Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Wednesday, May 21, 2017

| June 21, 2017

Fox News Radio Unveils New Shows Featuring Todd Starnes and Tom Shillue.  The two new talk radio programs fill the afternoon daypart – the Todd Starnes show airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET (7/5) and the Tom Shillue show following from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET (7/10).  They replace the John Gibson and the Tom Sullivan shows, respectively.  Fox News Radio says both programs are nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio stations along with satellite and digital distribution on all multimedia and social platforms.  The programs will also be part of a new multi-media video component with live streaming capabilities on FOXNews.com for consumers and partners.  Additionally, Fox is renaming the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends program “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” beginning on July 5.  Starnes has been with Fox since 2005 and is a featured columnist on FOXNews.com.  Shillue is a stand-up comedian and former host of Fox News Channel’s “Red Eye.”  He joined FNC in 2015 and remains a contributor to the network.  Previously, Shillue was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”  As for Gibson and Sullivan, John Gibson will continue hosting his program on the gibsonradio.com digital platform.  Similarly, Sullivan will host his radio program on a limited basis on tomsullivan.com.

Peter Thiele Named KARN-FM, Little Rock Program Director. Talk radio programming pro Peter Thiele is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9.”  Cumulus Little Rock vice president and market manager Keith Liesmann states, “We are thrilled to have Peter join our team at Cumulus Little Rock.  Peter is a proven news/talk leader and we look forward to seeing KARN-FM continue to grow under his leadership.  Peter’s background and success in the format and his experience in many different radio markets makes him the perfect program director for Central Arkansas’ heritage news/talk station.”  Thiele has worked in markets including: New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Huntsville.

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS-FM, Orlando.  The 70-year-old radio pro told his listeners on Tuesday (6/20) that he’s leaving iHeartMedia’s hot talk ‘Real Radio 104.1’ and the radio business to retire after a career that’s spanned 30 years in Central Florida.  The Orlando Sentinel reports on Jim Philips’ announcement here, quoting his on-air announcement, “I’m retiring.  I’m not retiring from life, I’m just retiring from this business…Everything I can do on the air I’ve done. Everything.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey.  This month, the report notes that “a whopping seven of 10 stations on the news panel are down April 2017 – May 2017 (70%); roughly one in five are up (18%) and the remaining 12% remain flat (6+)…year-to-year stats in the all-news format are considerably more encouraging than month-to-month figures, as nearly half the stations on our eligible sample improve May 2016 – May 2017 (47%, 6+); 41% show a decrease; and the remaining 12% are unchanged.”  Eight all-news stations ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets, with two – WWJ, Detroit and KCBS-AM, San Jose – ranking #1 in the May PPM survey.  See the entire report here.

Stephanie Miller Featured in LA Weekly Piece.  Talk radio star Stephanie Miller is the subject of a feature piece in LA Weekly that delves into her current media efforts taking on the Trump Administration, and serves as a retrospective of her radio, stage, TV and digital career.  Regular TALKERS readers know Miller’s history as a progressive talk show host and, more recently, her work headlining the successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy” tours (the current one dubbed the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour”).  In this story, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is quoted, speaking of her career (including her revenue-generating digital platform), “It’s an amazing feat.  She’s a major player in American talk radio, one of the biggest stars in internet talk and one of a handful of progressive hosts who have developed a large following of listeners from coast to coast.  She’s a pioneer in the evolution of radio from the 20th to the 21st century.”  Read the LA Weekly feature here.

TALKERS News Notes. The winners of this year’s Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association are being announced and ABC News Radio grabs two – one for Excellence in Sound and another for Excellence in Writing.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones says, “The best radio journalism relies on vivid storytelling and riveting audio to transport listeners to the heart of a story.  I’m so proud that ABC News Radio was recognized with two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Sound and Excellence in Writing thanks to the work of ABC’s Alex Stone and Scott Goldberg!”…..E.W. Scripps’ country-formatted KFDI, Wichita “101.3 Today’s KFDI” grabs a national Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Breaking News” category for its coverage of the 2016 workplace shooting in Hesston, Kansas.  KFDI operations manager Justin Case comments, “This is a significant recognition for the KFDI radio news team and our second national Murrow Award in as many years.  Our ability to provide urgent information to our community in a breaking news situation is at the core of what we do and it is truly rewarding to receive recognition of our efforts from the RTDNA.”…..CBS RADIO New York launches “FOMO New York City,” a daily e-newsletter that delivers the latest New York-centric news and updates right to a subscriber’s inbox.  It features stories from CBS RADIO New York’s radio stations and websites, plus select content from the most-read NYC media, including: The New York Times, Gothamist, TimeOut New York and others.  CBS RADIO New York SVP/market manager Marc Rayfield says, “FOMO New York City delivers top local news in an easy-to-read format that makes sense for how we live and consume media today.  As a leader in delivering the most up-to-the-minute news in the most fast-paced city in the nation, we are uniquely poised to reach busy New Yorkers at the start of their day.”…..A new culinary podcast starring Richard Blair, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” launches on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says listeners will hear from anyone and everyone in the industry, including restaurateurs, television hosts, famous chefs, producers of cooking and competition shows and more.

Lars Larson Broadcasts from Baton Rouge.  Pictured above is KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks talk radio personality Lars Larson (second from right) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was broadcasting from affiliate station WBRP.  Larson tells TALKERS magazine that some of the station’s hosts joined him on a panel discussion at the Baton Rouge City Club with U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves that was aired on WBRP.  Pictured (from l-r) are: WBRP hosts Clarence Buggs, Bill Profita, and Kevin Gallagher, Larson, and Rep. Graves.

Georgia Congressional Race, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions/Syria Strikes, Michael Brown-Ferguson Settlement, Uber CEO Resigns, New Saudi Heir, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). Republican Karen Handel beats Democrat Jon Ossoff for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over recent U.S. strikes in Syria; the family of Michael Brown settles a civil suit against the city of Ferguson; Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns his CEO post with the company; Saudi Arabia names 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman successor to the throne; and Major League Baseball action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

C. Crane Earbuds Were a Big Hit at TALKERS Convention.  One of the unexpected hits at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era was a product distributed to all attendees in the goodie bag – the new C. Crane’s “CC Buds Pro-Mic” earbuds that are specifically designed for talk radio listening on smartphones.  Here at TALKERS, we have been hearing nothing but rave reviews from those who received a pair at the event.  The vast majority of high-quality earbuds are built for music and have enhanced bass response.  C. Crane’s CC Buds-Pro have high-quality materials but are designed for voice clarity, allowing voices to cut through better.  They have accurate bass that’s similar to studio monitor-type bass response which is precise but not booming.  Six different earbud covers are provided for custom comfort.  Included are three sets of small, medium and large covers in soft silicone and the same three sizes in compressible foam. The foam covers provide enhanced bass and noise isolation.  Users can select the best fitting covers for their ears.  For more information about this talk radio-friendly product, please click here.

Where Is the Next Generation of Radio and Talk Media Talent Being Developed? Since the advent of consolidation, it is no secret that the small and medium market “farm system” that developed radio talent so effectively for decades has been decimated by budget cutbacks, syndication, automation and liner cards.  Local radio stations that were once hotbeds of activity and lots of entry level opportunities have largely been replaced by computerized, less populated, more sterile operations.  Fortunately, there are hopeful signs of life on college radio stations across America.  One of the leaders in this arena is Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (the location of two recent presidential debates and 2016’s TALKERS convention).  The school’s famous WRHU was last year’s recipient of the NAB’s Marconi Award as best non-commercial station in the nation and Princeton Review rated it the nation’s best college radio station for two consecutive years.  Radio Hofstra University operations director John T. Mullen joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  They talk about the state of broadcasting going forward as well as the nature of millennials and today’s young radio hopefuls.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Rex Long moves from Cumulus Media’s Montgomery cluster to the Colorado Springs operations to serve as program director and air talent for CHR KKMG “98.9 Magic FM.”  He’s been programming WHHY “Y102” in Montgomery.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin states, “There were dozens of remarkable candidates for the position and Rex stood out as so positive and creative, with the leadership qualities that a station the size of ‘Magic FM’ deserves.”…..SiriusXM is airing Guns N’ Roses live show at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on July 20.  It’s a special, invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and it was announced on the Howard Stern show.  It’ll air on SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio and the Howard 101 channel…..Non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is now broadcasting and streaming around the clock its new “414Music.fm” HD2 broadcast radio channel and mobile and online stream.  The new channel and stream from the Milwaukee Public Schools-run station is the first to broadcast only Milwaukee music, bolstering its commitment to play and support local bands.  Program director Jordan Lee says, “Radio Milwaukee is uniquely positioned to program an all-Milwaukee-music channel because of our focus on Milwaukee artists since we first went on air 10 years ago.  We’re proud to play all Milwaukee music because it rivals music from any city in the country.”

Monday, June 12, 2017

| June 12, 2017

More Negative Press for Cumulus Media.  The New York Post story published over the weekend and shared across the radio biz didn’t delve into the company’s ratings or revenue numbers, it zeroed in on the biggest problem CEO Mary Berner is facing right now – its abysmal stock price.  Last fall’s one-for-eight reverse stock split was designed to prop up the company’s ailing stock, but that has not happened and it closed at 52 cents per share on Friday.  Read Claire Atkinson’s Post story here.

Cooke: Bat-Signal from Talk Radio. As consultant Holland Cooke writes today, the death of actor Adam West over the weekend doesn’t have anything specifically to do with radio, but there are lessons for radio practitioners that can be gleaned from pop culture events like this. Cooke writes that Nielsen still rewards horizontal maintenance.  “It sure did back then, when ABC-TV struggled to compete with CBS and NBC.  ‘Batman’ wasn’t just a mega-hit…it was two.  The show aired at 7:30 ET on Wednesday AND Thursday nights.  No matter how dire the cliffhanger, it would be resolved ‘tomorrow night, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.’”  Read more here.

TALKERS News Notes. The news that Apple is opening up in-episode analytics for its podcasts could be good or bad news for those selling ads on their podcasts, depending on how compelling those podcasts are.  Apple’s move will give podcasters the ability to find out how many people are listening to their content and where and when they stop listening or skip. Obviously, this gives advertisers much more information than simply that the podcast was downloaded or listened to…..SiriusXM presents exclusive national radio coverage of the 117th U.S. Open Championship from Erin Hills in Wisconsin, beginning Thursday (6/15).  Live coverage begins each day at 12:00 noon ET on both FOX Sports on SiriusXM and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.  SiriusXM’s Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst….Sportscaster Josh Appel, the 2016 winner of the prestigious Jim Nantz Award as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster,  joins Sports USA as a full-time NFL and college football play-by-play announcer…..Denyse Mesnik is named the national spokeswoman for the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, succeeding Kay Olin.  Mesnik is president of The Mesnik Group and the former longtime VP of corporate communications for Beasley Media Group.  The MIW Group is a volunteer organization helping women in the industry develop strong management and leadership skills and advocating the advancement of women to senior positions in radio broadcasting.

Gallagher at Greatest Generation Celebration. On Friday evening (6/9), the “American Spirit Awards Gala” took place in New Orleans.  The black-tie event celebrates individuals and organizations whose work reflects the values and spirit of those who served America during the World War II years.  Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw – author of the book The Greatest Generation – served as emcee.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (third from left) hosting listeners from Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and South Carolina.  Each listener donated $3,500 to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

WFAN, New York Personality Richard Neer Enjoying Growing Alternative Career as Murder Mystery Author.   Does it ever cross your mind on a sleepless night that an angry listener might pull a gun on you, incensed at something you’ve said on the air?  That’s what happens to Wally Josephs, the outrageous “guy talk” personality in New York City radio legend (WNEW-FM and WFAN) Richard Neer’s new thriller The Last Resort (CreateSpace Publishing, 2017). The subtext is all radio – the financial troubles our industry faces and the extreme measures some are willing to take to save their careers. It’s Neer’s fourth in his Riley King murder mystery series and, according to reviews, the most compelling to date.  See if you can identify some of the real people that the characters are based on and catch all the subtle music references woven throughout.  By the way, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison plays himself in the book.  About the role, Harrison commented, “When they make the movie, I expect my part to be played by Harrison Ford or perhaps Sean Connery.”  It’s available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon and it’s free to Kindle Unlimited readers.  Neer has an extraordinary half-century career as a pioneer in both album rock and sports talk radio. Many TALKERS readers will remember his best-selling work of non-fiction, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001).  For samples of all the books in the Riley King series, plus Richard Neer’s thoughts on sports, music and pop culture, or to book him as a talk show guest, check out www.RichardNeer.com.

Stanley Cup Finals, Warriors-Cavaliers Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the related firing of FBI Director James Comey and his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week; President Donald Trump pushes the positive economic forecast since his inauguration; the fate of British Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the recent elections; the death of iconic “Batman” actor Adam West at age 88; the trial of Bill Cosby on rape charges; the success of the new Wonder Woman film; the Pittsburgh Penguins’ victory over the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals; the battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After just over a year as the morning show host on Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG, San Francisco, Matt Pinfield is leaving that gig to focus on his two Westwood One nationally syndicated radio shows – the weekly rock history show “Flashback,” and the nightly program, “Two Hours.”  The media personality and rock journalist says, “I’d like to thank my family at KFOG and Cumulus San Francisco, whom I love dearly, for giving me the freedom to concentrate on my two national radio shows for Westwood One, time to focus on my book, and to continue to work on developing TV and film projects.  I love the Bay Area and being part of the legacy of such a heritage radio station as KFOG!”…..At Entercom’s Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94,” PM drive jock Mike Marino adds assistant program director duties to his responsibilities, and midday personality Heather Branch takes on the music director role…..KNIX, Phoenix APD and music director Anthony Allen, a.k.a. The AntMan, moves to Austin to begin serving as program director for iHeartMedia’s country duo KASE and KVET.  He’ll also hold down the afternoon shift on KASE.

Elvis Duran Chats with Miley Cyrus at iHeartSummer ’17. WHTZ, New York “Z100” and Premiere Networks syndicated personality Elvis Duran (right) chats with pop star Miley Cyrus (left) at the iHeartSummer ’17 Weekend on Friday and Saturday (6/9 & 10) at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The event included performances by DJ Khaled, Halsey, Miley Cyrus, Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Noah Cyrus, Tinashe and Luis Fonsi.  Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio.

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Monday, June 5, 2017

| June 5, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r).  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.

Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.

Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”

Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.

Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show.  The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa.  Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET.  She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show.  In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com.  At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today.  She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting.  Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”

Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer.  Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well.  Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers.  iHeartMedia  chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman.  He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company.  Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry.  I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”

KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5).   KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’  Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home.  Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.”  Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network.  Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland.  I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened.  A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point.  Read Hurley’s story here.

Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play.  KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract.  Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’”  Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014.  He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner.  The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley.  He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the  Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems.  Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).

Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station.  CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists.  He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director.  Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM.  Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile.  Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards.  “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.”  Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.

WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success.   The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3).  More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station.  Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner.  Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio.  It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era.  The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world!  Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality.  Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS  that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June.  Pictured (l-r): J.J. JeffreyAl Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| May 23, 2017

Ron Kuby Exits WABC, New York.  So far, there’s no explanation from Cumulus Media about the sudden departure of Ron Kuby from the Curtis & Kuby midday show on news/talk WABC, New York.  The WABC website indicates Curtis Sliwa is staying on to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show solo and it appears likely that Kuby’s departure is the result of budget cuts.  Sliwa and Kuby returned to WABC after a six-year absence back in 2014.  The liberal Kuby and conservative Sliwa had worked together successfully at WABC from 2000 until 2008 when their show was canceled.  Sliwa hosted a solo show at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for a number of years between 2008 and 2014.

Clark Howard Suffers Near-Fatal Medical Episode.  Nationally syndicated consumer issues talk host Clark Howard tells WSB-TV, Atlanta that his doctors have a working theory that the antibiotic ciprofloxacin combined with his cholesterol medication may have been responsible for the life-threatening illness he recently suffered. Howard was prescribed the antibiotic as a precautionary measure to ward off infection after a routine biopsy to monitor his prostate cancer.  However, days later he was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – and affliction that he says results in your muscles basically eating themselves.  Doctors flushed his system with IVs and he’s recuperated.

Three Fox News Staffers File Discrimination Suits.  Responding to the suits filed in District Court in New York, Fox News says, “We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.”  The suits were filed by the New York employment law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of claimants Kathleen Lee, currently a shift editor at Fox News Radio, former accounts payable coordinator Naima Farrow, and former accounts receivables specialist Vidya Mann.  Lee claims that she suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment. Farrow alleges she was fired after notifying her supervisor that she was pregnant.  And Mann – who was not a full-time staffer – says she was let go after having her baby.  You can see the Bloomberg account here.

Joe Madison Re-Ups with SiriusXM. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is staying on with SiriusXM after signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET program on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Joe is the foundation of our Urban View channel, a tireless campaigner for social change and one of the best interviewers working in radio today.  We are thrilled to have him exclusively on SiriusXM and look forward to many more years of great radio with Joe.”

Alpha Media Closes on Purchase of WFTL and WMEN in West Palm Beach.  The company had been operating news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN in the West Palm Beach market under an LMA from ACM JCE IV B LLC for almost two years.  Earlier this year, Alpha Media agreed to purchase the stations for $2 million.  The stations were acquired by ACM JCE IV B LLC from the bankruptcy restructuring of James Crystal Enterprises in 2013.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida.  Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.”  Alpha also operates hot AC WRMF, AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” country WIRK, urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3,” and hip hop W242CI “Beatz 96.3.”

TALKERS News Notes. It’s a milestone for Compass Media Networks’ “Mike Lupica Podcast” as it passes the one million download mark.  The longtime New York sports writer and media figure was recently nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for Best Sports Podcast.  Lupica comments, “Doing this podcast has been even more fun than I thought it would be.  We’re a year in and already we’ve had really insightful conversations with some of the biggest names in sports, media and politics.”…..Edison Research announces it appoints Dr. Nino Japaridze to the new role of vice president for public affairs research.  Japaridze will be based in Washington to lead Edison’s public affairs and international research practice.  She more than 20 years of experience in the fields of public affairs and international research, most recently as vice president of public affairs at Ipsos North America where she led global media research and political risk practice areas and was responsible for partnering with technology-based companies to extend research capabilities across digital platforms…..WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan news director Ann Williams is named president of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors.  Williams was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing last month.  At the same event, the Alpha Media station was honored with three first place awards by the organization for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography.  WSGW program director Dave Maurer comments, “We are so proud of Ann.  She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is hosting its 3rd Annual Sports Radio Open golf tournament on June 20 to benefit the Helene Foundation, which provides immediate support for mothers fighting cancer to positively impact their families.

New York Festivals Announces Finalists for International Radio Program Awards. The finalists have been announced for The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for 2017.  The Grand Jury selected 336 finalists from entries submitted from 32 countries across the globe.  Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  All entries achieving finalist status proceed to the medal round.  Entries from the U.S. moving on to the medal round come from companies including: ABC Radio Network, CBS RADIO Boston, ESPN, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and more.  The World’s Best Radio Programs will be announced at the 2017 awards ceremony on Monday June 19 Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  See all the finalists here.

Trump in the Middle East, Trump Budget Proposal, British Concert Bombing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ford CEO Fired, NC Redistricting Ruling, Confederate Monuments Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). President Donald Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territory; President Trump’s budget proposal and GOP leaders’ reactions; the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; the investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; Ford fires CEO Mark Fields and installs Jim Hackett; SCOTUS throws out North Carolina redistricting ruling it was based on racial gerrymandering; the tensions in the South over the removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Beasley Media Group Announces New Format Captains. Four Beasley Media Group programmers are adding format captain to their business cards.  The company is promoting WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, Philadelphia program director Bill Weston to format captain for rock; Boston OM and WMJX-FM and WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack to format captain for CHR and AC; Las Vegas OM and KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria to format captain for urban; and WSOC-FM and WBCN-FM, Charlotte OM and PD DJ Stout to format captain for country.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase, “Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve.  We feel this team, with its unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WLNK, Charlotte afternoon duo Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway sign a new, multi-year contract to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s hot AC station.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Matt and Ramona’s commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte.  That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM.  Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville is bringing market legend Gerry House back to the station to serve as its official voice talent for classic country W252CM “The BIG Legend at 98.3,” effective May 26.  House says, “The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3.”  House was heard on WSIX-FM, Nashville from 1983 to 2010…..Radio pro Jay Philpott is making a move within Cumulus Media to move from rock WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5” to his hometown of Minneapolis to join rock KQRS “Q92” to host the evening show.  Philpott says he’ll exit WNNX on June 2 and start at KQRS on June 12.  He will continue to host his national show on the Westwood One network.….Myra Ellison announces she’s leaving her director of promotions, marketing & web gig at Entercom’s Madison cluster due to health issues…..Westwood One is kicking off the summer season with two exclusive Memorial Day Weekend music specials.  One is called “Get Out and Play” and is hosted by Ed Sheeran.  It celebrates the beginning of summer with four hours of music, information on this summer’s hottest tours, plus talk about the beach, summer vacation spots and new box office releases.  “Memorial Day Mania” is hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and “ignites the summer season with tour and summer music festival talk, new music coming out this summer, road trips, and more.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

| May 22, 2017

Brian Wilson Exits WMAL, Washington’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’  Announcing via Twitter on Friday, DC talk radio personality Brian Wilson says he’s exited Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Wilson wrote, “Today is the last day of a wonderful 6 year ride @WMALDC.  Thanks everyone!  I stand ready for the next great adventure.  I’ll miss the awesome folks @WMALDC: B Hess, Larry, Chris, Mary, Heather H & M McKay.  But won’t miss the 2:30 AM alarm!!!!  More soon!”  In the meantime, WMAL program director – and Cumulus news/talk VP – Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese is sitting in as interim co-host while the station seeks a permanent partner for Mary Walter on the program.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City adds Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” starring Brian Kilmeade in the late morning daypart, replacing Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck…..In Chicago, Matt Abbatacola leaves CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR where he’s been serving for the past 16 years as a producer, personality and sports update anchor.  He was a longtime producer of the Boers & Bernstein show with the now-retired Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein (who’s now partnered with Jason Goff).  Robert Feder reports that “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “I wish him nothing but the best.”  Read Feder’s column here…..More changes are taking place at Fox News Channel.  According to report by CNN, Fox News Channel has let “The Five” personality Bob Beckel go “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”  This move is apparently connected to what is being termed a “growing racial discrimination” lawsuit filed by a number of current and former Fox News Channel staffers.  The story says Beckel allegedly told a black IT department employee that he would leave the room while the staffer worked on his computer because the employee is black.  It further says that when the person filed a complaint, Beckel tried to intimidate the worker to withdraw it.  The suit is being handled by attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen…..If you missed it, former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly wrote an op-ed piece published by USA Today on the passing of his former boss Roger Ailes.  In the piece, O’Reilly says, “We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective.  The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters.  Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him.  That is the truth.”  Read the piece here…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, via his Red Zebra Broadcasting, is agreeing to sell sports talk WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland to the new corporation AM 570 LLC – co-owned by Salem Media Group founders Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson.  The $2.1 million deal includes 58 acres of land.  The towers also carry the diplexed signal of WMAL-AM on a lease.

Trump Visits Saudi Arabia, Russia Investigation/Comey Firing, China Kills U.S. Spies, Weiner Guilty Plea/Abedin Files for Divorce, More North Korean Missile Tests, Iranian Elections, O’Reilly’s USA Today Column, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump makes his first stop in Saudi Arabia on an international tour, receiving a gold medal from the nation and signing a $110 billion arms deal; ongoing talk of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign figures and Russia and the related firing of FBI Director James Comey; the report that an intelligence breakdown led to China killing and imprisoning numerous U.S. spies; Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in the case of his sexting with a minor and the news former Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin will divorce him; North Korea conducts more missile tests; Iran holds elections, re-electing President Hassan Rouhani; former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly pens a USA Today op-ed stating Roger Ailes died from the “hatred” cast at him by critics; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Taking over the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” is Kannon.  He was most recently working in the Dallas market at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL as part of the morning show.  KDMX program director Jay Shannon says, “Kannon is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth for several years and he understands how to connect with listeners, as well as what it takes to be successful in this market.”  He also previously served in the market as morning show host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the reports that Federated Media active rock WBYR, Fort Wayne “98.9 The Bear” parts ways with evening personality Barry Thickk.  The station replaces him with the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated “Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL” at night…..SiriusXM announces that David Letterman and his former TV band leader Paul Shaffer will be guests on Elizabeth Cook’s “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country on Wednesday (5/24).  Letterman, a big fan of American roots music, will bring along a playlist of his own hand-picked performances that aired on his network television show over the years.

Adam Bomb and DNCE at the Billboard Music Awards. Yesterday (5/21) in Las Vegas, Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs took place at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena.  The backstage radio row included more than 20 stations interviewing artists and celebrities.  Republic Records recording artists DNCE performed at the event.  Pictured here is Westwood One syndicated host Adam Bomb (left) with members of DNCE.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

| May 18, 2017

Fox News Channel Architect Roger Ailes Dead at 77.  The family of former Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes announces that he died early today at the age of 77.  The cause is unknown at this time.  His widow Elizabeth says in a statement, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.  Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.  He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back.”  Ailes began building Fox News Channel in 1996 and its rise changed the landscape of cable news/talk.  Ailes recently exited Fox in the wake of a growing number of complaints by current and former FNC female staffers – most notably, former anchor Gretchen Carlson – of sexual harassment.  Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity tweets, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”

Report: SiriusXM in Talks to Acquire Pandora. The report is published in the New York Post and indicates that Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM has restarted talks with digital pure play Pandora’s creditors to acquire the company.  The story notes that Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei has previously indicated that he thinks Pandora is worth about $10 per share.  Yesterday (5/17), Pandora closed at $8.93 per share.  Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren has publicly maintained that he wants to keep Pandora operating as a stand-alone company, but the Post story says activist investors Matrix Capital Management and Corvex Management are pushing for a sale.  Although Pandora has roughly 76 million active users, the company has yet to turn a profit.  Read the Post story here.

Alex Jones Apologizes to Chobani.  Talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones and Twin Falls, Idaho-based yogurt maker Chobani have come to a settlement in the company’s suit against Jones.  If you recall, Chobani filed a defamation suit against Jones after he posted a story on Infowars headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”  The story noted Chobani’s policy of hiring refugees but then reported on a Twin Falls case involving refugee boys who admitted to assaulting a five-year-old girl, attempting to draw a connection.  Local authorities say there was none.  The lawsuit said, “The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products.”  As part of the settlement, Jones agreed to retract the story, which he did with the following statement: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars, Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong.  The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted.  On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

WYAY, Atlanta Loses Three from News Department.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media has cut two staffers from news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7.”  Reportedly let go are news director Jackie Howard and morning producer and reporter Michael Jones.  Morning drive co-host Cheryl White reportedly resigned her position with the station.  Ho notes that still on staff in the news department at WYAY are Chuck Roberts, Drew Nelson, Cheryl Castro and Rob Stadler.  Read the AJC story here.

Robert Mueller Appointed Special Counsel, Trump Resignation/Impeachment Speculation, the Dow’s Sharp Decline, Turkish Embassy Brawl, North Korea Missile Threats, New Cyberattack Threats, Giselle Reveals Brady Concussions, Rocker Chris Cornell Dead, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17). Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election and improper connections between Donald Trump campaign officials and Russia; speculation about a Trump resignation or impeachment; the biggest loss on Wall Street since September of 2016; the violent assault on protesters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S.; concerns about a new cyberattack that experts fear could be worse than the WannaCry malware; Giselle Bundchen’s surprise statement that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has suffered numerous concussions; rock artist Chris Cornell dies unexpectedly while on tour in Detroit; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is now hosting the afternoon drive show at iHeartMedia’s WARF, Akron “Fox Sports 1350” after his recent exit from Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland…..In Boise, Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO announces the addition of an FM translator signal at 107.5 to its broadcast.  KIDO’s main signal is 580 AM.  The station tells listeners, “KIDO Talk Radio is honored to have three platforms for the Treasure Valley…The addition of 107.5 FM allows the voices of the Treasure Valley to be exposed to an additional audience that may not be aware of alternatives to music radio.  KIDO will continue to proudly broadcast on its traditional home of 580 AM.  KIDOTalkRadio.com will be the home of your favorite photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos from throughout the Treasure Valley.

WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Featured on ‘Nightline.’  The topic of last night’s “Nightline” from ABC News was “Trump Under Fire,” exploring the challenges the president has faced over the past few weeks.  WOR, New York late morning host Mark Simone was one of the media pros featured on the show.  Simone, a Donald Trump supporter, said, “In the end he always succeeds…this [investigation] will go nowhere.”

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Urban programmer Maurice DeVoe joins the iHeartMedia St. Louis cluster to serve as program director for hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat.”  DeVoe joins KMJM from Cumulus Media, where he was corporate program director for urban and rhythmic formats and program director for urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. says, “I’ve always admired Maurice’s strong leadership skills, format track record and ability to thrive at community involvement.  I am honored to welcome him into our super-passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia St. Louis.”…..In the Atlantic City, New Jersey market, Coastal Broadcasting flips alternative WJSE to classic hits, branded as “106.3 The Shore.”  The talent lineup includes Mark Hunter in mornings, “Rudy on the Radio” for middays, and “Ashley & Brad” in afternoon drive…..The syndicated country morning radio show “Tony & Kris” will wrap at the end of this month.  Kris Rochester posted the announcement on the show’s website regarding the future of his and partner Tony Randall’s 25-year-old radio program.  The show has been syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks…..Entercom alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for the annual “Summer Camp” concert.  The two-day alt-rock festival takes place at Marymoor Park on August 12 and 13 and will feature headliners Vance Joy and Metric, with additional acts including Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Bishop Briggs, New Politics, K.Flay, and more.  KNDD program director Leslie Scott states, “Summer Camp has become a benchmark for new music discovery.  We’re excited for another year of great music and good vibes at Marymoor Park.”

 

 

Round Three of April PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 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’s April survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

 

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The country format gets a mixed bag this sweep. On the positive side, Alpha Media’s KUPL pulls the plug on three straight months of notching a 4.2 (6+) by exploding with a +1.3 to 5.5 (its strongest 6+-showing since last July’s 5.5) as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges from ninth to fourth. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, after registering four straight gains for an overall +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is now a combined -1.6 in March and April (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) to slip from fifth to eighth. With a loss of eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” drops from fourth to fifth. Trending 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 (6+) since the “Holiday 2016” report, iHeartMedia’s KFBW breaks out a full-share increase to 4.5 (6+), enabling “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” to crack the top ten (#13 to #9). Off by one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” (#15 to #16) snaps at three its string of up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). At the same time, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KWEE “WE – 96.3” regains the four-tenths it lost in March (2.3 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #19. This is the third straight time iHeartMedia classic rock KGON (flat at #6) is without a loss (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+) for a collective +1.9. When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to March (and April), KGON last crossed the five-share threshold (6+) in March 2015 (5.5). Things are getting even tighter at the top as KGON adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW “K-103” drops three-tenths (8.6 – 8.3, 6+), while Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB is +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, steady at #2, 6+) thus it trails “K-103” (#1 for the 35th time in the last 37 ratings periods) by a slim one-tenth. Both stations chalked up impressive increases of nine-tenths in March. “K-103” was off by nine-tenths in February; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. The last time KOPB crossed the eight-share level (6+) was in March 2016 (8.0, 6+). In one sweep, Mount Hood Community College jazz outlet KMHD has its 6+-share erode by just over 50% (1.8 – .8, -1.0, #23, 6+). Similarly, Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game – Portland’s Sports Radio” (#27) is off six-tenths, slicing its 6+-share exactly in half (1.2 – .6, 6+). While it remains in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” drops one-half share (6.2 – 5.7, 6+).

2) Charlotte – As is the case in Portland (see above), a consistently spirited country skirmish exists in North Carolina’s “Queen City.” On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (5.2 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” prevails on this occasion, storming from fifth to second. Before April’s +.8, “Country’s Hottest Hits” was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Recent fluctuations for its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – have been -1.2 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.7 (January); +.2 (February); -.2 (March) and now a +.2 in April (5.2 – 4.0 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+). “The Kat” surrenders its runner-up slot to WSOC and slides to third. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) whereas the advantage now is just one-tenth. The same two groups owners are engaged in a competitive CHR battle here as well. Up or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #8. One-tenth behind at #9 (down from #8 in March) is iHeartMedia’s WHQC “Channel 96.1” (4.7, -.2, 6+), which has its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). After posting three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” gives up one-tenth to 7.6 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its +8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had a decrease in the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” shifts from third to fourth. Ending its 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 (6+) sequence, Entercom news/talk WBT loses one-tenth to 3.0 (6+), but stays at #15.

3) San Antonio – Following a February loss of one full-share, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT more than makes up for it in March and April with a collective +1.5 (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from sixth to second. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” was #1. Occupying that top spot in February, March, and now in April is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; and April’s +.8 (6.8 – 7.6, 6+). KONO-FM departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. The market’s two mainstream CHRs were tied at #14 in March, but by gaining four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) in April, iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends at six its string of consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and climbs to #12. Meanwhile, Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” regains the two-tenths it dropped in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) and remains at #14. Prior to its -.2 this time last month, “Energy” strung together four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). In six straight ratings periods covering October 2016 to March 2017, Cox Media Group classic country KKYX was a true model of consistency: 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (6+). When “Country Legends” gained six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) in March, it entered the top twenty (#20); however, KKYX surrenders that +.6 in its entirety and is back to 1.3 (#24, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well (to 5.6, 6+) and moving from second to third is co-owned KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). It is, however, now down for the third straight time (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+) more than wiping out that increase and dropping from third to fifth. As Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” gains three-tenths (5.2 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops two-tenths (4.6 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – It’s good news/bad news for CBS Radio outlets with the KDKA call letters. Applying the brakes to a mini-slump that accounted for a -1.4 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan – Pittsburgh Sports Radio” trots out a robust +1.8 to 6.1, its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, to progress from ninth to sixth. On the other hand, KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” which was +1.4 via three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), forfeits nearly half that gain (5.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. At #11 for the past ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” cracks the top ten (#9) with a gain of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned WDVE regresses by eight-tenths (to 9.6, 6+), thus curtailing at three its string of consecutive increases which generated a collective two full-shares (8.4 – 10.0 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+). The rock station – which had been #1 the past three months – drops to #2; in March, it matched December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to the top spot in January. Taking its place at #1 (from the runner-up slot) and rebounding from a -.8 in March is classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9 – 10.3, +.4, 6+). Just before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Following three straight downward moves in which it lost six full-shares and nearly half its 6+-stat (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” gains one-tenth to 6.5 (6+) and remains in fifth-place. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.8, 6+) to curtail three straight declines accounting for a -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), sibling WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” backslides from #10 to #11. In addition to KDKA-AM, other market outlets regressing by six-tenths in April are cluster-mate WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” (3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+); Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (third to fourth, 6+); and Renda Broadcasting’s WHJB “Classic Hits 107.1” (flat at #14, 6+). Without a decrease in each of the three previous sweeps, “Y-108” was +.8 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). “Bob” is off by one full-share in three straight dips (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+), while “Classic Hits 107.1” halts three consecutive up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). While unchanged at #12, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is off by three-tenths (2.8, 6+), concluding at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Just several days into the April ratings period (4/3), iHeartMedia transitioned adult hits KQJK “Jack FM” to classic rock KYRV and in its first report card, “The River” betters KQJK’s March numbers by +1.5. This actually marks the fourth consecutive improvement on that frequency for a whopping +2.9 (2.1 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 5.0, 6+). The switch was made when “Jack” ranked ninth and “The River” sails to fifth. Not only does Entravision’s KNTY extend its streak of successive increases to five and +1.5 in the period (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+), country-formatted “101.9 – The Wolf” rockets from #15 into the top ten (#9). The last time Sacramento’s “Wolf” reached the three-share level (6+) was November 2014 (3.0, 6+). There is good news in April as well for CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which adds six-tenths to March’s +.1 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+) to carry on at #4. With a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” inches up from #15 to #14. This marks the seventh straight time that “The Bull” is within 2.1 – 2.9 range (6+). Thus, all three of the market’s FM country facilities improve March 2017 – April 2017, combining for a +1.4; they accomplished the same feat February 2017 – March 2017 but with a collective +.8 (6+). Even though CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX is a combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+), “Mix 96” is #1 for the third successive time. It shook off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. After being a combined +2.4 in November and December, KYMX was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Drifting from seventh to ninth, Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is without an increase for the sixth successive ratings period for a collective -2.4 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Returning two-thirds of the nine-tenths it has garnered the last two sweeps (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.5 – 3.9, -.6, 6+) drops from fifth to seventh. Off by four-tenths to 2.1 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB (flat at #17) ends at five its successive streak of up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “K-Love” more than doubled its 6+-share since November.

6) Salt Lake City – On the heels of a one-half share increase in March, Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” doubles it with a full-share gain in April (3.5 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), jumping from tenth to fifth. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since last July’s 5.3. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.3 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 – Salt Lake City’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+), dropping from fourth to sixth. Two adult contemporary facilities in the market fluctuate by six tenths: Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (6.3 – 6.9, +.6, steady at #2, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7” (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, #13 to #15, 6+). “FM 100.3” is bouncing back from a massive -1.7 in March. Following three straight sweeps at #1, it shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. The six-tenths loss by “B-98.7” ends three consecutive uptrends for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+). In addition to KSFI, news/talk sibling KSL improves by six-tenths (6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and repeats at #1. Recent KSL shifts include +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January); -2.1 (February) and now +.6 in April. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KNRS erodes by -1.5 to 4.1 (6+), pulling the plug on three consecutive gains that netted a +1.8 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+); KNRS shifts from fifth to ninth. Powered by four straight upward moves, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by +2.6 (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and jumps from sixth in March to third. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Decreasing by one-half share each are Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #17, 6+) and KLO’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.6 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+). “U-92” is within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 11th straight time.

7) Las Vegas – At this time last month, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KKLZ (then in fifth-place) trailed the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” – by 3.4 shares (6+). The lead is now just over one full-share, as KKLZ hangs out a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+) and leaps to #2. Sputtering by approximately the same margin following a gigantic +1.8 in March (8.6 – 7.5, -1.1, 6+), “Sunny” is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. This is the best 6+showing for KKLZ since December’s 6.6. Making leaps of eight-tenths each are Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+) and cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (eighth to seventh, 6+). “The Point” logged a 4.3 (6+) in three of the past five sweeps (4.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), while KOMP is without a decrease for the fourth time in a row for a +1.6 (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+). Having been up in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio-owned KLUC forfeits more than half that gain (4.5, -1.0, 6+) and spirals from second to eighth. Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). The wild ride continues for Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF: Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), it rolled out a +1.2 in January, but followed with a -1.6 in February; -.6 in March; and now a -.5 in April (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), plummeting from #14 to #19.

8) Cincinnati – Boasting the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has thus far been released, iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” dusts itself off from a combined -1.2 in February and March (8.4 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.3 (6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, the Cincinnati Reds flagship registers its finest 6+-showing since last June’s 10.8. Once practically a formality to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+) – it hasn’t been on top since August. March’s 7.2 was the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. It is now two-tenths behind Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR, which has its own bounce back, posting a full-share gain after a -.7 in March (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). It has been #1 every month this calendar year and prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR marched from second to first. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), WUBE “B-105” answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrendered six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). In yet another rebound situation, the Hubbard country outlet jumps by eight-tenths to 7.8 – its best 6+-stat since last November’s 7.9 – and remains in third-place. Off by a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.0, advancing from #13 to #11.

9) Orlando – Going back to December, the 6+-line for iHeartMedia’s WJRR has been 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. With a one-half share increase in April though, “Orlando’s Rock Station” matches November’s 4.2 and enters the top ten (3.7 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+). For the past 17 ratings periods, co-owned WFLF has been exclusively within one-share territory, but owing to April’s +.7, the news/talk outlet reaches 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+). Still in that iHM cluster, not only is Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” on top for the fourth consecutive month, it adds two-tenths to the +.9 in March (11.7 – 12.6 – 12.8, 6+) as it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.8 eclipses by two-tenths the previous record (12.6, 6+), which – of course – was set this time last month. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. A very patient, steady climb continues for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (flat at #15) as it progresses for the fifth straight time – with each gain (ironically) being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Trailing “Rumba” by nearly three full-shares is its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the fourth consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). In that stretch, “XL-106.7” is a collective +2.7, easily erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 31st straight time (2.2 – 2.5, +.3, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE remains at #14. Inching up from #19 to #18, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to five its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). After being without a decrease in each of the past four sweeps for an overall +1.1 (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” drops one-half share to 5.5, but carries on in sixth-place.

10) Cleveland – Trending 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “Cleveland’s Rock Station” hauls out a +1.1 to 6.2 (its best 6+-share since November’s 6.5) to march from tenth to seventh. Much is made, of course, about the Chicago Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but many forget the Indians actually took them to seven games and nearly captured the Series. After being locked on 6.1 (6+) in February and March, the team’s flagship – iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM – improves by nine-tenths to 7.0, climbing from seventh to sixth. Tacking on eight-tenths to the one-half share it picked up in March (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” not only advances from fourth to third, it is just three-tenths from the top spot. A gain of two-tenths (8.2 – 8.4, 6+) enables iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). It has been #1 each month this calendar year. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. For 30 straight ratings periods, Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF had a 6+-share below a one-share, but in February, it ballooned from .9 to 2.3 (6+) before dropping to 1.9 (6+) in March. Off in April by seven-tenths to 1.2 (6+), “Moody Radio” moves from #14 to #15. After notching a +.4 in March, CBS Radio-owned WKRK surrenders six-tenths (4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains anchored at #12 for the 16th successive sweep. Behind it at #13 for the 13th time in a row is Ideastream’s WCPN (3.1 – 3.4, +.3, 6+). Prior to a -.2 in February, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Another MLB flagship enjoying a strong April is Entercom-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio.” The Royals’ key station ends a mini-slide (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) by hanging out a hefty +1.5 to 2.7 (6+) and returns to the top 20 (#16). Most notably victimized by its increase is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which follows March’s +.7 with a -1.1 (2.9 – 3.6 – 2.5, 6+) to drop from #15 to #18. WHB gained seven-tenths in January, before forfeiting one-half share in February. At this time last month, Cumulus Media siblings (classic rock) KCFX “The Fox” and classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” were locked in a first-place tie – each with a 7.5 (6+). That ends in April though as “The Fox” bounces back from a -.8 in March by busting out a full-share gain to 8.5 and is #1 for the fourth straight time. Meanwhile, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is flat at 7.5 (6+) and segues to #2. Before its +1.0 in April, “The Fox” registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). On top from May through September and then in December, KCFX had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). Ending its 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (6+) sequence with a gain of six-tenths to 4.7, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” progresses from tenth to seventh (6+). Via three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” was a collective +2.1, but is off by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), shifting from third to fifth. “Country 94.1” entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Entercom-owned, similarly-formatted WDAF-FM “106.5 The Wolf” improves by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and enters the top 10 (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+). Posting its fourth straight improvement for a nearly two-share cumulative gain (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from fifth to fourth. When KMBZ-FM dropped three-tenths in March, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In April, the Entercom news/talk outlet sputters by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) to slip from sixth to ninth. Down by six-tenths as well is University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR (#13 to #15), which is without an increase for the third successive time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) for a -.8. As the result of six straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” has eroded by more than three full-shares and slides from eighth to tenth.

12) Columbus – Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (8.9 – 9.4, steady at #2, 6+) and Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (6.1 – 6.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Ironically, both faltered by nine-tenths in March. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. The +.5 in April by “Sunny” pulls the plug on three successive negative moves which accounted for a -2.6 (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). After regaining the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” in March, WCOL not only repeats but adds four-tenths (10.1 – 10.5, 6+). The country property was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Ohio State University’s WOSU, down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, unchanged at #11, 6+) and Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B,” also off for the third successive sweep (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7, flat at #12, 6+). Unlisted for the fourth straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

| May 11, 2017

Emmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Radio Revenue Down 6.6%.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation announced financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 28, 2017.  Radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $36.4 million from the same period in 2016 – a decrease of 6.6%.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, and excluding results from Los Angeles, Emmis’ fourth quarter radio revenue was down 4.8% in markets that were down 0.2%.  Austin and St. Louis outperformed their markets, with St. Louis up 10% in a market that was up 1%.  For the full year, radio revenue was $165.1 million, compared to $169.2 million in the prior year, a decrease of 2.4%.  During the fourth quarter, Emmis closed on the sale of its Terre Haute radio cluster and the sale of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Orange Coast magazines.  The company also issued pro forma results for WEPN, New York – leased to Disney’s ESPN – the Terre Haute stations, and KPWR, Los Angeles which is being sold to Meruelo Media.  The pro forma net revenue for those radio operations was $26.2 million in the fourth fiscal quarter (down 5.65% from Q4 last year) and was down just 1% for the full year on net revenue of $128.1 million.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “The decision to sell KPWR was an extremely difficult one to make, but it allows us to dramatically reduce our indebtedness, leading to much needed financial flexibility during challenging times for the U.S. radio business.  Our industry needs a catalyst and we remain convinced we have it in NextRadio.  The NextRadio-developed Dial Report, which provides robust data measurement and big data analytics for radio campaigns, has been a huge hit with advertisers and agencies since its introduction in January of this year.”

Saga Communications Leaves TV Biz; Buys Seven Radio Stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  This deal will deliver all of Saga’s television holdings – KAVU-TV, Victoria, Texas; KMOL-LD, KQZY-LP, KUNU-LP, KVTX-LP, KXTS-LD in Victoria; KVCT-TV, Victoria; KOAM-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas; and KFJX-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas – to Madison, Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million.  The same day Saga files the TV sale with the FCC and SEC, it announces it has entered into an agreement with Apex Broadcasting to buy eight stations and four translators in the Charleston and Hilton Head markets for $23 million.  The stations are country WCKN, hot AC WMXZ, urban contemporary WXST, adult hits WAVF, and Gospel WSPO-AM, and translators W261DG and W257BQ in the Charleston market, plus adult hits WVSC, classic hits WLHH, hot AC WALI, and translators W256CB and W293BZ in the Hilton Head/Savannah market.  Saga expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2017.

iHeartMedia Elevates Hudson to Area President, Names McNair to NOLA Market President Post.  Rising to area president for iHeartMedia’s Baton Rouge/New Orleans markets is Michael Hudson.  Concurrent with that is the addition of Steve McNair to the New Orleans cluster as market president.  The nine-station cluster includes news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT “FOX Sports 1280.”  McNair was previously regional sales manager at Titan Broadcasting’s KUBE-TV, Houston.  Prior to that, he served as the vice president of sales for CBS RADIO’s Houston operations.

WSKO, Syracuse Brings ‘Bud and the Manchild’ Back.  The Cumulus Media sports talk station is announcing that the “Bud and the Manchild Radio Show” will once again be heard on its airwaves starting May 30.  The independently produced show – co-hosted by retired Syracuse Post Standard sports columnist Bud Poliquin and Central New York radio and TV pro Jim “The Manchild” Lerch – will air on WSKO “The Score 1260” weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The program launched in 2002.  It exited WSKO in 2015 and, until recently, was heard on Galaxy Communications’ crosstown WTLA.  Jim Lerch states, “A change was needed to get the show back on track in terms of our core values.  Cumulus Media and ‘The Score 1260’ were great partners in the past and we are very excited to join forces with them again.  It was very tough leaving ‘The Score 1260’ in 2015, and we consider that decision a mistake.  We are thrilled to be working with Cumulus Media once again.”

Cantore Exits ‘Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  It was a short stint at Broadcast Company of the Americas sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for longtime San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore.  He joined the station early last month to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show on the station. He’d most recently been with Entercom’s alternative KBZT in mornings with co-host Steven Woods. He’d also worked at KPRI and alternative XETRA “91X.”  NBCSandiego.com reports the company is offering “no comment at this time.”

Trump Comey Firing Aftermath, Trump-Lavrov Meeting, W. Va. Capitol Police Arrest Reporter, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, New Orleans Confederate Statue Removals, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10). The aftermath of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey; President Trump meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov; the West Virginia Capitol Police arrest a reporter for asking questions of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; the Republican plan to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s allegations the U.S. tried to assassinate him; controversy over the removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Trump 100 Days Event Draws Full House in Sarasota. In the photo above, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher appears on the large video screen joining fellow SRN personality Larry Elder and local hosts at last night’s sold-out “Trump’s First 100 Days Event” in Sarasota, Florida.  The event was sponsored by Salem-owned stations WGUL-AM and WLSS-AM.  Gallagher told the crowd, “Sarasota is Trump Country and — unlike CNN and other cable networks — the audience loudly cheered the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.”

1010 WINS Anchor/Reporter Gene Michaels Loses Battle with Cancer.  Friends, family and co-workers are mourning the death of WINS, New York reporter and anchor Gene Michaels (Free) who died on Wednesday (5/10) at 60 after a long battle with cancer.  WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “I can’t think of a single person who crossed paths with Gene over his long and incredibly successful career who didn’t find him to be among the kindest, smartest, and gentlest of human beings.  Everything he touched, everyone he met, everything he did was better because of him.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter and to his entire family.”  Michaels started his career in 1978 at WEJL, Scranton.  He spent a decade at WALK, Long Island.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary San Francisco air personality Steven Seaweed is retiring from Cumulus Media’s KSAN “The Bone 107.7” on June 30, wrapping a 44-year, on-air career.  Seaweed – a Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer – started on the air at KLRB-FM, Carmel, California on New Year’s Eve, 1972.  He joined KSAN in 1978, but left when it flipped to country in 1980.  He served with KFAT-FM “The Wide Spot On the Dial,” KWSS-FM, KRQR-FM “The Rocker,” and KLLC-FM “Alice@97.3,” before rejoining KSAN in 1997.  Seaweed says, “Forty-four years ago, nobody wanted to work at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Except me!  I volunteered, got the job, and went on to have the most rewarding career in radio.  I have been so lucky all these years to have worked with the most incredible people at many legendary radio stations, and with the best radio listeners on the planet.  Thank you, everybody!”…..Beginning Monday, May 15, Cox Media Group’s CHR WSB-FM, Atlanta “B98.5” adds Drex Renner to the station’s morning show.  He joins Tad Lemire for “Tad & Drew Mornings.”  Renner previously led the “Drex, Cassidy and Tingle” show on Entercom’s crosstown hot AC WSTR “Star 94.”  Lemire has been with “B98.5” co-hosting mornings since February of 2016.  Kara Leigh will continue to serve as the producer and co-host for the new show, taking on a larger role and presenting a strong female voice…..At CHR KLUC, Las Vegas CBS RADIO announces midday personality Jon Que is inked to a contract extension and takes on the added duties of music director for KLUC and assistant program director and music director for 98.5 HD-2 “Da Shaka, Vegas’ Island and Reggae Station.”…..The syndicated “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” show announces the addition of three new affiliate stations: iHeartMedia’s Soft AC KTSM, El Paso “Sunny 99.9,” Little Engine Broadcasting’s classic hits WRBZ-AM/W238CE, Montgomery, Alabama, and Withers Radio’s KREZ, Cape Girardeau, Missouri “Soft Rock 104.7.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

| May 1, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces Bill Shine’s Exit.  After a weekend of escalating rumors that Fox News Channel would soon replace Bill Shine as co-president of the cable news channel, that came true today as parent company 21st Century Fox, via a statement by executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, accepted Bill Shine’s resignation, although he clearly was asked to resign.  He’s been accused by some of the women involved in recent sexual harassment allegations against FNC management and talent, of enabling Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.  Earlier today, TALKERS reported that Rupert Murdoch and co-chairmen James and Lachlan Murdoch wanted to fill Shine’s position with a woman.  Today, Fox announces a number of promotions including the elevation of Suzanne Scott to president of programming, Jay Wallace as president of news, and Brian Jones to president Fox Business Network.  Rupert Murdoch is quoted saying, “This is a significant day for all at Fox News.  Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry.  His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”  Shine, like Scott and Wallace, have been with FNC since its launch in 1996.  Jack Abernethy, who served with Shine as co-president, remains in his position.  The company says it intends to fill Shine’s co-president position.

Ryan Seacrest to Join Kelly Ripa as Co-Host on ABC’s ‘Live.’  One of the busiest people in show business gets even busier as Ryan Seacrest will add co-host of ABC’s morning talk TV franchise ‘Live’ with Kelly Ripa.  According to a CNN report, Seacrest will not give up any of his other on-air gigs, including his KIIS, Los Angeles and Premiere Networks-syndicated morning radio show.  The story indicates Seacrest will re-locate from LA to New York and will host his radio show from there.  The decision to bring Seacrest aboard comes after about a year of live auditions of guest hosts to replace Michael Strahan.  Seacrest co-hosted with Ripa five times.  The show will now be called, “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”  CNN’s story is here.

Report: Cumulus Reduces Staff in Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has cut a number of positions in the Chicago cluster, including four on-air traffic reporters.  Feder reports that traffic reporters Jen DeSalvo, Christina Filiaggi, JoAnn Genette and Marti Jones have all been let go.  He notes that most of them served as contributing personalities on the shows in which they appeared.   Other cuts at the cluster include: WLS-AM sports reporter Rachel Brady and WLUP-FM evening host Jeremy Peterson, a.k.a. Pyke, and production Scott Dirks, who’d been with WLS-AM for almost 20 years.  Read Feder’s account here.

Is Hugh Hewitt Going to Get a TV Show on MSNBC?  According to a report in New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer column, the Salem Radio Network star and NBC correspondent is in talks with NBC to do a weekend evening program on MSNBC.  The bulk of the NYmag piece addresses how the possibility of Hewitt getting a show, the arrival of Greta Van Susteren from Fox News Channel, and the exit of African American personality Tamron Hall from “Today” is affecting morale among the liberal staff at MSNBC.  Read it here.

Entercom Charlotte Extends Bo Thompson.  Morning show host Bo Thompson and Entercom Charlotte agree to terms on a new contract for him to continue serving as host of the “Charlotte’s Morning News” program on news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Bo builds on the incredible reputation of WBT as we take our news content to the next level.  He represents the next generation of great broadcasters and we’re happy to continue to work with him as we move WBT into an audio everywhere, multi-platform experience for our listeners.”  Thompson began his career at WBT in 1990 and worked in a variety of roles in radio before returning to WBT as the morning host in 2012.  He comments, “Five years in, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with WBT’s ‘Morning News’ and I’m excited about where we are going.  I started my career here and look forward to building the reputation of this iconic institution.”

TALKERS News Notes. The WADK, Newport, Rhode Island-based John DePetro show adds a new affiliate for the daily 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm broadcast as WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island begins airing the program.  DePetro says, “WNRI is a perfect match since WADK covers southern Rhode Island and into parts of Connecticut, and WNRI covers Northern Rhode Island and into parts of Massachusetts.  The show is three months old and we have our first affiliate, so we are moving in the right direction.”…..Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose daily talk show is heard on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “News 95.5 and AM750 WSB” is taking his show on the road on May 11 to Woodstock, Georgia where he’ll tape the program before a live audience by the Gazebo at The Park at City Center.  The event is free to attend and will include Cain’s popular “Rapid Fire” segment in which he takes questions and comments from the audience and says, “You get a minute…I get a minute.”…..WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is pictured at right in a screen shot from his phone while broadcasting his show from Berkeley, California while covering the controversial issue of whether conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter should be allowed to speak at UC Berkeley.  Coulter appeared on Zeoli’s program and suggested he cover the issue from Berkeley, so Zeoli hosted his show from sister station KCBS-AM, San Francisco all last week.  Zeoli says he attended protests and grabbed audio cuts from protesters on both sides of the issue for the show.  He also kept his social media followers updated on his coverage via live video on Facebook and Twitter.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Conference Rolls into Phoenix.  On Saturday (4/29), nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted his Smart Conference before a packed crowd at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.  The day-long conference included appearances by Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker, Dr. Henry Cloud, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Anthony Oneal providing attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Local affiliate KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” helped promote the event.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “We’re always thrilled when Dave and his team bring their world class events to Phoenix.  Not only does Dave’s radio show continue to draw large audiences on KTAR, his popularity in Phoenix is also evidenced by this year’s Smart Conference selling out in record time.  The Ramsey team is fantastic to work with and we’re proud to call them partners and friends.”  Ramsey is pictured here with some of the KTAR staff: (front row, l-r): Jim Sharpe, Ashley Mannion, Ilene Thompson, (back row): Steve Giunta, Becky Kaiser, Ele Heubner, Ramsey, Gennifer Cartwright, and Linda Black.

KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Government Shutdown Threat, North Korean Threats, Trump Spending Bill, Deadly Tornadoes, French Election, and MLB, MBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Assessing the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; the threat of a government shutdown and the passage of a temporary spending bill; the threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the American Naval presence in the region; President Donald Trump’s proposed spending bill; the deadly tornadoes that tore through parts of the South; the French presidential race between National Front party leader Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former WBEN-AM/FM, Buffalo Owner Larry Levite Dies at 77.  Longtime Buffalo station owner Larry Levite has died at the age of 77.  Levite owned Algonquin Broadcasting, the company that owned and operated WBEN-AM/FM in Buffalo in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Levite is credited with turning around the ratings of WBEN-AM when it was a music outlet and it was during his ownership that the station transitioned into a news/talk outlet.  Levite sold the stations to Keymarket Communications in 1994.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning show host Chadd Thomas is promoted to program director for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa hot AC WPBB “b98.7”  He will continue in his role as co-host of the “Chadd & Kristi Morning Show.”  He states, “I’m thrilled to serve as program director for our family-fun morning show and our entirely new ‘b98.7!’  I’m looking forward to continue co-hosting with Kristi, my wife and morning show partner.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that music director and midday personality JD Cannon exits Emmis country WLHK, Indianapolis “Hank.”  Prior to joining WLHK, Cannon had spent 32 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFMS.  Cannon will remain with the station emceeing some “Hank” events and is serving as a fill-in…..At Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit, after a recent exodus of station personalities comes news that 10-year staffer Mark McKenzie is named music director and morning host for the station.  The rest of the on-air staff includes J Stevens in middays, Phat Matt in PM drive and Zak for evenings…..Air personality Lola Montgomery exits Bend Radio Group’s country KSJJ, Bend, Oregon, wrapping a 29-year career in radio.  Montgomery says she and her husband have a number of projects lined up to keep them busy…..At Cox Media Group’s classic rock KHPT, Houston “The Eagle,” morning show team – Dean Myers and Roger Beaty – were honored on Friday, April 28 as it was declared “Dean & Rog Day” in Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner.  CMG Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen comments, “Looking around the country, there are only a handful of major market morning shows with a 20-year track record in the same city.  What Dean and Rog have accomplished today is quite remarkable.”…..Gwendolyn Records country artist Trisha Yearwood appeared at the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen in Chicago to do a cooking demonstration.  Yearwood is also a Food Network star.  The event was hosted by WUSN “US99” midday personality Drew Walker and took place in front of a live studio audience of approximately 30 guests who won tickets listening to Walker’s program.   From her new line of Williams Sonoma products, Yearwood made “unfried chicken” with her Unfried Chicken Season Kit and her family’s signature cocktail with the Summer in a Cup cocktail mix.  Yearwood and Walker are pictured here on the set of the CBS Radio Culinary Kitchen.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits/Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of classic hits and oldies-formatted stations based on 6+ data from the March 2017 PPM survey by Nielsen Audio.  Although less than half of the qualifying stations saw their 6+ numbers go up from February to March, iHeartMedia’s WRIT, Milwaukee “95.7 BIG FM” bucks the trend with a whopping 2.5 share jump to an 11.2 share.  “Just about half the stations (49%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+) while 42.5% improve; the remaining 8.5% of the panel is flat (6+).”  WRIT also was ranked #1 in the market in the March survey, as were seven other classic hits/oldies stations.  See which ones they were in the full report here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

Monday, April 10, 2017

| April 10, 2017

Mike Hartel Promoted to VP Mid-Atlantic Region for Alpha Media.  Company exec Mike Hartel will continue to serve as Alpha Media’s senior vice president and market manager position for its Columbia, South Carolina station group.  But, he’s adding supervision of its clusters in Savannah-Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Fredericksburg, and Bluefield as he rises to vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region.  Alpha president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Mike Hartel has shown an incredible leadership style in form, function and results since he joined Alpha three years ago.  We are excited for Mike to share his considerable talent beyond Columbia to some of our other Southern markets.  Alpha loves to promote from within and this is not only deserved, but will be incredibly well received by our markets.”

Andy Gresh to Host Evening Sports Talk Show at WPRO-AM, Providence. Radio pro Andy Gresh exits his co-host gig at CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford to return to Providence to host his own evening sports talk show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM.  Gresh started his on-air career at WPRO-AM’s sister station WPRV (then sports talker “790 The Score”).  Gresh went on to work at WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM, WBZ-FM, Boston; and the New England Patriots Radio Network.  Gresh is a journalism grad from the University of Rhode Island where he was a starting offensive lineman on the URI football team.  About his new gig Gresh states, “I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago.  It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk.”  WPRO program director Tony Mascaro adds, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves.  I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home.  The combination of our heritage talk team and ‘The Gresh Show’ with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”

Conservative Media Figure Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck and TheBlaze; Seeks TRO to Regain Administrative Control of Social Media.  Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is taking her battle against TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck to court in Texas.  In a suit filed last Friday in District Court in Dallas County, Lahren is challenging the legality of the actions of former employer TheBlaze after she was ousted from the Glenn Beck-founded media firm, according to the complaint, because she espoused a pro-choice opinion on the television show “The View.”  In addition to seeking rescission of her employment contract, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and other costs, Lahren is asking for a temporary restraining order and temporary and injunctive relief regarding her access to administrative control of her social media.  In the complaint, Lahren says that after being fired by TheBlaze, “Plaintiff was told that she was to remain silent, she was directed to stay away from her Facebook page and other social media, and she was prohibited from making any public comments.  Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff ‘go dark’ on social media.  Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract.  Meanwhile, as Plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere.  Beck and others associated with TBI have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show.”

Black Organizations Putting Pressure on iHeartMedia Over Michael Berry Bit.  A story in the Chicago Tribune by Kim Janssen indicates that a number of black advocacy organizations, led by the Chicago Urban League, are promising not to give up on seeking satisfaction from iHeartMedia regarding concerns about talk show host Michael Berry’s radio bits they say mock the victims of violence in Chicago.  The story notes that a recent conference call with iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock resulted in Ashlock saying that Berry is a “good man” and that “they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow.”  The protests arose after Berry was named the company’s “talk personality of the year.”  Urban activists say their protests over the “repeated jokes about Chicago murder victims” have been largely ignored.  Now, the Urban League and other organizations are threatening to start calling iHeartMedia advertisers if CEO Bob Pittman doesn’t meet with them, the company rescind Berry’s award, and the company publicly address the controversy and “take ownership of it.”  See Janssen’s Tribune piece here.

Report: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Signs Extension.  According to a report in Philly.com by Rob Tornoe, ESPN Radio morning personality Mike Golic recently inked a new deal with the sports entertainment giant.  It’s been widely reported for some time that ESPN is breaking up the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic-hosted “Mike & Mike” show.  Greenberg has reportedly signed a new deal that pays him $6.5 million per year to move to the television side of the company.  Tornoe cites a Men’s Journal interview in which Golic says he’ll continue hosting the morning radio show but under what format or with whom remains unsettled.  See the Philly.com piece here.

PodcastOne’s ‘Geffen Playhouse Unscripted’ Debuts.  The new podcast from PodcastOne featuring “today’s most interesting creative voices” debuts with inaugural guest actor Rainn Wilson (pictured).  PodcastOne partners with GeffenPlayhouse.org to present “Geffen Playhouse Unscripted” – a series presents new episodes every Wednesday, hosted by veteran arts reporter John Horn.  Future guests will include: actor Jeffrey Tambor, actress and musician Rita Wilson, playwright Neil LaBute, and actress Beth Behrs.

James Andrew Miller and DGital Media Team for Podcast Series.  Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew MillerThose Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (Back Bay Books 2011), Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown & Company, 2014) – and content creator DGital Media are partnering on an original audio series called “Origins.”  DGital says the “podcast will explore beginnings – whether from the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, business, or even human relationships – to explain how greatness starts and how critical happenings come to be.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “I’ve read every book Jim has written, in addition to his work for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I am a fan first, both of his incredible journalism and of his dedication to premium level storytelling and access.  Considering the credentials, reputation, access, trust of his peers and the storytelling ability that come with the name James Andrew Miller, a podcast is an unbelievably perfect medium with which to share a new phase of his reporting.”

Syrian Chemical Weapons Use-Russian Influence, Russian Nicaragua Outpost, Egypt Church Bombings, Stockholm Terror Attack, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Bannon-Kushner Power Struggle, FOX News and O’Reilly Accusations, Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, and Sergio Garcia Wins the Masters Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debate over responsibility for the deadly gas attack against Syrian civilians and questions about Russia’s alliance with Bashar al-Assad; report of a Russian outpost in Nicaragua of which U.S. intelligence is suspicious; the deadly Palm Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Egypt; the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Stockholm; North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities and its threats against the U.S.; reports of the power struggle between presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; the allegations of sexual harassment against FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly; Neil Gorsuch is named to the Supreme Court after Mitch McConnell changes Senate rules; and Sergio Garcia wins the Masters golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno Helps Harry Hurley Raise Money for Charities.  Pictured above are WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (right) and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at Hurley’s 9th Annual Dinner at Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort).  The event helped raise more than $9,000 on Friday (4/7).  Lt Governor Guadagno is running for Governor of New Jersey and faces her first test in the June 6 Republican primary election.  Hurley’s major fundraiser for the Hurley in the Morning Charity is Friday, June 16 when his 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club takes place.  The Hurley in the Morning Charity has raised more than $700,000 over the past 10 years.  Hurley has awarded grants to more than 150 not-for-profit organizations, including establishing along with TALKERS magazine founder and publisher Michael Harrison, an annual $1,000 grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Stephanie Miller Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform, independently syndicated (WYM Media Management), progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Miller, a 30-year radio veteran, who stands as one of the leading anti-Donald Trump voices in talk media, has achieved top-tier radio success as a talker by early on expanding her daily morning show’s platforms of delivery beyond terrestrial radio to include online digital (streaming and podcasts), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and cable TV modes of distribution, such as Free Speech TV. She has also broken exciting new ground during the past several years with her comedy touring road show, “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour,” – an organic, troupe-style production that sold out legitimate theaters in market after market. The election of Trump has given the show yet another chapter of life as it is being prepared to play a dozen dates across America in 2017 as “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.” Michael Harrison says, “Stephanie Miller stands as an inspiration for any talk show host, left or right, who wants to maximize both their exposure and revenue streams in the digital era. Her stunning success in the theatrical touring arena alone is worthy of every radio broadcaster’s attention.” Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of her media empire and the general impact the Trump presidency is having on the renewed potential of progressive talk broadcasting in America. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles radio personality Rita Wilde renews her contract with Entercom Los Angeles to remain host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Entercom Los Angeles VP/general manager Peter Burton comments, “Classic rock fans and artists have been listening to Rita since this music was new.  We’re proud to have her at ‘The Sound.’”…..Tampa adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” names Danielle McBroom the new morning drive host.  Cox Media Group Tampa director of branding and programming for WWRM, WXGL, and WDUV, John Larson, says, “We are so excited to have Danielle join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience, creativity, social media expertise and infectious attitude bring a fresh, new sound to a huge brand like ‘Magic.’”  McBroom moves to the “Magic Mornings” program from sister alternative WSUN where she’s been on air for the past 10 years…..In the Pacific Northwest, iHeartMedia adds program director duties at alternative rock K272EL, Portland “Radio 102.3” to the responsibilities of KFOO, Centralia, Washington “ALT 102.9” (Olympia and Seattle/Tacoma markets) PD Ben Marcotte…..Also in the Seattle market, hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” afternoon personality, music director and APD Hunter Quinn accepts the additional role of assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s sister CHR KPWK “Power 93.3.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

| April 7, 2017

KKOB, Albuquerque Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  On Tuesday evening (4/5), Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM celebrated 95 years on air with a birthday bash at the New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque that drew some 800 people, including listeners, clients and past on-air talent.  The photo above is the station’s first studio at the original transmitter site in Las Cruces, where it signed on on April 5, 1922.  The station moved to Albuquerque in 1932, and in July 1941 upped its power to 50,000 watts.  Cumulus Media added the 94.5 FM simulcast on translator K233CG, Sandia in August of 2016.

Jeff Lyon to Lead Cumulus Media Abilene.  Radio management pro Jeff Lyon joins Cumulus Media to serve as VP/market manager for the Abilene, Texas cluster that includes sports talk KTLT-FM, “The Ticket,” classic rock KHXS “The Bear,” country KBCY, and CHR KCDD “Power 103.”  Lyon was most recently with Townsquare Media’s Victoria, Texas four-station cluster as president/chief revenue officer.  Cumulus Media regional vice president Mark Sullivan comments, “We’re thrilled to have a manager of Jeff’s caliber joining our team in Abilene.  Jeff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that provides him with a strong foundation for success.”

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 3-7.  The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign personnel was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination battle.  Coming in at #3 was the deaths by chemical weapons of civilians in the Syrian conflict, and following at #4 was President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Cox Launches COMET Programmatic Platform.  The company says the launch of this programmatic platform – dubbed COMET (Cox Media Technology) – brings together data from Cox’s dozens of companies to connect buyers and sellers across all advertising channels, including desktop, mobile, video, and TV.  Cox Enterprises EVP and COO Alex Taylor says, “Our company’s investment in COMET is an example of our commitment to drive innovation and enhance the customer experience.  COMET’s technology will use customized data to establish meaningful connections to better serve the needs of the constantly evolving advertising ecosystem.”  Cox Enterprises SVP and general manager of corporate strategy and investments Duncan O’Brien adds, “The world of advertising is transforming before our eyes, and the necessity to support this evolving marketplace is expanding.  Cox is fusing technology with data, access and expertise to better serve the needs of the advertising ecosystem.  We have a long, proud history in the media industry, and with COMET, we’re using this experience and knowledge to best prepare for the future of the advertising business.”

TALKERS News Notes.  This weekend, Westwood One is presenting exclusive radio coverage of the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, WW1 will be broadcasting hourly updates, and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club along with WW1 broadcast crew members Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Maureen Madill, Kevin Kugler, Whit Watson, and Ted Emrich…..CBS RADIO announces its plans for the Chicago Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field.  On Monday (4/10), CBS RADIO Chicago will broadcast live from the ballpark with on-air personalities on site and present a series of live events for fans.  All day (starting at 5:00 am!) and leading up to the first pitch, WSCR “670 The Score,” WBBM-FM “B96,” WXRT, WUSN “US99,” and WJMK “104.3 K-HITS” personalities will be entertaining game attendees and fans at Wrigley.  Additionally, The Score’s Ron Coomer will be reporting on-field during the opening ceremonies and for the raising of the 2016 World Series Championship Banner.

Emmis Head Jeff Smulyan to Receive 2017 TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board has announced today (4/5) the recipient of the publication’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious honor is going to Emmis Communications chairman, CEO and founder, Jeff Smulyan. Smulyan has contributed to radio in a wide variety of ways and on a number of fronts as one of the industry’s most visionary leaders. Among his many achievements, Smulyan is the father of the all-sports talk format which he boldly launched as then-owner of WFAN, New York in 1987. He built Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications into one of the 10 largest radio corporations in America with an ongoing reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly radio companies in the business. Today, Emmis owns and operates 16 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, St. Louis and Indianapolis, as well as its hometown Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Emmis owns the two top hip hop brands in the world, KPWR “Power 106” in Los Angeles and “HOT 97” in New York City. On the news/talk front, the company owns and operates heritage station WIBC, Indianapolis. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. Upon making the announcement of Smulyan’s selection to receive this award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Having the guts and foresight to launch all-sports talk radio is reason enough for this wonderful member of our industry to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. But that is only the tip of an iceberg of accomplishments attributable to his stellar career and it is but a small token of our appreciation for his continuing body of work when stacked up against all the many industry awards and honors he has received over the years.” Past recipients of the award include: Don Imus, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, and Don Barrett among others. Harrison will personally present the award to Smulyan during their “Fireside Chat” scheduled to take place at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York City on Friday, June 2. For more information about the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning drive personality Teri Ann Schlesser re-ups with iHeartMedia Fresno’s adult contemporary KSOF “Soft Rock 98.9” to continue co-hosting the “Jason & Teri Ann Morning Show” (with partner Jason Hurst).   Schlesser comments, “I’m so excited to continue my journey with ‘Soft Rock 98.9’ and iHeartMedia.  The past eight years have been wonderful and challenging and I’ve never had so much fun doing what I love!”…..Across the hall at iHeartMedia Fresno’s hip hop KBOS “B95,” Monisha Mann returns to the station where she once interned to host the evening show from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The 15-year radio pro says, “I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at ‘B95.’  I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”.…..Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” is offering a local couple the chance to be married on stage during the station’s 10th Annual Birthday Celebration Presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers at the BB&T Pavilion on Sunday, June 11.  The wedding ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Mike Jones and the winning bride and groom will be serenaded by Andrew McMahon during their first dance.  The couple will also be showered with gifts including a five-star, all-inclusive honeymoon at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau.  The promotion is in conjunction with WRFF’s 10th Birthday Celebration concerts, taking place on May 13 and June 11.  The June 11 lineup features: The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo, Marian Hill and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of “On the Move with Enrique Santos,” the company’s hallmark English-language, Hispanic-targeted content initiative.  The company says that in 2017, 53% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are primarily Spanish-language first households and 43% are primary English-language households and its goal is to deliver to both at scale across broadcast and digital platforms.  “On the Move with Enrique Santos” is the first English-language radio program to feature Hispanic broadcast powerhouse Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform.  “The new, two-hour music-intensive CHR weekend program features what’s hot and moving in music, entertainment, lifestyle and current events targeted to the Hispanic community.”  It will originate from Miami and debut the weekend of April 15 on more than 100 iHeartMedia stations nationwide…..KTJJ, Farmington, Missouri morning personality Mark Toti was recently honored by the Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  The country radio personality spends a lot of time at various charity events in the community.  The Alpha Media station notes that the Lifetime Achievement Award is not an annual one, but an honor that is only given out when an individual stands out above the rest.  Toti comments, “I am quite honored to receive this award.  It is very humbling.  Farmington has a number of people who give their time to the community and they deserve this award as much as me.  I don’t do what I do so people will say ‘Good job!’  I do it because it’s the right thing to do.  Having said that, I’m very grateful for the recognition.”

Envision Broadcast Network Merges with Rocking M Media.  The Envision here is not the Danno Wolkoff-led syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks.  This Envision – the Envision Broadcast Network – owns hot AC KKGQ, Newton, Kansas “Q92” (Wichita market) and its mission is to “grow and expand employment opportunities in the radio industry for people who are blind or visually impaired.”  Manhattan, Kansas-based Rocking M Media owns stations across the state of Kansas.  Envision SVP of foundation and mission services Heather Hogan states, “Having already employed individuals with vision loss at some of its existing stations, Rocking M Media shares Envision’s belief that people with all abilities should have access to meaningful career paths.  We’re proud of our successes with the Envision Broadcast Network and ‘Q92.’ The fact that we found a radio group with the capacity to carry out our objectives on a much wider scale will propel our mission forward.”  Q92’s current on-air personalities who are blind or visually impaired will be brought into the Rocking M Media family.  In addition, Rocking M Media will collaborate with Envision to take the Envision Broadcast Academy model to its entire multi-state listening area.  The Envision Broadcast Academy is a hands-on training program intended to equip youth and adults with vision loss with the skills and encouragement they need to explore high-tech careers in the radio industry.

Monday, April 3, 2017

| April 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

| March 29, 2017

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers.  The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball.  This year seems no different.  Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).”  However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.”  See the entire analysis here.

Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh.  At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director.  Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position.  Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot.  Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!”  In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods.  Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts.  You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017.  “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo.  In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo.  For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers.  This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year.  Read more about it here.

Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate.  Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia.  Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate.  Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments.  David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.”  Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money.  Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.

GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17.  Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum.  On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events.  Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl

WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.”  They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield.  The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3.  The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years.  About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community.  Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!”  During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.”  The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle.  Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.”  The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

| March 17, 2017

Cumulus Media Reports 2016 Q4 and Full-Year Financials.  The company had not been hiding the fact that the news of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 or the whole year would not be positive, and the results were not surprising.  Cumulus Media reports its Q4 net revenue was $299.5 million – down 3% from the same period in 2015, and the full-year net revenue was $1.14 billion – a dip of 2.3% compared to all of 2015.  Separating the company’s two reportable segments – the radio station group and Westwood One – for the fourth quarter of 2016 the radio station group was up 1.3% on net revenue of $209.7 million.  However, Westwood One was down 12.3% on net revenue of $89.1 million.  For the whole of 2016, the radio station group’s net revenue was $802.3 million, an increase of 0.8%.  Westwood One’s net revenue was $336.6 million, a decrease of 8.8% from 2015.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We entered 2016 with a singular objective: to fix the core business problems – poor culture, poor ratings and poor operational execution – which was essential to establishing a foundation on which to build improved financial results.  Throughout the year we made significant progress addressing each of these areas, most visibly in ratings growth where we’ve outperformed the industry for 15 straight months.  In fact, with two back-to-back quarters of revenue share increases on the station side, a trend which continued through January, we have early evidence that, despite a tough industry environment, our foundational work is beginning to translate into improved financial performance.”

Legendary WSB-AM, Atlanta Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  It was on the Ides of March in 1922 that WSB-AM began broadcasting to the citizens of North Georgia.  On Wednesday, Cox Media Group celebrated the anniversary.  WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “In 1922, WSB was licensed to deliver weather reports.  Today, delivery of accurate and dependable news, weather and traffic remains our calling card, but this station and its people are so much more.  Service to the Atlanta community is in WSB’s DNA.”  Station director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs adds, “The WSB brand of local news, weather and traffic has grown from being on AM only to now serving north Georgia on FM, mobile, and digital.  It all boils down to our slogan – Depend On It!”  See a cool presentation of WSB’s 95-year history here.

WVON, Chicago Adds Maze Jackson to the Matt McGill Morning Show.  Local political commentator and strategist Maze Jackson is joining Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s morning program, the “Matt McGill Morning Show,” on WVON, Chicago, effective April 3.  The station says this move is being made to secure WVON’s position as a contributing voice in the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections, in addition to increasing the station’s overall rankings.  McGill has been solo host of the morning show on WVON for the past six years – a role in which he’ll continue.  Jackson joins the show after contributing for the past two years as a weekly commentator and guest host.  WVON says, “Jackson has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement.  Jackson spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies as former executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”

TALKERS Magazine Publisher Michael Harrison Joins WPHT, Philly’s Rich Zeoli for His New Podcast.  At CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is launching a new podcast that features content not heard on the WPHT airwaves.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison joined Zeoli for his inaugural show.  In addition to addressing such topics as the Trump Administration’s impact on news/talk radio and the influence of politics on talk radio, the two delved into “inside” radio subjects including the evolution of the talk radio format, changing media technology, and the public’s evolving media habits.  Listen to it here.

Desert Broadcasters Brings Palm Springs AMs Back to Life; KGX Branded ‘Real Talk.’  The two Palm Springs signals – KPSI-AM 920 and KWXY-AM 1340 – went dark last August after longtime owners Rozene and Ric Supple decided to exit the radio business.  Enter Garry Wing and Desert Broadcasters who acquired the stations and just put KPSI – now KGX “Real Talk” – and KWXY back on the air.  KWXY is a soft AC.  The Desert Sun reports that Wing wants to create a talk station with less political vitriol (and less “fake outrage”).  Radio America personality Chad Benson’s show is featured on the station.  Wing says the station will air a combination of local and national talk shows.  Both stations occupy the early 1960s-era broadcast facility pictured in the photo here, taken from the Desert Sun’s video report.

iHeartMedia Unveils ‘SmartAudio’ Advertising Product at ‘SoundFront.’  At Wednesday’s client-focused “SoundFront” up front event, iHeartMedia introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, now a part of the programmatic solution SoundPoint.  iHeartMedia says SmartAudio goes farther in leveraging the power of SoundPoint to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments.  iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it.  They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game…Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio outlet WBEZ, Chicago is debuting a new podcast series called, “Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells.”  The series consists of essays by inmates at Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center about their prison cells – shedding light on the everyday experience of incarceration.  The series was the idea of award-winning, Chicago-based author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz.  He began working with the inmates through Northwestern University colleague Jennifer Lackey, who invited him to speak to a class she taught at the correctional center.  Kotlowitz asked the 15 male inmates facing long sentences to complete a writing exercise describing their cells.  He recognized the potential each story possessed to reveal the realities of life in prison…..“Motley Fool Money” host Chris Hill (left) is pictured here with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin (right) recording a segment for Hill’s program at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this week.  Hill says, “We talked about the scene in Austin, what the major entertainment companies are doing to lure audience, Apple’s foray into original programming, VR in movies and a lot more.”

Trump Travel Ban Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 13-17.  The second travel ban order by President Donald Trump and its block issued by a Hawaii judge was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration budget cuts.  Coming in at #3 was the interest rate hike by the Fed, followed by the GOP health care plan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces its class of inductees for 2017.  They include: Johnny Dowd/Jaybeau Jones from “JB 105,” Providence; French-language broadcaster and current WNRI partner Roger Laliberte; WHJJ and WPRO personality Myrna Lamb; current WPRO-AM program director Tony Mascaro; former RAB SVP and Rhode Island radio manager Dick Rakovan; and former WICE personality Frank Kingston Smith.  Also the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio in the Ocean State by John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores, and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – will go to Mowry Lowe –a pioneering New England newscaster, gifted announcer and premier radio executive.  The Station of the Year Award will be presented to iHeartMedia Providence to commemorate a successful multi-station food drive to feed the hungry in Rhode Island.  The Legacy Station of the Year award recognizes top 40 WICE-AM.  A reunion with some of the station’s legendary Hall of Fame DJs, staff and listeners is planned.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Appears on WJR, Detroit’s Paul W. Smith Show.  This morning’s WJR, Detroit live broadcast of the Paul W. Smith St. Patrick’s Day show was not the first appearance on the station by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  He’s been a guest on the show before.  Pai (left) is pictured here with Smith (right) on stage at The Cube Theatre inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast. The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio, podcasting and audio media on this week’s installment of the award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out.” The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Pattiz sums up his impression of the study as follows, “I was very encouraged relative to the audio medium as a whole by the information that came from the study. There’s good news in it for almost everybody that’s in the audio space.” Pattiz and Harrison cover a lot of ground touching upon advertising trends, the evolution of audience measurement metrics, in-car listening habits and much more in this conversation that is a must-listen for radio and audio media professionals. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Imaging, voiceover and production firm Benztown announces it has brought Katrina Woolverton, J.D., LL.M, aboard to serve in the newly created position of general counsel…..On Monday (3/20), WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is hosting Warner Bros. Records recording artist Bebe Rexha as its guest to host a cooking demonstration at the brand new CBS RADIO Chicago Culinary Kitchen.  Rexha will show off her culinary skills while being interviewed by “B96” morning show hosts J Niice, Showbiz Shelly and Producer Gabe.  The segment will take place in front of a live studio audience made up of about 20 station contest winners who also get tickets to Rexha’s concert that evening at the Metro theater.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

| March 14, 2017

Washington Post Writes About the Evolving Glenn Beck.  Industry watchers and regular TALKERS readers are aware of Premiere Networks syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck’s long-held distaste for President Donald Trump.  Throughout the election, Beck was a Never Trumper and it was the focus of his radio show during that period.  Now he’s walking a difficult road of staying true to his self-described libertarian principles while expressing regret for how he conducted himself for so many years.  Beck and his efforts to make amends for the things he’s said and done in the past is the focus of a feature piece in the Washington Post by senior editor Marc Fisher.  Not only has Beck changed how he approaches his radio and TV shows, he’s going out on the road with some heretofore very unlikely company.  Read the Post piece here.

Bye Partnered with Stokley on KKFN, Denver.  Moving from Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “104.5 The Team” to Bonneville’s sports KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” is Zach Bye.  He partners with Brandon Stokley for the 12:00 nooon to 3:00 pm “Stokley and Zach” show, effective March 31.  In addition to co-hosting the “Big Board Sports” show on WTMM, Bye served for the past seven years as a play-by-play and color analyst for University of Albany sports radio broadcasts.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “After a national search, we were thrilled to find the perfect fit for Brandon and ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Zach.

GOP ObamaCare Alternative, Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump’s Budget Proposal, North Korea Missile Threats, Tennessee Sues Federal Government, Northeast Snowstorm, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  The Trump Administration/GOP’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing debate over what President Trump meant by his accusation that President Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal and its effort to shrink Washington’s administrative power; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and related tensions between China and the U.S.; Tennessee sues the federal government over the latter’s refugee resettlement program; the late-winter blizzard hitting the Northeast today; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rotella: Local Radio Is on Alert.  Local radio advocate – and president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters AssociationPaul Rotella, is using today’s winter storm affecting the Northeast to point out the positives of local, terrestrial radio – and advocate for the broad activation of the FM chip and the prevention of any Performance Tax.  Read his letter to members of the NJBA and the industry here.

 

 

Alana Lynn Joins KMLE, Phoenix for Afternoons/Music Director Post.  Phoenix country outlet KMLE @ 107.9 announces Alana Lynn takes over the music director and afternoon personality position at the CBS RADIO station.  She assumes the duties from Bryan “B-Dub” Washington, who’s exiting for new position elsewhere.  CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “Alana is an amazing talent and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join the KMLE family.” She was most recently morning personality at Townsquare Media’s classic hits KTRR, Loveland, Colorado “Tri 102.5” and midday host at sister country KUAD “K99.”

Tony Russell Joins ‘McKinzie & Jake’ on ‘98.7 The Bull’ in Portland. Effective Monday (3/20), radio pro Tony Russell becomes part of the KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” morning drive show with current AM show personalities McKinzie Roth and Jake Byron.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts comments, “Tony’s passion for super-serving the community line up with the core values of Alpha Media.  He brings a wealth of experience, a great sense of humor and is no stranger to our audience.  We’re thrilled to turn him loose with ‘McKinzie & Jake’ in mornings.”

Demery to Program KINK, Portland.  Radio pro Sean Demery is the new program director at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland.  Alpha Media VP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Sean is a world class programmer, digital maverick, and talent coach who gets the vibe of Portland and will be dedicated full-time to the growth of KINK.  We are looking forward to Sean’s impact in taking us to new heights.”  Demery has served with stations across the country including: WNNX, Atlanta; KITS, San Francisco; KMTT, Seattle; KXRK & KLRZ, Salt Lake City; WYMS, Milwaukee; and KGGI, Riverside/San Bernardino.  Demery comments, “101.9 KINK? Are you kidding?  It’s already a great station.  I look forward to working with the crew to make it an indisputable cultural landmark.  I also look forward to exploring and eating at all the cool places that have been taunting me from Sunset magazine.”

KMGA, Albuquerque Names Simmons PD/PM Host; Adds Durocher to AM Show.  Albuquerque adult contemporary KMGA  “99.5 Magic FM” announces the addition of Bryan Simmons to the staff as program director and afternoon drive host and on-air pro Doug Durocher as morning drive co-host.  Durocher pairs up with Meredith Dunkel for the “Meredith & Doug” show.  Cumulus Media Albuquerque FM operations manager Brad Hansen states, “Bryan and Doug both bring an amazing track record of success and are already having a very positive impact on ‘Magic’ and the Albuquerque community.”

iHeartRadio Music Festival Returns to Las Vegas September 22-23.  The main stage acts won’t be announced until a later date but iHeartMedia says its annual iHeartRadio Music Festival is back in Sin City September 22 and 23.  The evening performances will happen at T-Mobile Arena.  The Daytime Village, presented by Capital One, takes place on Saturday (9/23) in the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino.  Featured acts for the Daytime Village include: Flume, French Montana, Noah Cyrus, Judah & The Lion, Kelsea Ballerini, Hey Violet, and All Time Low, with more to be announced.

Monday, February 27, 2017

| February 27, 2017

iHeartRadio Names Michael Berry News/Talk Personality of the Year.  This award for best news/talk personality is a first and the competition was open only to talk hosts who work for iHeartMedia stations.  KTRH, Houston-based, independently syndicated talk personality Michael Berry is named the iHeartRadio News/Talk Personality of the Year.  Berry says, “We’re on live for five hours a day, so our approach is not to be the loudest screamer in the political market.  Our listeners seem to enjoy talking about parenting, food, culture, with a mix of politics as well.  It’s entertainment, and hopefully it’s engaging.  That’s the goal, rather than getting pigeonholed into ‘political talk.’”  Speaking about his show’s success, Berry says, “First, we draw back the curtain and let the listener join us in our lives.  We open up, we share our medical ailments, we brag on our kids, we discuss our fears and worries, we are usually the butt of our own jokes.   Relatability is key.  They can identify with what we’re going through, because it’s what they are going through.  The second factor is that we are a team, rather than just one guy talking.  We draw material and parodies from our board ops, show producers, and even a few listeners, to look more like the ‘SNL’ writing team than an AM talk show.  It makes for a show that dares to be funny, which makes for better entertainment.”

WUTQ, Utica Flips to Talk.  After a weekend of stunting, Roser Communications Network-owned WUTQ-FM changes formats from adult contemporary to news/talk.  The station keeps its “Talk of the Town” morning show with personalities Dave Coombs, Jay Aiello, and Beth Coombs.  It had also been simulcasting three hour-long newscasts from NBC affiliate WKTV-TV, and continues to air those at 5:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm.   Joining the program lineup are: Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Dave Ramsey from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Premiere’s Buck Sexton from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.

Cumulus Re-Fi Plan Shot Down by Manhattan Judge.  On Friday, Cumulus Media got bad news from U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla who ruled that Cumulus cannot use a revolving credit line from JPMorgan Chase to help reduce a portion of its debt.  In December, a majority of the holders of $610 million in unsecured senior notes voted to approve the plan that would have reduced that debt to $305 million and granted them a portion of the equity.  JPMorgan Chase disagreed that the revolver could be used for this purpose and the judge agreed.  Cumulus issued the following statement after receiving the news.  “While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues.  We are making solid progress in our turnaround and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Orlando hot talk outlet WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” adds the evening syndicated relationships show “CONNECTIONS” to its programming schedule.  The program is hosted by Al “Blackjack” Spry, Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy, and Melissa Foxx.  WTKS program director Jack Bradshaw comments, “For nearly quarter of a century, ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has been at the forefront of live entertainment talk radio and we are happy to welcome ‘CONNECTIONS’ to our evening lineup, marking the return of live late-night talk radio to the airwaves of Central Florida.”  “CONNECTIONS” is consulted by Sabo Media…..Focus 360 and Envision Networks renew their deal for the latter to continue serving as affiliate sales representative for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” Networks.  Focus 360 uses Jelli’s cloud-based ad platform to transform broadcast radio into a real-time medium by providing national advertisers with increased accountability and campaign analytics on par with the latest digital platforms.  Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “The successful partnership between Focus 360 and Envision Networks has delivered exceptional results to affiliated radio stations.  Focus 360 affiliates are reaping revenue-generating benefits and relieving the stress on their traffic departments.  We are delighted to continue offering this opportunity to radio stations.”

Trump vs News Media, Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Airport, Kansas Bar Slaying, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, Actor Bill Paxton Dies, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s ongoing battle with the news media and last week’s shutting out of several news organizations by the White House press office; the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali is detained by authorities at a Florida airport for having an “Arabic-sounding” name; an Indian man is slain at a Kansas bar; the build-up to Sunday’s Oscar Awards show; actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. Pictured above at this morning’s opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters 2017 convention in Orlando are Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (left) with Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity (right) as the two discuss politics, last night’s Oscars, and the new film Let There Be Light (for which Hannity served as executive producer).  Also broadcasting this week from the NRB are SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

 

 

Snell Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta, Georgia.  At its Augusta, Georgia cluster, iHeartMedia names Tim Snell, a.k.a. Minnesota Fattz, senior vice president of programming.  He’s one half of the “Fattz and Cher Morning Show” on urban AC WKSP “96.3 Kiss FM.”  He also is PD for the station and sister hip hop outlet WPRW “Power 107.”  In this role, Snell will also be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of the cluster’s four other stations – adult contemporary WBBQ, classic rock WEKL “Eagle 102.3,” country WLUB “105.7 The Bull,” country WLUB-HD/W292EE.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in personality Cody Whistler is promoted to full-time jock handling the evening show at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.”  Whistler began his career with the station in the promotions department and started his on-air work three years ago…..iHeartMedia promotes Rob Scorpio to regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets.  Scorpio has been serving as SVP of programming for the Riverside cluster and program director for hip hop KSSX, San Diego “Jam’n 95.7.”  He takes over for John Peake, who recently became PD for KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles…..Also at iHeartMedia, Kid Jay is promoted from his music director role at KGGI, Riverside to program director for the station.  Kid Jay also hosts the evening air shift at the rhythmic CHR station…..WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina morning host Jim Mantel is being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.   Mantel has worked in radio for 35 years, beginning in West Texas at KNFM, KRYS, and KKBQ.  He spent 18-plus years hosting the morning show at WGAR, Cleveland. During his career, he’s won the CMA Personality of the Year award and is an inductee in the Ohio Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A celebrated its 10th anniversary as “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” on Sunday (2/26).  The self-supporting, non-profit station acknowledged that it has become “recognized for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music; its ‘community stories’ features; and for fostering community engagement and positive change.  It announced a number of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary including: an all-day free street concert outside its studios on June 24; the unveiling of April 14 as “414 Day,” a new feature to connect Milwaukee music to listeners everywhere; plus a new narrative audio and video series, “In The Wings: Bringing Our Community to Center Stage,” that each month this year will highlight the positive work of Milwaukee individuals in a variety of categories.

 

 

Round Four of January PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2017 PPM survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Down by one share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KASE “101 FM Today’s Country” answers with a +1.6 (4.9 – 3.9 – 5.5, 6+) as it leaps from ninth to a fourth-place tie with co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). The latter is coming back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Back at #1 after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” rings up a +1.1 (7.7 – 8.8, 6+). KBPA had been in the lead each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” (12.6 – 7.4, -5.2, 6+), which drops to #3. Over the course of five straight up or flat trends, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). Powered by a +1.2, KUT (6.4 – 7.6, 6+) bumps up from third to second. The University of Texas at Austin outlet was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2016); and now +1.2 in January 2017. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. With a +.9 (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” (#22 to #17) reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3), while co-owned regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” picks up seven-tenths to 3.9, halting three straight downward trends (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+) as it enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Adding one-half share are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #10, 6+) and triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (2.0 – 2.5, #17 to #16, 6+). Remaining in that Emmis cluster, while talk KLBJ-AM is up by six-tenths (3.6, 6+), KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” and their regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.4 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+) drop one-half share. This marks the eighth straight sweep without an increase for “The Rock of Austin” which is -2.1 in that stretch (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, KLBJ-AM ends three consecutive downward moves that accounted for a -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+); KLBJ-AM and KLBJ-FM are tied at #11.

2) Milwaukee – Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” recaptures all of it and another one-tenth to spare (5.7, +1.4, 6+), jumping from #12 to a three-way tie at #6. Talk cluster-mate WISN rebounds from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 to a +1.2 (5.5 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), as it zooms from ninth to fifth. Elsewhere in the talk arena, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee-owned WUWM is up seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October 2016 and November, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December; stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016; and now breaks out a +.8 (6.1 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) to climb from seventh to that three-way logjam at #6. Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5, Saga Communications-owned WKLH returned all of that +.5 in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+); “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” jumps from fourth to second. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite a -2.4 (11.2 – 8.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 22nd consecutive sweep. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. After four straight progressive trends that netted a +4.6 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary (again) WLDB “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” forfeits roughly 80% of that gain (4.6, -3.7, 6+) and freefalls from #2 out of the top ten (#11). The third member of the aforementioned three-way tie at #6 is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” (down from #5), which is without an increase in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Eight-tenths of a share separates the top six Indy stations in this survey period (6+). Unlisted for nearly five years (March 2012), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “K-LOVE” returns in dramatic fashion with a +1.7 (5.6 – 7.3, 6+) to land in third-place. Dusting itself off from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom’s WZPL responds with a +1.3 (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) leaping from fourth to a first-place tie. Its running-mate at #1 is Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which had its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. “Classic Hits 104.5,” regains all but three-tenths of that deficit (7.8 – 6.4 – 7.5, +1.1, 6+), moving from third to that penthouse tie. After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WFMS was off by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “95.5 The Country Station” recaptures all but one-tenth of that loss (70 – 5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and carries on at #5. December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). “Hank” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 and rebounds with a +1.1 (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Exiting the top spot after back-to-back sweeps and seguing to #6 is adult contemporary sibling WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (17.7 – 6.7, -11.0, 6+). Its loss of 11 shares comes after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. “B-105.7” improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Still staying in that Emmis cluster, talk WIBC (3.7 – 4.7, steady at #10, 6+) and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.3 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+) improve by one share and one-half share, respectively. Steady between 5.4 – 5.7 (6+) for five straight sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputtered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 to 4.6 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.3, flat at #7, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, including 2.1 (#14) in “Holiday” 2016, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI disappears from print.

4) Providence – Albeit flat at #5, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erases its “Holiday” 2016 -.8 with an increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 6.2, +1.6, 6+). Floundering by one share in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” reels it all back with a +1.0 (8.7 – 7.7 – 8.7, 6+) and remains in the runner-up position. Jumping by nine-tenths each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (6.6 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and Entercom sports outlet WVEI (3.7, 6+), which advances from eighth to seventh. “Cat Country” was off by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, while WVEI recaptures the nine-tenths it has lost since November (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to an increase of seven-tenths (to 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” applies the brakes to four straight declines that yielded a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” erodes by -7.3 (10.7, 6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Unchanged at #9, rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” records a +.3 (to 2.3, 6+), thus curtailing three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for the loss of one share (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

5) Raleigh – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, but it floundered by nine-tenths. Not only does the public outlet more than double the size of that loss with an increase in January 2017 (6.8 – 8.7, +1.9, 6+), it marches from third to first. Displaced from the lead and shifting to the runner-up slot is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” whose 15 recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; and now a -5.3 in January 2017. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 but wipes out that loss with a +1.9 (4.4 – 6.3, 6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. A -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 by Curtis Media Group’s WQDR ended at five its streak of consecutive progressive trends which netted a +1.5 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). “94.7 Today’s Best Country,” however, bounces back with a +.9 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) and moves from sixth to fourth. Gaining seven-tenths each are adult hits sibling WBBB “Radio 96.1” (4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.4 – 6.1, steady at #7, 6+). “Radio 96.1” halts three straight declines that produced a -1.0 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Spiking by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are its classic hits-oldies and CHR cluster-mates WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and WPLW “Pulse FM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to 313, 6+). The +.6 by “Kix 102.9” ends three consecutive negative trends that produced a -.8 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Conversely, owing to a -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Radio One gospel WNNL (fourth to eighth) sees its successive string of up or flat trends conclude at seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+); “103.9 The Light” netted a cumulative +2.8 in that stretch.

6) Norfolk –Over and above marching from fifth to third by notching its third consecutive increase netting a combined +1.7 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its history as a PPM subscriber. On the strength of a +1.2 to 5.5 – its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 5.9 – classic rock cluster-mate WAFX “106.9 The Fox” advances from sixth to fifth. After being #1 for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” It’s time for them to switch places in January 2017 though as WVKL registers a +.7 (11.0 – 11.7, second to first, 6+), while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) erodes by -6.4 (13.4 – 7.0, first to second, 6+). This is the ninth time in the last ten sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range. In fact, the last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 three years ago – January 2014. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. Off eight-tenths via three successive (slight) negative moves (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNOH “Now 105” regains six-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and inches up from tenth to eighth. It is tied there with rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “MOViN 107.7,” which sputters by roughly 70% (7.4 – 2.2, -5.2, 6+) and drops from third. Its combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+) curtailed three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+).          

7) Nashville – The top six January 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share (6+). Just as WVKL, Norfolk was unseated in “Holiday” 2016 by a cluster-mate after more than 50 consecutive ratings periods at #1 (see above), the same fate happens this sweep in “Music City USA.” Specifically, the successive reign at the top spot ends at 59 for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9,” which has its 6+-share basically slivered in half and shifts to third (13.1 – 6.6, -6.5, 6+). “Mix” was up four shares in “Holiday” 2016 and returned to double-digits for the first time since February 2016. A +.2 back in August 2016 stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Knocking “Mix” from first – and vaulting from sixth – is co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” Its +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) stops at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in exactly one year (7.1, January 2016). After sputtering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” turns around with an approximately 80% increase (1.9 – 3.4, +1.5, #16 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-share gain, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” (eighth to sixth) extends its streak of up or flat trends to four and a net +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One of its country rivals – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM – improves by eight-tenths (5.6, 6+). “95.5 Nash Icon” moves from tenth to eighth and ends three consecutive downward moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), which accounted for a -1.2. In addition to “Nash Icon,” urban AC cluster-mate WQQK “92-Q” (5.6 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (5.9 – 6.7, third to second, 6+) are up by eight-tenths as well. Prior to a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, “92-Q” was without a decrease in the previous five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). A string of three consecutive progressive trends by Cumulus Media’s WWTN produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “Super Talk 99.7” (flat at #7) forfeited that eight-tenths entirely in “Holiday” 2016 but rebounds in January 2017 with a +.6 (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). After each declined by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WLAC (1.7, #19 to a three-way tie at #16, 6+) improve by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to “Holiday” 2016’s -.5, WLAC had been up the previous three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9. Up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (0.5 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.9 – 1.6, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and cracks the top 20 (#19). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WGFX plummet from third to tenth, sports “104.5 The Zone” has its third straight decrease for a combined -2.3 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Roaring back from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” dials up a two-share increase (8.3 – 10.3, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Moreover, “Simon” registers its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Four-tenths ahead of “Simon” is co-owned urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which records its second straight +.4 (9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+), moving from third to first with its best 6+-share since May 2016’s 10.7. Departing the top spot and seguing to fourth-place is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (6.2, 6+), which ends three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; and now -9.0 (January 2017). Over and above inflating the format’s (6+) share by +1.8, the market’s two country FMs swap positions: WMAG cluster-mate WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Forfeiting the +1.1 it gained in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) with a -1.1 in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) iHeartMedia talker WPTI gains nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays at #8. Inching up from fifth to fourth, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” is a collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. Now in three straight declines (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), the Entercom rhythmic CHR is -2.9 and falls to third. A -.7 in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. This is the 18th successive sweep that Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is in two-share range (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, flat at #10, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WLRN racked up ten consecutive up or flat trends netting a +1.0 (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The public station (Dade County School Board) lost one-half share but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and remains in ninth-place. Steady at #4, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” gains six-tenths and is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a combined +1.3 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).  Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC sibling WRMF (7.7 – 8.3, 6+), which returns to the top spot from #2. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1; September 2016’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2016’s 9.3. Adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” surrenders its +2.7 (and two-months more) from “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 6.2, -2.9, 6+) and trades places with WRMF. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Off by seven-tenths and steady at #3 (5.9, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which had been up the past three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2016 increase of one-half share, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF relinquishes more than twice that gain (4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from sixth to eighth.

10) Jacksonville – The combination of a +2.1 by iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (10.7 – 12. 8, 6+) and a -.6.6 by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (14.7 – 8.1, 6+) eventuates in WQIK advancing from second to first and WEJZ sliding from first to third. This is the best-ever 6+-performance by WQIK in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). On the strength of a +.8 to 5.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+), its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – wipes out its recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned AC cluster-mate WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 10.2. Sandwiched between WQIK and WEJZ in the runner-up slot (up from #5 in “Holiday” 2016) is Cox Media Group talker WOKV, which posts a +1.7 (to 8.3, 6+). That follows a collective -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+). November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). With a one-half share improvement to 6.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (sixth to fifth) has its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.0. In four successive declines (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -3.2, tumbling from third to sixth. Co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” falters by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. By gaining three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” pulled the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase that produced a -2.2 (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+).

11) Memphis – Down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” breaks loose with a +1.9 to 5.8 (6+), climbing from ninth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Even though co-owned WXMX improves by six-tenths (4.8, 6+) to halt three successive sweeps without an increase that produced the loss of one share (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “98.1 Max FM Maximum Rock” actually backslides from eighth to ninth. On the flipside, a one-tenth decline notwithstanding (9.1 – 9.0, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which was up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, advances from third to first. “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods prior to “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped that out with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. It was just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which segues to third-place. “104.5 The River” surrenders in its entirety the five shares it gained in “Holiday” 2016 (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Sputtering by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia talker WREC responds with a +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on at #10. WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. A gain of one-half share to 5.5 (6+) by urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” pulls the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Elsewhere though in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” (7.3 – 6.5, flat at #4, 6+) and urban AC KJMS “V-101” regress by eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” is without an increase for the ninth consecutive time and is -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+).

12) Hartford – Going into the “Holiday” 2016 report with six straight increases netting a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR wound up forfeiting approximately half that increase (4.4, -1.4, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues as the public outlet dials up a +1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and moves from eighth to seventh. Bouncing back from a one-half share dip in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” is +1.1 (5.2 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Posting a gain of one-half share in December, co-owned classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 but bounces back with a +1.0 (6.6 – 7.6, 6+ (6+) and climbs from fifth to third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). After slipping by six-tenths the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ improves by nine-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.8, #11 to #9). Even though it gains back one-half of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5, +.7), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92-5” backslides from fourth to fifth. After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. Albeit that is off by more than eight shares (18.4 – 10.2, -8.2, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. “Lite 100.5” had been up September through “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). In November, “Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX pulled the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+), but “Hot 93.7” regresses by one-half share to 4.6 (6+, sixth to eighth). Gone from print are Connoisseur Media WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (#9 in “Holiday” 2016), which was without an increase for the past seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and co-owned talk WDRC-AM (.7, #13 in “Holiday” 2016).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2017

CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation.  The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division.  Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger.  The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend.  The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger.  The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.”  In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.”  During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry.  The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability.  The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”

Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange.  This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc.  Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET).  The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’”  That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”

TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,”  “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment.  In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.”  Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades.  The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.”  Harrison cited Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be.  Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company.  Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.”  Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.”   The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City.  For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942.  WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again.  The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons.  We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game.  Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires.  The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne.  Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10.  This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”

Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station.  Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.  Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office.  Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack.   It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo.  The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.

Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions.  Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15).  The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio.  Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON.  The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites.  The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments.  These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced.  Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards.  There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.”  The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.  Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano.  The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am.  Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM!  This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show.  There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear.  Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva.  Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package.  She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism.  Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories.  That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.”  Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.

Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus.  New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey.  In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more.  Click here for more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

| February 7, 2017

CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension.  Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal.  Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network.  CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network.  We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.”  As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network.  He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”

Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM.  When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.”  Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7).  Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup.  WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP.  We’re thrilled to have him aboard.”  Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist.  Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume.  The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist.  In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School.  WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative.  It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”

KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show.  Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show.  Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team.  She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences.  Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.”  Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”  Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”

Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017.  This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex.  This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable.  However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage.  The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation.  The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs.  ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs.  Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.  CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time.  The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures.   Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846.  Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan.  The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board.  iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier.  Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic.  The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic.  Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug.  During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.

Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director.  Otis is psyched about his new gig.  He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation!  I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.”  Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.”  The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday.  The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom.  The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.  The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT.  More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year.  Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program)  compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party.  Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!)  Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system.  The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority!  Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month.  The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it.  If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100.  WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.

‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director.  Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra.  Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator.  She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me.  I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing.  I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey.  See it all here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

| February 2, 2017

CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue.  The rumors of a CBS RadioEntercom merger turn out to be true as the two firms announce a stunning deal to make Entercom the second largest radio company – based on revenue – in the nation with 244 Stations, including 23 of the top 25 markets.  CBS Corp’s plans for spinning off the radio division via an IPO never really took off, probably due to the fact that radio is not viewed by investors as a growth industry.  This merger will be tax free for CBS as it’s being accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust.  Here’s how it will work: CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares.  Immediately following the completion of this exchange offer, CBS Radio will merge with an Entercom subsidiary, with the new CBS Radio shareholders receiving Entercom shares in exchange for their CBS Radio shares in the transaction.  After completion of the merger, CBS Radio shareholders will receive approximately 105 million Entercom shares, or 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  The big question for CBS Radio staffers at the corporate level is how this merger – expected to close sometime during the second half of this year – affects their positions.  Obviously, there will be redundancy at the corporate level, but how Entercom will ultimately choose to organize its corporate staff remains to be seen.  Media consultant Holland Cooke monitored this morning’s investors conference call during which Entercom president and CEO David Field stated that the company expects to realize “$25 million in synergies [cost cuts] within 12-18 months,” mostly in corporate administration.  Field noted that there will be 15 divestitures in markets where CBS and Entercom together own more stations than permitted under the FCC ownership cap.  As for the news/talk and all-news stations soon to be owned by Entercom, Field called them “trusted pillars of their local communities” and “seven of the most-trusted all-news stations in the U.S.”  He referred to the local, on-air talk talent as “major influencers with strong connections to their audiences.”  From today’s press release we know that Andre Fernandez will remain president of CBS Radio through the closing.  The presser also stated that the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, “with a significant ongoing presence in New York.”  Upon closing, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members: five current Entercom directors, including David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio.  Entercom president and CEO Field states, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth.  We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.  Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation.  This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers.  The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”

Cumulus Names Brian Joyce PM Drive Host at ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  Beginning Monday, February 13, talk radio personality Brian Joyce will begin hosting the afternoon talk show on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.”  Joyce is currently the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host at the company’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3.”  He will continue in that role as well.  It’s unclear if Joyce will move to Atlanta or remain in Chattanooga and do the WYAY show from there.  The current afternoon show is “Atlanta News” featuring news pro Cheryl Castro and station program director Greg Tantum.  It’s unclear if Castro will remain with the new show.  Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We live in a world where dialogue on matters of substance has become increasingly difficult, with politically slanted news/talk outlets and social media platforms that feed consumers with stories that confirm their existing political belief systems.  ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ breaks that confounding and polarizing mold.  We are committed to delivering a forum ruled not by any agenda or by an algorithm, but by the unique value we can create for our listeners.  We present multiple sides of the story when we’re delivering the news, ensuring we both inform existing opinions and provoke opposing opinions on every side of the story.  In the process, we create a rare media experience facilitating respectful and spirited discourse where there is as much value in listening as there is in talking.”  Speaking about this new position, Joyce says, “I’m looking forward to joining [hosts] Shannon [Burke], Kimmer and the rest of the team at ‘NewsRadio 106.7!’  These guys have built a unique and entertaining lineup for the listeners of Atlanta, and it’s my hope that my show will continue to build on the great programming and strong ratings they’re known for.”

CNN Dips into a Slice of Conservative Talk Radio to Get a Read on Caller Opinion About Trump Moves.  Last night’s installment of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” presented a string of listener calls on WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano’s show presenting an array of opinions about Donald Trump’s moves as president focusing on the role of key strategist Stephen K. Bannon.  To view the segment, please click here.

Stephanie Miller Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta.  WMLB, Atlanta is owned by JW Broadcasting, airs a variety