jennifer Blome.  He joined CH Holdings‘ KTRS in 2017 after 16 years as overnight host at crosstown KMOX. Now, KTRS moves Jay Kanzler from the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show to co-host the “Jennifer & Jay” program in the late morning daypart.  The Post-Dispatch reports that station on-air producer Josh Gilbert takes over the late night show as host.  Unrelated to the previous moves, KTRS announces market radio personality Wendy Wiese is joining the morning drive McGraw Milhaven show as a Monday co-host, with Kelly Jackson continuing to co-host Tuesday through Friday.

Cox Media Group to Split WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville Simulcast; AM to Become ESPN Radio Affiliate. The change will take effect in January and will end the AM/FM simulcast of Cox Media Group’s successful “News 104.5 WOKV.”  While the FM will continue as a news/talk outlet, the AM becomes “ESPN 690AM.”  CMG Jacksonville market VP Dan Lawrie says, “We’re very excited to expand the coverage of ESPN Sports in Jacksonville.  From NFL football, to college sports, to high school football, we can cover more sports for Jacksonville sports fans than any other local radio station.”  The station will air the bulk of the ESPN Radio lineup but appears to be considering a local afternoon drive show as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot is still to-be-determined.

Bustos Experimenting with Local Talk/Brokered Format on KVOI, Tucson. The recent closing on Bustos Media’s purchase of news/talk KVOI, Tucson took place last week and the company swiftly dropped the network programming and added local talk shows to make the station all local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Bloomberg Radio airs the rest of the time). Although it’s not clear from the piece posted at Tucson.com how many hosts are brokering their programs, it quotes company president Amador Bustos saying, “It’s an experiment for all of us.  I don’t necessarily know if it’s going to take root in this market.”  He adds he’ll give it about a year to see if it’s financially tenable.  The piece notes local talk personality John C. Scott assisted putting the lineup together. He’ll also host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  As for the rest of the shows, management expanded morning host Chris DeSimone’s program to 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Mark Bishop hosts a “local variety show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Bill Buckmaster continues his local talk show from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, followed by Steve Rivera’s sports talk program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Dawn English’s local cultural programming from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Hannity Appearance at Trump Rally Results in Public Statement from FNC; Tweets from Hannity. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity appeared on the stage at President Trump’s rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday evening after stating in a Tweet earlier in the day that he was only there to cover it and interview the president.  When he took the stage Monday night, he referred to the press in the back of the room – which included FOX News reporters – as the “fake news.” On Tuesday, FOX News issued the following statement: “FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.  We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.  This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”  Hannity later Tweeted about the issue, saying, “What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful.  When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.”  He also addressed the “fake news” comment: “To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks.  They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals.”

Entercom Names Kevin Cassidy NOLA Cluster Chief. Moving from Entercom’s Dallas station group to New Orleans to assume the SVP and market manager position is Kevin Cassidy.  He’ll lead the cluster that includes legendary news/talk WWL-AM/FM and music outlets CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” AC WLMG “Magic 101.9,” and rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ “New Hot 92.9 FM.”  Cassidy says, “I am excited to start the next chapter of my career overseeing this strong portfolio of stations in New Orleans.  I relish this opportunity to work with the team and I look forward to leading our stations to anticipated growth in this market.” Cassidy previously served as president of D&R National Radio Sales and vice president and director of sales for iHeartMedia in Dallas.

Midterm Elections Dominate News/Talk Radio on Tuesday.  As happens every so often when the big news story of the day is so all-encompassing, talk about the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate dominated the topics on news/talk radio yesterday (11/6), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  Other campaign-related topics such as the migrant caravan, foreign relations, and financial markets activity were also part of the larger discussion.

TALKERS News Notes. “New Jersey 101.5” evening talk host Steve Trevelise tells TALKERS magazine that comic and former Howard Stern cast member Artie Lange (pictured here in the “New Jersey 101.5” studios) revealed on his radio show that he’s seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. Trevelise writes, “Monday night, Artie met with City Of Angels founder Kevin Meara, who just returned from the first-ever DOJ Opioid Summit in Washington DC, and with Artie’s good friend and comedian ‘The Reverend’ Bob Levy in the ‘New Jersey 101.5’ conference room.  Now a recovery coach, actress Amy Locane shared her story making a connection, saying that even in the darkest place, through recovery you begin to see light.”  Read the whole story here…..Tomorrow night (11/8), Walter M. Sterling, host of network radio’s “Sterling on Sunday,” is guest starring on Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Westwood One is now the exclusive radio partner of 24/7 weather reporting service Weatherology.  WWO is handling affiliate sales for the service to build on its “existing 600 affiliates in the Upper Midwest.”  Cumulus Media EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re partnering with Weatherology because of their unparalleled immediacy, currency, and quality.  From day-to-day forecasts to storm emergencies, weather on the radio is a vital service to local communities.  Winter is coming soon and Westwood One is ready to offer this service to stations everywhere, including our massive 24-hour format customer base.”…..Entercom sports talk outlet KGMZ-AM, San Francisco “1550-AM The Game” agrees to extend its partnership with the University of San Francisco to broadcast the school’s men’s basketball games.  As part of the deal, select games will be simulcast on KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game.”  Pat Olson, longtime play-by-play voice of the Dons, and former USF men’s basketball head coach Jim Brovelli will continue to call the action…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that Bloomberg Radio Network is again producing the series “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the 2019 tax season.  The 30-second segments are written and anchored by Bloomberg’s team leader for tax coverage, Alexis Leondis…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM are supporting the 20th annual “NRG Santa Spectacular” on November 16 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh  This year’s event will feature a musical performance by “American Idol” contestant and Pittsburgh native Gabby Barrett, as well as other family friendly activities.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Since 1998, ‘Santa Spectacular’ has been a staple for families in Pittsburgh and we are excited to continue this tradition.  We are looking forward to bringing the city together for this great event.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  The survey month was generally good to public radio news/talk stations with 57% seeing an increase in their weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the September survey.  The comparison to the October 2017 survey shows about half the stations went up, less than half went down and two stations saw no change.  A total of five public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the October survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia promotes Amanda Jo Parker to assistant program director for country WBWL “101.7 The Bull.” She’ll continue hosting her evening show there as well as her duties as afternoon personality on the company’s WRNX, Springfield, Massachusetts “KIX 100.9.”…..Orlando Rosa joins iHeartMedia as program director for regional Mexican WBZY, Atlanta “El Patron 105.3.”  He was most recently operations manager at Phoenix-based Riviera Communications.  Regional SVP of programming Brian Michel says, “We are thrilled to welcome Orlando to the iHeartMedia Atlanta team because of his wealth of experience and vast market knowledge.  Orlando brings passion, energy, and a strong commitment to super-serving our listeners, partners, and the Atlanta community.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; the weekend’s NFL action and the MLB Playoffs 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. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

| July 25, 2018

Beasley Sets Price for ‘Bordes Family’ Stock at $7.50; Pulls Back on Secondary Offering. Analysts are saying the announcement of the sale of 3,126,147 shares of its Class A common stock – shares held by the Bordes family and received in the Greater Media deal – at $7.50 per share, combined with Beasley Media Group’s intent to purchase country WXTU, Philadelphia for $38 million in cash has sent the company’s stock price down 17.4% (as of Tuesday) to $7.35 per share.  As a result, Beasley has reversed course and will not sell 1.1 million shares of Beasley family-held stock in a secondary offering.  At the same time, the company has set the price of the “Bordes family” stock to the public at $7.50 per share.  That offering is expected to close on or about July 26 (subject to customary closing conditions).  Additionally, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 468,922 shares of Class A common stock from the “Bordes family selling stockholders.”  Beasley will not receive any proceeds from shares of Class A common stock to be sold by the Bordes family selling stockholders.  Guggenheim Securities, LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

Cox Media Group Considering ‘Strategic Options’ for Television Assets. It wasn’t that long ago that a rumor filtered through the radio industry that Cox Media Group may be shopping its radio station properties.  Now we learn that CMG’s concern is not with its radio division but with the 14-station TV group.  In a statement, Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie says that when it comes to television, “scale is critical to be successful.  We firmly believe that our great stations – and talented people – will need to be part of a larger entity to thrive in the future.”  It’s not clear if Cox has a buyer or partner in mind, but Guthrie says any deal would likely be completed in the next six to 12 months.  Her internal memo says the company would consider merging or partnering with another media entity.  Cox Enterprises president and CEO Alex Taylor  says in his internal memo, “We’ve identified a lot of exciting growth opportunities, and also some tough decisions we need to make as time marches on and things change.”

FCC Seeking Comments on Competition in Audio Marketplace.  Speaking of competition in the broader media marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission issues a public notice seeking comment from the industry on the “status of competition in the marketplace for delivery of audio programming.”  Recent legislation requires “the Commission publish a Communications Marketplace Report in the last quarter of every even numbered year.  Among other things, the biennial Communications Marketplace Report requires that the Commission assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver audio service among broadcast stations, satellite radio, and entities that provide audio content via the internet and to mobile devices.”  Responses to this request could go a long way in giving the FCC the information it needs to justify changes in ownership caps, for example.  The notice continues: “Accordingly, this Public Notice seeks input on the state of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming as it would relate to the overall goal of providing the required Communications Marketplace Report to Congress.  This Public Notice requests comment on the criteria or metrics that could be used to evaluate the state of competition in the audio programming marketplace, as well as comment and information on industry data, competitive dynamics, and trending factors.  For example, commenters are invited to submit the following data and information related to participants in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming, including, but not limited to, terrestrial radio broadcasters (i.e., AM and FM radio stations), satellite radio providers, and entities that provide audio programming over the Internet and to mobile devices (collectively, Audio Marketplace Participants): 1) identification and ownership of key Audio Marketplace Participants, as well as the business models and competitive strategies they use; 2) trends in service offerings, pricing, and consumer behavior; 3) the extent of competition among Audio Marketplace Participants, including intramodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of the same type, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations) and intermodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of different types, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations and satellite radio providers); 4) ratings, subscribership, and revenue information, for the marketplace as a whole and for individual Audio Marketplace Participants; 5) capital investment, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technology; 6) requirements for entry into the marketplace; and 7) recent entry into and exit from the marketplace.”  See the full Notice here.

Jack Taddeo to Lead Cumulus Des Moines. Radio management pro Jack Taddeo is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Des Moines station group that includes: news/talk/sports KBGG and four music formatted stations.  Taddeo was most recently market manager at NRG Media’s Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids cluster.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “We are thrilled to have a broadcaster like Jack Taddeo to lead the Cumulus team in Des Moines.  Jack’s passion for broadcast and the impact it has in communities is contagious.”

Doug Gottlieb and JT The Brick Launch NFL Camp Tour. The NFL season is just around the corner and that means FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb and JT “The Brick” are on the road visiting team training camps in California for the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.  The Doug Gottlieb show will broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams training camp at UC Irvine on July 27, followed by the Dallas Cowboys training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard on August 6, and the Los Angeles Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa on August 9.  JT “The Brick,” who has served in various broadcast capacities with the Oakland Raiders since 1998 and currently serves as a sideline reporter for the team’s pre-season broadcasts, will broadcast from their training camp in Napa Valley, on July 26 and 27.

New Affiliates for Walter M. Sterling; Guest Shot on KMOX, St. Louis. New affiliates for the Westwood One-distributed “Sterling on Sunday” program include KKSF, San Francisco and KUFO, Portland.  Walter M. Sterling says, “The show’s success comes from holding up a mirror to daily life.  I did a whole hour about stealing Splenda and tiny airplane bathrooms.” On Thursday of this week (7/26), Sterling guest stars on KMOX, St. Louis’ “Overnight America” program for regular host Ryan Wrecker.

Envision’s ‘Drive By Funny’ to Air on WWSE, Jamestown.  The city of license for adult contemporary WWSE “SE93” – Jamestown, New York – is the hometown of comedy legend Lucille Ball.  The owner is Media One Group and director of broadcast operations Andrew Hill says, “Jamestown, New York is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, the first female of comedy, so we needed to have a professional and easy-to-use comedy service to entertain listeners that come into town from across the globe to visit her hometown.  We are also opening the new National Comedy Center museum in Jamestown this year and we really needed a turnkey comedy option that our jocks could use to promote all of the comedy we have in town.  ‘Drive by Funny’ fits our needs perfectly and our audience is enjoying these clean, funny, and iconic audio pieces to laugh to throughout the day.”  Envision Networks says, “Drive By Funny’s contemporary and classic comedy cuts come from a library that boasts tracks pulled from an archive of more than 18,000 safe-for-work and in-the-car comedy clips that can create a great opportunity for benchmark features and lucrative sponsorship opportunities.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trade Wars/Farm Aid Package, Illegal Immigration/Asylum Policies, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Ivanka Trump Shuts Fashion Brand, Mega Millions Jackpot, Southwest Heatwave, Athens Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the Trump tariffs and fears of trade wars as well as the related move to provide $12 billion in assistance to U.S. farmers; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum polices; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Ivanka Trump shutters her fashion brand; the $522 million Mega Millions jackpot; the heatwave affecting the Southwest U.S.; the deadly wildfires ravaging Greece; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Nathan Graham is named PD at Entercom’s CHR WDZH, Detroit “98.7 AMP Radio.”  He comes to Detroit from his most recent position with the company at CHR WXSS, Milwaukee “103.7 KISS FM” where he was APD and music director.  Entercom Detroit vice president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Nathan has cultivated strong leadership skills and a wealth of top 40 format knowledge that we are confident will help propel ‘98.7 AMP Radio’ to new heights.  We are proud to cultivate talent within the Entercom team and look forward to welcoming him to Detroit.”  Graham succeeds Ian “Slacker” Richards as program director, who remains at the station as the afternoon drive host, APD and music director…..KISS-FM, San Antonio-based Billy Madison is named Best Talk Show Host by San Antonio Current magazine.  His syndicated “Billy Madison Show” airs in morning drive on the Cox Media Group rock outlet…..SiriusXM announces that The Beach Boys will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” series at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on July 30.  The session will be moderated by Emmy award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Rob Reiner and will air on August 10 at 5:00 pm ET/PT on the Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel.  In this rare, live group appearance, founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and David Marks along with long time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, will gather to speak with Reiner and answer questions from fans about their SiriusXM channel, their new album, The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their celebrated career as one of the world’s most beloved and respected bands…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 3.  The fifth annual concert will celebrate the best in Latin music with performances by Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, and Becky G with more artists to follow.

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day!  Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

| January 2, 2018

Holland Cooke and Michael Harrison Present TALKERS 2017 in Review on RT America.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke was joined by Michael Harrison during a special year-end wrap up of 2017 on Cooke’s RT America show, “The Big Picture.”  The two counted down the 10 most-talked-about topics and people on talk radio in America during 2017 according to TALKERS, offering personal insights and commentary along the way.  To view the entire segment, please click here.

CMG, Mike Calta and Matt Loyd Sued by Hulk Hogan in Sex Tape Case.  The infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape is back in the news in Florida as the former pro wrestler (real name Terry Bollea) is suing Cox Media Group, WHPT, Tampa air personality Mike Calta, and former WHPT staffer Matt Loyd for unspecified damages.  According to a report by WFTS-TV, Tampa, the defendants had asked that the case be dismissed, but a Pinellas County court judge has ruled the case can move forward.  If you remember, Hogan sued Gawker over its posting of a video of him having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem and won a $100 million judgement.  But Gawker’s subsequent bankruptcy declaration and sale make it unlikely he’ll collect on that.  So, now Hogan is going after CMG, Calta, and Loyd, claiming that the defendants are guilty of “stealing, disseminating, using and exploiting illegally-recorded video.”

Mike Felger Re-Ups with Beasley’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’  Boston sports media personality Mike Felger – co-host of the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show on WBZ-FM – signs a multi-year contract extension with Beasley Media Group to continue his duties with the station.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley says, “We are thrilled to have Mike continue entertaining Boston’s loyal and dedicated sports fans.”  The company says the afternoon show – co-hosted by Tony Massarotti – has finished #1 with Men 25-54 for the 22nd consecutive quarter.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo to Leave ‘Mighty 1090’ San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo announces he’s exiting the morning drive show at Broadcast Company