Tag: "creditors"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View 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. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

| November 2, 2017

Cumulus Elects to Miss $23.6 Million Interest Payment; Restructuring Talks to Intensify.  The decision by the restructuring committee of Cumulus Media’s board of directors to forgo the scheduled interest payment of $23.6 million due yesterday (11/1) is designed to emphasize the importance of negotiations with creditors for restructuring the company’s debt.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, the company acknowledges its private discussions with lenders and noteholders and says, “This decision was made in support of the Company’s efforts to develop and implement a restructuring that will allow the Company to continue its operational and financial momentum, as evidenced by the results announced in its selected preliminary operating results for third quarter 2017 on October 26, 2017.  The decision to withhold payment during the grace period will not impact the Company’s operating constituents, including its employees, advertisers, network affiliates, vendors and content partners.”  This move will mature into an “Event of Default” if the payment is not made by December 1.  Obviously, Cumulus hopes that progress on restructuring can be made this month.

Entercom Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Entercom’s net revenue was $122.3 million, an increase of 1% over 2016’s $121.6 million.  Operating income was $13.5 million, after $8.8 million in merger and acquisition costs, compared to $25.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.  Same station net revenue decreased by 1%, excluding political.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom as we count down the days before closing our game-changing merger with CBS RADIO.  Entercom will be one of the radio industry’s two largest companies with an extraordinary lineup of highly rated, award winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events and a robust set of meaningful scale-driven, value-creation opportunities.  We are looking forward to deploying our extensive plans to drive growth in the business through a significant series of enhancements and investments across the organization.”

Marv Nyren Named Chicago Market Manager for Cumulus.  Chicago native Marv Nyren returns to the commercial radio biz as the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Windy City stations news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM, alternative WKQX, and classic rock WLUP-FM.  He was most recently vice president of corporate sponsorships at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  He’d previously been a market manager for Emmis Communications serving in Chicago, Phoenix, and Indianapolis and for iHeartMedia managing its Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia stations.  Cumulus EVP Dave Milner states, “Marv brings a wealth of experience and drive to Cumulus Chicago.  He is a smart, competitive operator focused on building strong cultures that support and empower the team to succeed.”

WHO, Des Moines Talk Host Simon Conway Recovering from Heart Attacks.  According to an account in the Des Moines Register, WHO afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway has been off his radio program this week after suffering two heart attacks over the past six days.  The paper says Conway confirmed the news via Facebook posts from his hospital bed in which he told his fans that he’s feeling fine and that he hopes to be back on the air by Monday.  iHeartMedia Des Moines market manager Joel McCrea tells the Register that he understands the heart attacks were mild and that Conway is resting at home.  See the Register story here.

WHPT, Tampa’s Drew Garabo Endorsed Investment SEC Calls a Fraud. Afternoon drive personality Drew Garabo – heard on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” – voiced ads for an investment that the Securities Exchange Commission is calling a Ponzi scheme.  According to a report by WFLA-TV, Tampa, the ads appeared on WHPT for Optimal Economics Capital Partners fund, or O. E. Capital, being sold by C 4 Benefits Group, with the endorsement ad voiced by Garabo.  The SEC says the fund raised more than $13 million, some of that coming from WHPT listeners.  But the SEC says that the only way investors got paid was from future investors’ cash and that’s the definition of a Ponzi scheme.  The ad for the fund guaranteed a minimum 12% return per year.  Garabo did not comment for the WFLA-TV story.  At least one investor says she’s suing O.E. Capital, C4, and Cox.  Read the story here.

Radha Subramanyam Exits iHM Research Post; Company Names Michele Madansky Her Successor.  Just a day after the news that Dr. Radha Subramanyam is leaving her president of research, insights and data analytics position with iHeartMedia to take on a similar role with CBS Corporation, iHM announces that it is brining Dr. Michele Madansky aboard to as its new research, insights and data analytics EVP.  iHeartMedia EVP of revenue and sales operation Peter Ban comments, “Michele has an expansive track record providing cutting edge analytics for a wide variety of today’s biggest media companies.  We’re thrilled she’ll be shaping our research efforts and ensuring our advertising partners are best utilizing iHeartMedia’s unparalleled reach and multiplatform assets.

NYC Terror Attack, Mueller Investigation, Uranium One Deal, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Virginia Governor Race, Denver Walmart Shootings, Positive Economic News, Astros Win World Series, NFL Ratings, Protests and Deadline Trades Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The terror attack on pedestrians and cyclists in New York that left eight dead and 11 injured; special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of three Trump campaign operatives and speculation about where the Trump-Russia investigation is heading; questions about the Uranium One deal and the FBI’s and Hillary Clinton’s roles in the matter; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the GOP tax reform bill process; the hotly contested Virginia gubernatorial race; the shooting that left three dead at a Walmart in the Denver area on Wednesday evening; positive jobs and economic news; the Houston Astros defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win their first World Series; the NFL’s ratings troubles, ongoing anthem protests, and trade deadline moves were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Alpha Media Stations Available on iHeartRadio Platform.  This deal between iHeartMedia and Portland-based Alpha Media will make more than 200 of Alpha’s radio stations available to listeners via the iHeartRadio platform.  The press release says the rollout begins today and all of the company’s stations will be available within weeks.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re excited to join forces with iHeartRadio and expand our digital footprint. This partnership allows us to super serve our fans by reaching them whenever and wherever they choose to listen to us.  Alpha Media is live, local and on the go.”

 

 

NASH Next Winner Is Radio Romance.  The Hermitage, Tennessee-based country act Radio Romance is the winner of the NASH Next 2017 Challenge.  The final competition event took place last night (11/1) at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville with live performances from the top 10 national finalists.  Radio Romance wins a Big Machine Label Group recording contract and airplay on Cumulus Media country stations.  Pictured above, members of the band pose for a picture with: NASH program director John Shomby (top row, left), Cumulus SVP content & programming Mike McVay (center, top row), Cumulus VP label relations John Kilgo (top row, right) and Big Machine Label Group president/CEO Scott Borchetta (front row, kneeling).

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning personality Loo Katz exits iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH-FM, Washington, DC.  His info has been scrubbed from the station’s website and his posted on Facebook, “To you, my FACEBOOK friends and family, I need to share something that’s unfortunately not ‘Fake News’. Today, after 17 years, I was fired from my longtime job at 97.1 WASH-FM. The reason given to me was ‘Poor ratings’ and ‘It was time for a change’. I had just completed my 14th year of hosting Morning Drive along with the almost 3 years of doing afternoons.  I had a great run at WASH-FM, a station I grew up listening to and had always dreamt about working there. I’m very proud of my work at 97.1, and feel lucky to have not been fired from a gig since 1989, when I was working for 105.1 WAVA-FM. Not many in this business can claim to have worked on the air, in their hometown since high school, or if you’re counting, the last 46 years. It’s a record that no company can take away from me.”…..Premiere Networks announces an exclusive Thanksgiving special for country radio stations hosted by CMT’s personality Cody Alan.  It’s a four-hour, barter-free “CMT After MidNite Friendsgiving Special with Cody Alan” highlighted by conversations with country stars and celebrities including: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Jon Pardi, Paula Deen and Darius Rucker.  It’s available for air anytime between November 22 and 26.

 

 

Round Three of October PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Entering the September ratings period, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times, but on the strength of a +1.4 it finally reached #1 and had a 1.4-share advantage over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103.” It proves to be a short stay in the penthouse though for the public news/talk outlet as it plummets by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returns to its familiar spot at #2. Seven recent trends for KOPB are +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; +.6 in August; +1.4 in September; and now -1.1 in October. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” roars back by recapturing all of that loss and one-tenth for good measure to 9.2 (+1.5, 6+), the highest 6+-share for KKCW since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. When the dust settles, KKCW now has a 1.2-share lead over KOPB. The top spot is nothing new for “K-103,” which was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods before segueing to #2 in September. Picking up one-half share each are Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+); sports talk sibling KFXX “1080 The Fan” (2.0 – 2.5, #20 to #17, 6+); and All Classical Public Media’s KQAC (3.0 – 3.5, steady at #15, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “Charlie” since 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and the best 6+-stat for “The Fan” in nearly four years (2.6, November 2013, 6+). On the flipside, co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective loss of -1.9 (5.6 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 3.7, 6+), freefalling out of the top ten (#5 to #13) with its softest 6+-performance since January’s 3.2. The format loses an additional half-share from iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew Portland’s Rock Station” (5.2 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+), which was coming off its strongest 6+-share since September 2015’s 5.5. Six recent fluctuations for “The Brew” include: +1.0 in April; -.6 in May; +1.1 in June; -.6 in August; +1.1 in September; and now -.5 in October. Within 2.1 – 2.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” falters by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#16 to #20, 6+). For the second straight month, both Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” (sixth to tenth, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (ninth to a three-way tie at seventh, 6+) are down. This is the third straight negative move for “The Wolf” for a combined -1.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), while “The Bull” is off a collective eight-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends in the same July-August-September-October timeframe (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, April – May – June, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June.

2) Charlotte – Not only does iHeartMedia-owned WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” crack the top ten (#13 to #10), it records its third straight uptick for a collective +1.1 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, as the result of three straight increases (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX is a collective +1.0 and repeats at #1. In four straight decreases between March and July, however, “99.7 The Fox” lost two full-shares (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). It had been #1 in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Off by one-tenth in both August and September (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WPZS enters the top ten (#14 to a four-way tie at #10) by rolling out a one-half share gain to 4.2 as it reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2015’s 4.0. In that same vein, Entercom news/talk WBT registers its third consecutive improvement for a collective +1.4 (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, #16 to #14, 6+) and hits the four-share mark (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, October 2016). Contrasted to WBT’s gain of six-tenths, University Radio Foundation’s similarly-formatted WFAE “90.7 Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off by that margin (4.3 – 3.7, 6+), drifting from #10 to #15. Over the last nine sweeps, WFAE was no higher than 4.3 (6+) and no lower than 4.0 (6+); this is its weakest 6+-showing since 2.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Without an increase the past four months for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC picks up three-tenths to 5.8 as “Country’s Hottest Hits” climbs from sixth to fourth, while iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.6 – 5.4, 6+), slipping from third to sixth. WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in July; WKKT supplanted WSOC at #1 in August. While this represents the third straight negative trend for Radio One urban contemporary WQNC for a -1.5 (3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), “92.7 The Block” (which posted a +1.2 in July) actually improves from #18 to #17. Flat at #7, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPEG “Power 98” is a combined -1.2 in three straight dips (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), while its CHR sibling WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (ninth to tenth) is -1.2 as well – but in four consecutive declines (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). After posting three successive gains for a collective +1.0 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” surrenders half of that increase (4.3, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Down by one-half share as well is Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” (1.8, #17 to #18, 6+). When WDAV picked up four-tenths in September, it pulled the plug on seven straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.7 since January (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – On the heels of surrendering one-half share in September, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” notches an increase nearly double that margin (5.1 – 6.0, +.9, 6+) and marches from fourth to second. “Y-100” had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the past 11 months and, while September’s 5.1 was its lowest 6+-share in almost five years (5.0, “Holiday” 2012), October 2017’s 6.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since last November’s 7.1. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – is locked on 5.0 (6+) but advances from sixth to fifth. Prior to August, “KJ-97” registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. Setting the pace in this Texas market for the ninth successive time is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which is up seven-tenths to 7.0 (6+). As a result, it regains all but one-tenth of the collective -.8 in August and September (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; and October’s +.7. Seven-tenths proves to be lucky as well for co-owned hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music,” which reaches the five-share level for the first time since August 2016’s 5.0 (4.4 – 5.1, +.7, eighth to fourth, 6+) and Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (3.7, +.7, #15 to #11, 6+), which – in September – eroded by eight-tenths to 3.0, its lowest 6+-share since April’s 2.5. Having regressed by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+), KSTX recouped that loss in its entirety with a +1.0 in August. It had been two years since KSTX last reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+); owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, it nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). An overall -1.2 via four consecutive losses (3.8 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1” halts that streak with a gain of four-tenths to 3.0 (#18 to #16, 6+). Following three upticks in succession that netted eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits one full-share to 3.2 and spirals from #10 to #15. In four successive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost a collective nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5, #11 to #13, 6+). The co-owned Spanish adult hits HD3 channel of KQXT sputters by six-tenths (2.1 – 1.5, #19 to #21, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Unless already at #1 (and unable to go higher), it’s rare to see a station dial up a robust +1.6 and not advance. Such is nonetheless the case with iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which remains in second-place for the fourth consecutive sweep despite a +1.6 to 10.2, the first time it has reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). The other piece of good news for WDVE “102.5 Rocks, ” which was tied for #1 in June, is the +1.6 emphatically ends three straight declines that generated a -1.0 (9.6 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.6, 6+); September’s 8.6 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.4. Another outlet in the “Steel City” progresses by at least one full-share (6+) from September, as co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” tacks on a +1.0 to September’s two-tenths’ gain and inches up from fourth to third. The +.2 this time last month concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+); August’s 7.0 was the lowest 6+-share for “Kiss” since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Despite a one-tenth drop to 10.6 (following September’s +1.1, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the seventh straight month. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Remaining at #7, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” continues an up/down pattern that started in June (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Its direct competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country,” gains four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #13 to #11. “Big 104.7” was a combined +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Trending 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.7 (6+) since July, CBS Radio sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” surrenders seven-tenths to 5.0 (6+, fifth to sixth). Without a loss in the last three sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” relinquishes all of it plus another one-tenth (5.2, -.5, 6+) but carries on in fifth-place. Off by one-half share as well are Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (7.9 – 7.4, third to fourth, 6+) and hot AC sibling WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” (3.3 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+). When “Q-92.9” dropped one-tenth in September, it halted at four a consecutive streak of up or flat moves for a cumulative gain of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Powered by a gain of six-tenths to 4.8, its best 6+-showing since last November (4.8, as well), California State University – Sacramento news/talk KXJZ “Capital Public Radio” progresses from seventh to fourth. For the third consecutive sweep, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB registers a move of one-half share. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” was -.5 in August; +.5 in September; and replicates September’s +.5 in October (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), remaining at #15. This is the station’s highest 6+-share since 2.5 in March. In the driver’s seat for the fourth time in a row, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is nonetheless a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to August 2017 when it was +1.4 to 9.7 – its strongest 6+-showing since 9.9 in August 2016 – “The Eagle” posted an 8.3 (6+) three times in the previous four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+), CBS Radio’s KHTK “Sports 1140” backslides from #15 to #16. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk hybrid KFBK regresses by three-tenths to 7.5 (6+), segueing from second to third; 7.8 in September is its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 8.2. October 2017 doesn’t prove to be a good ratings period for country outlets in “the Big Tomato.” Specifically, as the result of three consecutive declines (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is a collective -1.9 and slips from fourth to eighth. It hadn’t been below a five-share (6+) since August 2016 (4.7). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” returns 60% of September’s one-half share gain and is steady at #14 (3.0 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). The +.5 in September suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of a one-tenth loss in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 end at five (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+). The market’s other country player – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” – has lost more than 40% of its 6+-share (-1.3) in three straight decreases (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) and slips from #15 to #18. Down four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), Entercom-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one full-share end at seven (2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #13); September’s 3.8 is its best 6+performance since March 2016 (3.8, as well).

6) Salt Lake City – In six consecutive improvements (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (fifth to fourth) is an overall +1.9 and has its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Not only does KSL register its third successive uptick netting a cumulative +3.1 (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.9 – 8.3, 6+), the Bonneville news/talk outlet advances from second to first with its strongest 6+-share since January’s 8.9. An even dozen of KSL’s recent fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.1 (September); and now +1.4 (October). Dislodged from the top spot after four consecutive months there is co-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which sputters by one-half share and takes over at #2 (7.8 – 7.3, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.0, flat at #3, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.7 – 5.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+), with September 2017’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since 6.6 in September 2016. Down six-tenths in July, KBZN was up one-half share in August. Owing to four straight downward moves (5.7 – 5.2 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” – has eroded by three full-shares and drops from #15 to #16. “Mix” was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; and +1.6 in June to 5.7, the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 17th consecutive sweep, rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” is flat at 2.0 (6+), but dips from #18 to #19. A loss of four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) by Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE curtails at three its successive string of gains that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+); “B-98.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” exits the top ten (#10 to #14). After three downward trends in a row for a collective -1.5 (6.1 – 6.0 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and climbs from eighth to seventh. In the process, it overtakes its country rival – Cumulus Media’s KUBL “K-Bull” – which sputters by four-tenths (4.7 – 4.3, 6+) and drops from seventh to eighth. When “Z-104” slipped by one-tenth in July, it stopped at four its streak of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). June’s 6.1 represents the strongest ever 6+ PPM share for “Z-104,” which was -1.1 in August.

7) Las Vegas – Exactly one month has elapsed (October 1) since a gunman opened fire on a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest (country) music festival; 58 people died (including the shooter) and 546 were injured. September 2017 ratings information was released one day after that horrific Las Vegas mass murder. Given that the October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11, it includes radio’s reaction to that tragedy. Somewhat surprising, there is no September 2017 – October 2017 spike whatsoever among the market’s three rated and published news/talk outlets. Tied at #19 are Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KXNT which is up (modestly) for the third straight time (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+); Beasley Media Group’s KDWN finishes at #25 (.9 – .7, -.2, 6+). In a check of the market’s country outlets, July-August-September (6+) trending for iHeartMedia’s KWNR was 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9, but “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” registers a gain of eight-tenths to 5.7, advancing from fourth to third. Having logged three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+) before faltering by an overall two full-shares in June, July, and August (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE rebounded with a +.7 in September to 3.6. In October though, “The Coyote – We Are Country” drops one-tenth to 3.5 but remains at #10 (6+). Over and above being the fourth straight month at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies property KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” hangs out a full-share increase (6.9 – 7.9, 6+). Up one full-share via four straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” advances from #16 to #13 with its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.2. Repeating at #2, CBS Radio hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” posts its fourth successive improvement for a net gain of +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+) and reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. An overall -1.9 in three straight decreases (6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KOAS “Old School 105.7” pulls the plug by increasing two-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KSNE “Sunny 106.5” spirals by -2.7 (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, third to fourth, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; -.8 in July; -.7 in September; and now -.8 in October. Following an August +1.3 to 5.3, its best 6+-stat since March (5.5), CBS Radio-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.6 in September and October (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its rhythmic hot AC sibling, KXQQ “Q-100.5,” falters by seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

8) Cincinnati – Flashing increases of seven-tenths each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” (9.0, steady at #2, 6+) and Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” (5.3 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was a combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). Locked on 3.6 (6+) in August and September following its 3.3 (6+) in July, iHeartMedia news/talk WKRC “55 KRC – The Talk Station” erupts with a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Rebounding from September’s -1.1 with a gain of one-half share (4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” jumps from eighth to fifth; 4.4 was it lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.8. Trending 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0 (July – August – September, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRRM “Warm 98.5” has a positive spike of one-half share as well (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+). Down two-tenths in September and October (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW is nonetheless #1 for the third consecutive ratings period. It had been one year (August 2016) since WLW was last in sole possession of the top spot – it was tied for the lead in May 2017. “The Big One” returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back stays in the runner-up slot. First appearing in print in April 2014, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO was a combined +1.2 in August and September (.9 – 1.6 – 2.1, 6+), with September’s 2.1 the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In October though, “The Station with Something for Everyone” surrenders eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of its collective August – September +.6 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+) with a -.5 to 3.2 (6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU slides from #11 to #13.

9) Orlando – Several Central Florida news/talk outlets were rewarded in September for their hurricane coverage. Fast-forwarding to October, Community Communications news/talk WMFE – which had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range for 34 consecutive ratings periods before hitting 3.0 in August – improves by eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #13 to #11, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM returns exactly half of its staggering +2.0 from September (6.1 – 5.1, 6+) but remains in sixth-place. That +2.0 was the largest 6+ August 2017 – September 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets; WDBO-FM was up nine-tenths in August. Prior to that though, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Having eroded by -2.1 as the result of six consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is a collective +1.4 in September and October (1.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, #15 to #14, 6+). Steady at #3, CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7” picks up four-tenths to 7.9 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+). That particular streak followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. A September loss of eight-tenths (7.9 – 7.1, 6+) took Cox Media Group-owned WMMO to its lowest 6+-share since April’s 7.0, but “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” recaptures 75% of that decrease (7.7, +.6, 6+) and carries on at #4. Three consecutive declines by urban AC sibling WCFB resulted in an overall -1.3 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+), but “Star 94.5” is up two-tenths in October to 5.0 (6+) and carries on at #7. In June, “Star” bounced back from May’s -.9 with an increase of six-tenths. Registering its highest 6+-share since February 2016’s 1.6, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” improves by one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+) and is unchanged at #18. After plummeting by two full-shares in July, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” was flat in August and up nine-tenths in September. On top for the tenth consecutive month, “Rumba 100” slips by one-tenth (11.6 – 11.5, 6+); April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. Despite being off by one-half share (6.4 – 5.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” continues at #5.

10) Cleveland – By more than quintupling its 6+-share since August (.3 – .6 – 1.6, 6+), Radio One gospel WJMO “Praise 1300” elevates from #17 to #14. Off by seven-tenths in July and August (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM is a combined +1.9 in September and October (6.6 – 7.9 – 8.5) as the Cleveland Indians flagship has its highest 6+-stat since November’s 9.1. Moreover, WTAM marches from third to first, sending co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” from a first-place tie to third and Radio One urban AC WZAK (8.0, -.4, 6+) from a first-place tie to second. This is the third straight decline for WMJI for a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). It progressed from second to first in July with a +1.1 to 9.1, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016. “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April and was in the runner-up slot in May and June. As a result of October’s -.4, WZAK suspends three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Through four straight gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan” – the key FM station of the Cleveland Browns – is up a collective +1.5 and carries on in its familiar #12 slot. Advancing by one-half share as well is Ideastream news/talk WCPN (2.4 – 2.9, steady at #13, 6+). With a +.3 in September, WCPN ended four negative trends in succession that produced a collective -1.3 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In addition to being an overall -1.7 via three straight negative trends (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (unchanged at #8) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.1 in August 2016. After six consecutive sweeps without a decrease that netted a combined +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” surrenders one-third of that margin (6.3, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in four progressive sweeps in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” advances from #18 to #16 with its strongest 6+-showing since its 3.6 in March. It is six-tenths behind Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” (#12 to #15, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends in which it nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship has returned one full-share of that +3.2 in September and October (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Co-owned news/talk KMBZ-AM is up or flat for the third time in a row for a gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), advancing from #20 to #17. Similar to WHB, KMBZ-AM has its strongest 6+-stat since March (2.5). Notwithstanding that it is without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -1.8 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX is #1 for the tenth consecutive month. A -1.6 in August by “The Fox” halted five straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). By reaching 10.3 in July, it marked only the fifth time a Kansas City station has registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, it recorded three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). For the sixth month in a row, Steel City Media’s KFKF is in third-place, but “Country 94.1” is off three-tenths to 6.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 #1 for New Country” is up a combined six-tenths in September and October (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). September’s +.4 curtailed four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). The format rival of KFKF and KBEQ, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” is steady from September in both 6+-share (4.4) and market rank (#7). The 4.8 recorded in August by “The Wolf” is its highest 6+-share since 4.9 in April 2015. When Cumulus Media-owned KCJK dropped one-tenth in September, it halted seven straight up or flat trends for an overall gain of one full-share (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). In October, “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” falters by another six-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, 6+) and drifts from #16 to #19.

12) Columbus – Significant winning ways continue for Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan,” which nearly triples its 6+-share (+3.4) in three straight huge gains (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+) and inches up from seventh to sixth. “The Fan” ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by slumping -1.5 in June to 2.6 (6+) and was off seven-tenths in July. This though is its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After slumping by six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” answers in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+) and zooms from fifth to third. As is the case with “The Fan,” this is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since “Holiday” 2016 (11.1). Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, country cluster-mate WCOL regains roughly half of that loss with a +.7 (11.2 – 11.9) and is #1 for the fourth straight time. In June and July, WCOL produced a +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; and now +.7 in October. Over in the Saga Communications cluster, WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” is up one-half share to 6.3 (6+, unchanged at #4), halting a mini-slide that resulted in a -1.7 in August and September (7.5 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). Dropping from eighth to tenth, Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” declines for the third straight month and is -1.1 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+) with its softest 6+-share since 3.1 in “Holiday” 2015.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

| May 30, 2017

NYPost: iHM Creditors Seek New Restructuring Adviser. According to a report published in the New York Post over the weekend, iHeartMedia creditors are requesting the company replace current restructuring adviser Moelis & Co.  iHM did not comment specifically on the reported request other than to say, “Moelis continues to be the firm advising us in connection with our restructuring.”  The story also states that a lead iHM institutional lender believes that iHeartMedia has “only a 50-50 chance of reaching a restructuring deal with creditors and avoiding a bankruptcy by early 2018.”  The current restructuring offer from iHM that would pay 75 cents on the dollar, has been extended five times and has less than 1% of shareholders on board.  But the Post story indicates the company plans to offer a new proposal to creditors within the coming weeks.  See the Post story here.

Cooke: Are Your Weekends Hit… or Miss?  Media consultant Holland Cooke says smart news/talk stations take advantage of programming that appeals to their listeners’ weekend mindsets.  “At many talk stations, Saturday and Sunday are the most profitable days of the week.  At smart stations, shows are ‘appointment listening’ that reflect listeners’ weekend routines and bring revenue the station wouldn’t otherwise get.  At other stations, management shrugs, and doesn’t (dare) listen.”  Yes, a lot of stations put home improvement and consumer-oriented shows on, but often they don’t end up selling them properly and the shows get forgotten by the sales department.  Read what Cooke has to say about the potential for revenue with weekend programming here.

News/Talk Personalities Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney Target Rachel Maddow Show with Online Campaign.  Saying that their hand is being forced because of the Media Matters campaign against Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel advertisers, news/talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney are spearheading a similar advertiser campaign targeting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  The two operate the Media Equality Project and are using the hashtag #StopTheScalpings associated with Maddow’s show, urging people to complain if they disagree with her show content.

TALKERS News Notes. Exiting the news department at iHeartMedia Richmond’s news/talk WRVA is anchor/reporter Jeff Stapleton.  He writes on his Facebook page, “After 26 plus years in the radio business, and almost 17 years here in Richmond, I was told today that my services were no longer needed.  It was sudden and completely out of the blue and it was the day I got back from vacation—which made it very odd.”…..According to the New York Post, Mike Crispino will not return in the fall to call New York Knicks games after the MSG Networks elected not to renew his deal after 25 years with the company.   Analyst Brendan Brown is expected to return to the broadcasts…..There’s been no official word from MSNBC, but The Hollywood Reporter is saying that president Phil Griffin – president since 2008 – has signed a new contract to remain in charge of the network.  The Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC has done well in the early days of the Trump Administration, “To be sure, all three of the top cable news networks were up in the first quarter of the year.  But MSNBC has bested even perennial leader Fox News Channel in the all-important 25-54 demographic during primetime in recent days.  And ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ has been the No. 1 cable news program since March.”

Frank Deford Dead at 78. Legendary sports writer and longtime NPR contributor Frank Deford died Sunday in Key West, Florida at the age of 78.  Deford contributed sports commentaries for NPR for 37 years before retiring from that position earlier this month.  He spent much of his earlier career writing for Sports Illustrated.

Jared Kushner-Russia Connection Investigation, Trump International Trip Aftermath, Texas Sanctuary Cities Bill Protest, New North Korean Missile Launch, Baghdad Bombing, Memorial Day Holiday, Gregg Allman Dies, Tiger Woods DUI, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that the FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secure communications line with Russians; the aftermath of President Trump’s nine-day trip abroad; the rowdy protests at the Texas State House over a bill prohibiting sanctuary city status in the state; North Korea launches a missile into the sea in Japanese territory; ISIS takes credit for deadly car bombing of a Baghdad ice cream shop; the Memorial Day holiday weekend; Allman Brothers founding member Gregg Allman dies at 69; golfing great Tiger Woods is arrested for DUI; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KKOB, Albuquerque PD Pat Frisch Member of Nevada Broadcasters Class of 2017 HOF.  When the 22nd Nevada Broadcasters Association gala kicks off on August 19 at the Four Seasons Las Vegas, Cumulus Albuquerque programmer and OM Pat Frisch will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Frisch is OM/PD for heritage news/talker KKOB-AM, talk KTBL, and sports talk KNML in Albuquerque.  From 1990 through 1999, he worked in the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas markets in Nevada.

JT The Brick Emcees ‘Coaches vs Cancer’ Golf Event. Pictured above is FOX Sports Radio’s JT The Brick (at the podium) surrounded by college coaches as he emcees the official celebration of the 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in Las Vegas on May 21.  This was JT The Brick’s fourth year emceeing the event.  Fellow FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb did his May 22 program live from the tournament that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego radio pro Robin Roth is named assistant program director at Midwest Television’s rock KFMB-FM.  She’s also hosting the evening show.  Program director Mike Vasquez comments, “Robin Roth is synonymous with rock and roll in San Diego and having her on our programming team on a full-time basis is going to make us stronger.  She brings talent, knowledge and the will to do whatever it takes to win and I’m so thrilled to have her.”  Roth has worked in the market at XHRM, XTRA-FM, and KIOZ…..Raleigh morning radio personality Bob Dumas signs a contract extension to continue hosting the “Bob and The Showgram” morning show for iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105.”  The show cast also includes Erica and Brody.  iHM Virginia/Carolina region president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to sign Bob Dumas for another three years – Bob and the G105 brand are synonymous with Raleigh.”…..iHeartMedia flips classic rock WDTW-FM, Detroit to variety hits branded as “106.7 The D.”…..Over in St. Louis iHM leaves classic hits behind and brings the “Majic” brand back to the market as W279AQ becomes “Majic 103.7 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Core artists will include Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Maxwell and Janet Jackson.  iHM St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. states, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979. With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

| May 3, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation.  The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect.  This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media.  The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not.  If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy.  The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.

wieneradamAdam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media.  Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position.  He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn.  Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation.  Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets.  Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”

The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

caltamikeHulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants.  The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea,  over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors.  Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE.  In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released.   Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners.  On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen.  Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism,benedettovince patriotism, leadership, and virtue.  We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.”  The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.  The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.

Odds & Sods.  This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network.  The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018.  The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One.  The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

| April 5, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Still at Odds Over Asset Shift.  According to a report from Bloomberg, iHeartMedia and a number of its creditors have broken off talks to try to resolve the rancor over iHeartMedia’s shift of 100 million shares of Clear Channel Outdoor to a new subsidiary called Broader Media.  Creditors including D. E. Shaw, Canyon Capital, Franklin Advisers and Franklin Mutual sued iHeartMedia over the move claiming that it violates the debt covenants.  iHeartMedia argues that’s not the case and the move is designed to allow the company to deal more effectively with its $20 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia told a Texas judge that if the creditors’ bond defaults are allowed to proceed, it would cause as much as $15 billion of the company’s debt to come due quickly and that would force the company into bankruptcy protection.  The creditors argue that is not what they are trying to accomplish.  iHeartMedia SVP and treasurer Brian Coleman says the company’s maneuvers are part of its Project Indigo, a long-term strategy designed to allow it to study ways to deal with its debt.

The Panama Papers, The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, Iran Arms Shipment Case, North Korean Nuke Threats, Tennessee Bible Bill, and NCAA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4).  The so-called “Panama Papers” that reportedly link numerous world leaders to schemes to hide wealth in off-shore accounts; the activities of the candidates for president and today’s Wisconsin primary; the capture of illegal arms being shipped by Iran; the threats of nuclear attacks by North Korea; the controversial Tennessee bill that makes the Bible the official state book; and Monday evening’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zaneericEric Zane Lands at Sports WBBL, Grand Rapids.  After exiting the nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show based at Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids, Eric Zane has landed the morning show gig at Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talk WBBL, effective April 7.  Zane officially left the show in mid-February after being absent from the program without explanation.  It appears Zane’s departure was the result of a contract dispute.  Now, he’ll compete in the Grand Rapids market directly with his former co-hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michels.  The “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.

altitude sportsLineup at ‘Altitude Sports’ in Denver to Launch on Friday.  The newest sports talk radio station in the Denver market will officially launch on Friday, April 8 – the home opener day for the Colorado Rockies.  Much of the news about Stan Kroenke-owned KRWZ, Denver (recently purchased from Entercom) is not really news as it’s been rumored and reported in the Denver media for some time.  Here’s the lineup: Josh Dover hosts “The Morning Lineup” from 6:00 am to 7:00 am; the morning show will feature Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner (an Altitude TV reporter), and former Denver Nuggets star Scott Hastings.  Middays will be hosted by Vic Lombardi and Kyle Keefe.  The station will also carry play-by-play of the NBA’s Nuggets, the NHL’s Avalanche; the MLS’ Colorado Rapids; and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Odds & Sods.  There’s been a morning show and midday program re-build at CBS RADIO’s KHTK, Sacramento.  Carmichael Dave is now joined by Kayte Christensen and former midday host Nate Goodyear.  In middays, Jason Ross is partnered up with newcomers Ken Rudolph and Damien BarlingJay Johnson joins the station as executive producer…..Long Nine Inc.-owned news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois adds an FM translator to its broadcast with the addition of W234CC, Sherman, Illinois at 94.7 FM.

granttoniDr. Toni Grant Dead at 72.  The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former radio talk show host and psychologist Dr. Toni Grant died in Beverly Hills on March 27.  Grant’s radio career was launched on KABC, Los Angeles in 1975 in the overnight daypart.  Her show eventually moved across town to KFI.  It went into syndication and at its height was heard on some 180 affiliates.  She was off the air from 1990 to 1997 when she re-entered the business.  She last worked on air at KABC in 2001.  Read the Times’ obit here.

kfivCool Job Opportunity.  “PowerTalk 1360 and 1280” is searching for a local talk show host for afternoon drive in California’s Central Valley.  Applicants must have spoken-word experience. General necessities include a passionate, opinionated, outspoken, larger-than-life personality with decidedly conservative values, obsession for news, politics, pop culture, and sports.  The ideal candidate will bring an intuitive understanding of the unique values, morals and issues of the California Central Valley and be in sync with those values and perspectives.  You must have the ability to speak to the audience as one of them; put a voice to their thoughts and beliefs…much more important than professional polish or experience.  In a perfect world you have spent time working in the Central Valley but you don’t have to presently live in the Modesto/Stockton area.  You will fully embrace the role of a LOCAL personality: specifically address and engage the LOCAL community issues, organizations, and interests, capitalize on endorsement opportunities, serve as station ambassador, be visible at all community functions, spearhead station and cluster community outreach. You must understand and dedicate your performance to the bottom line: your goals are ratings and unique visitors.  See required skills and submit resume and demo here.