Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Friday, April 13, 2018

| April 13, 2018

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host Karen Hunter Named Recipient of the TALKERS 2018 Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board announced this morning (4/13) that SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter has been named the 2018 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.  Hunter hosts the “Karen Hunter Show” daily between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the Urban View channel in which she discusses politics, public policy, and contemporary culture taking listener calls and interviewing guests.  The Urban Channel is billed as “African American talk… focusing on politics, race and social justice.”  Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) by TALKERS magazine for a number of years, Hunter has blazed a unique trail inspiring her listeners to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors bringing action as well as talk to the medium.  She regularly challenges her listeners to participate in the success they want to be.  A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Hunter served four of those years on the paper’s editorial board, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams.  She was also the paper’s first African American female news columnist.  As the head of Karen Hunter Books, an imprint with Simon & Schuster, she has published several number one New York Times bestsellers including True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, and My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.  Hunter also published the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Angry-Ass Black Woman, by Karen Quinones Miller, among others.  A New Jersey native and Drew University graduate, Hunter taught at New York University and is currently a full-time professor and distinguished lecturer at Hunter College.  In June of 2015, Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag.  Within two weeks, the flag was removed.  Past recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, which goes back 30 years, include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Howard SternThom Hartmann, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Lamb, Al Franken, Bob Grant and other top figures in broadcasting.  The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hunter in New York City on Friday, June 8 at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular.  According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others.  It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences.  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts.  It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive, and indispensable.”  Harrison continues, “Karen Hunter is a clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

New Affiliate Stations in the Southeast for ‘Stacy on the Right.’ The nationally syndicated “Stacy On The Right” program starring the Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, expands into three Southeast markets.  WDDQ-FM, Adel, Georgia; WLBB-AM, Carrollton, Georgia; and WJHC-FM, Jasper, Florida add the daily, two-hour show to their program lineups. The “Stacy On The Right” program is syndicated via Urban Family Radio Network, American Family Radio, America’s Voice TV and now on Talk America Radio, whose owner Ron Phillips says, “We’ve been huge fans of ‘Stacy On The Right’ for a long time.  We’re honored to include her show on Talk America Radio.  She’s the perfect addition to an already stellar schedule of talk shows. She’s professional and powerful, and she’ll fit right in.”  Washington has been a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network since 2016.  In addition to her own radio show, she has been a guest host for shows such as “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM; the Chris Plante and Larry O’Connor shows on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; “Cam and Company” on NRATV; and “The Dana Show” on Radio America.  She is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force whose commentaries have appeared in FOX News Opinion, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, and the Washington Times.

Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Launches on PodcastOne.  This new PodcastOne show stars personal finance expert Suze Orman.  The program, “Suze Orman, Women & Money” is targeted directly to women (and the men who want to understand them) with Orman’s trademark energy and compassion.  The series allows listeners to #AskSuze anything.  In yesterday’s debut show, the tables were turned as Refinery29 work & money director Lindsey Stanberry interviewed Orman about her own journey.  The show is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes every Thursday.

WTOP, Washington Honored with Two Headliner Awards. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM wins two National Headliner Awards from the Atlantic City Press Club.  The Hubbard Radio station picked up first place honors for Best Newscast for coverage the day of the Congressional Baseball Shooting in June of 2017.  WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green won third place in the radio stations news series category for his investigative work in reporting “Anatomy of a Russian Attack,” an in-depth look at what the U.S. Intelligence community has concluded was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We feel so honored to be recognized for our efforts to bring breaking news coverage to the nation’s capital at the moments when it matters the most.”  Since 1935, the National Headliner Awards are given to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks, and news syndicates from across the nation.

TALKERS News Notes. Bay Area Media blogger Rich Lieberman 415 Media – wrote recently wondering if Westwood One nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage is in contentious contract renegotiations with the company.  Citing recent statements by Savage on his radio show that “in case I’m not here” listeners can hear him on his website and via Twitter, Lieberman says Savage could become the “latest cost-cutting victim” by parent company Cumulus Media (a la Don Imus and Ronn Owens) as it works through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Lieberman says Savage offered him “no comment” when they spoke and notes Savage has “fairly strong” ratings in San Francisco and does very well in PM drive in New York.  He also says Savage’s contract is up this year and suggests both sides may be posturing during contract renegotiations…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that starting in May, it will offer national ad and affiliate sales support for “Remote News Service.”  It has also expanded its partnership with Envision Networks and will offer ad sales support for the new feature, “140 Characters.”  Remote News Service offers high quality, local, real-time news reports across 14+ major markets with a full team of anchors.  Envision Networks’ “140 Characters” is a new service featuring celebrity impersonators, voice and character actors as well as pre-written scripts to use for topic starters, phone scams, parodies and more…..A new memoir titled, Lucky from Virgin: An Unlikely Story (2018, CreateSpace), has been published by 40-year veteran network TV correspondent Lucky Severson.  The book tells “the inside stories of some of the world’s more interesting people, told by a kid who grew up in the tiny Mormon town of Virgin, unaware of the world outside.”  In the book, Severson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy in a jail cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just weeks before his escape and murderous rampage in Florida, for which he was ultimately caught and executed.  It was the only TV interview ever done with Bundy before his death-bed execution.  Severson also traveled with the campaigns of Vice President George H.W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.  He spent time with the Dalai Lama in the shadow of the Himalayas.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Legendary Quad Cities news/talk outlet WOC-AM, Davenport is seeking a new program director.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says that its program director of 20-plus years is retiring, and WOC-AM is searching for the right individual to take the reins of this heritage station.  If you’re interested, email Jim O’Hara and he’ll send you an overview of the job: jimohara@iheartmedia.com.

Trump-Russia Probe and Related Cohen Raid Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 9-13.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related raid of the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement he won’t run for re-election this year.  Coming in at #3 was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about users’ privacy concerns, followed by the allegations that the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman to suppress a story about Trump fathering a child with a Trump Tower staffer in the late 1980s at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio Hall of Fame Chairman and Mega-Talent Manager Kraig Kitchin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He says, “One of my greatest professional passions is identifying outstanding radio talent and giving them recognition.” Among the radio industry’s most influential, behind-the-scenes players, Kraig Kitchin, head of Los Angeles-based media firm Sound Mind, LLC, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and consultant to such media production companies as Real World Productions (jingles and imaging), the Mix Group (outsourced station production) and Source Audio (music libraries), Kitchin is one of, if not the, leading managers of radio talent in the business today. His client list includes such names as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Delilah, George Noory, Bill Handel and more…information he is reluctant to publicly share. He states, “I believe that a manager should always put the talent first and foremost while personally staying in the background.” According to Harrison, “Kraig Kitchin is one of the most level-headed, intelligent, and credible business people in radio that we’ve seen during the industry’s modern era and has quietly and responsibly been one of the most influential.” Regardless, Harrison drags him into the spotlight for a rare interview that takes a conversational deep dive into radio’s history (Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Networks and at one time was sales manager for Katz Media) and a look to its future, covering the state of consolidation, the podcasting phenomenon, the tenets of being a great talent, and the challenge of programming commercials in the era of short-term attention span. Do not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (4/16), Joey Vlazny is taking over the morning show on Bonneville’s San Jose classic rock outlet KUFX “98.5 KFOX.” Joey – who was most recently morning host at rhythmic CHR KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102” – bumps Chris Jackson to the afternoon drive daypart.  Jackson fills the afternoon slot left vacant when PD/host Tim Jeffreys exited last month. New PD Brian Figula says, “Joey’s smart work ethic, strong creativity, and passion for our business elevates our brand awareness.  I look forward to adding him to the team with Chris Jackson to dominate the San Jose radio market.”…..Saga Communications adds Courtney Ross (center) to the morning drive show at country WPOR-FM, Portland alongside incumbent morning personalities Jon Shannon (left) and Joe Lerman (right).  Ross fills the role of recently departed morning personality Adam Rondeau…..KHTS-FM, San Diego morning personality Geena The Latina – co-host of “Kramer and Geena Mornings” – is being honored by the City of San Diego on Tuesday (4/17) as the city proclaims it “Geena The Latina Day.”  San Diego City Council president Myrtle Cole will honor Geena for her work with girls and young women in the local community.  Geena is an active volunteer with local organizations and founded the Fearless Empowerment Conference in 2017.  The annual event assembles successful women from the community to share their journey and inspire hundreds of teenage girls to be fearless and confident leaders.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

| April 4, 2018

ABC Radio and Skyview Networks Expand Radio Syndication Efforts.  A statement from both companies says ABC Radio and Skyview Networks are “further aligning” their resources to “identify, develop and syndicate talent and programs to broadcast radio.”  For its part, ABC Radio will seek out talent syndication opportunities – for both music and news/talk formats – and will handle the affiliate sales angle, while Skyview Networks will take care of national sales and distribution.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones states, “We are building on the momentum and tremendous success we’ve already seen in our existing partnership.  ABC Radio has always represented creative and innovative programming and we are excited to offer programmers and talent a new, stable business environment to grow and monetize their brands.”  Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele adds, “The timing of our syndication partnership couldn’t be more perfect.  We’ve heard from a significant number of programs and clearly there is a need for another syndication option in the marketplace.  We’re growing and continue to make substantial investments in technology and our staff, and it’s paying off.  This new venture is really a reflection of the dynamic synergies between ABC Radio and Skyview, and our positive business trajectory.”  In July 2016, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks renewed their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.

Cumulus and Merlin Strike a Deal for WKQX, Chicago.  On Tuesday evening, Cumulus Media announced that it has arrived at a deal to acquire Chicago alternative rock WKQX from Merlin Media.  Cumulus has been operating the station under a local marketing agreement, but when it filed to reorganize under Chapter 11, it asked the court to void a number of its prior agreements that it considered onerous.  The WKQX LMA included a “put-and-call” that would have allowed Merlin to force Cumulus to buy the station at a predetermined price (the “put”). The combo deal included WLUP-FM, but Merlin found another willing buyer in Education Media Foundation, which is acquiring WLUP for $50 million.  As part of this deal, Cumulus Media is also getting the intellectual property of “The Loop.”  The speculation in Chicago is that the company will transform classic hits WLS-FM into “94/7 The Loop.” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, “After operating the station for the past four years, we are delighted to be able to bring this beloved station under Cumulus’ ownership on economic terms that make sense for our business.  We look forward to continuing to deliver the best alternative rock programming to our devoted listeners in the Chicago area for years to come.”  Though no price for WKQX in included in the press release, media trade RBR-TVBR is reporting the price tag is $18 million.

Janet Bro Named COO at USA Radio Networks. Rising from vice president/general sales manager to chief operating officer at USA Radio Networks is Janet Bro.  The company announces that this promotion comes as the company completes its corporate relocation from Phoenix to its flagship station offices at KBDT-AM, Dallas. USA says that in this new position, Bro will lead the networks, including the company’s stations in Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis, as well as five properties in Nevada.  USA says, “Bro comes from a distinguished career in media and advertising.  She began in radio/TV at Bradley University, has owned and operated three FM stations in Illinois and managed others before embarking on a two-decade adventure with Verizon’s Yellow Pages.”  USA Radio Networks CEO Fred Weinberg says, “Our goal is to create news and programming that we and our affiliates can be proud of. We’re not Democrats or Republicans, we’re Americans and that’s how we see the news.  Janet is the perfect person to push this forward.”  USA Radio Networks provides news and long-form talk programming for some 500 affiliates across the country.

Still No Kevin Klein at ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego.  Yes, Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” is still playing rock music and comedy bits during morning drive, five days after air personality Kevin Klein was to debut as host of the new station’s AM drive show.  He’s still listed on the station’s website, so it’s unlikely he’s been let go.  What is likely is that Entercom is still negotiating with the San Diego Padres over the station’s role as flagship for the MLB club.  The Padres either stay or they go.  If they stay, one line of thought is that the station veers from the guy talk/sports hybrid to a pure sports talk station (in order to assuage the team). But if the Padres take their play-by-play elsewhere, perhaps Kevin Klein takes to the air as morning host and the station keeps its “edge.”  It’s hard to imagine Entercom letting this go beyond this week and it must be very difficult to sell time on a station thats format is in question.  In case you’ve missed the backstory, Klein posted a promotional Tweet for his show that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides.  That upset many San Diegans, as well as the Padres.  But, that wasn’t the only issue.  According to comments made to the San Diego Union Tribune by Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the club hasn’t been happy with the station’s general tone. Fowler told the paper that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.

Larry Kudlow to Do Regular Guest Spot on WABC’s John Batchelor Program. The new director of the National Economic Council – Larry Kudlow – is going to join John Batchelor each Tuesday evening at 9:00 as a guest on Batchelor’s WABC, New York radio program.  The station says that the Tuesday night guest spots “will include other colleagues and will cover topics including the economic health of the U.S. and its allies and trading partners.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Kudlow and Batchelor have been working together on-air each week since 2004.  It is a joy to learn that the Trump administration is willing to make the country’s new economic adviser available to the national and global audience of ‘The John Batchelor Show.'”

Cooke: The Class of ’68 Turns 68.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the value of Baby Boomers to talk radio.  On the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cooke notes many of the cultural touchstones that affected the generation.  He says that while Millennials now outnumber the Boomers, the Baby Boom generation outspends the Millennials at retail.  That’s an important fact for radio sales people who are selling upper-demo radio formats like news/talk.  See his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. We have a new date in the legal saga between Bubba the Love Sponge and Nielsen Audio.  After suddenly postponing Monday’s scheduled start of the courtroom proceedings, the two sides are being called in for a status conference on April 10.  Perhaps we’ll learn more about the trial schedule after that. Nielsen is suing Bubba for $1 million in damages for his part in a PPM ratings manipulation plot in the Tampa market…..Salem Media Group re-brands KDZR, Lake Oswego, Oregon from its former “Talk 1640” to “AM 1640 The Patriot.” Also, in Oregon, Salem rebrands KPAM, Portland – the station it’s operating under an LMA – to the familiar “AM 860 The Answer.”  Some programming adjustments take place on KPAM as the SRN-syndicated Dennis Prager grabs an hour from the local Tim Hohl and Terry Travis morning show.  Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham show replaces Clark Howard in middays, and the afternoon drive show featuring Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson changes from “Afternoon Northwest” to “The Afternoon Answer.”…..Today (4/4) Alpha Media is joining World Concern to raise funds to “Cure 1 Million Kids.”  As part of World Health Week, Alpha Media stations in 49 markets are working to raise money to cure children living in developing countries of parasites that can cause blindness, malnutrition, disease and even death.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt remarks, “We are so proud and honored to work with World Concern for this one-day push to help save children’s lives.  We are passionate to use the power of our Alpha community of listeners and business clients to do what we can to help those less fortunate.  World Concern is a wonderful organization that will take what we raise and make a difference in a young person’s life.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches ‘Broadcasting Hope’ Campaign.  A new industry-wide campaign is being launched by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, called, “Broadcasting Hope.” The goal of the initiative is to reach broadcasters across the country with trade ads, social media, and more to ensure that broadcasters in acute need know they can apply for aid from the Broadcasters Foundation.  It is the only charity devoted exclusively to providing financial assistance to broadcasters whose lives have been devastated by illness, accident, or disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “There are broadcasters in local markets across America who may qualify for aid, and it’s imperative that they know the Broadcasters Foundation can be a life support.  The radio and TV trade publications and members of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations have been very supportive in helping us expand awareness of the Foundation’s charitable mission.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Trump-Russia Probe, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, YouTube Shooter, U.S.-Mexico Relations/Illegal Immigration Battle, Spotify Stock Market Debut, Villanova Beats Michigan, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China as both countries impose tariffs; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; the woman shooter who injured four before taking her own life at the YouTube campus in California; the relations between the U.S. and Mexico and President Trump’s threat to use the military to guard the border; digital audio giant Spotify goes public; Villanova beats Michigan to claim the NCAA title; the first week of MLB action, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Newly flipped country KNUC, Seattle re-brands as “The NEW 98.9 The Bull.”  Lisa Adams is the program director at the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Welcome to the next evolution of 98.9, a personality all its own.  More BULL, more MUSIC, more FUN.”  She also says the station plans to make its final additions to the air staff soon…..Also from Hubbard Radio, the Chicago cluster announces that sales pro Nancy O’Brien is promoted to director of sales for hot AC WTMX, classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WSHE, and in-house digital media services arm 2060 Digital.   O’Brien has most recently been serving as national sales manager Midwest region for the company…..Neuhoff Media tweaks CHR WWHX-FM, Bloomington, Illinois to a rhythmic CHR station with the new brand, “HOT 100 The Beat of BloNo.”  Neuhoff Media Bloomington vice president and general manager Danielle Outlaw says, “‘HOT 100’ is the only station designed specifically for the 18-34-year-old audience in Bloomington-Normal.  The music, the connection, the interactivity, the engagement and the beat.  Bloomington-Normal was ready for ‘HOT 100,’ we’re thrilled by the reaction, the future has arrived, it’s ‘HOT 100.’”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access 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.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

| March 28, 2018

MLB’s Padres Critical of Flagship Morning Host’s ‘Insensitive’ Tweet. On-air pro Kevin Klein begins his new gig as morning drive host at Entercom’s sports/hot talk KEGY, San Diego “97.3 FM The Machine” tomorrow, but he’s already irked the San Diego Padres and some of the general public with his Tweet promoting his new show.  The Tweet used an image of the Coronado bridge (with its history as a site of numerous suicides) and the text “JUMP! To a new morning show.”  The Padres – whose games emanate from KEGY as flagship station – among others, complained about the “insensitive and completely unacceptable” nature of the Tweet.  Klein removed the offending images and apologized for his error in judgement, writing, “I’d like to sincerely apologize to San Diego and listeners of 97.3 for a distasteful and insensitive social media post…The comment was reprehensible and inexcusable.  I’ve failed at making a good first impression, but I hope that you will give me another chance to provide entertainment and good-natured laughs when I go on the air on Thursday morning.  Once again, I apologize to all the listeners and the city of San Diego.”

Report Indicates Padres “Evaluating” Relationship with KEGY.  Apparently, it’s not just the above-mentioned Tweet snafu, but the MLB club is not thrilled with the station’s overall programming philosophy.  The San Diego Union Tribune’s Bryce Miller reports that Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler has issues with the programming tenor on the team’s flagship radio station.  “We’re going to get through this first home stand, then sit down and evaluate it.  We’re going to assess our legal obligations.  We just want a good radio partner that’s not offensive to the community.”  He also called the programming since the station flipped “almost shock-jock radio” and “not what we intended to be involved in.”  No doubt Entercom is working hard to save this relationship as the cume that baseball is likely to bring to the station is crucial to its successful launch.   Stay tuned.

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the sports world moved into the post-NFL portion of the calendar, sports talk stations took a hit to their AQH share.  Only 9% of sports talkers saw their 6+ numbers go up, while almost 70% suffered a decrease compared to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year comparisons show about half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ shares increase from February 2017.  Just one station – Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP, Philadelphia – ranked #1 in its respective market; and just one other – New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston (#3) – ranked in the top five.  See Kinosian’s whole report here.

Cumulus to Place Four FMs in Divestiture Trust.  In its latest FCC filing, Cumulus Media reveals, among numerous other things, that it will divest of four FM stations in markets where it is currently over the FCC’s ownership limits.  The company says that it currently holds a grandfathered attributable interest in more radio stations than is permitted under the Commission’s local radio ownership rules in the Albany, Georgia; Columbia, Missouri; Green Bay; and Toledo markets.   Cumulus is therefore filing an application with the FCC to assign the licenses of country WNUQ-FM, Albany; classic hits KJMO-FM, Linn, Missouri; country WPCK-FM, Denmark, Wisconsin; and sports talk WTOD-FM, Toledo.

Craig Carton to Launch Daily Show on FNTSY Sports Network.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is starting a daily program on SportsGrid’s FNTSY Sports Radio Network tomorrow (3/29).  The “Carton and Friends” streaming program will air from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm via TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and others.  FNTSY calls the show “innovative, irreverent, entertaining, compelling and a must listen…Craig and his group of celebrity friends together with a fresh group of off the wall real-life characters broadcasting live from Studio 34 in heart of Manhattan.”  Carton is in a legal battle with the Feds after being charged with fraud in connection with an alleged concert tickets Ponzi scheme.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports that sports personality Dan Patrick is not going to return to NBC’s “Football Night in America” program.  He says he is going to renew his deal with AT&T/DirecTV – the TV show that is simulcast for radio and syndicated by FOX Sports Radio.  Patrick says he was offered a new, five-year deal to continue with the NBC TV show but says he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to the program for that long…..The new host of the Public Radio International-syndicated, New York Public Radio-produced talk program “The Takeaway” is Tanzina Vega.  The CNN news pro is taking over the permanent position from longtime host John Hockenberry, who left in December after allegations of inappropriate behavior.  Todd Zwillich has been hosting the show in the interim.  Vega begins on May 7.  NYPR president and CEO Laura Walker states, “At this critical moment in our nation’s history, when America is so polarized, public media has an opportunity and a mandate to bring people together to debate, discuss, and share experiences and perspectives that have been buried for too long.  With her deep expertise unpacking tough subjects with thoughtful insight and analysis, Tanzina is the perfect person to lead this urgent national conversation.”…..ABC Radio promotes Josh Cohan to the manager of digital audio position.  ABC News vice president and general manager Steve Jones says, “In his new role, Josh will help lead our expansion of podcasts and other programming across digital audio platforms while continuing to play an important role in our newsroom operations and editorial.”…..iHeartMedia Albany’s sports talker WOFX-AM “FOX Sports 980” renews its deal to serve as the market’s affiliate station for Boston Red Sox baseball through the 2020 season.  “FOX Sports 980” has aired Sox games since 2012…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that Paul Capodanno joins the firm as vice president of marketing and digital.  In the past, Capodanno has served with Zimmerman Advertising where he worked on major campaigns including: Office Depot, Party City, Michaels, and AutoNation…..Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz announces that Emmy Award-winning NBC News executive Mark Lukasiewicz is appointed dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.  The school says that Lukasiewicz brings “deep experience as a broadcast journalist, production executive and transformational newsroom leader known for his innovative methods of integrating digital media and traditional television platforms.”  He begins July 1.

Mark Simone Welcomes Geraldo Rivera.  710 WOR, New York midday personality Mark Simone (right) poses for a pic with news and talk legend Geraldo Rivera (left) in the iHeartMedia New York studios.  Rivera appeared on Simone’s show to kick off his book tour for The Geraldo Show: A Memoir (2018, BenBalla Books).

Trump-Russia Investigation, Justice Stevens Calls for Second Amendment Repeal, 2020 Census Citizenship Flap, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Kim Jong Un in China, Stephon Clark Shooting Death Protests, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the controversy over the questions about one’s citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census; the tensions between California and certain of its cities over sanctuary policies; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visits China; the protests in Sacramento over the police shooting death of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; Thursday’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Detroit TV newsman Stephen Clark is tapped for the new morning show on Entercom’s classic hits WOMC.  The company says the new show debuts on Monday (4/2) with Clark and a co-host to be revealed on Thursday, April 5.  Clark recently retired from WXYZ-TV after 16 years as anchor of the 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm newscasts.  But, he was a disc jockey and radio reporter before moving into TV.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Stephen is an integral part of the fabric of Detroit and we are thrilled to have him open this new chapter in the station’s rich heritage.  Stephen’s connection with our local community, his personality and love of music make him a great fit to take the helm of the new WOMC morning show.”…..On-air pro Chad Pitt (left) is joining iHeartMedia’s WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107-7” as co-host of the “Magic Morning Show,” effective April 2.  Pitt will work on air with incumbent personality Leslye (right).  Station PD Brian Mack says, “Although, nothing will replace our beloved John Forsythe when he embarks on his well-deserved retirement after 50 years of radio, we can take solace in reunification with an old friend.”  Pitt returns to iHM Orlando after working on air in markets including Memphis, Tampa, and Houston…..Envision Networks’ “The Country Oldies Show with host Steve Warren” is added to the program schedule at WJJM, Lewisburg, Tennessee.  “The Country Oldies Show” features a half-century of the greatest country hits from the 1950s to the 1990s.  Warren has been the host and producer of the program since its inception…..Milwaukee Public Schools-owned non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is unveiling the grant and educational initiative “Backline” designed “to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, establish Milwaukee’s reputation as an emerging music city, and help Milwaukee companies attract and retain young employees.”  The station is working with business accelerator gener8tor.  “Backline” will recruit four Milwaukee area musicians or bands for its first 12-week session this summer, modeled on gener8tor’s nationally ranked business start-up accelerator.  Selected musicians and groups will be eligible to receive grants of $20,000 for financial support and initiatives identified through the accelerator process, such as recording, promotion and touring…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival on Saturday, May 5 will feature live performances by: Luke Combs, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Dylan Scott, and Danielle Bradbery.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

| March 20, 2018

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Launches Live Midday Show Hosted by Pat Frisch.  Longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director and air personality Pat Frisch is debuting a new, live midday talk show to air in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Frisch’s eponymous program is being produced by Jim FreeseCumulus Media Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “Some of the largest feedback we’ve received from our listeners is that they love our local programming and they love when Pat fills in on KKOB.  This gives us the opportunity to enhance our live, local approach to radio and gives our listeners the chance to call in, be heard and hear the latest news and topics nationally and locally.”  Frisch hosted the station’s morning drive program in 2005-06.  The station now airs 11 hours of local talk in addition to the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin programs.  Frisch states, “I’m so excited to grab the reigns from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  KKOB is as New Mexican as red or green and Lobos or Aggies.  This move gives us even more opportunity to focus on serving New Mexico.”

KJR-AM, Seattle Makes Programming Changes.  Seattle sports talker KJR-AM announces a new morning drive program called “Chuck and Buck in the Morning” hosted by Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen.  The move of Powell to mornings changes the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Chuck & Puck” show to “The Jason Puckett Show.”  Also, current morning drive personality Dick Fain is moving to the new afternoon drive show with Dave “Softy” Mahler.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Seattle Rich Moore says, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR.  We just got bigger and stronger today.  We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

Broadcasting Live from Qatar.  One of the fastest-growing, independently syndicated news/talk hosts in America – and a long-time Donald Trump insider – John Fredericks is broadcasting his show live this week from Qatar where he is on a Middle East fact-finding mission.  He is pictured yesterday (3/19) with Dr. Ali bin Smaikh al Marri, chairman of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee.  Fredericks tells TALKERS, “We discussed the adverse impact the Saudi-UAE-Baharain-Egypt embargo is having on the basic human rights of Gulf citizens, students, families and migrant workers in Qatar.”  Earlier today (3/20), Fredericks is pictured with Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of @QatarFoundation.  He engaged her in a wide-ranging interview that included Qatar’s unique empowerment of women in the Gulf and the six U.S. universities in Education City.  Fredericks reports, “Her Excellency is focused on education and finding new and innovative ways to learn.  She told me, ‘Our history has not yet been written.’”  Fredericks’ show airs live each day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am ET.  For more information, please click here.

Entercom’s David Field Shares Thoughts on iHeartMedia and Cumulus Bankruptcies in Companywide Memo.  Addressing the bankruptcy proceedings of both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Entercom president and CEO David Field tells his employees that the reason the two companies are in the situation they are is because of “ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies.  Period, full stop.  The bankruptcies have nothing to do with radio.  In fact, any company in any industry that takes on too much debt will suffer a similar fate.”  He goes on to say the radio business is a healthy one that generates earnings and cash flow and he bemoans the “erroneous and misleading narrative” that challenges in the radio business are the reason for the bankruptcies.  “If radio has an issue, it isn’t the size of our audiences or the value of our product or the health of our business model.  No, our issue is that we are highly undervalued and receive far less than our fair share of total ad spending.  With Entercom’s newly enhanced scale, advocacy efforts, marketing capabilities and customer outreach, we intend to change that.  And with iHeart and Cumulus emerging from bankruptcy, the industry will be even healthier going forward and that’s good news for all of us…Let’s make sure we get the word out so that our advertisers, partners, and other key influencers understand the facts and don’t come away with any false perceptions.”

Bill Handel Health Scare.  As chronicled by LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel returned to the air yesterday (3/19) after more than a month off the station.  LARadio.com writes, “His time away from the radio went from a case of the flu to major pain to visits to the ER four times in six days.”  After his case of the flu, Handel began to experience extreme pain and made four visits to the emergency room in six days.  He was treated for a cyst on his spine and sepsis.  Read about it here.

McMahon: Four Steps to Creating Magic on the Radio.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the importance of creating “meaningful emotional experiences” for one’s listeners in order to build and hold a loyal audience.  McMahon says those experiences “make their lives more interesting, rewarding and fun” and they “challenge them to think, feel, and grow.”  Check out his column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Suburban Chicago hot AC WXLC, Waukegan adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” program for the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Haynes Johns is operations manager and program director at the Alpha Media station and he says, “We’re excited about the helpful advice she’ll be sharing with our audience every weeknight, plus the local connection with Chicagoland’s own Dr. Laura Berman!”…..In a piece published in Newsday, former WFAN, New York afternoon drive star Mike Francesa says he misses being on the radio more than he thought he would.  The Big Apple sports talk legend also says he expects to announce his plans to return to the media between April 1 and May 1.  Francesa tells Newsday’s Neil Best that he won’t be doing the 27 and ½ hours per week that he was doing on WFAN, though he expects to be doing “some traditional presentation and some new presentation.”…..Boston University‘s public news/talk station WBUR, Boston is taking ideas for a new radio program as it launches its “Next Great Show Contest.”  Submissions are being accepted now through April 20.  WBUR says it’s seeking “a creative, funny, and engaging person or group of people.  Participants are encouraged to submit an idea that no one has heard before, especially on public radio.  The only requirement is the show needs to be funny.”  Finalists will get to pitch their program to a panel of judges including WBUR producers and award-winning comedian Alonzo Bodden.  The grand prize winner will have a pilot episode produced by WBUR…..ESPN will begin presenting video simulcasts of its ESPN Radio programs “Golic and Wingo” and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPNews, beginning Monday, April 2.  Those two shows join the afternoon “Will Cain Show” on the channel.  “Golic and Wingo” has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6:00 am to 10 am ET.   “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Sports Announcers Report Card publisher David Halberstam is presenting a four-part series commemorating late sports media legend Howard Cosell on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Check it out here.

Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe, McCabe Firing/FBI Investigation Movement, Texas Package Bombings, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; President Trump’s announcement he’ll slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the first week of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago classic hits outlet WLS-FM has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Wade Linder to the position, taking over for Brian Thomas as he moves to Atlanta to program WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Linder moves there from defunct heritage rocker WLUP-FM where he was PD from June 2014 through the station’s recent LMA to Educational Media Foundation.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren states, “Having the luxury of replacing a premier program director like Brian Thomas with Wade Linder doesn’t happen often.  We are most fortunate to be able to move Wade from WLUP-FM to the program director’s role at WLS-FM.  This allows us the opportunity to continue growing upon the heritage and recent success of 94.7 and to keep one of the country’s most talented PD’s in our cluster.”…..Westwood One brings media pro Paul Joseph aboard to assume the newly created role of VP, program operations and content for its music and entertainment division.  The company says Joseph will “leverage his vast industry experience to coach, consult, and train Westwood One/Cumulus hosts and producers to better engage listenership, build their brands, and drive revenue within the company’s pop music programming arena.”  Joseph joins Westwood One from Cumulus Media, Los Angeles.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the amazing Westwood One team.  Our goal is to strengthen programming and content across the platforms by using all the tremendous assets of Westwood One and Cumulus Media, including Zach Sang, the brightest young star in radio.  Many thanks to Suzanne Grimes, Charles Steinhauer, Kirk Stirland, Susan Stephens, and, of course, Mike McVay for their confidence and support. Let’s rock!”…..Cumulus Media names “Lexi and Banks” (pictured at right) the new morning show on country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City RVP and market manager Patrick Reedy states, “With over five years of entertaining SLC under their belt we’re confident that ‘Lexi and Banks’ will hit the ground running with a fun, fast-paced, entertaining show that is sure to put a smile on listeners faces.”…..On-air pro Summer Stevens joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country KOMG, Springfield, Missouri “105.1 The Bull” to co-host morning drive with incumbent personality John Kimmons on the newly renamed “Biscuits & Gravy in the Morning” program.  She’d previously been with Scripps’ crosstown country KTTS.

Round One of February PPM Data Released. Information from the first of four rounds of Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TAKEAWAYS

1) New York City Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of five sweeps in a row without an increase, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” has lost nearly one-half (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #12 to #14. The last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). On the other hand, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (#22, 6+), halting three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS gains one-tenth and remains at #2. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM carries on at #13, registering a 2.8 (6+) for the third straight sweep. Despite the fact it is without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). Down or flat the past four ratings periods for a -.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regains half that loss with a +.2 (1.2, #23, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#24), whose last ten New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off two-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #11, 6+). It entered the January 2017 sweep within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the previous seven survey periods and notched a +1.0 to 3.4, reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 3.0. Co-owned WNYC-AM is -.1 (.7, #26, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A positive spike of one full-share by Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.0 – 6.0, fourth to second, 6+) takes “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” to its best 6+-showing since 6.1 in August. After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but “106.7 Lite FM” remains on top for the seventh straight sweep. Off by one-half share in February as well is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which drops out of the top twenty (2.1 – 1.6, #19 to #21, 6+).

2) Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – The largest plus or minus (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 move in the City of Angels is by iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640,” which returns the six-tenths it grabbed in January (3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Three other news/talkers in the country’s second-largest market combine for an overall 2.4 (6+), including KFI cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” locked on 1.0 for the sixth sweep in succession (#28, 6+); Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #31, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” (flat at .5, #37, 6+). Even though KNX “1070 News Radio” is +.1 to 3.3 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well) – the Entercom all-news outlet segues from a ninth-place tie to tenth. Right behind KNX and unchanged at #11 is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” ties KEIB at #28, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” is flat at .4 (#40, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). “K-Earth” crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Down two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” nonetheless repeats at #1. Prior to its +.6 in January, “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While Cumulus Media’s KLOS is without a loss for the fourth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” backslides from #11 to #13. Onetime all-news outlet (and later sports talk) KFWB is now a Lotus Communications-owned Spanish oldies facility “980 La Mera Mera” and is trending .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 (#35, 6+).

3) Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM elevates from fourth to second (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with its finest 6+-stat (5.3) since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well), Tribune Media news/talk WGN is -.2 to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. This marks the sixth straight up or flat ratings period for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (#23) which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR gained six-tenths in January, but is down two-tenths in February and exits the top twenty (2.7 – 2.5, #17 to #21, 6+); “670 The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Cross-town ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#25, 6+). At #22, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is down or flat for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Not only does Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP double the margin of its January +.6 (2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, 6+), “Me TV FM – Me Music” vaults from #21 all the way to #6. Making a huge leap as well is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (2.6 – 3.3, +.7, 6+), which rockets from #19 to a three-way tie at #8 and matches its September 3.3 (6+). Following a topline (6+) of 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” advances by one-half share to 3.2 (#17 to #11, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WVAZ (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, 6+) repeats at #1; “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had been on top from February through September. Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” is -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. Until about four and a half months ago (11/9/2017), Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston. Off by one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” shifts from second to third. An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” touched the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4).

4) San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to its +.5 in January (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. When Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM surrenders one-half share in February (6.2 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Off one-tenth, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO falls from #19 to #20 (2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, January 2018, and February 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Despite being flat at 2.2 (6+), KSFO climbs from #18 to a three-way logjam at #15. At the same time that KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, eighth to tenth, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths and enters the top twenty (1.7 – 2.1, #18, 6+) with its best 6+-stat (2.1) since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” ends a topline sequence of 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2 (6+) as the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet jumps from ninth to fourth. November 2017 through February 2018 (6+) trending for rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay Area’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6. In three straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” (seventh to sixth) has picked up six-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As a result of an eight-tenths loss (2.8 – 2.0, #12 to #19, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC records its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well).

5) Dallas Spoken-Word Formats –  Without a decrease for the seventh time in a row, Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (steady at #16) is a collective +.7 in that timeframe (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Even though posting its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” backslides from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Also in the news/talk format, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is flat at 1.2 (#30, 6+); Cumulus Media Group’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at .7 (#35, 6+); and North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA is up by one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, #20, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK registered a one-half share uptick in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” coughs up 60% of that increase in February (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, #11 to #12, 6+). The market’s two other sports talk outlets are down as well: Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” off one full-share in four straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, #22, 6+), and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” a collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #33, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (6+). While “Kiss” repeats at #1, it is tied for the lead with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (5.2 – 5.4, +.2, second to first, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (5.4, as well). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Consistent in registering a 3.4 six of the last seven ratings periods (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” hangs out a +.5 to 3.9 and enters the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #7). After improving by one full-share in January (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” forfeits one-half that increase (3.6, -.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11); January’s 4.1 was its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June 2017.

6) Houston Spoken-Word Formats – Back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.8 – 3.6, -.2, down from #13 in January, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1 – 3.5, +.4, up from #17 in January, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). There is no positive movement on any of the market’s three sports talk signals: Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – .8, -.1, #24, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” (flat at .7, #25, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .6, #27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Duplicating its +.5 in January (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” progresses from #15 to a three-way tie-up at #11. Before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017, “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.2 to 7.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the fourth time in a row; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Unchanged at #3, co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7 in four straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). On the heels of a +1.0 in January, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to ninth, 6+); January’s 5.1 is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Dropping by one-half share is Liberman’s KEYH “La Ranchera” (.7 – .2, #31, 6+).

7) Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 27th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM surrenders exactly one-half of January’s +1.6 (10.2 – 9.4, -.8, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Flat at 1.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” moves from a tie at #19 to a four-way logjam at #18. Three other Atlanta commercial news/talkers all check in at .1 (6+): Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer”; iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640”; and Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community.” With a December 2017 – February 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE carries on at #7, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, #25, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” sputters by -1.1 in February to 2.6 (#13 to #17, 6+). Via four successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up three-tenths and trails “The Game” by just over one-share.

Atlanta Music Formats – Within 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” busts out a +.7 to 4.2 (#14 to #12, 6+). Somewhat similarly, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV has recorded a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (5.5 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “97.1 The River” improves by six-tenths to 6.1, advancing from fourth to second. A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.0 in January and February (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot to fourth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Returning all of January’s half-share gain – and an extra one-tenth (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+) – Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” slips from #12 to #14. The market’s two mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2 #11 in January, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, 6+) are tied for tenth-place. By picking up one-tenth in January, “Q-100” ended four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); “Power” was +.5 in January.

8) Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for WIP. The flagship of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, but is -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom sports talk property repeats at #1. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Both Entercom all-news KYW as well as public news/talk WHYY improved by one full-share in January. Now, KYW is -.1 (5.2 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+), while WHYY regresses by three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+); WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Finishing at #18 and #19, respectively, after being tied at #18 (1.8, 6+) in January are Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (1.9, +.1, 6+) and – from outside the market – Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.8, flat, 6+). WPHT had been -.9 in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share, Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). This is the first time since September’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reaches the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. With its best 6+-stat since September’s 6.6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” has a positive spike of one full-share (5.3 – 6.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Owing to a +.9 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Immediately following an increase of six-tenths, urban AC cluster-mate WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” falters by -1.1 (6.6 – 5.5, 6+), sliding from third to sixth. Three-tenths behind aforementioned WIP is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-tenth to 8.4 (6+), after a January 2018 decrease of -8.7. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” had been a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

9) Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – Mirroring Atlanta’s WZGC, and Philadelphia’s WDAS-FM for largest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (see above), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” is -1.1 in the Long Island report (4.0 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #11). Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” checks in at #24. Tied with WFAN at #11 is its all-news cluster-mate WINS (down from #10 in January), which is without an increase in Long Island for the sixth time in succession for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM drops four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6, 6+), drifting from #11 to #16. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Improving for the third time in a row for an overall +.8 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #16 to #14. Following three consecutive modest losses for a -.5 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC picked up one-tenth in January and repeats its 1.2 in February (#25, 6+). At #23, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM records a 1.8 for the third straight ratings period (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share swells by +1.9, mainly fueled by a +1.4 from Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (4.0 – 5.4, 6+), which rises from a three-way tie at #6 to #2. Its +.6 in January ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). The other half-share of that +1.9 comes from iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” (5.2, flat at #3, 6+), which had been down the past four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WBZO is off three-tenths to 3.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Having slipped by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, “103.1 Max FM” answered with a +1.2 in January to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. In five straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” is +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” leaps from #20 to #14. Its January increase halted at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). There is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, which was up six-tenths in January as well, and tacks on one-half share in February (3.0 – 3.5, #11 to #9, 6+). Flat at 7.4 (6+), bouncing back from January’s -5.4, WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. The Connoisseur Media hot AC was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.7 in January and February (8.5 – 4.4 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 40th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by two-tenths, after adding four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and drops from #14 to #16 (2.6, 6+).

10) Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR returns that collective four-tenths in its entirety (.9, #13 to #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – February 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” inches up from #18 to #17.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of dialing up a January +1.8 (5.5 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA piles on a +1.1 to 8.4 and repeats at #1. January’s huge gain pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot just over two years ago with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Dusting itself off from a January -.5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” displays a +.7 (3.6 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. A no-show from July 2017 through November 2017, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 (#15 to #13, 6+) since then. Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KXSB, which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+), disappears from print. Nearly doubling its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” sputters by one-half share to 2.5 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0.

11) San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 8.5 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – repeats at #1. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. It has a 2.7-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which squanders eight-tenths in February (6.6 – 5.8, flat at #2, 6+). Up by a combined seven-tenths in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO progresses from #14 to #12. In a five-way scrum at #20 is co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Ping-ponging from 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” slips from #11 to #13. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January loses three-tenths (.6, #30 to #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains two-tenths to 1.2 (#29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – As the result of five increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9, fifth to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7. Owing to a gain of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” proceeds from eighth to sixth. After doubling its 6+-share in three successive up or flat trends from October through “Holiday” 2017 (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ relinquished one-half share in January but regains it all and another one-tenth (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+) as “93.3 La Raza” is part of that five-way tie at #20 (up from #27 in January). Returning in full the seven-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” segues from fifth to eighth (4.0, 6+).

12) Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – Although down three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Back-to-back are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.7, +.2, #22, 6+) and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #23, 6+). WOR was -.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is a cumulative +1.2 and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.9 in four successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). At #21, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+). This is the third consecutive downward move for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM for a -.6 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Conversely, all-news sibling WINS (#25) is up for the third straight time for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Although unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” posts a +1.1 5.9 (6+). A January loss of two-tenths halted three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Progressing by one-half share each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” (5.8 – 6.3, steady at #3, 6+); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (unchanged at #5, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (seventh to sixth, 6+); and co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#14 to #9, 6+). WBLS regains in its entirety the half-share it lost in January. “New York’s Greatest Hits” extends its successive string of up or flat moves to four for an overall +1.2 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), while in its fourth straight up or flat trend, “Z-100” is a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+). As the result of three positive or flat trends in succession, “Power 105.1” is a collective +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). An improvement of one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (#13 to #12) draws to a close four downward trends in a row for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2,  6+). In addition to slumping by seven-tenths (3.3 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom mainstream CHR-turned-alternative WBMP “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” exits the top ten (#10 to #15). Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” spirals by nine-tenths from 3.1 to 2.2 (#14 to #18, 6+). Declining by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary and classic rock siblings WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” (6.9, flat at #2, 6+) and WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.4 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Lite-FM” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but shifted to second in January. Its -4.1 in January ended six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon 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.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies 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. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

E.W. Scripps Puts Radio Stations Up for Sale.  We’d call this a “shocker,” but there have been rumors in the industry recently that E.W. Scripps is not happy with the performances of its radio stations and is looking to sell.  Today’s announcement seems to verify that.  Saying that it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings,” it is also planning to sell its 34 radio stations and has “retained Kalil & Co., Inc. to handle the process.”  In the press release, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “Today, Scripps is a dynamic leader in the media industry through its strong local TV station portfolio, its growing multicast network, its national news network, and its podcasting business.  The enterprise-wide restructuring positions us well for continued growth while maintaining high-quality journalism as our central focus…Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”  Scripps got into the radio business as a result of the merger between Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps back in April of 2015.  The two companies merged and spun off their newspaper assets as Journal Media Group with E.W. Scripps keeping Journal’s TV and radio stations.  Adding more insight into Scripps’ restructuring plans, the press release says, “During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge.  The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.  The annual cost savings are driven by reductions in head count and operating expenses over the next 12 to 18 months.  These include centralization of services and technology; sharing of resources; elimination of redundant positions and services; and other expense reductions.”

McKay and Barks Out at KNZR, Bakersfield.  According to a report at Bakersfield.com and KERO-TV, Bakersfield, KNZR talk radio personalities Jaz McKay and Inga Barks have exited the Alpha Media news/talk station.  The moves happened within a week of each other but little else is known since Alpha Media is not commenting publicly about either change.  Barks hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and she’s been replaced by former Bakersfield city councilman Terry Maxwell.  McKay’s departure is a little more interesting.  McKay shot a Facebook Live video of himself sitting in his car going up the dial of his radio and commenting on the large number of Spanish-language stations, eventually using the word “spic.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is now being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

Cumulus WYAY, Atlanta Completes Transition from Newsradio to Talk. It may appear to be just a formality at this point, but Cumulus Media has taken the final step is transitioning WYAY-FM from its former all-news format to news/talk.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Rodney Ho reports that station program director Tom Lee says, “The whole concept is personality-driven radio.  People can get news anywhere.  They can’t get Shannon [Burke] or the Kimmer [Kim Peterson].  Our goal is to have four morning shows, one after another.”  The station canceled its remaining newsy program – the morning drive show featuring Rob Stadler – at the end of 2017.  It’s currently seeking a talk host for morning drive.  Read Ho’s piece here.

‘Markley & van Camp’ Expand Syndication Effort.  The WMBD-A, Peoria-based “Markley & van Camp” show is spreading its syndication wings by signing a deal with Compass Media Networks to handle syndication of the program, effective April 2.  The program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David van Camp – airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It’s also heard on other Alpha Media stations, including: KXL-FM, Portland; WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City; and WBRP-FM, Baton Rouge.  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “Thank you Alpha Media for developing MVC! ‘Markley & van Camp’ bring a unique mix of humor and fun to current events that will retain core talk radio listeners while gaining the hearts and minds of millennials searching for compelling daytime entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. Willamette Week reports that Portland radio personality Sheila Hamilton is no longer with Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM where she was co-hosting the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  She had also been heard in the market on the company’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland in morning drive with co-host Cort Johnson, but their show was replaced in May of 2017.  Hamilton told the Willamette Week she’s waiting until “final negotiations have been resolved” before explaining her departure.  There are rumors in the industry that Alpha Media is undergoing a company-wide, cost-cutting measure and some speculate that Hamilton’s departure from KXL and the recent actions taken at the company’s KNZR, Bakersfield – among others – support the theory…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group is collaborating with Cape Fear Valley Health to present a cluster-wide, commercial-free program to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic titled, “Fayetteville Fights Back.”  The program will air on January 30 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the company’s five stations in the market.  Physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, and addiction specialists – along with local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio) – will participate in the simulcast.

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI 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.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018).  The vast majority of (but not all) major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. See all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to this sweep, WHUR was anchored in third-place for each of the last 12 ratings periods. Entering the November ratings period, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three monthlies for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). As for WMMJ, it is up or flat for the fourth month in succession for a collective gain of +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Aforementioned American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is now a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. A one-half share gain in December by WLZL (1.6 – 2.1, 6+) elevated the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016), but “El Zol 107.9” returns all of that gain and one-tenth more (1.5, -.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WWDC “DC 101 – DC’s Alternative Rock Station” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #16, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.3, January 2016). In eleven straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS is a combined -.8, as “93.3 Today’s New Country” drops from #21 to #22.

2) Boston – Tacking on a +4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 to December’s +3.5 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1. Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but “The Sports Hub” surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December. The flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots bounces back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+), progressing from fourth to third. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Its “stream” disappears in “Holiday” 2017, following a .6 (6+) in December. Falling by six-tenths as well as the WBZ-FM stream is Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 for R&B” (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #18, 6+). Beantown’s (6+) CHR share erodes by -1.4, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, flat at #2, 6+) and Entercom-owned WODS “Amp Radio 103.3” (2.6, -.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). “Amp” had been a collective +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). This represents the sixth downward move in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WZLX, accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+), with “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dipping below a four-share (6+) for the first time since January 2017 (3.4, as well). A collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), WBUR drops from sixth to seventh. In November, the Boston University-owned news/talker added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). After three positive spikes in a row produced a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” surrenders roughly half that total (2.5, -.6, 6+) but carries on at #14. As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (formerly CBS Radio’s WBMX) is off by one full-share (#11 to #12). Entercom transferred the WBMX calls to Chicago on the station formerly known as WJMK. After four successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB stumbles by two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), yet improves from #18 to #16. In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which has its fifth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) for an overall -.8. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+) and improves from eighth to sixth. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – This Florida market’s top three finishers in “Holiday” 2017 are separated by four-tenths of a share. The December 2017 difference between the same three outlets (now in a different order) was just two-tenths. Two adult contemporary outlets are included in that trio: Entercom-owned WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (third to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.7, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Lite” is a collective +1.3 in four successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance since 7.0 in November 2016. It displaces “Easy 93.1,” which had registered a +.2 in each of the last three sweeps (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progressed from second to first in December. The third member of that trio is WFEZ urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105,” which is -1.5 in three dips in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before “Easy” succeeded it in December. An overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” gains three-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and is steady at #15. Up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #21, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD ends at six a string of down or flat trends for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four positive spikes in succession for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” erodes by one full-share to 5.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Locked on 4.0 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) and carries on at #8. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August. The May through “Holiday” 2017 (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 (flat at #17).

4) Detroit – By registering its fifth straight increase (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” has improved by nearly ten full-shares (6+) and is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved one year ago (13.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). After notching three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. A gain of six-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” applies the brakes to three straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (fifth to seventh) is a collective -2.2. It is a rough sweep for the market’s two CHRs as iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” is -.6 (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). “Channel 95.5” was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December. The -.6 by “Amp” curtails three up or flat trends in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to sixth, 6+); Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (#11 to #12, 6+), which is a collective -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths (in November) to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is without an increase for the eighth consecutive sweep and is -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picks up two-tenths (2.0, flat at #19, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – Adding a +3.7 to December’s +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1 – 11.8, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Stymied at 3.4 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” rolls out a +2.3 to 5.7 (6+). Not only does “Star” reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, it leapfrogs from a three-way tie at #12 all the way to a tie at #3. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 3.9 (October – November – December, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” dials up a +.7 to 4.6 – its highest 6+-share since July’s 5.0 – and advances from seventh to sixth. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which shifts from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia, picks up three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. Up until December 4, Hubbard’s KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it flipped to “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country.” Without an increase for the fifth month in a row (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), KVRQ has eroded by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23). Forfeiting in full December’s one-half share increase, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) drifts from #12 to #15. Prior to December’s +.5, “The Wolf” was -.4 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” drops out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Although it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (1.3 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW remains at #22. Seattle’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, and was -.7 in November. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW (6.4, steady at #2, 6+), which closes five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 fourth to fifth, 6+), and Aloha Station Trust contemporary Christian KTDD “Positive Hit Music” (.7 – .2, #30, 6+). Without a decrease in the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#21, 6+). Following five straight up or flat monthlies that nearly tripled its 6+-share (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” drops three-tenths to 1.0 (6+, #24 to #23). Conversely, after three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” adds two-tenths to 2.8 (#19 to #17, 6+).

6) Phoenix – While its “Holiday” 2017 gain (+4.3) is not as lofty as December’s +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.2 – 12.1 – 16.4, 6+) repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016.  Not only that, KESZ has a nearly three-to-one advantage over the runner-up, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -2.4 as the result of its fifth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). KSLX – which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8 – exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Up an overall nine-tenths in four successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” carries on at #19. A combined -1.2 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drifts from sixth to tenth; 3.3 is its lowest 6+-share since February (3.3, as well). With identical 3.8 – 3.2 (-.6, #8 to #11, 6+) topline profiles are Entercom’s KALV “Live 101.5” and Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; and now -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). While very consistent April through July (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); lost three-tenths in November; and has sputtered by an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). It exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

7) Minneapolis – Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary station ranks first in 11 of the 12 markets featured here. The exception is the Twin Cities, which – by the way – is the only PPM-market which does not have a mainstream AC. Powered by a +5.2 following December’s +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0 – 14.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -2.9 as the result of six straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is bumped from the top ten (#9 to #12). Furthermore, it is overtaken by Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which gains four-tenths to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.8 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share evaporates by -1.8, split between “Kool 108” cluster-mate KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (-1.1, #12 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (-.7, third to fifth, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” is now a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, “Cities 97” continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+). Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD3 channel improves by one-half share (.7 – 1.2, 6+), cracking the top twenty at #18. Down seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, reprises at #2; it finished first in October and November. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). The third part of the iHeartMedia #1/#2/#3 finish (in addition to KQQL and KFXN) is CHR KDWB, which is a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK posted a +.9 in December to 5.5 (6+), but “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” squanders roughly half of that increase (5.0, -.5, 6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

8) San Diego – Over and above posting its fourth straight uptick for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first, exceeding (by four-tenths) its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though KPBS gains three-tenths (6.0 – 6.3, 6+), the San Diego State University-owned news/talker segues from first to second. A December gain of four-tenths pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in calendar year 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS was on top. Three straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” net a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By rolling out a full-share gain (4.1 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” jumps from ninth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 5.2. With similar call letters, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” improves by six-tenths to 3.0, #18 to #13, 6+, curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). In three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO has eroded by three full-shares, drifting from fourth to seventh. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” follows in December and “Holiday” 2017 with an overall -1.9 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14; November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat for four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” returns seven-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#15 to #21). A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Slipping by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMYI “Star 94.1” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -1.0 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). As the result of three improvements in succession, XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, 6+), but the Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet drops two-tenths to 3.5 (6+); nonetheless, it climbs from #12 to #11.

9) Denver – After hanging out a December +1.8, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” follows with a +3.7 (7.8 – 11.5, 6+) as the Bonneville adult contemporary property is #1 for the third month in a row. This (11.5) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Trending 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.6 (October – November – December, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” posts a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.2 (#18 to #14, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” registers a gain of one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#13 to #8). Its classic hits-oldies sibling KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In three straight down or flat sweeps, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). This is the fourth straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” (third to fifth) for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). An overall +.9 in November and December (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+), cluster-mate KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” coughs up eight-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #21). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was up six-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.6 (6+), exiting the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville country outlet KYGO, which is down or flat for the eighth month in a row for a collective -1.4 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, flat at #2, 6+), and Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.2 – 3.7, #8 to #11, 6+). After six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW slips by one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), yet inches up from #20 to #19.

10) Tampa – It is a bit of a mixed bag for the market’s adult contemporary outlets. On the plus side, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” tacks on a +1.6 to December’s +1.2 and has more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+). Moreover, it rockets from #18 to a three-way tie at #9. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 is now its best-ever 6+-stat. At the same time, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” hangs out a +1.5 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+) and is the market’s pacesetter for the 64th successive ratings period. In “Holiday” 2016, “Lite Favorites” had a 12.7 (6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). On the flipside though in the AC format, WDUV cluster-mate WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one full-share (4.9 – 3.9, 6+), fading from #5 to #12. Bouncing back from December’s -.6, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is up nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+). “The Joy FM” was +.6 in November, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 is the highest 6+-share for WCIE since July (5.1, as well). Following three straight gains (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” returns more than half of that cumulative +2.2 with a -1.3 to 4.7 (third to sixth, 6+). Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 was its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Advancing from fifth to third, its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+). As a result, it curtails three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Posting a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is off six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Without an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” drops from #16 to #18.

11) Baltimore – Easily scoring top honors for the most robust (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WLIF “Today’s 101.9” with an eye-popping +6.6 (9.7 – 16.3, repeating at #1, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Entercom adult contemporary facility, which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. One year ago at this time, “Today’s 101.9” registered a 15.3 (6+, “Holiday” 2016). Occupying the top spot for four months in succession, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” segued to #2 in December and continues there in “Holiday” 2017. Furthermore, it is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in a row for a combined +2.4 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4, 6+). In the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far, “Magic” is the only station at #2 that achieves double-digits (6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Applying the brakes to three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” improves by two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), progressing from ninth to sixth. Within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WPOC was below a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (4.7). After sputtering by six-tenths in December (5.2 – 4.6, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” falters by twice that margin to 3.4 (-1.2, 6+) and spirals from fifth to tenth. In a similar vein, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” was -.7 in December and follows with a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, #9 to #12, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+); independent WCBM “680 – Stimulating News Talk,” which had been +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), but is back at 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+); and iHeartMedia gospel WCAO “Heaven 600” (1.0 -.4, #16 to #21, 6+). While it remains at #15, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” forfeits roughly half of December’s +.9 (1.6 – 1.1, -.5, 6+); December’s 1.6 is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s. The ten most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+). Most recently, that topline includes five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Not only is KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” up six full-shares via three successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary leaps from fourth to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It succeeds iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which – despite rebounding from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 (7.3 – 9.5, 6+) – segues to #2. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. The wild ride truly continues for WARH “106.5 The Arch.” The Hubbard adult hits outlet was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); +.6 in December; and now -1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (6.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. When Emmis’ KPNT lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Now, “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” regresses by -1.1 (4.4 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in November and December, CHR cluster-mate KNOW “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” is off by one-half share as well (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). Returning all of December’s +.6 and one-tenth more (7.0 – 6.3, -.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” slips from second to fourth. December’s increase by “The Lou” concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (sixth to fifth) is a cumulative -3.0 and has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+).

Monday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2018

Imus: Show Will End on March 29.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media or Westwood One, but Don Imus announced on the WABC, New York-based morning program today (1/22) that he will end the “Imus in the Morning” program on March 29.  The iconic New York and nationally syndicated program has been part of the broadcast landscape in America since the early 1970s.  Stay tuned as more information about the change is revealed.

WTVN, Columbus Talk Host John Corby Dead at 61.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that afternoon drive host John Corby had been off the air a few days prior to his unexpected death at 61 on Saturday (1/20).  No cause of death has been announced but the Dispatch story says fellow station personalities said on the air that he passed peacefully at Mount Carmel West Hospital.  He is survived by his wife Jodi and a daughter.  He worked at WTVN from 1984 to 1994, when he left to host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh.  He returned to WTVN in 1997.  Read the Dispatch obituary here.

Profile: Reliable Remote Royalty Comrex.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of the company so many broadcasters have turned to over the years to provide them with the high-quality, American-made equipment to get “studio-quality” audio from remote locations to their transmitters.  The 60-year-old Comrex Corporation was born as a firm dedicated to providing wireless microphones to the Broadway theater and live events markets.  But, the company quickly transitioned into one that used telephone lines to deliver “higher-quality audio” from remote locations to broadcast facilities.  Comrex truly upped its game by leading the industry with its mastery of voice-over-Internet protocol in its line of ACCESS products.  Read all about it here.

Are Radio and Agencies Missing the Mark by Not More Heavily Targeting Boomers?  Two noted media consultants think that the radio and advertising industries are blowing a huge opportunity by not paying more attention to the increasingly growing 65-plus crowd.  TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke and Jacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs tackled the issue this past Friday on the latest installment of Cooke’s weekly TV talk show “The Big Picture” on RT America.  The two boomers make a very strong case for their generation’s radio marketplace pertinence showing statistics and examples of the affluence and influence wielded by today’s upper-demo audience.  To see the video of “Baby Boomers: The Most Consequential Generation,” please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The sale of Boston AM signal WBIX, means the demise of the Salem Media Group conservative talk format in the market.  Salem is selling the station to religious entity International Church of the Grace of God Inc. for $685,000 — $185,000 more than it paid for the signal when it bought it from ABC/Disney almost three years ago.  The church is already airing a Portuguese-language format on the station under an LMA…..The fourth signal that made up Connoisseur Media’s “Talk of Connecticut” format is being sold to Trignition for $260,000.  WWCO, Waterbury and the construction permit for an FM translator were not part of the recent announcement of the sale by Connoisseur of WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden to Red Wolf Broadcasting for $8 million…..At San Diego’s Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas, Jenny Rose Gonzalez is promoted from her local sales manager post to general sales manager for the cluster that includes: sports talk XEPRS “The Mighty 1090,” sports XEPE “ESPN 1700,” and classic hits XHPRS “105.7 Max-FM.”  Station president and general manager Mike Glickenhaus comments, “It is always great when you can promote from within your organization.  This promotion reflects the dedication, creativity, passion, leadership, and great work ethic that Jenny Rose has demonstrated day in and day out since she walked in the door.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning personality Steve Harvey is getting another year for his television talk show.  NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announces that it is picking up a second season for the “Steve” program.   Of course, Harvey’s daily radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  NBCUniversal says that Harvey’s show delivered “a season high 1.5 rating for the week ending 1/7/18.”  The program “recently averaged a 1.4 national household rating for the November 2017 sweep, delivering the highest November sweep rating for a new, first-run, one-hour syndicated program in five years.”…..In Maine, Townsquare Media steals Boston Red Sox play-by-play away from Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor.  With the new affiliation with the WEEI, Boston-based Red Sox Radio Network, Townsquare’s WEZQ, Bangor “92.9 The Ticket” holds the play-by-play rights to all four Boston sports teams.

Government Shutdown, DACA/Immigration Policy, Women’s Marches, Allegations Hillary Clinton Investigation Was Fixed, the SAG Awards, Middle East Peace Talks, Kabul Hotel Attack, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown and the politics of crafting a solution to the impasse; the Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama era DACA act and its immigration policy; the weekend’s women’s marches that took place across the country; allegations that former members of Robert Mueller’s team knew that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted in the emails investigation ahead of time; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards show; Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel after visiting Egypt and Jordan for Middle East peace talks; terror attacks at the International Hotel in Kabul; and Sunday’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the establishment of the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away last week at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, Florida.  McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is responsible for putting legendary talk host Rush Limbaugh into syndication in 1987.  McLaughlin was a longtime chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of chairman emeritus at the time of his death.  To donate to the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email: info@thebfoa.org.

Karen Hunter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of the most important talk media personalities in the industry whose time has definitely come,” SiriusXM Satellite Radio star Karen Hunter joins the TALKERS founder as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Hunter hosts a daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm talk program on the SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel that has been receiving glowing industry acclaim.  She is also a prolific New York Times best-selling co-author; CEO of highly successful Karen Hunter Publishing; and a professor of film and media at Hunter College in New York City.  (The name is coincidental.)  Hunter is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the first female African American news columnist at the New York Daily News.  Harrison and Hunter discuss today’s hottest issues regarding media, race, society, gender relations, education, science, religion and politics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. If Cumulus Media gets its way and a bankruptcy judge allows the company to get out of its deal to buy WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago from Merlin Media, Merlin principal Randy Michaels says the company is prepared to step in and operate the alternative and classic rock stations, “essentially, as is.”  That’s according to Robert Channick’s piece in the Chicago Tribune.  Cumulus appealed to the court to get out of certain deals that are losing ventures – such as the White Sox and Bulls play-by-play contracts for WLS-AM that are revenue negative.  Cumulus told the court that the Merlin LMA of the two rock stations has cost it $8.4 million to date.  Merlin exercised the option in the contract to sell the stations to Cumulus for $50 million.  Cumulus is asking the court to allow it to get out of that deal, as well.  Cumulus and Merlin have been trying to negotiate a new deal but have not been able to come to terms that each side like.  A judge is set to decide on Cumulus’ requests by February 1.  Cumulus hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by May 29…..Alternative rock radio pro Lisa Worden is adding program director for KSYR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” to her responsibilities for iHeartMedia.  She was appointed vice president of programming for the station and alternative rock brand manager for the company’s National Programming Group when she joined it back in November.  She was previously assistant program director and music director for crosstown KROQ-FM, Los Angeles prior to the station’s sale from CBS RADIO to Entercom…..After two years in the St. Louis market as regional SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, A.J. moves to the company’s Charlotte market where he’ll be the new program director for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” effective February 12.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments,  “Bringing A.J. to Charlotte is a game-changer for the market.  He is passionate and creative as well as analytical and strategic.  He’s the perfect addition to team Charlotte.”  In St. Louis, he programmed CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Entercom and KMXB, Las Vegas “Mix 94.1” agree to terms on a contract renewal for morning personalities Mercedes Martinez (right) and JC Fernandez (left).  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “‘Mercedes in the Morning’ is an integral part of the Las Vegas community’s morning and we are proud to continue our partnership with the iconic Mercedes and JC for the years to come.  Both bring an exciting energy to ‘Mix 94.1’ and we are looking forward to seeing them take the show to new heights.”…..Sean Stewart is the new program director and morning drive personality at Entercom’s rock WRXR, Chattanooga “Rock 105.”  Stewart, who moves to WRXR from his post as music director at crosstown CHR WDOD, says, “This role is a huge opportunity and I’m excited to bring new life into Chattanooga’s best rock brand.”…..Westwood One is again the official radio broadcast partner of the Recording Academy and the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.”  As part of its build-up to the January 28 awards show, Westwood One is presenting 13 “intimate performances for passionate music lovers and dedicated station listeners” live from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 high atop Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Hot AC WPLJ and country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” are hosting the invite-only performances that will feature: Troye Sivan, Lauv, Bleachers, Cody Simpson, Logan Henderson, Shane Owens, Max, Marshmello, Jessie Chris, Lauren Alaina, PJ Morton, Midland, and Kelly Clarkson.

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.

“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.

Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.

 News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.

TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England PatriotsTennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.

Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.

PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.

SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.

FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).

Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2018

Joe ‘Pags’ Show Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” arrives at the 100-affiliate mark with the addition of KPAM, Portland to its affiliate roster.  Joe Pagliarulo’s WOAI, San Antonio-based program is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksSalem Media Group SVP/spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Years ago a young TV anchor in Albany called me to ask how he could get into talk radio.  That was Joe Pags.  I figured it was a passing fantasy, but no, he was serious.  What an honor to be his 100th affiliate in Portland at our newest talk station.  Our listeners there are in for a real treat.  And congrats Joe, you made it!”  Pags adds, “It’s an absolute thrill to add such a great station like KPAM in a top market like Portland!  For this powerhouse to also be my 100th affiliate and to once again be working with Phil Boyce is truly humbling.”

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC.  The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention.  TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday.  Save the date, this