Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

| May 15, 2019

Atlanta Talker WYAY-FM’s Last Day Is May 31.  Like its hot AC sister in New York – WPLJ-FM – news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta will end its talk format on May 31 as the station will change hands, leaving the Cumulus Media fold and becoming carrier of Educational Media Foundation’s Christian music format “K-Love.”  The station’s talk personalities have been operating in a sort of limbo since the sale of the stations was announced in February. Talk hosts looking for new gigs include: Atlanta talk icon Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson, Shelley Wynter, Shannon Burke, and Mike Brooks.

Panama City Radio Stations to Broadcast Trump Speeches Daily Through 2020 Election. The trio of Panama City, Florida radio stations that Gulf Coast Media Inc. bought from Powell Broadcasting – classic rock WRBA-FM, country WKNK-FM, and adult hits WASJ-FM – will broadcast portions of speeches by President Trump each hour through the 2020 election, owner Samuel Rogatinsky says.  Powell sold the stations after Hurricane Michael damaged the facilities, knocking them off the air.  The president has promised to provide federal aid to the region and Rogatinsky says the company wants to thank him.  A statement from Gulf Coast Media explains, “Gulf Coast Media, Inc. senior management acknowledged that broadcasting the president’s speeches may not be consistent with conventional commercial FM radio, but we have taken this approach to show the community’s sincere appreciation for President Donald Trump’s work in Panama City and Bay County.”  The company says it will honor requests from other candidates to air time in order to comply with the FCC’s equal access rules.  Rogatinsky tells the Orlando Sentinel, “Really, we just want to have inspirational type things because the community is so down.  Nobody else is really promising or doing anything.  They want to hear what he has to say.”

TALKERS News NotesFOX News Radio is launching a new, weekly podcast featuring FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman, titled, “Everyone Talks to Liz Claman.”  The program debuts today (5/15) with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.  The program features “interviews with motivational figures and entrepreneurs and provides an inspirational look into the key factors that drive today’s business elite.”…..Chicago urban talk station WVON-AM announces that former Cook County Board president Todd Stroger is joining the Maze Jackson-hosted morning show.  The new program is called “The Maze Jackson Morning Show with Todd Stroger” and airs from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Midway Broadcasting chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “Todd joining the team is a no-brainer in a town where politics is a second sport.” Stroger had been guest hosting the program prior to being offered a full-time position…..Bubba the Love Sponge has filed an amended complaint against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning drive personality Mike Calta, stating that the company and Calta conspired to destroy his radio career by: falsely claiming Bubba’s ratings on then-WBRN-FM, Tampa were improving because of tampering; releasing the Hulk Hogan sex tape; pressuring Nielsen to remove PPM panelists with heavy Bubba listening; and more.  Bubba is requesting a jury trial and seeks damages to be determined at trial…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka (left) in the Oval Office with President Trump (right).  Gorka served as national security strategist for Trump’s 2016 campaign and was a White House adviser prior to launching his SRN show, “America First,” in January.  Photo: Tia Dufour.

Skyview Networks Unveils Summer Agency-Focused Events. Saying that this summer’s “star-studded, agency-focused, pre-upfronts events calendar” features big names in news and entertainment, including CBS Audio’s Jane Pauley and Jill Schlesinger, as well as one of the hottest events of the summer, ABC’s GMA Concert Series, Skyview Networks reveals its schedule “designed to give agencies access to premiere talent and high-profile brand opportunities that can drive future integration development.”  These events include: the GMA Concert Series (May-Sept); the Radio Disney Music Awards, June 6, Los Angeles; Carla Hall Dinner, June 12, New York; Jane Pauley Luncheon, June 13, New York; and CBS Television/CBS Audio, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Taping, TBD.

U.S.-China Trade War, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Anti-Abortion Legislation, Southern Border Migrant Issues, S.F. Facial Recognition Ban, U.S. Birthrate Hits 30-Year Low, and NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/14). The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats against U.S. interests; the recent anti-abortion legislation passed in Alabama and other states and the threat to Roe v Wade; the state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border; the city of San Francisco makes use of facial recognition technology illegal; the birth rate in the U.S. hits a 30-year low; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Traffic Reporter Opportunity. This gig is in Miami where iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network is seeking a traffic reporter to work on WIOD “NewsRadio 610.” TTWN says, “We are looking for an energetic on-air talent, that can deliver a conversational sound. Previous traffic reporting isn’t required. If you have a natural sound, previous audio experience, and are willing to put in the work and effort, we’ll show you the ropes!” For information and to apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Orlando alternative outlet WQMP “FM 101.9” has a new program director as Entercom names Matthew Malone to the position.  Malone previously served with Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X105.1” as APD and music director.  He comments, “I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Entercom Orlando team and to be working with [SVP and market manager] Claudia [Menegus].  Being a part of a company that is actively embracing the alternative format, helping it grow, and under the guidance of a programmer that I have long respected – [SVP of programming] Mike Kaplan – I know that we can accomplish great things in Central Florida.”…..WDVE, Pittsburgh afternoon drive personality Sean McDowell announces he’s retiring from rock WDVE and the radio biz after 41 years in radio and 26 with WDVE.  McDowell broke the news on Randy Baumann’s morning drive program on the iHeartMedia station…..Twin Cities afternoon drive personality Moon, a.k.a. Larry Thompson, is leaving Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95” after 45 years in the radio business to focus on his health.  Moon, who co-hosts the afternoon show with Staci Matthews, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005.  Station PD Leighton Peck says, “We will all miss Moon’s incredible sense of humor and the fun he brings to the air and in the hallways.”…..Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters names Angie Fitzsimmons morning drive host at country KKGO, Los Angeles, “Go Country 105.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the April 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third successive month, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR surrenders one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+); even so, “710 The Voice of New York” continues at #22. Off one-tenth as well is Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC (1.3 -1.2, flat at #23, 6+). It is tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which has dropped a collective four-tenths in five straight down or flat sweeps (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

Obliterating its combined February/March loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) with an April spike of +1.2 to 4.2 (6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees’ flagship WFAN rockets from #12 to #6. Conversely, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Knicks, is off four-tenths (2.2 -1.8, #18 to #20, 6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS is unchanged from March in both 6+-share (3.7) and market rank (ninth), co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM forfeits one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). WINS was a combined -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), while WCBS-AM gained three-tenths in March (3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Part of the three-way tie at #13 (which includes WCBS-AM) is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which gains three-tenths to 2.9 (#14 to #13, 6+), curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Having seen its 6+ share sliced in half (-.3) in February/March (.6 – .4 – .3, 6+), co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM picks up one-tenth to .4 (#33 to #31, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – With a January – February – March topline of 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 (6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” busts out a gain of one-half share to 3.1 (#14 to #11, 6+). Although flat at #17, Cumulus Media’s similarly formatted WPLJ is without a loss for the fourth straight sweep (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a cumulative gain of one-half share. WPLJ is soon to become contemporary Christian when its sale to Educational Media Foundation is finalized. On the heels of posting a one-half share increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW forfeits seven-tenths (7.7 – 7.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. A January/February -5.3 (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It holds a one-half share lead over Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B,” which is down four-tenths to 6.5 (steady at #2, 6+). The loss suspends three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). For the eighth time in a row, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” (unchanged at #11) is within 3.1 – 3.6 range ( 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Its format rival – Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97” – loses three-tenths (3.8 – 3.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to tenth. Before gaining one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) in March, “Hot” notched a 3.7 (6+) in five of the previous six sweeps (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+); WKTU logged a 3.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. Despite having recorded four consecutive ratings periods without a loss for an overall net of eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” backslides from a three-way tie at #14 to #16.

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January/February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” has lost three-tenths in March/April (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but carries on in seventh-place. Its internet stream debuted in February with a .6 (6+); repeated it in March; and adds one-tenth in April (.7, #37 to #36, 6+). Tied at #33 are Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot.” KRLA is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9 – .8, #30 to #3, 6+), while “The Patriot” notches a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, flat at #3, 6+). Down or flat the past four times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” picks up one-tenth to .6 (#40 to #39, 6+).

Nearly doubling March’s 6+-stat (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk – and flagship of the 2018 National League champion Dodgers – KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” leaps from #34 to #27. As a result of three down or flat moves in a row, Disney-owned/Lakers key station KSPN “710 ESPN” is off one-half share (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) but remains at #29.

Without an increase the third time in a row as well is Entercom’s KNX, which not only falters by nine-tenths in that timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), “1070 News Radio” exits the top ten (#9 to #12).

Erasing one-third of March’s loss of six-tenths with a gain of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” returns to the top twenty (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18).

Los Angeles Music Formats – In addition to extending its consecutive string of increases to four for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” progresses from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.2, as well). Likewise, smooth AC sibling KTWV “94-7 The Wave” is a collective +1.4 as a result of its fourth uptick in succession (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and continues in third-place. In five consecutive up or flat moves, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” is a collective +1.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, ninth to eighth, 6+). Not only does Meruelo Media Holdings rhythmic CHR KPWR continue its repetitive sequence (3.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), “Power 106” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Soon-to-be sibling KLOS records its fourth straight up or flat move for a net gain of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+) and advances from #14 to #12. Meruelo Media Holdings is acquiring KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and has already begun programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). After logging a 13.0 (“Holiday” 2018, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST has followed with a 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 (6+) as “Coast 103.5” is the market leader for the seventh straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is a cumulative +1.1 through five straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Up two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, January – February – March, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” forfeits six-tenths to 3.0 (eighth to tenth, 6+). While it remains in fifth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” has lost nine-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). In four consecutive upticks, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #17. After both of the market’s mainstream CHRs dropped one tenth in March, they are down in April, as well. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom-owned KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” has lost one-half share in the same stretch (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, #12 to #18, 6+). “Kiss” was a combined +.9 in January/February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+); “Amp” – which is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 23rd time in a row – gained four-tenths in February. There are certain parallels in the alternative battle, as iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is down one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3, #17 to #18, 6+), while Entercom-owned KROQ has lost a collective four-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #22, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Following February’s one-half share gain, Tribune Media news/talk and White Sox flagship WGN has surrendered six-tenths (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). In each of the last three sweeps, WLS-AM notched a 1.7 (6+) but the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet improves by one-tenth in April to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+).  

Down a combined half-share in February/March (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Cubs key station WSCR “670 The Score” answers with an increase of nine-tenths to 3.7 (6+), rocketing from #16 to #8 with its best 6+-showing (3.7) since October 2018’s 4.2. Up one-tenth in consecutive ratings periods (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” advances from #27 to #24.

On top the past three sweeps, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM has lost a collective nine-tenths in three successive declines (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) and segues to fourth-place.

A combined +.8 as a result of three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #15).

Chicago Music Formats – Over and above chalking up a one-half share gain to register its highest 6+-stat (5.9) since November 2017’s 6.3, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” marches from second to first. Steady at #3, co-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is a collective +1.5 in its fourth successive increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing (5.4) since 5.5 in August 2018. At the same time, adult contemporary sibling WSHE “100.3 SHE” scores eight-tenths via four consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, tenth to ninth, 6+). Proceeding from third to second, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” nets nine-tenths in March/April (4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), on the heels of being a cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). By gaining three-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” overtakes Entercom CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, flat at #13, 6+). Prior to April, “Kiss” displayed five consecutive 2.9 showings (6+), after dialing up a November 2018 3.3 (6+); “B-96” gained eight-tenths in March. Albeit flat at #23, iHeartMedia-owned WEBG is up or flat for the sixth time in a row; “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is up three-tenths in that stretch (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Despite picking up one-tenth (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), its format foe – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” – backslides from #17 to #18. In three straight improvements, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM was an overall +.9 (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” forfeits six-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and is unchanged in fifth-place. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams” relinquishes three-tenths to 3.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). In three successive declines (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO is -1.6, yet “Que Buena 105.1” advances from sixth to fifth. Its January increase of nine-tenths halted a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Tied in fifth-place with WOJO is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT, which is an overall -9.4 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, seventh to fifth, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – The December 2018 through April 2019 topline of Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is: 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 (#15 to #16, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has lost a collective eight-tenths via seven successive down or flat sweeps (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, #24 to #26, 6+). This marks the fourth straight month that iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” has logged a .2 (#34, 6+).

Off three-tenths in February/March (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk/Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” roars back with a +1.0 to 3.6 (6+), vaulting into the top ten (#13 to #7). Having recorded a 1.8 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is up one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19).

While it remains in the runner-up slot, all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM is off a collective seven-tenths in three straight dips (7.0 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), directly after three consecutive gains for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+).

On top for the fourth straight month, KQED is nonetheless down one-half share (7.3 – 6.8, 6+); the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet lost nine-tenths in February. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is now off a combined three-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #28, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the tenth time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” has its highest 6+-stat (3.7) since October 2018’s 3.9 and leaps from eighth to fifth. A combined +1.2 via three straight gains (3./8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary KISQ erases half that increase with a loss of six-tenths (4.4, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to January, “98.1 The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Overtaking KISQ is Bonneville-owned/similarly-formatted KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, fourth to third, 6+), which completely erased February’s -.5 with a March +.5. KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares in December/“Holiday” 2018, (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but was a combined -6.4 in January/February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1. Entering the top twenty at #19, Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” logs its fourth straight up or flat trend for a gain of six-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+). In three successive improvements, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was +1.1 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone” falters by two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and slips from sixth to ninth. Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, sixth to seventh, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-half share in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight upticks accounting for a +1.4 by Cumulus Media’s WBAP (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+) completely erases its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). Moreover, “News Talk 820” leaps into the top ten (#15 to #9). After posting a .7 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” adds two-tenths to .9 (#34 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” – which added one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+) – drops one-tenth to .4 (#36 to #37, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate, KTCK is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.7) and market rank (#16). “The Ticket All Sports All The Time” had been in an alternating down/up pattern (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+). Having lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+-share in three straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” drops from #22 to #23. The flagship of the Texas Rangers was a +1.0 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to .8 (#35 to #34, 6+) by Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” halts six straight down or flat trends that resulted in its 6+-share being sliced in half (-.6) in that timeframe (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+).

Without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a net gain of one-half share (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM progresses from #19 to #17. “News Radio 1080” has been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0 since “Holiday” 2016.

A collective +.8 via three improvements in a row (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA falters by three-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – There is plenty of movement in the market’s contemporary Christian arena. On the plus side, an uptick of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+) enables Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” to return to the top ten (#11 to #5), while WAY Media’s KAWA “WAY-FM, Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” improves by one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, #31 to #23, 6+) after eroding by -1.2 in March. Conversely, however, First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.0 Encouraging Music/Words of Hope” has its 6+-stat carved exactly in half (-.9) via three successive dips (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – .9, #32, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Worship Now” relinquishes one-half share (2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #21, 6+). This directly follows a March increase of six-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016 (2.4, as well). As a result of three successive drops (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE lost approximately half (-3.6) its 6+-share, but “Star 102.1” wipes away 25% of that deficit with an April gain of nine-tenths to 4.4 (6+), catapulting into the top five (#11 to #3). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is co-owned CHR KHKS #1 for the fourth month in a row, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is a collective +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.7) since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Stuck on 4.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 and then on 5.1 (6+) in February and March, classic rock cluster-mate KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” stumbles by seven-tenths to 4.4 (second to third, 6+). A combined +.9 in February/March (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #15). Having logged three straight positive spikes for a +1.2 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” drops two-tenths to 4.2 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3” is off one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 (6+). “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Repeating March’s .4 (6+), co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” checks in at #29.

Finishing at #22, #23, and #24, respectively, are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – 1.1, +.2, 6+); iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” (.6 – 1.0, +.4, #27 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .8, unchanged at #24, 6+). KILT-AM lost a combined half-share in January/February; KBME reaches a one-share (6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 1.1; and – before losing one-tenth in March – KFNC had been up or flat six sweeps in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+).

Following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is off a combined half-share in three straight slips (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2, #19 to #20, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Down or flat the past three survey periods for a loss of seven-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” erases that deficit with an increase of eight-tenths to 4.9 (tenth to seventh, 6+), its strongest 6+-showing since February 2018’s 5.0. Entering the April sweep, iHeartMedia’s KQBT “93.7 The Beat” had an interesting topline of 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 (6+). “The Beat” busts out a gain of six-tenths to 4.4 (steady at #11, 6+), extending its consecutive up or flat streak to six; it is +1.1 in that stretch. In the market’s country contest, Entercom’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (5.2 – 5.0 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q” is flat at 4.7 (repeating in ninth-place, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three upticks in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+); “93-Q” gained eight-tenths in March. Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is an overall -4.6 in three slips in succession (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the 13th straight time. Immediately in advance of this slide, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are +.5 (January,  6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 (February, 7.0 – 6.2, 6+); +.5 (March, 6.2 – 6.7, 6+); and now -.6 (April, 6.7 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Down one-tenth in March, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” falters by another half-share in April (3.3 – 2.8, #16 to #17, 6+). While it repeats at #21, co-owned/similarly-formatted KTJM “La Raza” picks up two-tenths to 2.1 (6+), pulling the plug on five consecutive ratings periods without an increase for a collective loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slips to the runner-up slot. The Cox Media Group news/talk outlet erased two-thirds of December/“Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4. It was -.9 in February; +.1 in March; and now declines by one-half share in April (7.1 – 6.6, -.5, 6+). WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A loss of one-half share (1.4 – .9, #22 to #25, 6+) takes Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” below a one-share for the first time in nearly seven-years (.8, July 2012). Owing to three straight up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3  1.4, 6+), WYAY gained two-tenths. Elsewhere in the market’s news/talk format, Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” picks up one-tenth to .4 (flat at #29, 6+), curtailing three dips in a row that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), while Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .1, -.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” (.2 -.1, -.1, 6+) are tied at #31.

As a result of being a combined -.9 in March/April (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14). Conversely, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up one-half share in March/April (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves advances from #20 to #18.

On the heels of a mammoth -1.4 in March, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up two-tenths (3.4 – 3.6, #13 to #11, 6+). At the same time, however, Georgia State University news/talk WRAS dips two-tenths (.8 – .6, #226 to #28, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Over and above posting its third straight increase for an overall +2.1 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” vaults from fifth to first with its best 6+-showing (7.0) since 8.6 in “Holiday” 2018. By tacking on one-half share to March’s increase of two-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). Before eroding by -1.0 in February, “The Bull” was a collective +1.4 through four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Its country rival, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” adds two-tenths (2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and progresses from #16 to #14. “Kicks,” which was off three-tenths in March, rebounded from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase in February (2.6 – 3.2, +.6). There is an interesting development in the market’s competitive urban AC battle as the format’s 6+ share deflates by -1.5, immediately after it improved (in March) by +1.4. More to the point, Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic,” which was +2.5 via three successive positive spikes (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+), sputters by eight-tenths to 6.1, shifting from second to fourth. Simultaneously, Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B,” +1.4 in February/March (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), returns half that increase (5.2, -.7, fourth to seventh, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs are off one-tenth with each losing two rankers: Dropping from #9 to #11 is iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.7 – 3.6, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” falls from #11 to #13 (3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” broke out a +.7 in March. “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; forfeited six-tenths in February; and was flat in March.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the third straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” slips from #18 to #20. Flat at #23, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” drops one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

At the same time, Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” improves by two-tenths in consecutive ratings periods (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) as the Phillies’ flagship – which was -1.3 in February – proceeds from fourth to third. Dropping from #14 to #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – April 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 (6+).

While off a collective -1.0 via three declines in a row (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KYW repeats in ninth-place. “News Radio 1060” was down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, but rebounded in January with a gain of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.0, 6+).

For the second month in a row, public news/talk WHYY falters by four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, #16 to #18, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – After trending 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erupts with a +1.2 to 3.4 (#19 to #12, 6+). A combined -1.3 in February/March (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK not only logs a +1.0 to 6.8 (6+), “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” leaps from sixth to first. It displaces Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” (7.0 – 6.7, -.3, first to second, 6+), which has a March-only stay at #1. Philly’s market leader from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. By forfeiting three-tenths to 4.5 (unchanged at #8, 6+), format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Relaxing Favorites,” interrupts four up or flat trends that generated a combined +2.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Formerly rhythmic hot AC “Real 106.1,” WISX became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). Anchored in seventh-place, Beasley Media Group-owned WXTU “92.5 Philly’s Country Station” is a collective +2.2 through four straight gains (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing since July 2018 (5.8, as well). Also notching an April gain of eight-tenths is iHeartMedia’s WRFF (3.1 – 3.9, #13 to #10, 6+), as “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” has its best 6+-stat (3.9) since November 2017’s 4.0. Segueing from second to fifth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is a combined -1.1 in March/April (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+), after its +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+). WOGL jumped from a three-way tie for third (January) to first in February. Three successive improvements by Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR accounted for an overall +1.7 (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), but “93.3 Everything That Rocks” surrenders seven-tenths to 5.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in March (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” jumps from #19 to #15. Although it repeats at #25, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is off one-tenth to 1.4 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).

Not only does Entercom sports talk WFAN rack up a gain of seven-tenths (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship zooms from fourth to a first-place tie with its highest 6+-share in Long Island (5.1) since October 2018’s 5.6. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is unchanged from March in 6+-share (1.8) and market rank (#21).

An increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Entercom all-news WCBS-AM to enter the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS has lost eight-tenths in three straight slips (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+). These two siblings were a combined +1.3 in January.

Unlisted in October 2018 and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; but is down or flat for the third time in succession for a net loss of one-half share (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22 to #24, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and ties sports talk cluster-mate WFAN at #1. Following five straight times at #1, Connoisseur Media-owned hot AC WALK-FM shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+), “97.5 – Real Variety” has now lost over half its 6+-share (-5.5) in four consecutive declines (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). A collective -5.8 through three drops in succession (9.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” concludes that slide with a one-tenth increase (3.5, tenth to ninth, 6+). The six most recent fluctuations for Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” are -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); -.5 (February); +.7 (March); and now -.5 in April (3.7 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+). Four successive sweeps without a loss by Cox Media Group-owned WBAB netted a +1.3 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), but “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” drops four-tenths to 4.0 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Tied with identical 2.4 – 2.1 (-.3, #15 to #19, 6+) profiles are Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Long Island’s Home For Everything That Rocks” and Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7,” as the two stations have positive streaks come to an end. “The Shark” was a cumulative +.9 in five straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), while “NEW 102.7” “logged four up or flat reports in succession for a +.8 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the seventh consecutive sweep that iHeartMedia news talk KKDD is without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), but “1290 News Talk IE” manages to move from #24 to #23.

It is tied with co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” whose November 2018 through April 2019 topline is .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 (6+). For the 16th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

In a December 2018 through April 2019 down/up pattern which includes April’s loss of nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – .8, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR drops from #11 to #13 and has lost one-half share in that timeframe. Meanwhile, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is down or flat for the third time in a row (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – The Inland Empire’s huge news is that Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA gains four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2, second to first, 6+) at the same time that Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” regresses by that magnitude (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, first to second, 6+). “Jose” and KOLA had been at #1 and #2, respectively, in each of the past 11 sweeps. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). “Jose” is off for the fifth consecutive report for a collective -3.5 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+). December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A collective -1.9 via four successive negative trends (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet KLRD “Air 1 Worship Now” wipes away nearly half that deficit with a +.9 to 1.2 (#19 to #12, 6+). Progressing by one-half share are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” (4.1 – 4.6, steady at #4, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” (2.8 – 3.3, unchanged at #8, 6+). “K-Love” was stuck on 4.6 (6+) in January and February, before sputtering by one-half share in March; “Que Buena” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 ratings periods. In three successive improvements, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE was a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” is off three-tenths to 3.4 (flat at #7, 6+). After posting five consecutive up or flat trends for an overall gain of two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD returns one-tenth to 1.4 (#12 to #11, 6+); “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 20th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks Cumulus Media news/talk KGO’s seventh straight San Jose sweep without an increase for an overall -1.1 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). Meanwhile, four straight up or flat moves by co-owned news/talk KSFO have accounted for a one-half share increase (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, #22 to #23, 6+).

Off three-tenths in February/March (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” rebounds with a +1.1 to 4.2 (6+) as the flagship of the Giants inches up from eighth to seventh. In consecutive sweeps, Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” picks up two-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, #20 to #19, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM is -1.5 in March/April (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+), directly after a collective +1.4 in four straight ratings periods without a loss (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+).

Albeit down two-tenths (7.1 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED marches from second to first. A combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), KQED erased that deficit in its entirety with a gain of nine-tenths in March. Having added one-tenth in back-to-back (February/March) sweeps (.7 – .8 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW is flat in April (.9, #27 to #26, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here makes a larger (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 improvement than Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.3, +1.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other end of the spectrum, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” suffers the largest (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 decrease of any station in these 12 PPM-markets (7.7 – 6.2, -1.5, first to second, 6+). We are not through though with the magnitude of 1.5, as – prior to the April sweep – “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three upticks in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). For a change of pace, it was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Co-owned hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music,” which gained six-tenths in in three straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), regresses by eight-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Format rival, iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3,” is a collective -1.1 in three straight slips (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). For the fourth straight month, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. KOIT-FM remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – On top for the fourth month in a row, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has nonetheless lost an overall eight-tenths in three straight drops (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+); “New Jersey 101.5” was +1.2 in January. Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR slips by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8, #14 to #18, 6+). January’s +1.0 completely erased the overall December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.0. After three straight times of notching a 1.0 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC falters by three-tenths to .7 (#26 to #27, 6+).

An increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) elevates Entercom sports talk/Yankees key station into the top ten (#15 to #10). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is a collective -1.1 in six straight ratings periods without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, #23 to #24, 6+).

Entercom all-news/Mets flagship WCBS-AM has gained a combined seven-tenths in March/April (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, #19 to #16, 6+), while, in the same stretch, co-owned/similarly-programmed WINS is down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6, flat at #25, 6+). Prior to March WINS posted four straight gains that accounted for a one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Even though it adds one-tenth (2.4 – 2.5, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM backslides from #19 to #20; WNYC was up a combined eight-tenths in January/February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Having surrendered three-tenths in March, WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” roars back with a +1.0 (2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and reenters the top twenty (#21 to #15). The Cumulus Media hot AC is in the process of being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to contemporary Christian when the deal receives final approval. Climbing from third to second, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a combined +1.9 in four straight improvements (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately in advance of this string, “Z-100” was without an increase four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+). Off a combined three-tenths in February/March (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WWPR “Power 105.1” responds with a gain of seven-tenths to 3.7 (#15 to #10, 6+). Entering the top ten as well is Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1,” which picks up one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, #12 to #8, 6+). Regressing by one-half share are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.1, steady in fifth-place, 6+) and Emmis owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #19, 6+). WCBS-FM had been up six-tenths through three consecutive gains (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). When “Hot” picked up two-tenths in March, it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). In addition to logging its fourth straight decrease for an overall -2.4 (5.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” fades from the top ten (#9 to #14).

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

| May 14, 2019

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio have 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 (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian will present his “Twelve Takeaways” from this first round of ratings information in tomorrow’s edition of TALKERS magazine online.

Post: Francesa Takes First Month of Spring Ratings.  The New York Post continues its reporting on the sports talk radio war in the Big Apple, today writing that WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa beat WEPN PM driver Michael Kay in the Men 25-54 demographic with a 7.0 share to Kay’s 6.1 share, according to Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey.   If you recall, there’s been disagreement between the two stations over whether WFAN should include its stream audience since it sells streaming ads separately.  WEPN – which airs the same ads on air and online – made noise about Michael Kay’s strong performance in the Winter book (Jan., Feb., and March PPM surveys) and arguments ensued about whether he could really claim victory.

Neal Bird Joins Sun & Fun and Key Networks. Affiliate sales pro Neal Bird is named senior account executive for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks.  Bird spent the last 11 years with Westwood One, the last five years as VP of affiliate sales for music & entertainment and backstage events.  Bird’s joining the companies comes just a few weeks after Key Networks’ April 29 launch of the new, 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly.  Sun & Fun and Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Neal and am delighted to welcome him to the Sun & Fun Media team and Key Networks.  Neal has strong relationships throughout the radio industry and is known as someone who gets the job done and delivers for his clients.  He will be an integral part of growing our core business while helping chart a course in building our new syndication division at Key Networks.”  Bird adds, “It’s an exciting time at Sun & Fun Media as its core business is as strong as ever and now, with the launch of Key Networks and ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the future is even brighter.  With that, I’m thrilled to be joining the great team that Rob, Roger, and Dennis have assembled and I look forward to working with our valued partners and in growing the business.”

Radio One Returns WDBZ, Cincinnati to Urban News/Talk. The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on the move by Radio One to reverse the 2016 decision to flip urban news/talk WDBZ-AM/W268CM, Cincinnati to rhythmic oldies as “Soul 101.5.”  The station returned to its previous “The Buzz” brand with a new program lineup.  Remaining with the station is late morning talk host Lincoln Ware (his was the only talk show to survive the previous format change and remain on air in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot). Emanuel Livingston hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery begins hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show, effective June 3.  The Tom Joyner Show remains in AM drive and the station carries “Keepin’ It Real” with Al Sharpton.  Radio One Cincinnati vice president and general manager Mitch Galvin tells the paper, “With the climate of Cincinnati and the United States right now, there is more of a need for talk and the voice of the inner city to have an outlet, and that’s what we wanted to accomplish by bringing it back.”  Lincoln Ware is quoted saying, “This 2020 election is going to be like none you’ve seen before.  There are too many right-wing stations out there and we’ve got to balance it out.  ‘The Buzz’ will add a little weight toward that balance.”

Full Power Radio Launches ‘Trump 103.3 WDRC’ to Promote FM Translator and New Program Lineup. The trio of Connecticut talk stations – WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, Meriden; and WSNG-AM, Torrington – gets an FM partner as Full Power Radio fires up translator W277DT at 103.3 FM and temporarily re-brands as “Trump 103.3 WDRC.”  A press release from Full Power says the station is airing promos that call for the firing of Governor Ned Lamont and demand “No New Tolls or Taxes for Connecticut.”  Owner John Fuller says, “There is a real hunger for the truth and ‘Trump 103.3’ will report and uncover statewide waste and corruption that conventional media are afraid to touch.”  The program lineup includes: “Brad Davis and Friends” in morning drive, Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher in late mornings, and local host Lee Elci shares the noon hour with Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Update.”  Afternoons include Radio America’s Dana Loesch and Westwood One’s Michael Savage and Ben ShapiroWayne Allyn Root is heard in the evening daypart. After a period, the station will return to its “The Talk of Connecticut” brand.

Progressive Talk Radio Returns to Madison on FM. Madison-area signal WTTN-AM, Columbus added an FM translator at 92.7 on Saturday (5/11) that brings progressive talk back to Madison on the FM band.  The last time the format aired in the market on FM was on iHeartMedia’s WXXM “The Mic 92.1.”  But iHeartMedia flipped that station to classic hits in 2016.  Mike Crute’s “Resistance Radio” format is airing on the signals, as well as on the signal he purchased from Good Karma in 2017, WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee market.  Crute co-hosts the daily “The Devil’s Advocates” program that airs in afternoon drive.  The stations also air WYD Media’s “Thom Hartmann Program” and “Stephanie Miller Show” as well as local personalities Earle Ingram Jr., and Bryan Kelly.

Good Karma Re-Aligns Sports Programming on Milwaukee Stations.  A couple of new, local shows will begin airing on Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee sports talk stations and that will have an effect on sister news/talk outlet WTMJ.  Good Karma operates WKTI-FM and WAUK-AM as “ESPN Milwaukee.”  Beginning June 4, WAUK-AM will carry the entire ESPN Radio lineup except for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart in which Doug Russell will host “ESPN Milwaukee Podcenter.”  As for WKTI-FM, the station will debut “Gabe & Chewy,” airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and co-hosted by Gabe Netzel and former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura.  Also, former Marquette University basketball star Tony Smith partners with Bryan Dee for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program.  Greg Matzek moves over from WTMJ to host a daily noon hour program and Doug Russell hosts a nightly 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm program.  Good Karma Brands vice president and market manager Steve Wexler says moving some of the sports talk from WTMJ will allow for new, non-sports programming in evenings when there are no Milwaukee Brewers or Milwaukee Bucks games on WTMJ.  He says, “We will be adding local talk content to WTMJ in the evening that will feature new voices and perspectives.  We’re on the lookout for additional local, compelling, and entertaining personalities to add to WTMJ.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Mueller Testimony, ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Laws, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Immigration Policy, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13). The financial markets’ reactions to the U.S.-China tariff war; the possibility that special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before congress; the passing of “heartbeat” laws restricting abortion in several states and a possible challenge to Roe v Wade; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran; U.S. policy regarding migration at the Southern border; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur Heather Monahan joins PodcastOne with her debut podcast, “Creating Confidence.”  In this series, Monahan shares the techniques and strategies to create your confidence, pursue your dreams and leapfrog the villains that get in the way.  The debut episode features top-ranked podcaster, Gary Vaynerchuk…..iHeartRadio announces that its podcast “Stuff You Missed in History Class” posted its first branded episode in partnership with Warner Bros Pictures. The episode delves into the historical perspective of the Godzilla legend, exploring how this iconic story came about during WWII and subsequently gained mainstream attention…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley is filling in for nationally syndicated talk radio host Tom Shillue on FOX News Radio’s 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program today (5/14).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new on-air lineup at Entercom’s Atlanta CHR WSTR “Star 94.1” is officially revealed after last week’s changes that saw Jeff Dauler, Mike Marino, and Heather Branch exit the station.  The station adds personalities Mark Owens and Curtis Slade as co-hosts of the morning drive “Jenn & Friends” show with host Jenn Hobby.  In addition to contributing to the morning show, Amanda Kelly is promoted to midday host.  Finally, Kannon takes over the afternoon drive program.  Mark Owens served for the last six years as a producer at sister sports talker WZGC-FM “92.9 The Game.”  Curtis Slade began his career as an interior design consultant and then went on to host a weekly segment on WWXM-FM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Jeannine Riley is producing the morning show…..Cumulus Media promotes three at its Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Classic hits WWFX “100 FM The Pike” program director Chuck Perk adds operations manager duties for classic country WORC-FM “98.9 FM NASH Icon.”  Keith Stephens is named program director for WORC-FM, and Matt Henry is upped to promotions director for AC WXLO, WWFX and WORC-FM…..Programming pro Tom Ferguson is appointed program director for Times-Shamrock Communications-owned alternative WFUZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton “ALT 92.1.”  Ferguson programmed WFUZ from 2013 through 2017 and had most recently been hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s crosstown classic hits WMQX “Max 102.3.”…..Jodi Vale exits Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3” in order to finish her master’s degree in communications.

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

Cumulus Media Q1 Report: Net Revenue Rises 1.4%. Reporting on the first quarter of 2019, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was $267.5 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Net income was $451,000 in the first quarter, compared to 2019 in which Cumulus posted a loss of $5 million.  Cumulus reports in two segments – Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  In this first quarter of 2019, the Radio Station Group was down 1% on net revenue of $166.5 million, while Westwood One was up 5.9% on net revenue of $100.4 million.  Chief financial officer John Abbot says on the radio station side that the company continues “to experience a tough, local spot market environment.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Driven by a steady focus on our key strategic priorities including accelerating digital growth, our strong performance continued in Q1 2019 with year-over-year increases in both revenue and EBITDA.  Additionally, we now have four pending M&A transactions that collectively are expected to generate more than $120 million of net proceeds and bolster our competitive positions in Indianapolis and Allentown. Combined with the $25 million voluntary prepayment made in February, these proceeds will reduce our net leverage to 4.8x on a pro forma basis.  We look forward to continuing our disciplined execution against all our strategic priorities and financial goals in the quarters ahead.”

Podcasting and Digital Efforts Bearing Fruit for Cumulus.  On yesterday’s Q1 earnings call with investors, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner lauded the company’s podcasting and digital segments.  She said, “So far in 2019, we continue to see the same strong growth in podcasting that we have enjoyed since we started the business.  As the exclusive partner for over 40 podcasts we’ve generated nearly 52 million downloads in March 2019, more than doubled the 23 million generated in March 2018.  And that doesn’t include our growing local podcast businesses.  By our estimation, this will put us in the top five largest podcast companies measured by PodTrack in March.  What is particularly notable about this growth, is that, that we have been able to achieve it while maintaining profitability.”  Berner is also pleased with the company’s efforts to grow digital revenue.  She adds, “We are continuing to generate exceptional growth across all of our platforms, with total digital revenue for the quarter growing 79% from the first quarter of last year.  Our streaming audience is growing steadily, driven by both organic listenership and increased distribution on the Tune In platform.  And we’re monetizing this high-margin digital inventory better and more broadly, through all of our channels, local, national network, programmatic exchanges, and remnant networks as well.”

Saga Communications Down 0.7% in Q1. The 2019 first quarter financial report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue during the period was $27.8 million, a dip of 0.7% over the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow increased $324 thousand to $2.6 million and station operating expense decreased 1% to $23.2 million.  Same station operating income was down 22% to $1.86 million and net income dipped 11% to $1.4 million.   The company notes that the results for the quarter were affected by its October 2018 acquisition of WOGK-FM, WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM, in the Gainesville-Ocala market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC for $9.3 million.  Saga reports having $39.2 million in cash on hand (as of 3/31/19) and $40.7 million in cash on hand (as of 5/6/19).

Hannity to Afternoons on WPHT, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Entercom will fill its afternoon drive daypart with Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program starting next week.  Earlier this week, the station announced that current afternoon talk host Rich Zeoli becomes the new morning drive host on Monday (5/13), assuming the role left open when Chris Stigall exited WPHT earlier this year. It appears Entercom will air the Sean Hannity show during its live air time – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – on WPHT beginning on Monday as opposed to searching for a local host for the daypart. Hannity’s show has been airing on the station in a delay broadcast in the evening.

PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio Produce True Crime Program ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ The true-crime genre is a popular one among podcast consumers and now, PodcastOne and partner Hubbard Radio (remember that Hubbard owns 30% of PodcastOne) are producing a new podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”  The 10-part series investigates the Washington, DC mansion murders using the talents of WTOP, Washington reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, and produced by WTOP and its digital news director, Julia Ziegler.  Hubbard podcast strategy manager Wheeler Morris says, “We at Hubbard are excited to bring listeners around the country this story from a team of experienced investigative reporters at WTOP.  Listeners in the Washington, DC region are familiar with WTOP’s high-quality journalism and, with the help of PodcastOne, we are excited to now share that with the nation.”  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz adds, “I’ve noticed recently that other major radio companies are promoting their new relationships with podcasters.  The Hubbard Radio/PodcastOne relationship recognized the synergies present over four years ago, and it continues to expand today.  We have a very definite game plan that seeks to take advantage of podcasting’s obvious on-demand advantages to stations, while mining the creativity that radio companies can bring to the table.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Rahul Sabnis to Lead New In-House Creative Group. This promotion comes with a realignment of the company’s in-house creative efforts.  Rahul Sabnis rises from EVP and executive creative director for iHeartMedia to chief creative officer & EVP for the newly branded, in-house creative group “TheStudio at iHeartMedia” operating under the aegis of Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group.  The company says that under Rahul’s leadership it will combine its Creative Studio and “CSG” in Atlanta into “TheStudio at iHeartMedia.”  A press release says TheStudio in-house agency will “provide a range of high-level strategy and creative services, helping iHeart’s own brands and the brands of its advertising and marketing partners use the efficiency and efficacy of audio seamlessly across all its company assets at the scale that only iHeart can deliver.”

Marie Harf to Exit FOX News to Join Seth Moulton Campaign.The Daily Beast reports that FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Marie Harf is leaving her positions as political commentator and radio host, respectively, to join the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as deputy campaign manager for policy and communications.  Harf co-hosts the “Benson and Harf” radio show with Guy Benson.  Harf served on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was a senior communications adviser to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

The Mueller Report and Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  Democrats’ request for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s claim his executive privilege gives him control of the report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential races, followed by the China trade war, the effect on the stock market, and North Korea’s missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019. Being a talent in 2019 is not as unique as it was years ago.  Thanks to the Internet, so-called talent is everywhere.  But the digital age has also brought new opportunities for talent that didn’t exist years ago and it’s incumbent upon talk media talent to seize them in order take control of one’s career.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, ABC News Radio executive director of programming Andrew Kalb will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; and Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  With Facebook moving to officially ban Alex Jones and other controversial media figures from its platform and President Trump weighing in on the situation on the side of Jones and his InfoWars organization, there has been a lot of talk this week about conspiracy theorists, fake news, and freedom of speech.  One of the world’s most famous and controversial conspiracy theorists, David Icke, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Icke, who hails from Great Britain, has a worldwide following on YouTube and other digital platforms in addition to being the author of more than 20 books whereby he talks and writes about a wide variety of political and metaphysical issues that run the gamut from a scientifically plausible analysis of the vibrational aspects of reality per quantum physics to completely outrageous ideas about the human race being under the hidden control of a lizard-like, reptilian species of interdimensional humanoids that borders on science fiction.  He routinely sells out large meeting spaces on his lecture tours and is banned in a number of venues and countries for what many consider to be his dangerous ideas.  He has been accused on a number of occasions of anti-Semitism for his views on international banking and the turbulent politics of Israel, the Palestinians, and the Middle East – charges he vehemently denies.  There’s a new documentary film about this former English soccer star turned conspiracy theorist titled, “Renegade:  The Life Story of David Icke,” which takes a fly-on-the-wall view of his life as a family man, lecturer, and social/political disrupter.  It was banned by a theater in Los Angeles last week just hours before its premiere there when the theater owners learned about the level of controversy surrounding Icke.  Harrison caught up with Icke this past Thursday (5/2) when he was in New York City to attend the premiere of the film there that evening.  They talk about the media, the First Amendment, and the state of the conspiracy theory business in 2019.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta radio pro Jeff Dauler is out at WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” where he was co-host of the “Jeff & Jenn” show with Jenn Hobby.  She addressed Dauler’s departure on the program but didn’t offer any specifics on his departure.  Hobby will continue to lead the morning show.  At the same time as Dauler departed, afternoon personality Mike Marino also left the air and his info on the station’s website has been scrubbed.  Aside from Hobby addressing it on the air, WSTR has not commented specifically on the changes…..Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cale Dodds (right) took time out of his busy tour schedule with Chase Rice to fill in as a special guest co-host with Jackson (left) on Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” morning show.  Dodds helped finn in for morning show co-host Ayla Brown.  He took the opportunity to premier his new single, “I Like Where This Is Going.”  On Monday and Tuesday (5/13-14), Sony Nashville recording artist Rachel Wammack will co-host with Jackson.  WKLB program director David Corey says, “There’s no better way for the country audience to get to know an artist than to bring them into our world and put them on a morning show.  It allows us to go way beyond the typical interview questions that might be asked.  This is real life conversation…and fun!  We are thankful to Cale and Rachel for getting that and jumping all in with us!”

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

| May 8, 2019

It’s Official: Rich Zeoli Moves to AM Drive on WPHT, Philadelphia. Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is making the move to the WPHT, Philadelphia’s morning drive daypart, effective May 13. Zeoli is taking over the show most recently hosted by Chris Stigall, who exited the station earlier this year. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Rich is a compelling and thought-provoking radio host and we’re looking forward to seeing him shine in the mornings on WPHT. From interviewing the president to covering what’s hot in pop culture or entertainment, to Rich’s passion for recognizing local police officers, his funny and poignant style always shines a light on what everyone is talking about.” Zeoli comments, “For years I have had one simple goal: to blend information and humor to make entertaining talk radio. Moving to mornings is an honor and a challenge and I’m thrilled that my team will be moving with me.” Zeoli has been with the company since joining as a talk host in 2010.   He became afternoon drive host in 2015.  Zeoli is also the founder of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in media training, public speaking, and strategy. His clients have included Fortune 100 C-Suite executives, national television personalities, and bestselling authors. He is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (2008, Skyhorse).  WPHT has made no statement about its plans for the now-open afternoon drive depart.

Nashville Sports Talk Personality George Plaster Launching Daily Show on WSM-AM. The Tennessean reports that Nashville sports talk personality George Plaster is returning to the air full time to host a daily, afternoon sports talk show on Grand Ole Opry’s country WSM-AM, effective July 15.  Plaster has been serving as athletics director at Belmont University since 2016.  Plaster first started doing sports talk radio on WWTN-FM, Nashville in 1989. From 2003 through 2012, he hosted afternoons on crosstown WGFX-FM “The Zone,” and moved to WPRT-FM “102.5 FM The Game” in 2012.  Despite its afternoon drive air time, the show will be called “Sports Night with George Plaster.”

Connoisseur Sells Billings Cluster to Desert Mountain Broadcasting. The Billings, Montana cluster of six stations owned by Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media is going to Desert Mountain Broadcasting for $3 million in a just-announced deal.  The cluster includes news/talk KYYA and sports talk KBLG in addition to four music-formatted brands.  Connoisseur regional vice president and general manager Cameron Maxwell formed Desert Mountain Broadcasting in 2018 with the intention of acquiring the stations.  He says, “And now I’m in the very rare position to be able to launch my new media company by purchasing from these exceptional broadcasters six radio stations I’ve helped to create.  I’m forever grateful for this incredible time with Connoisseur Media and the constant mentoring they’ve provided.  With this first acquisition, Desert Mountain Broadcasting launches today on a solid foundation, built upon the values and best practices embedded in me by [Connoisseur CEO] Jeff [Warshaw], [CFO] Mike [Driscoll], and COO David Bevins.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio. Among the challenges news/talk radio faces today is the aging of its audience and the desire by many broadcasters to attract younger listeners to the format. Opinions on how to achieve this – and there are those who question whether it can be achieved at all – vary greatly.  Some believe broadcasting on FM is a necessary first step while others say the whole approach to the format must be re-thought for the Millennial generation.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  Panelists include (pictured below): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Greg Foster, VP of programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia and KOA, Denver PD; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM, Hofstra University; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-news KYW gets a brand refresh as Entercom unveils a new logo and an update to its iconic jingle.  The company says the changes reflect “its multiplatform growth and evolution.”  KYW worked with legendary arranger and Philadelphia native Larry Gold on the modern update to its beloved jingle. Entercom SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio has evolved into a modern news organization serving a wide range of listeners across various platforms and we are proud to introduce visual and audio enhancements that reflect who the station is today.  The station is a local treasure that remains an integral part of the city and to honor those roots, we worked with hometown artists to capture its essence and develop the refreshed brand identity.  Everyone in town sings our jingle and we’re thrilled to introduce this new contemporary sound.”  Check it out here…..Sun Broadcast Group announces the opening of its West Coast office in Los Angeles as part of its expansion efforts and the hiring of Ed Moloney as affiliate content director, effective immediately.  The company says Moloney will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, and support other programming efforts for new additions to the SBG line up such as “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and more.  For the past eight years, Moloney programmed the syndicated version of JACK FM.  He has also served with Westwood One, Entertainment Radio Networks, KCBS and KYSR, Los Angeles and WBCN, Boston…..Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM, Atlantic City is changing its FM simulcast to 95.5 FM.  The company announces that, effective immediately, the station is being heard there in addition to 104.1 and, of course, 1450 AM.  But, the 104.1 FM simulcast will eventually go away.  Townsquare also says it’s not done making major announcements about the station, saying, “WPG is getting even bigger and better very soon…” Stay tuned!

MIW Radio Group Announces 2019 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Participants. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces the four radio professionals selected to participate as mentees in the 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program.  They are: Andrea Clay, national sales manager, Beasley Media Group Charlotte; Katy Dempsey, program director and morning show host, Bryan Broadcasting, College Station, Texas; Nicole Jones, manager of sales training & development, Cumulus Media Chicago; and Jennifer Seelig, director of news & programming, Entercom San Francisco.  The MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting.  Beasley Media Group, LLC is, for the second year in a row, serving as the lead sponsor of this year’s program.  Lindsay Cerajewski, chair of the 2019 MIW Group Mentoring Committee and national sales manager/new business development, Entercom Chicago says, “Each year, this coveted program generates more and more interest and therefore applications.  We are very encouraged by the quantity and quality of candidates desiring to grow their careers in radio, and this year’s class definitely reflects the excellence we’re seeing in our applications.  Let the mentoring begin!”

Mueller Report/Barr Contempt Vote, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Nuclear Deal, NYTimes Trump Losses Story, 2020 Presidential Politics, Colorado School Shooting, and North Korea Missile Test Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7). The ongoing reactions to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ option to consider Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress for his refusal to turn over the complete report; the financial markets react to President Trump’s reigniting the tariff war with China; Iran backs out of the nuclear deal it entered into with six other nations; The New York Times’ story about Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Tuesday’s shooting at a Colorado high school that left one dead and several injured; and North Korea’s latest missile test 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 “Todd & Jayde” morning show announced that May 31 will be the last broadcast on WPLJ-FM, New York as a hot AC outlet.  Owner Cumulus Media is selling the iconic FM to Educational Media Foundation and that company will flip the station to a Christian music format…..The Daily Chronicle reports that Bustos Media is acquiring the Centralia, Washington FM KFNY from the Ocean Station II Trust, operated by iHeartMedia.  The station has been airing a smooth jazz format for the past couple of years as it awaited acquisition by another broadcaster.  Bustos owns KDDS-FM in the market that currently airs a regional Mexican format.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Friday, May 3, 2019

| May 3, 2019

Milwaukee’s ‘97.3 The Game’ Brings Steve Czaban in for AM Drive. Sports talk radio personality Steve Czaban is the new morning drive host on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game, Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks.”  “The Steve Czaban Show” debuts on Monday (5/6) and will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. With the arrival of Czaban, the current “Drew & KB” program moves to afternoon drive.  Czaban, who also hosts afternoon drive at Radio One’s WTEM, Washington, DC, most recently was a cast member at crosstown rock WHQG’s “Bob & Brian” show.  He’s also served with Sporting News, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo Sports Radio, and SB Nation Radio.  He comments, “The chance for me to do more in Milwaukee was too good to pass up.  This is exactly the style and attitude of sports radio that I love to do.  Nobody hustles in front of a winning parade better than me!  I plan to celebrate the highs, curse the lows, and laugh at all the absurdity in between – just like I’ve always done.  The program lineup at ‘The Game’ is amazing and I’m humbled to be a part of it.”

WICC-AM, Bridgeport Announces New Local Shows. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported the departure of programmer Mike Bellamy from WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as well as the pairing of Melissa Sheketoff with incumbent morning personality Tony Reno for the new morning show.  Connoisseur Media, now operating the station under an LMA as it waits to close on the swap with Cumulus Media, also announces it’s going local in afternoons with well-known market personality Paul Pacelli hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. Joining Pacelli to produce the show and provide local sports content is former Waterbury Republican and CT Post writer Aaron Johnson.  Pacelli states, “I’m thrilled and honored to be on board at a heritage powerhouse like WICC, a station synonymous with greater Bridgeport and Southwestern Connecticut.  My goal is to present a passionate, entertaining, and vital platform for local newsmakers, personalities, and residents.”  Station OM Keith Dakin adds, “For a station like WICC to have continued success on the AM dial it needs to fully embrace the community.  We want to make this station come alive on all levels from podcasting to social to an on-air product that the Bridgeport community can be proud to call their own.”

New Programming Announced for Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports. Two new, original shows are debuting on Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports.  Both “Big Time Basketball” and “Big Time Baseball” are twice-weekly shows that “feature expert analysis from RADIO.COM Sports insiders providing the most up-to-date news, commentary and happenings.”  “Big Time Basketball” is hosted by former NBA player, coach, and Celtics television commentator Brian Scalabrine and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco personality Matt Steinmetz.  “Big Time Baseball” is hosted by Jon Heyman, veteran play-by-play voice Josh Lewin, and a rotation of guest hosts, including Joe Girardi, Bob Nightengale, and others to be announced.  RADIO.COM Sports is also adding new football insiders, including Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, and Philadelphia Eagles insider Eliot Shorr-Parks.  Shorr-Parks and Baldinger will host a weekly football digital show on May 14.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee comments, “With the addition of these three new shows, RADIO.COM Sports continues to expand our digital content offering for fans across the country. We look forward to continuing to build the RADIO.COM Sports digital platform with more native content in the weeks and months ahead.”

Michael Harrison and TALKERS Debut New Weekend Radio Show on iHeart’s Washington’s WONK-FM.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has agreed to host a one-hour, weekend magazine-style program on the recently launched iHeartMedia project WONK-FM, Washington, DC “Washington’s WONK-FM,” beginning tomorrow (5/4).  The program titled, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” features interviews and commentary by the heritage broadcaster that provide a politically even-handed and balanced analysis of the most prevalent points of view being discussed each week in talk media per the research gathered by TALKERS.  Interviews are conducted with newsmakers, pundits and, of course, talk show hosts from around the country and subject matter reflects the information published each week on the TALKERS top topics charts.  Harrison, who was a major market and nationally syndicated air personality in both music and talk formats during the pioneering days of album rock and then the modern talk era, has been back on the air hosting shows for the past two years as a fill-in on such stations as WRKO, Boston; WMAL, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz; and several others, in addition to anchoring the weekend syndicated ensemble program, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” (hosted by Carole Marks).  Harrison says, “It all began when I started doing the weekly podcast, ‘The Michael Harrison Interview,’ with PodcastOne four years ago.  People in the business would say things like, ‘I didn’t know you could actually do radio like that!’  My juices began flowing again and not only have I been enjoying the experience as if I were 19 years old breaking into radio again, but the first-hand knowledge I have gained working in the trenches of the modern industry has significantly enhanced my understanding of how it actually operates in the real world and has helped me do my job at TALKERS with an even keener perspective.”  Harrison adds, “I love being part of this new WONK-FM experiment because it encourages me to follow my natural inclination to remain ideologically objective and independent and avoid the hyper-partisanship that comes with seeking victory at the expense of truth whereby you simply target audiences to affirm their preconceived notions.  I like what iHeartMedia is doing with this station and I love having the opportunity to collaborate with the station’s PD Michael Czarnecki (who is also PD of the iHeart Podcast Channel) – a young up-and-coming programming star with whom I happily crossed paths at WRKO over the past couple of years.”  “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” airs on WONK-FM Saturday mornings at 9:00 am ET.  It is a production of Goodphone Communications in association with TALKERS magazine.

Griffin Communications Appoints Randy Smith Director of Radio Sales. Oklahoma media firm Griffin Communications announces Randy Smith joins the company as director of radio sales.  Griffin owned just television stations and digital platforms in Oklahoma City and Tulsa prior to acquiring five Tulsa radio stations – including news/talk KFAQ – from Scripps last summer for $12.5 million.  Griffin director of radio operations and programming Steve Hunter says, “Randy brings years of experience, an abundance of local connections, and a can-do spirit to our already winning team.  He is a clear standout in motivating people to maximize their potential and bottom-line impact, a skill that will prove invaluable as he joins our Griffin family.” Prior to joining Griffin, Smith served as director of sales-radio for Cox Media Group.

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Valentine Podcast Sponsors NASCAR Driver. The picture above shows the logo of talk radio host Phil Valentine’s podcast, “PodGOATs,” on the hood of NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins’ Toyota Supra. “PodGOATs” is co-hosted by Valentine and his son, Campbell.  Valentine says they talk about everything from the history of alcohol to dating to advertising to the history of the mob – a unique blend of a wide array of topics from two different perspectives, from a Baby Boomer and a Millennial.  Valentine explains the sponsorship, “I know this may sound rather random, but Diamond Gusset Jeans – one of our main sponsors – approached us with this opportunity and it was just too good to turn down.  Somebody has to be a pioneer in podcast sponsorships in this arena. It’s fertile ground.”  The PodGOATs will be in the pit tomorrow (5/4) in Dover, Delaware for the Allied Steel Buildings 200.  Valentine’s radio talk show is heard daily on Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 WTN” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

WGFX-FM, Nashville’s Jonathan Hutton Named ‘Man of the Year.’  Sports talk personality Jonathan Hutton was recently honored by the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as its 2019 Man of the Year.  Hutton led the effort by WGFX “104-5 The Zone” that raised $152,499.31 during the 10-week fund drive that included: an off-the-record event with Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, a HORSE-style basketball tournament, a Masters-themed golf competition at Top Golf, and a chalk talk draftee breakdown and dinner with NFL Films’ Greg Cosell.  Pictured above at the “Evening with Amy” event are (from l-r): Kenneth Adams, Titans Ownership Group; Eddie George, former Titan; Logan Ryan, current Titan; Hutton; Strunk; John McClainHouston Chronicle/WGFX analyst; Blaine Bishop, former Titan and WGFX morning host; Kevin Byard, current Titan; David Quesenberry, current Titan.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago “The Score” producer Eli Hershkovich is taking on a role with Entercom’s RADIO.COM as a producer/sports gambling analyst.  WSCR operations manager Mitch Rosen is quoted saying, “This is truly a great example of someone building, growing, and advancing their brand into a new, innovative position within Entercom and Radio.Com Sports, which is growing and expanding into the content creation business rapidly.”…..The Duluth News-Tribune reports that KDAL-AM/W280FB, Duluth, Minnesota talk host Kenneth Kalligher has been charged with misdemeanor domestic assault.  Kalligher, who hosts the “Midday Live” show on the Midwest Communications-owned station, pleaded not guilty.  The story reports that court documents indicate the female complainant said she and Kalligher “were arguing when he struck her in the right temple, causing her to ‘see stars’ and fall to the ground.”   Kalligher was off the air for two days but returned to his program yesterday (5/2). He’ll be back in court later this month…..B’nai B’rith International produces a podcast and on the current episode, Pamela Nadell, the Patrick Clendenen chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University’s Department of History and the author of America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, is the guest with B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin for a discussion on the history of Jewish women in American life.  In this episode, Nadell and Mariaschin discuss the societal roles of Jewish women across classes, professions, and time periods, as well as their roles in pivotal social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the labor movement, women’s suffrage and the feminist movement.  Check out the podcast here.

Barr Hearing/Mueller Report Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 29 – May 3. Wednesday’s appearance by Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the related release of the Mueller Report were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race and related politics.  Coming in at #3 was the San Diego synagogue shooting and the rise of anti-Semitism, followed by the UNCC shooting and gun violence at #4. The Talkers TenTM is weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Rising Radio Star and Master Storyteller Lee Habeeb Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The host and producer of one of the fastest-growing, syndicated properties in talk radio, Lee Habeeb, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The nightly, two-hour program is called “Our American Stories” and since its launch three years ago, the spoken-word juggernaut is making waves on commercial news/talk stations as well as music formats across the nation.  Habeeb was inspired by public radio shows such as “This American Life,” which tap into the art of storytelling, in conceiving the highly researched and meticulously produced “Our American Stories.”  Although conservative in its values, the program is distinctly non-partisan and strives to bring Americans of all political ideologies together based on our cultural commonality. It explores popular culture, politics, business, science… the spectrum of topics, people and angles that make up the rich and intricate fabric of America, its history and its people.  The program is breaking new ground on many levels, not just in its programming approach, but in its business model as well, again tapping into the public radio paradigm. It is set up as a non-profit and investing a tremendous amount of capital in the quality of its original content programming. Habeeb describes “Our American Stories” as an innovation in the commercial talk radio sphere – no politics, no opinions, just stories.  He says, “We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — with raw emotional power. Daily bringing the campfire scene to your ears.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.  Meet Lee Habeeb at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7 where he will be discussing storytelling as a key component of successful radio.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The owner of classic rock WWRR, Scranton says the station has made radio history by accumulating more than 1 million Likes on Facebook.  Bold Gold Media Group says the Northeast PA station “has become a social media juggernaut over the past decade, mastering the art of leveraging on-air and social to rapidly grow its following. The station has become the most-followed social media page based within Northeast PA and one of the most-followed radio station social sites in the entire United States.”  Bold Gold president & founder Vince Benedetto says, “We’ve really enjoyed watching our stations become online influencers.  Our stations have always been unique… from our highly visible studio inside the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, our state-of-the-art RadioBOLD mobile platforms, and with our engaging social media, we’ve tried to be a different and more entrepreneurial media group.  We’re thrilled to make some radio history and also bring some attention to the combined power of radio and social media.”…..Connoisseur Media announces that Storm N. Norman is returning to Westport, Connecticut adult contemporary WEBE to host mornings, beginning Monday (5/6).  Norman served on-air on WEBE for 30 years.  He says, “WEBE 108 has been my radio home for most of my adult life and I am thrilled to again wake up families in Southern Connecticut.  It’s a great opportunity to work with Jeff Warshawand the incredible folks at local Connoisseur Media.”…..Programming pro Miggy Santos joins Midwest Communications Battle Creek, Michigan station group as brand manager for country WNWN “WIN 98.5.”  He was most recently with Neuhoff Media as operations manager for CHR duo WWHX, Bloomington “HOT 100.7” and WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois “Y103.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee announces the deal with local furniture franchise Steinhafels in which the latter is sponsoring iHM’s new performance lounge (pictured below).  The new Steinhafels Relax Lounge is located in the iHeartMedia Milwaukee station headquarters and will showcase musical talent, live broadcasts, viewing parties, and more.  It will also be furnished by Steinhafels, allowing the store to showcase the latest contemporary furniture it offers.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

Hubbard Radio’s All-News WTOP, Washington Takes 2018 Revenue Crown. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory Services Investing in Radio Market Report is released and accompanying that is the ranking of radio’s top revenue-earning stations from 2018. Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue.  As seen in the graphic above, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017).  It was digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry.   The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million.  Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion and, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”  BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.  See more about the report here.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today zeroing in on public radio news/talk. A slight dip in weekly 6+ AQH share affects the format as 53% of stations go down and just 38% see a ratings increase from the February 2019 to the March 2019 survey.  The same situation applies to the year-over-year comparison – 53% of stations saw their 6+ number decrease from the March 2018 survey. There were four public radio news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in March: KQED, San Francisco; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KUT, Austin.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Q1 Radio Biz Revenue Up 2.9%.  In a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia releases financial data from the first quarter of 2019 that indicates the company’s radio and streaming revenue was $766 million, up almost 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  The company as a whole reports first quarter revenue of $1.38 billion, an increase of slightly less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Consolidated operating income dropped from $60.9 million in Q1 2018 to $28.3 million this year due to impairment charges of $91.4 million.

SiriusXM First Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 10%. The acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM adds a little wrinkle to the company’s 2019 first quarter financial report.  The company reports total revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 27% over the same period in 2018, that was driven by bringing Pandora into the fold.  On a pro forma basis, revenue increased 10%, hitting $1.9 billion in the first quarter.  But the Pandora acquisition impacted the company’s bottom line as net income was $162 million in Q1 of 2019, down from $289 million during the same period a year ago. During the quarter, SiriusXM added 131,000 net new self-pay subscribers, bringing its total above the 29 million mark.

TALKERS News Notes. Another major national award for Westwood One News comes on the heels of its recent National Headliner honor from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Now, the Society of Professional Journalists is bestowing its Sigma Delta Chi award upon Westwood One News for “Radio Breaking News Reporting” for the network’s coverage of the Parkland Florida School shooting and aftermath in February of 2018.  The award recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Last year, Westwood One News won the honor for its coverage of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting…..Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is joining the WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM-based Ravens Radio Network as color analyst alongside play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky for this season.  Johnson worked on game broadcasts during the past two seasons and earns the promotion to the booth.  Cary Pahigian manages the Hearst radio stations and says, “Jarret’s NFL experience, unique insight, and enthusiasm is a major component of our superb Ravens broadcast team.”…..Bay Area public media corporation KQED announces that DeLinda Mrowka is promoted to the newly created position of chief audience officer.  In this executive role, Mrowka is “responsible for extending brand, deepening audience engagement and growth, and strengthening the membership and corporate sponsorship programs for one of the largest stations in public media.”  Mrowka started her KQED career in 2013 as the station’s executive director of marketing and communications before being promoted to vice president of corporate sponsorship in 2015.  In 2017 she was again promoted to vice president of marketing, with broad responsibilities overseeing the audience development, marketing, digital fundraising and corporate sponsorship teams.

PodcastOne Issues Request to Luminary. The subscription podcast start-up Luminary is facing the issue of a number of content creators requesting their shows be removed from its service for various reasons.  PodcastOne is one of those companies.  It made the move when it became aware that Luminary was carrying PodcastOne’s podcasts without permission.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since Luminary’s focus has been promoted solely as a paid subscription model, we were surprised to see them also use the free model which they have spoken negatively about and compete against.  If they want to reach our audience to promote their site, then they should do the ‘unthinkable’ and advertise in our podcasts as hundreds of other advertisers do.”

WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley to Receive Inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award from NJBA. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley – heard daily on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM – is being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association at its 71st Conference and Gala this summer with the first-ever “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  NJBA president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq. says Hurley meets all of the criteria for this award “with a high degree of professionalism and a passionate dedication to his craft and the NJBA is very proud of our inaugural ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ recipient!”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk, Trump vs Subpoenas, 2020 Presidential Politics/Biden Enters Race, Financial Markets Rally, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Meeting, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ debate over impeachment possibilities; President Trump’s rejection of subpoenas from the U.S. House; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020, including Joe Biden’s entry into the race; U.S. financial markets hit records in latest rally; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings; Russia’s Vladimir Putin meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Challenges Facing Talk Radio by Heightened Political Correctness.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely timely and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges being faced by talk radio during the current era of heightened political correctness.  Titled “Talk Radio in the Era of ‘Watch What You Say,’” the session will feature panelists Michael Berry, host, “The Michael Berry Show”; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart MediaBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB-AM, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO-AM, Providence. The session will be moderated by Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC.  Talk radio depends on the free-wheeling exchange of ideas, tolerance for controversy, and, most important, a healthy understanding of and respect for the First Amendment in order to operate effectively. These tenets are clearly under assault in the age of advertiser boycotts, righteous indignation and widespread hypocrisy.  This session will earnestly attempt to identify the issues at play and offer solutions to overcome the challenges and obstacles they present. Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix classic hits outlet KOOL-FM adds market radio personality Dee Garcia to its morning drive “The Niko Show” with host Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou.  She joins the Entercom station after having worked in the Valley at such stations as hot AC KMVA-FM and hip hop KKFR.  She says of her new gig, “I am honored to join Niko on ‘The Niko Show’ on KOOL.  Niko and [producer Abe] are positive, fun, and hardworking.  They are exactly the kind of people that you want to share your mornings with.”…..Alpha Media’s hot AC KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota “Mix 99.1” names Zannie Kaye program director and morning drive personality.  Cluster operations manager Jeff Spence says, “We are more than excited to add Zannie Kaye to our Alpha Mankato team as our new host for the ‘Mix 99.1’ morning show and PD duties.  Zannie has a lot of experience and has had a terrific career in lots of different markets, including Minneapolis.  His energy is contagious and his warm and funny nature will win fans over immediately.”…..SummitMedia appoints sales pro Larry Jennings general sales manager for its Birmingham, Alabama stations that include: urban contemporary WBHK “98.7 KISS FM,” hip hop WBHJ “95.7 JAMZ,” and Gospel WAGG-AM “HEAVEN 610.” SummitMedia market president John Walker says, “Larry is exactly the professional we were looking for to lead our outstanding team. He has a proven track record of team building, talent development, client relations, community involvement, and revenue performance.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM signs morning team “Preston and Steve” – Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison – to a new, multiyear contract extension.  The duo joined WMMR in May of 2005 and Beasley says the show has “maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia” since it launched.  The company says the show has “led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating daily, full-show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs, and cultivating a formidable social media audience.”  Pictured below (from l-r) are: agent Glenn Goldstein, BBGI president Bruce Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Elliot, Morrison, Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell, Beasley EVP of strategy and innovation Buzz Knight, and Beasley rock format brand manager Bill WestonPhoto: BP Miller/Chorus Photography

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

| April 24, 2019

Pioneering KGO, San Francisco Morning Personality Jim Dunbar Dies at 89. The radio personality who is credited with taking KGO, San Francisco from the ratings cellar to the highly rated legendary news/talk station it was for decades is dead at 89.  Jim Dunbar joined KGO in 1963, charged with battling crosstown KSFO-AM morning radio king Don Sherwood.  Dunbar quickly topped Sherwood and his show was #1 for 25 consecutive years, his daughter Brooke Dunbar tells the San Francisco Chronicle.  Regarding KGO’s approach to news/talk, the Chronicle notes that Dunbar once told the paper, “There were stations doing news and stations doing talk but nobody put it together quite the way that we did.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  There are 16 stations in PPM markets across the U.S. that air an all-news format (and Entercom operates all but three of them).  Almost three quarters of them saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go down from the February 2019 survey.  Year-over-year by the same metric, movement up or down was split almost evenly.  Three stations – Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit as well as Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington – ranked #1 in their respective markets in March. See the whole report here.

The Radio Television Digital News Association Announces Regional 2019 Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association reveals the winners of the 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards honoring outstanding achievement in broadcast and digital journalism, technical expertise, and adherence to RTDNA’s Code of Ethics.  The RTDNA says a record 4,600 entries were submitted for this year’s competition.  From that, more than 720 regional winners were selected for breaking news, continuing coverage, investigative reporting, overall excellence and more.  See all the winners here.  iHeartMedia and Entercom were well represented in the regional round with iHM stations winning eight awards and Entercom stations grabbing 23 regional awards.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington won 10 regional awards by itself.  RTDNA chairman Jerry Walsh says, “Public trust in journalism is threatened by a lack of understanding about the reporting process.  The Edward R. Murrow Awards are an opportunity for our industry to showcase what well trained, ethical local journalists are doing to better our communities on behalf of the public.  We invite viewers and readers to learn more about the reporting process behind each of these stories, and to know this same process is happening every single day in preparation for every single newscast.”  The winners were judged in 14 regions and represent 309 local radio and TV newsrooms.  They move on to the national round of judging.  The national awards will be presented at RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York on October 14.

Entercom Adds More Nielsen Tools with New, Comprehensive Agreement. This deal between Entercom and Nielsen allows the former to add more of Nielsen’s suite of measurement tools to its arsenal of data-driven capabilities for advertisers.  The two companies say that as part of the agreement, Entercom will enhance its portfolio of Nielsen tools with new products including Nielsen Media Impact, RHIZA, Nielsen Marketing Cloud, and the Tally Engine API.  The agreement also includes other Nielsen products, such as the Nielsen Radio Market Report, Tapscan, and the nationwide and national regional database, as well as Arbitrends, Weeklies, PD Advantage Web, Gracenote, and The Analysis Tool, in select markets across Entercom’s portfolio of 235 radio stations.  Nielsen notes that in 2018, Nielsen Media Impact introduced the addition of national AM/FM radio in Portable People Meter radio markets, allowing media buyers to understand the value of radio and the incremental reach achieved by including radio in the media mix.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “We are excited about the possibilities that this portfolio of measurement tools brings to our business.  This agreement is part of our strategy to demonstrate the impact of including radio in an advertiser’s media mix to deliver optimal campaign reach and frequency.”

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas news/talk 820 AM WBAP is hosting its fourth annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 27. The Cumulus Media station’s WeatherCon is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus.  For a fourth year, WFAA-TV is bringing its entire meteorology team, green screen, and Max Reality activation to the event…..ABC Radio is launching a new podcast titled, “Life After Suicide,” and hosted by ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.  ABC Radio says, “Dr. Ashton draws from her own tragic experience to explore the aftermath of suicide and sudden loss, and, like her new book Life After Suicide, the podcast is a roadmap to survival, offering inspiring insight on how to regain balance and get back to life.  She speaks with people living with loss who have moved through guilt, anger and hopelessness to a new normal as well as with survivors and specialists in medicine, faith and more on how to heal from any type of traumatic experience.”…..Cadence13 is launching a new division dubbed C13Originals to focus on original storytelling and developing a slate of IP through a new premium-level, in-house production studio.  Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran is leading C13Originals and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Zak Levitt is EVP of production.  C13Originals will launch with “Gangster Capitalism,” a seasonal docu-series that will offer an in-depth look at white collar corruption in America and season one will explore the college admissions scandal, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” by the FBI.

Mueller Report/Impeachment Talk, 2020 Presidential Politics, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Summit, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  The reaction to the release of the redacted Mueller Report and the debate among Democrats over impeachment possibilities; the candidates for president in 2020 and policy propositions; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border; the aftermath of the deadly Sri Lanka bombings and ISIS’ claim of responsibility; the meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Relationship Between Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an information-packed panel discussion focusing on the very special relationship that exists between radio broadcasting and podcasting.  Titled “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting,” the session will feature panelists: Greg Batusic, COO, PodcastOneSteve Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director of WONK-FM, Washington, DC and the iHeart Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, program director, WABC, New York.  The session will be moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor and West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  The tie between radio broadcasting and podcasting is unique due to shared audio elements and is ripe with revenue and brand-extension potential for those professional broadcasters who navigate their similarities and differences properly.  It also provides a vital two-way street connecting talent and content between the platforms that holds the promise of mutually beneficial resources for each as we move further into the digital era.  Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two programming changes take place at Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers operations.  Program director and morning personality Matt Mangas leaves adult contemporary WJPT to take the program director and midday personality post at the cluster’s rock WRXK.  Joining WJPT as morning host and PD is Chris Randolph, who comes to Fort Myers from his most recent position with W&B Broadcasting’s classic hits WAKY-AM/FM. Cluster operations manager Adam Star says, “I have worked closely with Matt Mangas for years and have witnessed his passion and programming knowledge first hand.  He made it an easy decision to move him cross the hallway from WJPT to lead WRXK as the new program director.  Trying to find a replacement for Mangas on WJPT was a challenge until we met Chris Randolph.  Randolph’s velvet voice and extensive major market experience were a perfect fit to win on WJPT as the new program director and morning man.”…..Entercom signs rock KISW morning team “BJ & Migs” – BJ Shea and Steve Migs – to a new deal to continue hosting the morning show. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “2019 will mark the 13th year ‘BJ & Migs’ have been with us on ‘The Rock’ and we are thrilled to continue this partnership.  They have developed an unprecedented rapport with our listeners and we look forward to what is to come.”…..iHeartMedia’s adult hits KYMT, Las Vegas “93.1 The Mountain” names AD Rowntree morning drive host and assistant program director.  Rowntree was most recently a personality on the company’s rock KIOZ-FM, San Diego “ROCK 105.3.”  In addition to his role with KYMT, he’ll continue to be heard in other iHeartMedia markets including: Houston, Sacramento, Denver and nationwide on iHeartRadio’s digital custom rock stations…..Production pro Bob Simpson is retiring from his position with Cumulus Media Indianapolis next month.  He’s been with Cumulus Indianapolis for the past 17-plus years and has worked in radio for just shy of 50 years.  Cumulus Indianapolis VP and market manager Chuck Fredrick says, “Simply put, Bob is fantastic at his craft and the audio industry has him to thank for a creative and compelling job well done.”  Taking on the role of production director for the cluster is Jenn White, who worked in the same position with Entercom Indianapolis…..Heritage classic rocker, WAPL, Appleton, Wisconsin is honored by the Wisconsin Area Music Industries with the organization’s Radio Station of the Year 2019 Award.  The Woodward Communications station was nominated in the People’s Choice Radio Station category for Northeast Wisconsin.  This is the fourth Radio Station of the Year – Northeast division Award WAPL has won in the past six years.  In 2016, WAPL morning show and “Home Brewed” host Len Nelson was honored with the President’s Award for his continuing service to the Wisconsin music industry and its musicians.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

| April 16, 2019

Round One of Nielsen’s March PPM Survey Released.  The first round of (6+) data from Nielsen Audio’s March 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).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the March survey will appear at Talkers.com beginning tomorrow (4/17).

Francesa-Kay Battle at Center of New York Sports Talk Wars.  With the release of the March PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio yesterday, the battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay is back in the news.  Both afternoon drive sports talk shows are claiming victory in the “Winter Book” that uses the January, February and March PPM survey data.  The controversy lies in how one counts the numbers.  As Newsday reports, the issue here is whether not each station’s stream ratings are added to the over-the-air numbers.  Counting streams, Francesa beats Kay in Men 25-64 with 6.2 share to Kay’s 5.9 share.  But unlike WEPN, WFAN airs different spots in its stream and, WEPN would argue, WFAN doesn’t qualify for Total Line Reporting.  Taking away Francesa’s streaming numbers gives Kay a 5.9 to 5.5 (M 25-54) share advantage over Francesa.  No matter how one slices up the Nielsen numbers, neither host’s other avenues, such as Kay’s TV simulcast nor Francesa’s app data are taken into account in the “Winter Book” ratings.

Connoisseur and Cumulus Swap Stations in Allentown and Connecticut. This swap of assets gets Connoisseur Media two stations in the state of Connecticut in which it’s based – news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport and adult contemporary WEBE-FM, Westport – and it gives Cumulus Media four more stations for its Northeast Pennsylvania presence.  That group includes sports talk duo WEEX-AM and WTKZ-AM/W234AX, plus classic rock WODE-FM and alternative WWYY-FM.  The stations will begin being managed by the respective buyers under an LMA, effective May 1.  Connoisseur Media SVP and market manager Kristin Okesson says, “As a lifelong Connecticut resident and the former general sales manager of WEBE/WICC, it is my privilege to lead these stations.  The combined reach of our portfolio will offer exciting opportunities for our partners and to the communities we serve.”

WBRP, Baton Rouge Cuts Three Talk Personalities. Baton Rouge news/talk station WBRP “Talk 107.3” made what general manager Gordy Rush tells local TV outlet WAFB was a “business decision” and let go of morning show team Kevin Gallagher and Bill Profita as well as late morning talk host Clarence Buggs.  The Guaranty Media station’s morning show is cut to two hours and is now being hosted by program director Brian Haldane.  The late morning daypart is being filled by FOX News Radio host Brian Kilmeade from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Todd Starnes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

SiriusXM Making Its Talk Hosts Available Via Podcasts on Pandora. This content sharing will make audio from SiriusXM’s talk talent – from its entertainment, talk, comedy, music, and sports programming – available to Pandora subscribers via the newly announced Podcasts on Pandora platform.  The service will use the company’s Podcast Genome Project technology to recommend podcasts. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We’re excited that some of our most popular talk shows are now being made available to Pandora users.  This will be a great opportunity for new audiences to discover these SiriusXM shows, while providing Pandora with great programming, as we continue to collaborate on content opportunities for both platforms.”

2019 Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards being celebrated at The Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, May 21 and at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York on June 26.   Some of the honorees include Sean Hannity radio show producer Lynda McLaughlinAngela Yee of the urban morning drive show “The Breakfast Club”; syndicated country radio star Elaina Smith; Jayde Donovan of “The Jayde Show”; Jillian Barberie of “The Morning Drive” on KABC-AM, Los Angeles and more.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards.”  Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group and chair of the board of directors adds, “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery.  The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.” See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KTRH, Houston-based Michael Berry show called on its listeners to assist military veterans with PTSD – seeking the donation of 1,000 suits – and brought in more than 5,000. Berry says, “The reason talk radio is a great format for advertisers is the reason it is the best platform for charitable events: community engagement.  It’s not a passive medium.  Listeners are engaged; they share our values.  They respond when we put out the call.  In this case, it was for our veterans, but it’s also the case when we endorse goods and services provided by people who share our values.” Berry is the national spokesman for PTSD Foundation of America, that operates Camp Hope, a residential treatment center committed to reducing the 22 suicides per day our veteran community is experiencing.  The suits are being donated to assist veterans who are seeking employment after coming home from a war zone…..Today is Chicago newsman Bob Roberts’ last day on the job at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Roberts is retiring after a long career in the radio news biz.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason says Roberts is “one of Chicago’s best reporters” and “an invaluable member of our team thanks to his tremendous knowledge of the Chicago area and its transit system.  He’s second to none during breaking news situations.”  See highlights from Roberts’ career here…..Pubcaster WHYY in Philadelphia is acquiring the digital news publication Billy Penn.   The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the millennial-targeted publication’s staffers will become WHYY employees…..The podcast “Crime Junkie” expands on its relationship with cabana, the digital audio business of AdLarge Media, and is now the exclusive ad sales partner for “Crime Junkie.”…..The Omaha World-Herald reports the death of KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska talk show host Coby Mach.  He hosted the daily 5:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” program on the NRG Media news/talk station. He also served as the president of the Lincoln Independent Business Association.  The paper reports that he was ending his show due to his dealing with tinnitus and his wife’s ongoing battle with breast cancer.  Lincoln police are saying the death of the 53-year-old host was an apparent suicide.  He wrote in a Facebook post, “It’s time to slow down…Thanks to the KLIN crew for some great years and a lot of fun.  Thanks to the listeners and advertisers who made it all possible!”

KIRO-FM, Seattle’s Dori Monson Performs Sold-Out Stage Show. KIRO-FM midday talk show host Dori Monson (pictured above on stage) packed the Kirkland Performance Center on Friday (4/12) for his inaugural “What Are The Odds? An Evening with Dori Monson” one-man stage show.  The sold-out event did include guest appearances by other KIRO Radio talent, including news anchor Ursula Reutin, Monson’s longtime friend Dave Wyman, show producer Nicole Thompson and more.  KIRO-FM promoted the show with the following: “Sometimes a hustler. Frequently incorrigible. Often a rascal. What are the odds that an aimless kid from old-school Ballard would grow up to become Seattle’s most fiery and most-listened-to radio talk show host?  Find out when you reserve a seat as KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson introduces you to the remarkable people who helped shape his improbable career.”

Southern Border Issue/Sanctuary Cities Proposal, Redacted Mueller Report Expected, Notre Dame Fire, 2020 Presidential Politics/Weld to Challenge Trump for GOP Nom, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Premiere, Tiger Woods’ Masters Victory, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The Southern Border migrant issue and the related proposal by President Trump to transport migrants to sanctuary cities; the anticipated release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Republican Bill Weld’s announced challenge to Trump’s GOP nomination; the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones”; Tiger Woods’ stunning Masters victory; NBA playoff action; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hannity, O’ Reilly and Rome Set to Keynote Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. The agenda continues to grow as the 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention takes shape for Friday, June 7 in New York City. Heading up a roster of more than 55 speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, Key Networks radio commentator, best-selling author and former FNC personality Bill O’Reilly, and CBS Sports Radio giant Jim Rome. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019. Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio. A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group; Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOne; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Alex Fife, VP/regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast; Greg Foster, VP programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia/PD, KOA, Denver; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi Media; Sebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Thom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Andrew Kalb, executive director of programming, ABC News Radio; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra University; Bill O’ Reilly, commentator, Key Networks; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Dave Robinett, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; Jim Rome, host, CBS Sports Radio; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio; Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting; Rick Ungar, host, The Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The big music radio story is Cumulus Media’s announced sale of classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million in cash.  The deal was announced at the same time as the Connoisseur swap noted above.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy.  Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS-FM to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high-potential business opportunities.  The Connoisseur Media swap significantly strengthens our presence in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.”  There’s no indication from Meruelo if it intends to make programming changes to KLOS or not…..Two big moves take place in the Seattle market as former Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick joins Hubbard Radio’s cluster there as brand/content director for country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  At the same time, Hubbard Radio Seattle VP/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland announces the return of “Fitz in the Morning” to the Seattle airwaves. Mulholland says, “The country audience in Seattle has been without their favorite morning show host for too long.  I believe the dynamic duo of Fitz backed by Scott Mahalick will change the face of radio in Seattle.”…..Back in Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” grabs J Cruz away from crosstown competitor KPWR to host the afternoon show.  “The Cruz Show” had been heard in mornings on Meruelo’s Media’s KPWR.  Joining Cruz on his show will be executive producerJeff Garcia, DJ Lechero and DJ Lezlee.   KRRL program director Doc Wynter says, “iHeartMedia is all about attracting the very best on-air talent and I’m excited to add J Cruz to the growing list of super talents in our thriving Los Angeles market.  Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in the afternoons – I get chills just saying it!”…..Entercom names Boston radio personality Karen Blake the new afternoon drive host at adult contemporary WMJX-FM “Magic 106.7.”  Blake was most recently morning drive host on WQRC, Cape Cod.  In Boston she’d previously served in drive time at WODS-FM and the old WQSX-FM (now WEEI-FM). Blake says, “It is a privilege to return to the Entercom family.  I am looking forward to being part of an air staff that I’ve admired for years and am thrilled to be continuing my career in my hometown of Boston.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Friday, April 12, 2019

| April 12, 2019

Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list.  The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show.  It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’”  The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith.  See the list here.

KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich.  Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’  He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts.  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.”  The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers.  Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!”  The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials.  Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.

Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations.  Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media.  Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations.  He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS.  Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country.  The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.  Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist.  Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format.  Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans.  The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months.  Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station.  Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.”  After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield.  A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.

Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps CompanyRalph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM.  Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back.  When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none.  He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels.  I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!  I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country.  This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.  The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.  Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince GillRandy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve WarinerMark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

| April 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files with SEC for Initial Public Offering. As the company wends its way through the final stages of Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files with the Securities Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its Class A common shares.  In the SEC filing, the company set a placeholder of $100 million but didn’t disclose the size of the offering or a price range.  The company intends to use proceeds from the IPO to pay off debt. Last year’s Chapter 11 reorganization allowed iHeartMedia to trim its onerous debt from about $20 billion to about $5.75 billion and forced the spin-off of Clear Channel OutdoorGoldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are listed as underwriters for the IPO.

Scott Mahalick to Resign from Alpha Media; Phil Becker to Assume EVP of Programming Role. After almost 10 years as the executive vice president of programming for Alpha MediaScott Mahalick is resigning from the company and handing the EVP of programming post to current vice president Phil Becker, effective April 8.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “Scott’s contributions are far too numerous to mention but suffice it to say that Scott’s work ethic, competitiveness, and passion are woven into Alpha in many ways.  Scott is and will always remain a huge Alpha fan, cheerleader, and significant shareholder in the Company.”  Mahalick comments, “It’s been a pleasure to contribute to Alpha for the past decade and lead our high-performance team.  I want to thank Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, Donna Heffner, our regional presidents, and John Grossi for supporting my innovative crazy ideas.”  Speaking about his new role with the company, Becker says, “I can’t thank Scott enough for bringing me into Alpha and for letting me work alongside him for the last 5 years.  The two of us have accomplished some remarkable things together and I want to thank Bob for allowing me the opportunity to continue to do so.  Alpha is a ‘think differently’ kind of company and I look forward to working closer with all departments.”

Bernie & Sid in the Morning Celebrates First Anniversary at WABC, New York AM Show. Yesterday, the team of Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk celebrated their one-year anniversary as the morning show on Cumulus Media’s legendary news/talk station “77 WABC Radio” in New York.  The “Bernie & Sid In The Morning” show launched on April 2 of 2018 after the retirement of Don Imus.  Among the celebrities joining the show to celebrate the anniversary was actor Chazz Palminteri, pictured above (center) with Rosenberg (left) and McGuirk (right).  Others appearing on the show were Bill O’Reilly, Congressman Peter King, Bo Dietl, Lisa LampinelliJim Breuer, Sukanya Krishnan and Jenn Lahmers from Fox 5 NY “Early Good Day,” WAXQ’s Jim Kerr, Michael Kay, John Batchelor, FOX News Channel’s Tom Shilue, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “We congratulate Bernie and Sid on an incredibly successful first year of what is now New York City’s destination morning talk show.  Bernie and Sid have created a great show that listeners love, with the biggest guests and the most entertaining talk in town.”  Station PD Craig Schwalb adds, “Bernie and Sid took on a huge task in replacing the legendary Don Imus.  Not only has the year been successful for our listeners and advertisers, it’s been very exciting to see it all happen.”

All-Newser KCBS, San Francisco Freshens its Image. Bay Area all-news outlet KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco reveals its new audio and visual “refresh.”  The Entercom news station debuts enhanced audio imaging featuring female voiceover pros Randy Thomas and Roberta Solomon as co-voices of the station along with its new logo that marks the first visual refresh in more than a decade.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “KCBS is an iconic news brand and it’s only fitting that our new image is of an equal caliber.  These changes are part of the KCBS evolution that elevates our connection with our broad Bay Area audience.”  KCBS-AM will celebrate its 51st year as an all-news station in May.

Share of Ear: Pureplay Listening Accounts for 35% of Audio Consumption. Internet pureplays are gobbling up more of the audio listening pie, rising from 22% of audio consumption in 2014 to 35% of in 2018, according to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study.  “Pureplays” include such services as Pandora or Spotify, the streams of radio stations, streams of SiriusXM, podcasts, or music from YouTube.  Edison Research director Laura Ivey says, “While the more established modes of audio delivery, such as broadcasting and listening to owned music, remain strong, with each update we show more audio is delivered through the internet.  These trends are especially pronounced among young people.”

Entercom Promotes Six Executives. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field reveals six promotions for company executives.  Michael Martin is now SVP of programming & head of music initiatives, Tim Murphy is EVP of corporate business development, Pat Paxton takes on the new title chief programming officer, Dave Richards is promoted to SVP of programming for Seattle, David Rosenbloom is appointed VP of corporate business development, and Esther-Mireya Tejeda is now SVP and head of corporate communications.  Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom and we are fortunate to have a highly talented team across the country leading us forward in pursuit of our transformational goals and working to capitalize on our many outstanding opportunities.”

Obamacare Vote Delayed, U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bill, Chicago Elects Black Lesbian Mayor, Mar-a-Lago Intrusion, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2). The announcement by President Trump that the vote to nullify the Affordable Care Act will wait until after the 2020 election; the migrant population status at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump’s threat to close the border; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the controversy over Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill affecting abortion access in the state; the election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s first Black, lesbian mayor; the case of the Asian woman gaining access to Mar-a-Lago with a hard-drive containing malware; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB 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 shocker in San Diego as iHeartMedia and on-air pro Bob Buchmann part ways just a year after the classic rock KGB-FM morning personality inked a new, multi-year deal.  Buchmann revealed his surprise by the move in a Facebook post: “I’d prefer you hear this from me first, as I’m a bit in shock.  My position has been eliminated at iHeartMedia San Diego as of today.  I work for wonderful people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right. Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB-FM operations director last August.  In the afternoon drive Bob and Coe Show, the February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market.  Come to think of it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock!  Thank you for being there for me day in and day out.”…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Joe Browning operations manager for its four-station cluster in Melbourne, Florida that consists of CHR WAOA (for which Browning will serve as PD and afternoon host as Joe Kelley), classic rock WROK, country WHKR and sports talk WLZR-AM.  He was most recently with Corpus Christi-based Hometown Media as corporate program director for its 16 stations. Cumulus Melbourne vice president and market manager Gary Mertins says, “We’re super excited to have Joe joining our team as operations manager.  We also look forward to having him lead our heritage top 40, known along the Space Coast as ‘WA1A.’  Joe is a tremendous talent, an experienced broadcaster, and I’m certain he will be an asset to our cluster.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| March 19, 2019

Cumulus Media Reports Q4 Net Revenue Up 5.2%; Net Income $43.7 Million.  The 2018 fourth quarter and full-year 2018 financial data from Cumulus Media is presented in two segments – the predecessor company (prior to emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization) in business from January 1 through June 3 of 2018, and the successor company in business from June 4, 2018 to the present.  Net revenue for Q4 2018 was $309 million, compared to $294 million in Q4 of 2017 – an increase of 5.2%.  The successor company realized net income of $43.7 million in Q4 2018, compared to the loss of $206 million the predecessor company took in Q4 of 2017.  For the full year of 2018, the combined predecessor and successor companies took in net revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 0.4% over the predecessor company’s 2017 net revenue.  For the year 2018, net income was $757 million compared to the predecessor company’s 2017 loss of $207 million.  For all of 2018, the Cumulus Media Radio Station Group’s net revenue was $780 million and the Westwood One segment’s net revenue was $357 million.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We are delighted by the company’s strong 2018 performance.  Despite the challenges presented by our bankruptcy in the first half of the year and industry headwinds throughout the year, Cumulus was able to deliver its first full year of revenue growth in four years fueled by digital growth of more than 60%, its eighth straight quarter of increased market revenue share and its second consecutive year of EBITDA growth after years of declines.  That EBITDA growth, in conjunction with our October 2018 $50 million voluntary debt prepayment, brought our net leverage down to 5.2x at year end. Additionally, as previously announced, we entered into two station transactions this quarter, which should further reduce net leverage when completed later this year.  In combination, these results demonstrate our firm commitment to the execution of our strategic priorities – maximizing operating performance, growing our digital businesses, and optimizing our asset portfolio – and the achievement of our financial goals of annually generating up to $100 million of free cash flow, reducing our net leverage to below 4.0x, and reinvesting in meaningful growth opportunities.  With the entire Cumulus team, I look forward to demonstrating continued progress against all these objectives in coming quarters.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Names Stephanie Tichenor Program Director; Brings Lauren Cohn Aboard News Team. After former program director Peter Bolger’s retirement was announced last month, Cumulus Media gets the next program director for news/talk WLS-AM from crosstown competitor WGN-AM, naming Stephanie Tichenor to the position.  She’s been with Tribune Media as WGN-AM’s director of news & operations.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “All of us at WLS-AM 890 are thrilled to have someone with the experience and talent that Stephanie brings as WLS enters its 95th year of broadcasting. Stephanie completes the rebuild of a legendary brand and positions the station for growth in 2019 and beyond.  Her history in Chicago will give her the insight and knowledge to positively affect our local and nationally syndicated programming for our Chicago audience.”  At the same time, Lauren Cohn – with WLS as a contributing reporter and fill-in host – joins the on-air news team.  Nyren says, “Lauren Cohn has been a valuable part of WLS-AM 890 for years as a part-time contributor that we will now be able to utilize on a full-time basis.  Lauren’s media experience in Chicago television, print, podcasting, and radio, makes her uniquely qualified to give the WLS audience a reason to listen on a daily basis.  Her journalism background and political knowledge fit perfectly within the station’s focus.”

Deneroff Extends with Westwood One Sports. For three decades, Howard Deneroff has served with Westwood One.  Now, he signs a multi-year contract extension to continue serving as EVP/executive producer of Westwood One Sports.  Deneroff has been executive producer of the division since 2008 and he’ll continue to direct, coordinate, and execute all of the on-air coverage and production elements for Westwood One’s live, national radio play-by-play broadcasts as well as continue his role in talent and rights negotiations between Westwood One and its many prominent broadcast partners. He says, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working at a job I love and have loved since day one.  There is nothing that replicates the excitement and drama of live sporting events, and to be able to produce broadcasts for so many great games and historical events for Westwood One over the years has been a pleasure and an absolute honor.”

Salem Media Group Acquires PJ Media. Another digital publication is acquired by Salem Media Group to become part of its Townhall Media suite of conservative sites.  The conservative opinion and commentary site PJ Media was founded in 2004 by Roger L. Simon and operated by majority owner Aubrey Chernick.  Townhall Media vice president and general manager Jonathan Garthwaite says, “We’re excited to add PJ Media to the Townhall Media network.  PJ Media has done great work covering the issues that impact the future of the country. Townhall Media’s reach at a critical point in our nation’s history grows tremendously with PJ on our team.”  Salem says the addition of PJ Media will increase Townhall Media’s footprint to more than 15 million unique readers each month.

Sports Talk KLSD, San Diego Makes Program Lineup Changes. San Diego sports talk outlet KLSD “XTRA 1360 FOX Sports” makes changes to its daily talk show lineup.  The iHeartMedia station moves morning drive co-host Nick Hardwick to middays partnered with Jon Schaeffer; afternoon personality Mike Costa moves to mornings with Judson Richards as co-host; and midday host Rich Ohrnberger moves to afternoon drive as co-host with Steve Hartman on the “Loose Cannons” show. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs in the late morning daypart.

TALKERS News Notes. Charm City sports talker WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a sports talk station. The Entercom station is inviting listeners to “The Fanniversary” celebratory event at The Winslow in Baltimore that will allow fans to meet their favorite local sports giants, past and current on-air personalities, while noshing on food from local restaurants. Attendees will include: Vinny Cerrato, Jerry Coleman, Jeremy ConnTerry Ford, Scott Garceau, Bob HaynieRob Long, Ed Norris and Ken Weinman. The event will also welcome Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; Ross Grimsley, former pitcher, Baltimore Orioles; Bruce Laird, former defensive back, Baltimore Colts; Chris McAlister, former running back, Baltimore Ravens; Patrick Onwuasor, linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; and Gary Williams, former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach…..Cumulus Media’s Nashville sports talk station WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” conducted a charity event to benefit the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The station’s “Midday 180” show – led by Jonathan Hutton – hosted a basketball tournament called “Z-O-N-E” (like the game H-O-R-S-E) and brought in $32,510 for the charity.  The winner of the Z-O-N-E tournament was Titans Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern.….SiriusXM is providing comprehensive national audio coverage available for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, offering subscribers access to live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.  The 2019 MLB season begins March 20 – 21 with the 2019 Japan Opening Series featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome.  MLB’s traditional Opening Day is Thursday, March 28.

NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Trump-Russia Probe Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren CNN Town Hall, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18). The aftermath of the attacks on the New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead; the status of the Trump-Russia investigation; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s CNN Town Hall event; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Entercom promotes Chris Huff to program director for country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” Huff has been serving as APD and music director for the station as well as APD for sister KKHH “95.7 The Spot.”  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “After an extensive nationwide search, we realized the best person to lead ‘The Bull’ was already with us here in Houston.  Chris’ knowledge of radio, and specifically country radio in Texas, is next to none.  His everyday actions display a pragmatic and hardworking leadership style and it is evident that he is the right person to lead this terrific team moving forward.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Shandra “Babs” Littleton midday host on rhythmic CHR WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1.” She was most recently with the company’s CHR WXKB-FM, Ft. Myers as co-host of the morning show.  She says, “I’m so happy to continue pursuing and realizing my dreams within the Beasley family.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of ‘WiLD,’ so I’m thankful and ready for this amazing opportunity in Tampa.”…..Programming pro Nate Bell exits iHeartMedia Detroit after a year as program director of urban contemporary WJLB and urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3.”…..Entercom’s rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ, New Orleans “Hot 92.9” adds the nationally syndicated “DL Hughley Show” for afternoons…..Legend Communications announces that Ted Peiffer is named general manager of the seven radio stations of the Basin Radio Network that serves Gillette, Wyoming, Campbell County, and the surrounding basin.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the February 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) sends iHeartMedia news/talk WOR out of the top twenty (#20 to #22); “710 The Voice of New York” was up four-tenths in January. It has a two-tenths lead over Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which adds three-tenths to January’s one-tenth increase (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), advancing from #24 to #23. This is the third successive time that Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records a 1.4 (#22 to #24, 6+).

Following a January gain of one-tenth, Entercom sports talk/Giants, Brooklyn Nets, Yankees flagship WFAN surrenders two-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Repeating its 1.8 (6+), after picking up four-tenths in January, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Jets and Knicks, exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Up one full-share in January (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS falters by seven-tenths to 4.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM relinquishes two-tenths, following a January improvement of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, #9 to #10, 6+).

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM drops from #11 to #14. Co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM squanders two-tenths (.6 – .4, 6+) and drifts from the top thirty (#27 to #31).

New York City Music Formats – Significant fluctuations continue for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station,” which netted a +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); surrendered all of it in January 2019 (1.4, -.9, 6+); and now posts a +.8 to 2.2 (6+), propelling it into the top twenty (#22 to #18). Following three straight decreases for an overall decline of seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight surveys for a cumulative loss of one-half share (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 (steady at #8, 6+). Tacking on one-half share to January’s increase of seven-tenths (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), urban AC sibling WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” climbs from third to second. Four-tenths ahead of WBLS is WLTW, which is a combined -5.3 in January and February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 20th successive sweep. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was +5.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Much like aforementioned classical WQXR, it has been an up/down affair lately for Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+);+1.3 to 6.4 (6+) in January; and now -.5 in February (5.9, second to third, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), immediately after an overall -1.2 via eight straight down or flat trends  (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, its internet stream debuts with a .6 (#38, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” notches gains of two-tenths (.6 – .8 – 1.0, #33 to #30, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it acquired in January (.8 – .9 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” skids from #31 to #34. Locked on .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” repeats January’s .6 (#37 to #38, 6+).

Albeit down one-tenth after a January gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Disney-owned/Rams and Lakers flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” carries on at #25. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – the key station of the Chargers and Dodgers – is up or flat for the third time in succession for a net gain of two -tenths (.7 – .7 – .9 – .9, flat at #31, 6+).

On the heels of January 2019’s +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips by one-tenth to 3.6 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Down one-tenth as well is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Voice of Southern California” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” erupts with a +.5 to 4.0 (eighth to sixth), its best 6+-showing since July 2018 (4.0, as well). Having surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST  answers with an uptick of three-tenths (6.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fifth straight time. Prior to January, “Coast 103.5” was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in succession (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). The yoyo effect continues for hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which erased “Holiday” 2018’s -.9 with a January 2019 +1.0 but is -.7 in February (4.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+), falling from third to fifth. When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). “My FM” spent five successive months at #1 before being dislodged in October. An increase of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+) is enough to push Entercom CHR KAMP from #20 to #12; “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 21st time in a row. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is a combined +.9 in January and February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Kiss” is tied with Entercom smooth AC KTWV “94-7 The Wave,” which is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” climbs from #22 to #21.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.3 (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Although flat at 1.7 (6+), following a January 2019 gain of six-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM inches up from #22 to #21.

Returning the three-tenths it scored in January (3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” not only curtails a string of three straight gains that netted one-half share (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), the flagship for the Cubs and Bulls departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Even though it remains at #26, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off a collective half-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

Having shifted from first to second in December, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM repeats its January #1 finish (6.2 – 6.1, -.1, 6+); the flagship of the Bears posted a January gain of nine-tenths.

A combined +.7 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ cracks the top ten (#12 to #9).

Chicago Music Formats – Replicating January’s six-tenths’ increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” cruises from sixth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (5.1) since 5.5 in August 2018. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” gains two-tenths to 3.0 (#16 to #13, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WPPN “Amor 106.7” regresses by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#19 to #22, 6+). A combined +10.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is now an overall -8.9 in January and February (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). Despite tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.6 (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” backslides out of the top ten (#10 to #11). A January increase of nine-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO halted its December – “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “Que Buena 105.1” forfeits one-half share in February (5.5 – 5.0, second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” remains in fifth-place.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats –In the last three sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+) has ranked #15 (“Holiday” 2018); #16 (January 2019): and #17 (February 2019). As a result of five successive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate KGO is a collective -.7 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, #22 to #24, 6+).

Co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #13. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in September 2018 (2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (-.2) slumps from #18 to #20.

Having logged three consecutive upticks for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM returns one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but continues in second-place. At #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December, KCBS-AM was in 5.3 – 5.8 range (6+) between February 2018 – “Holiday” 2018.

While it repeats at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED sputters by nine-tenths (8.0 – 7.1, 6+), erasing January’s one-half share improvement. Following 11 straight months at #1, KQED fell to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #28 to #27.

San Francisco Music Formats – On the heels of displaying a January 2019 increase of one-half share, iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” follows with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, fourth to third, 6+). Prior to January, “The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Advancing from tenth to seventh, co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of posting a fluctuation of one-half share: It was -.5 (3.5 – 3.0, December, 6+); +.5 (3.0 – 3.5, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and -.5 in January 2019 (3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Via six straight reports without an increase (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS was an overall -.7, but “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” records a +.3 to 1.7 (#24 to #21, 6+). After posting a +.6 in January, University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC spirals by -1.0 (3.6 – 2.6, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#7 to #14). KDFC notched one-half share increases in November and December (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+) before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. In December and “Holiday” 2018, KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but the Bonneville-owned adult contemporary is now a combined -6.4 in January and February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up six-tenths in January and February (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) after a -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” progresses from #16 to #15. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is unchanged from January 2019 in 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#34). Down or flat the past five times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .4 (#37 to #36, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), its sports talk cluster-mate – KTCK – bounced back with a one-half share gain in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” stumbles by three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM was a +1.0, but “105.3 The Fan” returns 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #13 to #18, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is down for the fifth time in succession for a collective -.4 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, #32 to #33, 6+).

Up a combined three-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” inches up from #20 to #19. Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM remains within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Stuck on 3.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is up by four-tenths in January and February (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas Music FormatsA December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 mini-slide by iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS resulted in a -1.2 (5.4     – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), but “Lone Star 92.5” answers with a February increase of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fourth to second, 6+). Having logged a 2.6 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” breaks out a +.6 to 3.2 (#18 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for a collective loss of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA “K-104” wipes away all but one-tenth of that deficit with a one-half share increase to 3.2 (#17 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-half share uptick as well – after a January loss of eight-tenths – is co-owned urban AC KRNB (1.7 – 2.2, #26 to #22, 6+). When “105.7 Smooth R&B” gained four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, it ended five consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” repeats at #1. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. On the heels of recording a January +1.3 to 4.9 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” relinquishes all but two-tenths of that bounty (3.8, -1.1, second to sixth, 6+). Five straight up or flat trends by Radio One urban AC KZMJ netted seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+) but “Majic 94.5 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” surrenders all of it plus another one-tenth (1.5, -.8, 6+), freefalling from the top twenty (#19 to #27). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1” is now a combined -3.4 in January and February (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7, fourth to ninth, 6+). Dropping by one-half share as well in February is City of Dallas’ WRR “Classical 101” (1.9 – 1.4, #29, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH recorded a move of seven-tenths: -.7 (4.3 – 3.6, December, 6+); -.7 (3.6 – 2.9, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, January 2019, 6+). While “News Radio 740” doesn’t continue that streak (3.6 – 3.9, +.3, 6+), it does progress into the top ten (#12 to #10).

For the sixth sweep in succession, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without a loss and is up three-tenths in that stretch (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, #23 to #22, 6+). It is tied with Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which has lost a combined half-share in January and February (1.4 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #22, 6+). Trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” continues at #27.

Off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, 6+), following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is flat at #18. Entering the January sweep, KUHF was without an increase the previous six ratings periods for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Mirroring its January increase of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” lunges from eighth to fifth. Within 2.1 – 2.8 territory (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” erupts with a +.6 to 3.4 (#17 to #16, 6+). An overall -2.0 in six successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Off one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is on top for the 11th straight time. “Sunny,” which was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive positive spikes (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+), spiraled by -3.5 in January. After improving by one-half share in January (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.2 (6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). In addition to being down or flat in four consecutive ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21). An overall +1.5 as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” surrenders three-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner does WSB-AM erase two-thirds of December and “Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4, the Cox Media Group news/talk facility relinquishes nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+). Even so, WSB-AM – which had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 – repeats at #1. Despite picking up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” backslides from #22 to #23; WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation. After eight successive up or flat sweeps for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK is a combined -.3 in January and February (.7 – .5 – .4, 6+) but stays at #28.

By gaining three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). “The Game” was a combined -.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+). In addition to slipping by three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s Atlanta Braves flagship WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is bumped from the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Notwithstanding that it tacks on a one-tenth increase to January’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE backslides from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period, WABE was a collective +1.2, owing to five straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) Georgia State University news/talk WRAS continues at #26.

Atlanta Music Formats – Zooming from tenth to sixth, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall +1.9 as the result of four successive upticks (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). In a bit of a statistical irony, urban AC sibling WAMJ-FM “Majic” (5.4 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAMJ-HD2 (#18) each improves by nine-tenths. WAMJ-FM posted a +1.0 in January, while WAMJ-HD2 has nearly tripled (+1.3) its 6+-stat in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.1 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from eighth to seventh, WAMJ-FM’s urban AC rival – Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” – logs a gain of six-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.5. The market’s country tussle tightens as Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” rebounds from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #16 to #14, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” which was a collective +1.4 via four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), erodes by -1.0 to 3.3 (#9 to #13). Flashing gains of one-half share (each) and continuing at fifth and seventh, respectively, are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Having almost doubled (+4.2) its 6+-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” faltered by -3.7 in January. A “Holiday” 2018 increase of one-half share by “B-98.5” halted at three a consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), but WSB-FM was off by -1.0 in January. A combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ logged a +.7 in January but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” forfeits six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #11). A combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+) Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (second to third, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January uptick of one-half share, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is unchanged in 6+-share (2.5) and 6+-market rank (#17). Despite being up or flat the third time in a row (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” backslides from #21 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies Entercom sports talk WIP – has the dubious distinction of registering the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here (7.2 – 5.9, -1.3, first to sixth, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, as well, was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); +.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -1.3 (February 2019). Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – February 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom’s KYW rebounded in January with a +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” drops four-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Three declines in a row by WHYY led to a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet is a combined +.3 in January and February (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A combined +2.1 in January and February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), immediately after a December and “Holiday” 2018 -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” jumps from a three-way tie for third to first. November’s increase of six-tenths curtailed three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August 2018 and segued to second in September. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share increases by six-tenths as Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is up two-tenths (6.3 – 6.5, steady at #3, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites” improves by four-tenths (ninth to eighth). On top from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but is now a combined +2.3 in three upticks in succession (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM” returns in full the six-tenths it earned in January (2.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #18, 6+); January’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 3.4. Without a loss the past three sweeps for a collective +.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” forfeits that half share in its entirety (3.7, 6+) but continues in tenth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR accounted for a -1.5 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “710 The Voice of New York” adds a combined four-tenths in January and February (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, #15 to #14, 6+). The October 2018 through February 2019 Long Island topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (flat at #26, 6+).

Having gained four-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WFAN sputters by three-tenths in February (4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from a three-way tie at #2 to #4. Down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” slumps from #20 to #24.

Finishing back-to-back with a combined -.4 are Entercom all-news siblings WINS (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, flat at #10, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #12 to #11, 6+). These two news siblings – which were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November – were a combined +1.3 in January 2019.

Unlisted in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; and is down one-tenth in February (2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – On one hand, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by six-tenths (4.3 – 4.9, sixth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WBLI “106.1 BLI – Long Island’s #1 For All The Hits” regresses by one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, fifth to sixth, 6+). It is the best Long Island showing for “Z-100” since July 2018 (4.9, as well) and lowest 6+-stat for WBLI since September 2018’s 3.8. In addition to recording its strongest 6+-performance in Nassau-Suffolk since August 2018 when it reached 2.6, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” has its third up or flat report in succession for a +.6 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top twenty (#22 to 18). On top for the fourth straight time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” regresses by one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+), after January’s -4.5. “Real Variety” was a combined +6.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). Major shifts continue for classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #11 to #12, 6+). In six consecutive sweeps without a loss, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ  more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) but “La Mega 97.9” drops one-tenth to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+). Slipping from #15 to #18, Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” is an overall -1.7 as the result of seven straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth consecutive negative or even trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK (formerly KUBE) is likewise without an increase for the fifth successive time (.3 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+). “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; and added one-tenth in both September and October. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 14th straight sweep.

Following a January increase of four-tenths (1.1 – 1.5, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth to 1.4 (#11 to #12, 6+). The September 2018 through February 2019 topline for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is .3 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Without a loss the third sweep in succession for a gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is anchored in the runner-up slot for the tenth time in a row. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). Albeit down the third report in a row for a collective -2.4 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is on top for the tenth successive sweep. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. After four straight down or flat reports that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and is steady at #6. Not only is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD in one-share range (6+) for the 19th successive ratings period, “Recuerdo” has its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +.2 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, #13 to #11, 6+). Without a loss for the seventh report in a row (.1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .6, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is up one-half share in that timeframe and advances from #20 to #16. While it continues in fifth-place, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” falters by two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping five successive up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.8 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media’s KGO, which is an overall -1.1 in that stretch (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). Unchanged at #25, co-owned news/talk KSFO is a combined +.5 in January and February (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), following a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR added six-tenths in January to curtail five straight down or flat moves that yielded a combined -1.6 (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). While “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in February (3.4 – 3.3, 6+) it manages to climb back into the top ten (#11 to #9). Down three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” slips from #21 to #23.

Even though it is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat moves including remaining flat in February (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM is displaced from the top spot (first to second). January and February’s 7.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018’s 7.2.

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); added four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; but is a combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+). It added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; was flat in January 2019; and adds one-tenth in February (.7 – .8, #26 to #27, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Boasting the strongest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 improvement of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG more than obliterates its January’s -1.0 with a +1.5 (4.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Amor 100.3” was a combined +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). In four successive San Jose decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ lost roughly half (-2.3) its 6+-share (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” answers in February with a +.7 to 2.9 (#15 to #12, 6+). “The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which is an overall +1.0 via three straight upticks (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.3, #12 to #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media triple A KFOG (2.1, #18, 6+), which regains the one-half share it lost through three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). As a result of five consecutive declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX had its 6+ AQH share sliced nearly in half (-3.2), but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Three increases in a row netted it a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Piling on four-tenths to January’s +.7 (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is enough to boost Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” from second to first. “Bay FM” was a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). In November, KBAY reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” logs a shift of eight-tenths: It was -.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.8, 6+); +.8 in January 2019 (3.8 – 4.6, 6+); and now -.8 in February (4.6 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. Following four straight up or flat trends that yielded a +1.4 (2.2 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC returns half that increase (2.9, -.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Big ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was a collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (3.9 – 3.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). As the result of five straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), KOIT-FM was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Entercom adult contemporary facility, however, is unlisted in San Jose for the second straight month.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.2, WKXW drops two-tenths (8.2 – 7.9, 6+) but the Townsquare Media news/talk outlet repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” occupied the top spot six straight sweeps before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 with a -1.1. November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). On the heels of January’s +1.0 – which completely erased its overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 – iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is unchanged in 6+-share (3.4) and 6+-market rank (#12). Entering December’s Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). As is the case with WOR, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged from January in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#26). WABC had been down or flat seven successive reports for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+).

Faltering by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN slumps from #11 to #15. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” has lost six-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS improves for the fourth straight time gaining one-half share in the process (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, flat at #24, 6+), co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM is down one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+); was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+); and is up a combined eight-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, #18 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Down or flat four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by a combined nine-tenths in January and February (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). With a September 2018 through January 2019 topline of 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #8). Without an increase the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “95.5 PLJ – New York’s Best Music Mix” posts a one-half share gain to 2.6 (#22 to #19, 6+). Educational Media Foundation is expected to close on its purchase of WPLJ in early-summer. On the heels of its January gain of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+), Pillar Of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” surrenders six-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+). January’s 4.2 is its highest 6+ performance since May 2018’s 4.6.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

| March 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

| March 6, 2019

Great Lakes Media Names Leadership Team. The new media firm Great Lakes Media Corp. – founded by radio executive Tom Langmyer last year – announces the first of several appointments to its board of advisors and senior leadership team.  At the same time, the company says it is shifting its focus toward larger market acquisition opportunities.  CEO Langmyer adds the following media professionals to his team: John Gehron, chairman of AccuRadio, joins as board advisor;Gabe Hobbs joins as SVP, broadcast in which he’ll contribute from his experience in the areas of audience acquisition, content creation, talent development; and leadership; Chris Petersen joins as SVP, business & corporate development; and Bill Zaccheo joins as SVP, digital.  Langmyer says, “In building our company, we’ve been fortunate to partner with some of the most successful, respected, and admired leaders in media.  John Gehron, Chris Petersen, Bill Zaccheo, and Gabe Hobbs represent the first announced in a stellar group of people that will build tomorrow’s LOCAL media platform model…The current media model we’ve seen has been ‘top-down’ and focused on national distribution of national and white-labelled content.  The Great Lakes difference is a media model built from the ‘bottom-up’ and focused on local people creating local content and driving local revenue, while benefitting from the efficiencies that technology provides us all.  Radio and digital complement each other, as it’s not an either/or proposition. There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms and expanding the emotional connection between local consumers and brands.”

Urban One Reports 2018 Q4 Net Revenue Up 4.1%. The parent company of Radio OneUrban One, Inc. – reports financial data for the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the full year of 2018.  In Q4, Urban One’s net revenue was $113.5 million, up 4.1% from $109 million during the same period in 2017.  The company reports, “Net revenues from our radio broadcasting segment increased 16.5% compared to the same period in 2017. We experienced net revenue growth most significantly in our Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Raleigh, St. Louis, and Washington DC markets, with our Richmond market experiencing a decline for the quarter.” Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III says, “I was pleased that we came in slightly ahead of our Adjusted EBITDA guidance, led by extremely strong radio performance.  Our radio segment revenue was up by 16.5% including political advertising, and by 8.8% excluding political.  For the quarter, we outperformed the radio markets in which we operate by 850 bps.  Our Cable TV operation posted strong growth in advertising revenues, up 9.3%, driven by increased direct response rates, and additional ad units, which was offset by a modest decline in affiliate revenues (-2.0%).  Our digital revenues underperformed expectations, and we have taken significant steps to remediate.  I expect improved performance from the division in 2019.  In December, we substantially completed the refinancing of our 2020 Notes, which significantly extends the Company’s debt maturity profile.  On January 19, 2019 we successfully launched our new Women’s lifestyle channel, Cleo TV, which will further enhance our ability to entertain and inform our core consumers.”

Ben Shapiro Showing ‘Significant Growth’ for Westwood One. Conservative media star Ben Shapiro is “experiencing significant growth with a growing lineup of new station affiliates, major markets reporting ratings lifts, and an accumulation of engaged younger listeners – all coming out of the gate in his first PPM ratings report,” according to syndicator Westwood One.  The company says Shapiro’s shows are now heard on 200 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.   Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We knew that Ben was a hot commodity among millennials and younger demos, and now we have the numbers to prove it.  In less than 60 days Ben has amassed an impressive portfolio of more than 200 stations. We are excited to fuel this exponential growth as he continues to resonate with radio listeners and advertisers.” Shapiro is editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.  His two-hour live radio show is preceded by a one-hour podcast broadcast, that airs at 3:00 pm ET.  Stations have the option to take the one-hour podcast broadcast, the two-hour live show, or the three-hour combination.

Bob Matthews Returns to Air After a Month Away from WHAM, Rochester. Sports talk host Bob Matthews was back on the air on iHeartMedia’s WHAM, Rochester hosting his show after more than a month away from the mic.  Matthews slipped on ice leaving the radio station on February 1 and broke his ankle in three places.  He tells the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that he’s still unable to put weight on it but is thankful to be able to return to hosting his show.  The story notes that in Matthews’ absence, the station has been using sister WHTK personality Carl Falk, former Democrat & Chronicle sports writers Kevin Oklobzija and Jeff DiVeronica, Democrat & Chronicle content editor Steve Bradley, Rochester Red Wings public relations director Nate Rowan, and Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo as fill-in hosts.

PPM Analysis: January’s Major Movers. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the stations that experienced “major moves” as a result of coming off the Holiday 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio and returning to “normal” listening patterns reflected in the January 2019 survey.  As is usual, stations that went all-Christmas come down to earth in January.  But their loss is someone else’s gain to some degree or another.  In this report you can see which stations gained the most — and lost the most — from Holiday to January by format, by market and more.  See it all here.

Sun & Fun to Launch Key Networks Syndication Company. The press release from Sun & Fun Media gives no indication of the type of programming it intends to syndicated under the new Key Networks banner – whether it’s music, talk, or sports – but Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “We have launched Key Networks with a limited exclusive roster that we look forward to begin rolling out shortly.  Key Networks will provide dedicated marketing and promotional opportunities for every show we partner with through Sun & Fun Media, enabling Key Networks’ affiliates to sell these promotions in their local markets.  This turnkey solution connects great programming to custom promotions – a first for radio, and one we are proud to introduce.”   Sun & Fun chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks is the answer to the radio industry’s increasing need for creative, engaging, and diverse programming to markets of all sizes.  I am excited to build Key Networks’ product offerings and grow the company’s affiliate base through Key Networks.  To all our current and future Key Networks partners and affiliates: Get ready for greatness!”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly was victorious in federal court recently after a judge tossed a defamation suit filed against him by former FOX News Channel producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein.  O’Reilly, who exited FNC in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment allegations by former FNC staffers, was accused along with the network of disparaging her by saying no employees had taken advantage of a FOX human resources hotline for reporting improper behavior when that hotline didn’t exist at the time of her complaint and settlement back in 2002.  According to Variety’s report on the matter, the judge ruled Bernstein failed to prove she suffered any harm as a result of the comments by O’Reilly and the network…..SiriusXM is presenting play-by-play coverage of 27 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, totaling more than 140 men’s and women’s games.   Listeners will get every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, Ivy League, Missouri Valley and Mountain West conferences, and every game of the women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments…..iHeartMedia is launching a tornado relief effort for victims of the recent Alabama storms through its stations in Birmingham, Auburn, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.  It’s partnering with the Alabama Broadcasting Association for the iHeartRadio Lee County Tornado Relief fundraiser to benefit Community Foundation of East Alabama’s Long-Term Recovery Fund.  ABA president Sharon M. Tinsley says, “As residents of Alabama and members of the broadcast community, we are devastated by the loss of life and the many homes, businesses and churches destroyed by tornadoes this Sunday.  It’s always difficult to look at the images after a disaster but, when it’s your neighbors and so many of them are gone, it’s especially hard to accept.  Broadcasters are always there for the communities they serve and at times like these, we bring everyone together in a way like no other.”

House Trump Investigation/Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Probe, AOC Campaign Finance Allegations, Increased Illegal Border Activity, House Anti-Semitism Resolution, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, North Korea Rocket Program, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The expansive U.S. House investigation into President Trump’s businesses, his campaign, and more and the related new testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the allegations of campaign finance violations against Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the intense increase in illegal activity at the U.S.-Mexico border; the U.S. House’s anti-Semitism resolution being taken up on the heels of comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar; the list of Democratic candidates vying to take on President Trump in 2020; new evidence indicating North Korean is reigniting its rocket program; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michael Killbrew moves from iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster where he was SVP of programming to the company’s Washington, DC operations to take on the director of rock programming position for alternative WWDC “DC101” and classic rock WBIG “BIG 100.”  iHeartMedia region SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Washington and Baltimore Jeff Kapugi says, “I am excited to have Mike Killabrew join iHeartMedia Washington D.C. to lead our iconic rock brands, ‘BIG 100’ and ‘DC101.’  Along with his impressive tenure of experience with iHeartMedia, Mike has an unparalleled passion and energy for the rock formats that will elevate and impact our brands from day one.”…..Detroit radio personality Sandy Kovach is the new evening host on Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “‘The Breeze’ was launched to offer Detroit relaxing favorites to help the day breeze by.  We are pleased to introduce an equally relaxing evening show.  Sandy Kovach is already well-known to the Motor City community and we are excited to welcome her to the station.  Her show will be a unique blend of soft favorites and positive lifestyle content that our listeners will be able to unwind to.”  Kovach has served in on-air roles for Smooth Jazz Network, The eScapes Network, as well as Motor City stations WDVD WMGC.…..On-air pro Jon Kleeman, a.k.a. Jax, joins Radio FM Media’s CHR KLTA, Fargo “Big 98.7” as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective March 19.  He comes to Fargo from his most recent gig with Cumulus Media’s CHR KKCT, Bismarck, North Dakota…..Entravision Communications strikes a steaming audio distribution agreement with iHeartMedia to make its radio stations available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Under the agreement, Entravision’s 49 owned-and-operated stations will be available on iHeartRadio, effective immediately.

Cool Sales Position. WAWZ, Zarephath, New Jersey “Star 99.1” is seeing a full-time advertising sales person. This full-time position includes work in the office and travel throughout the NY metropolitan area to meet with customers and prospects.  Over-achievers strongly encouraged to apply!  A proven track record in radio or media sales is a pre-requisite, and high standards of business integrity are expected.  We offer a positive working environment, and the satisfaction of doing a job that “counts.”  Qualified candidates should send letter and resume to jobs@star991.com or mail to: Jobs, Star 99.1, P.O. Box 9058, Zarephath, NJ 08890. No calls please.  Star 99.1 is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

| February 26, 2019

Cumulus Media Preliminary Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up Near 5%. The company will not release its actual fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data until March 18.  But Cumulus Media filed an 8-K form with the Securities Exchange Commission on Monday (2/25) that indicates it expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 to be up in the 4.5% to 5.2% range.  For the full year of 2018, it expects net revenue to be in the $1.14 billion neighborhood – basically flat compared to the full year of 2017 when net revenue was $1.135 billion.  Cumulus notes that these preliminary unaudited results are not adjusted to reflect the impact of the recently announced divestiture of six stations to Educational Media Foundation.  That would have lopped $23 million to $25 million off the full-year net revenue figure.  The filing also reveals that the company is pacing flat for the first quarter of 2019.

Henry Lake to Host Late Nights on WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. The Entercom Twin Cities news/talker adds a new, late-night show to its program schedule hosted by Henry Lake.  WCCO-AM’s new “Lake Night” will debut on March 11.  Lake comes to Entercom from his most recent gig as an air personality at the company’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City.  He’s served with Upper Midwest sports talk giant KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” as a host in the past.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “The introduction of a new late-night show allows for our station to better serve our listeners as they are winding down their days.  We are thrilled to welcome Henry to our broadcast team in the Twin Cities and look forward to his fresh perspective on the daily events and topics that matter most.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Announces New Programming Additions. Seattle sports talk KIRO-AM is adding air personalities Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps to the evening “Seattle Sports At Night” show hosted by Curtis Rogers.  Rost is a reporter, website content provider and Seattle Seahawks insider for the Bonneville station and former Seahawk Heaps joined KIRO-AM last year as a part-time host and weekly guest on the “Bob, Groz, and Tom” midday show.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “Curtis has done an incredible job hosting this spot solo, but we are excited to add Stacy and Jake as hosts as well.  Stacy has made a huge impact on our building and we are thrilled to add a regular hosting spot to her 710Sports.com writing duties. Jake has been a huge contributor as a guest host, football analyst, and digital/video star.” Curtis Rogers is also part of the new weekend show, “Seattle Sports Saturday,” with co-hosts Lydia Cruz and Taylor Jacobs that debuts on March 2 in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.

iHeartMedia Acquires Audio Tech Firm Radiojar. The press release makes no mention of the financial aspects of this deal but iHeartMedia says that, through its subsidiary RCS, it will acquire Greece-based Radiojar Information Technology S.A. – a firm whose technology is “a centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform.”  The release further states that “with Radiojar’s sophisticated cloud-based assets and engineering, iHeartMedia and other RCS clients, will now have a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music, and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute, and monetize streams, podcasts, and other audio content in real-time from anywhere.”  iHeartMedia COO Rich Bressler says, “We recognize that broadcast radio has a very unique set of programming tools that make listening a smoother and more enjoyable experience.  These new capabilities will allow for the seamless nature that has only been available on radio to transition to other audio mediums including digital stations and podcasts.”

SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Sues Neo-Nazi for $1 Million.  According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Muslim-American comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah is suing neo-nazi Andrew Anglin – founder of The Daily Stormer – for $1 million for falsely accusing him of being the mastermind behind the May 2017 terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.  Obeidallah is asking the court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Anglin.  Obeidallah’s complaint charges that Anglin libeled him by falsely naming him as mastermind of the attack and went so far as to plant fake Twitter messages claiming responsibility that appeared to come from Obeidallah’s account.

TALKERS News Notes. This week’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is being covered extensively by the news networks. ABC News is broadcasting from Hanoi, Vietnam and will present coverage and analysis via ABCNews.com (in addition to regularly scheduled TV coverage) and ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, including special reports and one-minute status reports.  The “Start Here” podcast will provide a special episode focusing on the summit…..Westwood One News is also in Hanoi for the summit.  White House correspondent Bob Costantini is there providing dozens of live custom reports for affiliates, appearing on Westwood One long-form news and talk programs, and reporting on Westwood One newscasts.…..Bay Area progressive news/talk KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910” adds “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather to its program schedule.  The show is being produced by AXS TV and is distributed by KMG Networks…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, two new podcasts are coming from radio broadcasters in the Windy City.  First, WSCR “The Score” personality Julie DiCaro is launching “The Score: Behind the Headlines.”  The first subject will be the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James.  Second, urban talk WVON morning host Maze Jackson and Salem Radio Network/WIND host Joe Walsh are producing a weekly podcast titled, “Uncomfortable Conversations,” an extension of their recent co-hosted live events of the same name…..Crossover Media Group is taking on ad sales responsibilities for the new podcast from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called, “Dr. Laura Call of the Day.”  CMG is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the show’s social-media channels.

Trump-Kim Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Testimony, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration Vote, Kraft Arrest-Sex Trafficking Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, Sunday Night’s Oscars Show, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  This week’s meeting in Vietnam of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the effort to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for it; the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on prostitution soliciting charges and the larger issue of human sex trafficking; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro tries to remain in power; Pope Francis addresses the numerous sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church; Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Kashon Powell is promoted to vice president of programming for Radio One’s Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia markets.  She’s been serving as operations manager for the six-station DC cluster while programming its urban contemporary WMMJ as well as the syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “Love and R&B with John Monds” programs.  Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “I’m delighted to have Kashon in this position.  Not only has she proved to be an outstanding programmer with the huge success of our Washington cluster, but it will be great to have the voice of a woman, our primary demographic, among our senior programmers.  I know Kashon’s contributions to the company will be enormous.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WRTB, Rockford, Illinois “95.3 The Bull” promotes afternoon drive personality Gordon Mays to assistant program director.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| February 19, 2019

WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Sidelined by Stroke. Afternoon drive talk show host Mark Belling reportedly told his listeners that he’ll be taking “a few days” off from his work at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN, Milwaukee after suffering a stroke during his program back on February 11.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Belling is not having problems talking – a common effect of a stroke – but that his peripheral vision is affected and Belling says it makes reading difficult.  He told his listeners that on the February 11 program he began experiencing a “weird sensation” that progressed. “It was not excruciating, it was not debilitating.  Your head’s crumbling inside.”  Belling added that reading copy live is a part of his program and that is very difficult.  “I’ve got to do this right or I’m not going to be able to come back and be any good at this thing — at all.”  He says he may do some one-hour segments of his show before coming back full time, but “nothing is set in stone.”

Phil Kornblut Building Network for South Carolina Sports Talk Show. Longtime South Carolina sports talk host Phil Kornblut’s statewide “SportsTalk” show was dealt a setback last month when Learfield Communications shut down the South Carolina Radio Network that distributed the program for more than 30 years.  Kornblut is continuing his 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily show show, based at Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF, Columbia, and is building a roster of stations across the state to carry the program.  The Post and Courier reports Kornblut saying he has a network of 20 stations ready to carry the show beginning on February 25.  At the same time, Kornblut says University of South Carolina football standout Rick Sanford is joining the program.  Korblut is quoted saying, “He’s one of the great athletes to come out of this state and one of the great Gamecocks of all time, and he’s made himself into a very good sports talk show host.  His name and knowledge will bring a lot to the show.  He wants to cover press conferences, go to games.  He’s really throwing himself into it, and I think it’ll be fun.”

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Host Scoot Victim of Hit and Run. The picture here is of WWL-AM/FM early afternoon talk host Scoot in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in New Orleans early in the morning of February 15.  The station’s website posted the photo along with the story.  Authorities are still seeking information in an attempt to find the driver.  Scoot was crossing Canal Street near the corner of Canal and Bourbon when he was hit.  WWL management says, “Scoot’s ok, but he’s recovering from some tough injuries to his body.”  Police have video from surveillance cameras, but the lack of light and the speed of the motorcycle make it impossible to identify the driver.  They are seeking help from nearby businesses to see if better surveillance footage is available.

Crossover Media Group Takes on Ad Sales for Nancy Grace Show. Cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm Crossover Media Group is now handling ad sales for SiriusXM’s daily, two-hour “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” program.  As part of the agreement with Red Seat Ventures, Crossover Media Group is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the program’s social media channels.  Crossover sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Nancy has that rare storyteller’s ability to connect with audiences.  The addition of ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ places CMG in an even stronger position to offer marketers access to hard-to-reach female demographics with proven national personalities.”

BFoA Names 2019 Leadership Award Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces this year’s recipients of the 2019 Leadership Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  The 2019 Leadership Awards honorees are: Bobby Caldwell, owner & CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters, Inc.; Jean Dietze, president, affiliate relations, NBC Broadcasting; Richard A. Foreman, president, Richard A. Foreman Associates, Inc.; Mark Gray, CEO, Katz Media Group; Paul McTear, former president & CEO, Raycom Media; David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president,CBS Vision.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the BFoA in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large.

Border Wall Issue/Emergency Declaration Suit, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Sanders Enters, Venezuela Unrest, Florida ‘Pledge’ Arrest, Jussie Smollett Case, NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; President Trump’s feud with “Saturday Night Live” and Alec Baldwin over its parody of him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Democrats entering the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders; President Trump ramps up criticism of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela amidst the political unrest; the case of the Florida sixth grader arrested after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance; the investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s controversial attack by two individuals in Chicago; and NBA and NCAA hoops action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, Entercom swaps morning shows at classic hits KOOL-FM and country KMLE.  Beginning February 25, Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell (pictured at right) will take over the morning daypart on KMLE “Country @ 107.9.”  Meanwhile, Niko Petrou (left) will move from KMLE to KOOL-FM for mornings.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “This transition will allow us to maximize the content we deliver daily to this market.  Maria and Chad are market veterans who know and love the country format and we are excited for KMLE listeners to get to know them.  Niko has a great connection to Phoenix and we are confident that his passion and energy will enable him to connect with KOOL’s listeners.”…..On-air pro Alek Halverson joins Entercom’s Seattle country outlet KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” where he’ll serve as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective February 21.  He comes to Entercom from his most recent position as Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s CHR KLTA, Fargo where he was afternoon host, APD, and music director.   Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison comments, “Alek’s passion for radio and dedication to entertaining people on air and on social media makes him a great addition to our team. We are excited to welcome him to Seattle and to start a new chapter of afternoon drive in Seattle.”…..Midday personality Nikki Imbrascio exits Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” after 10 years in the position.  Her bio, etc. has been scrubbed from the station’s website and no successor has been named at this point…..The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the recent station swap between Cumulus Media and Entercom that’s turning ownership of Indy stations CHR WZPL, AC WNTR and sports talk WXNT-AM over to Cumulus will mean a move of those stations from their current studios, but no timetable has been set.  Cumulus already owns classic hits WJJK-FM, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG in the market.  The three new stations will join the current three at Cumulus’ Shadeland Avenue studios. The report says no format changes are planned but TALKERS magazine has speculated that the company will not continue to operate two CHR stations in the market and will eventually flip underperformer WYRG to another format…..As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, WFNB-FM has flipped from adult contemporary to alternative as “92.7 The Rock.”  DLC Media president and GM Dave Crooks tells the paper, “That was a bold move.  We had done some research over the last several months.  It looked like my original idea of trying to have all gold-based formats (adult hits or classic hits) was creating some duplication and chasing the same listeners.  So, we decided to make this move to help us expand our reach.”  Core artists will include: Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet.  However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy.  That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.”  And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call.  Try doing that sometime.  For three hours he speaks.  He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world.  I mean, this guy is unbelievable.”  Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15).  Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking.  At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence.  How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things?  Does it move the needle?  Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”

New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms.  Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’”  Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host.  He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.

Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role.  Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh.  Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley.  And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.”  At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot.  Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday.  There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone?  Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.

WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535.  Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast.  They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business.  The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season.  The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In.  In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince CotroneoChris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business).  Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016.  Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst.  Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.

Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.”  Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program.  Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

| January 31, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The annual Holiday PPM survey is generally not kind to spoken-word formats and sports talk took a hit to the chin as just 26% of stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase and 62% went down.  However, comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, 57% of stations improved, led by Entercom’s WJFK-FM, Washington (+1.4) and WKRK, Cleveland (+1.2), and RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus (+1.1).  Two sports talk stations ranked in the top three in their respective markets during the Holiday 2018 survey – Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia at #2 with a 7.1 share and Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” at #3 with 5.6 share.  See the whole report here.

Cumulus Names Steve Finateri to Lead Detroit Cluster. Director of sales Steve Finateri is promoted to vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Detroit station group that includes heritage news/talker WJR, country WDRQ, CHR WDVD, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Finateri joined Cumulus in 2006 as national sales manager for WJR and transitioned to local sales manager for the station in 2008. Finateri says, “It’s a privilege and an honor to represent such an elite team of media professionals.  Our Cumulus Detroit radio stations reach over 1.6 million listeners weekly, delivering over 42% of Metro Detroit’s total population, even more when you include WJR’s booming regional signal that adds significant listenership throughout Michigan. Cumulus Detroit has Michigan’s most well-known and beloved radio personalities and is the home of the Detroit Lions Radio Network and flagship for Michigan State University football and basketball.  Those assets, coupled with Cumulus Media’s robust suite of sophisticated digital offerings, give us all the horsepower we need to be the one-stop shop for effective marketing campaigns for our customers who range from local businesses on up to Michigan’s largest companies.”

Kim Martinez Elevated to SVP/Market Manager for Entercom Portland.  Media sales pro Kim Martinez is named senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon station group that includes sports talk outlets KFXX “1080 The Fan” and KMTT “910 ESPN” plus seven music brands.  Martinez was most recently vice president of digital sales for the company.  She says, “It is such a great time to be in radio, the number one reach medium in the U.S. I’m looking forward to joining this team and to be associated with these incredible brands that make a positive impact on the Portland community every day.”

John Boehner No Fan of Talk Radio. Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the Caxambas Republican Club of Marco Island, Florida that the recent federal government shutdown was caused by Republicans in Congress who listen to talk radio.  According to a report in The Hill, Boehner was speaking to the group on Monday (1/28) when he called accused “talk radio  people” of influencing legislators – “goofballs on the right” – who agreed to President Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.  He went on to say, “When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio.  The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote ‘yes’ on anything.  They did the president a total disservice.”

SiriusXM 2018 Q4 Revenue Up 7%. Fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data for SiriusXM has been released and the satellite radio company announces it hit record revenue of $1.5 billion in Q4 and $5.8 billion for the year – increases of 7% and 6% respectively.  Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $251 million, compared to the loss of $37 million the company reported in Q4 of 2017.  Net income for 2018 was $1.2 billion, up from $648 million for all of 2017. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a strong finish to 2018, a year that saw our ninth consecutive year of one-million-plus net subscriber adds and our lowest full-year churn rate in the past decade.  We have set even more ambitious goals for the company to continue growing in 2019.  In addition, we were pleased that yesterday Pandora’s stockholders voted in favor of our proposed merger and expect to close the transaction shortly.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new iHeartRadio Original Podcast is launched titled, “Sore Losers,” featuring The Bobby Bones Show’s Lunchbox, Eddie, and RayPremiere Networks says the new show is part of Bobby Bones’ Nashville Podcast Network.  It’s a daily podcast featuring the trio of 30-something friends as they discuss all things sports.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Lunchbox, Eddie, and Ray give listeners a front-row seat to real, and often hilarious, conversations among friends who have at least one thing in common – their love of sports.  We’re excited to have this fun and relatable podcast as part of our entertaining and diverse roster of audio content.”…..Beasley Media Group adds the “TwistedPhilly” podcast to its bPod Studios platform.  The program was created and is hosted by Deana Marie in which she “uncovers bone-chilling tales of mischief, mayhem, and nefarious goings on in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.” The podcast has a growing listenership that has it rapidly approaching one million downloads to date…..TM Studios announces that Dave Bethell joins the company as creative director/new business development and Chris Stevens comes aboard as vice president, affiliate management.  The company says these moves “play into a new affiliation strategy for jingles at TM, where creative staff will be directly involved with clients from the beginning of the affiliation process.”  TM Studios general manager and vice president of creative Greg Clancy says, “Both of these guys truly understand the art of sung jingles and they know that jingles are the most effective branding tools on the radio.  These moves ensure that programmers are given VIP treatment in their search for the perfect sounds for their stations. Our creatives will be involved in every step of the process.”…..SiriusXM welcomes PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon to its PGA Tour Radio channel where he’ll debut his new show, “Just the Fax,” on February 4…..TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of Chuck Edwards, who died recently at age 49.  Edwards was the creative services director at Alpha Media’s Biloxi-Gulfport cluster and also served as the stadium voice of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trump Attacks Intel Chiefs, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midwest Record Cold, Virginia Abortion Bill Controversy, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Christie Book, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30). The criticism of U.S. military intelligence chiefs on North Korean and Iran by President Trump; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the record cold affecting much of the U.S. Midwest; the controversial Virginia late-term abortion bill; the candidates for president in 2020; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s new book, Let Me Finish; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’