Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 92.  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 92 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.”

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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 promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Rob Stadler Gone From Mornings at WYAY, Atlanta. As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” parted ways with Rob Stadler – host of the morning news program – at the end of 2017.  Ho reports that WYAY program director Tom Lee has not named a successor to the Stadler-hosted program, but Ho suspects the new program will be more of a talk show than a news show.  This for the station that launched in 2012 as an all-news outlet.  Talk radio pros Mike Brooks and Rob Carson have been filling in hosting the AM drive program.  For his part, Stadler told Ho in a text, “The last two years have been a lot of fun, but my sights are now set on a new position that doesn’t require a 1 a.m. wake-up!  Can’t talk about it right now but soon…I sincerely wish the talk and news talent at WYAY-FM the very best for future success!”

KKFN, Denver Adds More Local Content.  There’s more local sports talk on Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” with the extension of the “Pritchard and Cecil” program and the addition of a Sandy Clough-hosted evening show.  Well-known Denver sports voice Sandy Clough begins hosting a 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on January 16.  Effective immediately, the “Pritchard and Cecil” program – co-hosted by Mike Pritchard and Cecil Lammey – is airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “Broncos country and the Denver sports community has shown us there’s a clear demand from ‘104.3 The Fan’ for more local sports talk.  We’re excited to give our audience even more of an opportunity to feed their passion on a daily basis.  It’s something they both yearn for and deserve.  Sandy Clough is an institution in the Denver sports radio market.  In the evening, Denver sports fans are looking for an outlet, and having Sandy on from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm will allow him to not only give perspective on Broncos headlines but also provide postgame reaction to the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and other Denver sports events.”

Longtime WGN, Chicago Talk Host Milt Rosenberg Passes at 92.  Legendary Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg died yesterday (1/9) after complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.  Rosenberg was a University of Chicago psychology professor who hosted the evening “Extension 720” program on Tribune’s WGN from 1973 through his “forced retirement” in 2012.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s obit for Rosenberg here.

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’s filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

PodcastOne and AP Team Up for Sports Coverage.  A new relationship between PodcastOne SportsNet and AP promises to provide reports from national and international sporting events, beginning with the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.  This deal also includes new PodcastOne and AP content, with some premiering as soon as this week.  Additionally, “Red Circle Sports with Dennis Miller,” “Riggle’s Picks,” “Real GM” and others will be added to PodcastOne SportsNet lineup.  PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This will provide AP and PodcastOne subscribers with real-time, daily news reports, commentary and original content. It will provide additional power to the explosive growth of podcasting, while taking maximum advantage of the unmatched connection to listeners that podcasts already provide.  AP Sports is everywhere with on-the-ground, first-hand coverage that will now be available via podcasts as never before.”  Content produced by AP and PodcastOne SportsNet will be distributed on AP platforms, as well as PodcastOne.com and the PodcastOne app.

Brendan Carr Nominated for Full FCC Term.  Republican FCC commissioner Brendan Carr is being nominated for a full, five-year term on the Commission.  Based on comments from fellow commissioners – including FCC chairman Ajit Pai – Carr has the support of the rest of the commission.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a supportive statement to Senator Cory Booker, “To be sure, Commissioner Carr is a dedicated public servant.  He has been a very responsive and concerned FCC Commissioner, sensitive to the issues brought to his attention by the NJBA.  Moreover, his courteous response to our communications translates to his committed staff and we are grateful for their service to our great industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The latest station to add the Radio America-syndicated “Chad Benson Show” is Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Radio America says KTAR-FM joins a growing list of affiliates that includes KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; WDBO-FM, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; and KTSA-AM, San Antonio among others. Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Chad is an incredible talent who will talk about the political headwinds in America, plus deliver his unique views on other real-life issues that the Valley cares about.  From the economy to social media, to different things working people experience daily, he is a wonderful storyteller on a mission to entertain.  We’re also excited to be partnering with the team at Radio America as they continue to deliver the best of the next generation of talk programming.”…..Saga Communications’ Cayuga Radio Group names John Summers brand manager and news director for news/talk WHCU, Ithaca, New York, effective January 22.  Summers was most recently regional program director and news director for Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network…..With the decision by Breitbart News to part ways with Stephen K. Bannon – who served briefly with the Trump Administration as a senior adviser to the president – his work hosting the “Breitbart News Radio” program that airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel also ends.  SiriusXM announced the separation yesterday (1/9)…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio division for podcasting, streaming, and advertising – dubbed “cabana” – publishes its comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidebook to helping podcasters and their advertisers meet their marketing goals.   AdLarge says the report “includes a glossary of terms with clear, concise descriptions of the different advertising options in podcasting and spotlights how each of them can deliver specific benefits to a campaign.”

Trump DACA Rollback, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Trump Russia Dossier, De Niro Trump Rant, California Mud Slides, North-South Korea Talks, Arpaio Senate Run, Alabama Wins CFC in Overtime, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The attempt by the Trump Administration to roll back the Obama-era DACA and a judge’s ruling to stay that move; Stephen K. Bannon splits from executive post at Breitbart News; the ongoing controversy over Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book; the Donald Trump Russia dossier and the new suit by Trump lawyers against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS; actor Robert De Niro’s rant against President Trump at an awards ceremony; the deadly California mudslides; the talks between North and South Korea and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s giving credit to President Trump for forcing the talks; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces plans to run for U.S. Senate; Alabama beats Georgia in overtime to win the College Football Championship; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The new morning show at Entercom Communications’ CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” is the duo of Edgar Sotelo and Brian Moote, effective February.  Entercom’s SVP/market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring together Edgar and Brian on ‘AMP Radio.’  Both of them are smart, genuine and funny and we look forward to watching them make a huge impact in LA – on air, on-site at local events and on social media.”  Edgar Sotelo previously served as the morning show host at WBMP, New York “AMP Radio.”  Brian Moote exited his gig with the Atlanta-based, syndicated “The Bert Show” to take this new gig…..RadioInfo sources in New York say Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has removed Rick Gillette from the program director role at the station.  We are also hearing that Gillette is being offered the chance to remain with the company in another capacity.  Assistant program director Mike Allan is now acting PD for “95.5 PLJ.”…..Rock programmer Garett Michaels joins Local Media San Diego’s alternative XTRA, San Diego “91X” as program director.  Michaels’ work in the San Diego market includes his most recent stint with Local Media San Diego and Midwest Television at rock KFM-BFM and almost 10 years programming alternative KBZT.  He also programmed alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” from 2013 through 2015.  He says, “After spending the last year consulting and working with the team, I couldn’t be more excited to officially join Local Media San Diego.  It’s an honor to be a part of ‘91X,’ a station that represents the San Diego lifestyle, has deep roots serving our local community, and is truly one of the icons of the alternative format.”…..Speaking of Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego, the station names Chris Patyk program director.  Patyk has been programming sister stations CHR KEGY “Energy” and adult contemporary KYXY…..The nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show announces it has hired award-winning broadcast journalist and radio personality Dominique DiPrima to serve as co-host.  She hosted the daily news and public affairs show “Front Page” on KJLH-FM, Los Angeles.  DiPrima will also hold the title of senior producer…..Canadian Music Week announces that Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be a featured speaker at the “A Radio Executive’s View” from the “Corner Office” Super Session on Friday, May 11 at the two-day Radio Interactive Summit taking place on May 10-11.

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ ratings performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on country.  During this period – November 6 to December 9 – many music stations were adding Christmas music to their rotations and that could be a factor in the comparison of November 2017 data to December 2017 data.  Kinosian reports, “Approximately one of every four stations (26%) on our country sample is up between November 2017 – December 2017, while 63% experience decreases; the remaining 11% of the panel remains unchanged.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017 ratings, “Roughly half the stations on this country panel are down year-to-year (49%) and nearly as many (43%) are up; the remaining 8% are steady.”  Two country outlets in PPM markets ranked #1 in their respective markets during the December 2017 survey – iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus and WQIK, Jacksonville.  See the entire report here.

Thursday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2017

Tribune Makes Management Changes at WGN-AM, Chicago; Manley Rises to Station Manager.  There’s a new management structure in place at Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Yesterday (12/13), the company announced that VP of content and programming Todd Manley is being promoted to station manager and WGN-TV/CLTV president and general manager Paul Rennie will now have the radio station under his purview.  Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert made the announcements in a statement, making official changes to WGN-AM’s management for the first time since Jimmy de Castro exited the VP/GM position last fall.  De Castro is now serving in the same capacity at Cumulus Media’s Chicago operations.  Tribune is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose other radio properties are three stations in Seattle (including news/talk KVI and news KOMO-AM/FM).

Nielsen: News/Talk Top Format of 2017.  As the chart above indicates, ratings giant Nielsen Audio’s analysis of the AQH share ratings of radio stations across all the PPM markets shows that news/talk was the top format for all listeners (6+) in 2017.  Nielsen reports, “Overall in 2017, News/Talk improved on its success from last year, as did Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) had a down year compared with 2016, but it remained the top-ranked format in terms of audience share among kids 6-11, teens 12-17, Millennials aged 18-34 and persons 25-to-54. And listening to Urban Contemporary stations (also known as hip-hop) was much more prevalent among younger audiences, whereas News/Talk radio (the No. 1 overall format each year in PPM markets) rises dramatically as we age.”

Cumulus Launches Alex Skills for 300 Stations.  The company says it worked with XAPP Media on the rollout of Amazon Alexa skills for “300 local radio stations, popular Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas radio skill, Christmas Radio.  This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.”  Cumulus Media adds that “this week marks the kick-off of a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion.  Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership.”  Cumulus EVP of programming and content Mike McVay states, “Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car.  Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”  EVP corporate marketing/president Westwood One Suzanne Grimes adds, “At an aggregated network level, we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem.  We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”

PBS Severs Ties with Tavis Smiley After Sexual Misconduct Allegations.  This story was first published in Variety.  It says that PBS has “indefinitely suspended” distribution of the “Tavis Smiley” program that is produced by Smiley’s own company, TS Media.  After hiring an outside law firm to investigate, the public broadcaster states, “This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley.  The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”  Smiley’s talk radio program was syndicated by Public Radio International from 2005 through 2013.  Daniel Holloway’s Variety piece says, “The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said.  Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.  In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment.  Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”

Lewandowski Packs House at WPHT ‘Speaker Series.’ WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) interviews former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski during a standing-room-only appearance at the latest installment of the “WPHT Speaker Series.”  Zeoli says the capacity crowd heard insider tales from Lewandowski’s best-selling book, Let Trump Be Trump.

TALKERS News Notes.  Newsman Connell McShane leaves the “Imus in the Morning” show.  He replaced Charles McCord as the news anchor on the legendary program after his May 2011 retirement.  Don Imus delivered a glowing farewell “thank you” to McShane on the occasion of his final day with the show…..A change takes place at the executive level at the Radio Advertising BureauSharon Friedlander is named vice president, insights, effective January 2.  She takes over for Annette Malave who is leaving the RAB to pursue other interests.  Friedlander most recently served as partner/director at media planning agency MEC.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “We are extremely fortunate to have Sharon Friedlander join us at a time when insights and analytics have never been more important or more available for media, specifically, radio.  We’re delighted for Sharon to represent RAB throughout the research community, partner with RAB’s senior team, and to provide invaluable resources to RAB members.”…..SiriusXM is airing a schedule of 38 college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins this Saturday, December 16, with a lineup of six games.  The National Championship game is Monday, January 8 at 8:00 pm at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Doug Jones Victory, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Omarosa Exits White House, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate; the Republican tax reform plan’s effects on taxpayers; new allegations of sexual impropriety against politicians and celebrities; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Onée Manigault-Newman exits her White House position; and NFL/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.  Urban programming pro Ken Johnson returns to New York to serve as program director for Cumulus Media’s urban AC WNBM “Radio 103.9.”  He’ll continue his role as VP of urban formats for the company.  Johnson was PD when Cumulus launched the urban AC format on the station.  Since April of 2015, he’s been operations manager for the company’s urban AC WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7.”  Cumulus New York president and market manager Chad Lopez states, “Everyone at WNBM 103.9 and Cumulus are excited to have Ken Johnson back in New York.  Ken’s expertise and experience in this format will only continue to build a very strong loyal listener base and grow audience.”…..Two more iHeartMedia alternative rock stations pick up Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show,” featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based morning show will be heard on WOLT-FM “ALT 103.3, Indy’s Alternative” and WDTW-FM “ALT 106.7, Detroit’s New Alternative” beginning January 3…..After two years hosting mornings at Townsquare Media’s country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak,” Dave Winsor messages his fans that he’s left the show.  “I’m no longer with ‘103.7 THE PEAK.’  The company did the best it could within its power to keep the show going, but it’s not to be.  Where will I go?  Who knows.  But, I’ll always be grateful to you!”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

| November 30, 2017

Cumulus Enters Chapter 11; Move Will Erase $1 Billion in Debt.  This Chapter 11 restructuring between Cumulus Media and some secured lenders comes as little surprise.  In fact, many industry watchers and media experts believed it was imminent when Mary Berner was brought in as president and CEO, replacing Lew Dickey.  That’s because during her tenure as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, she led it through a pre-packaged bankruptcy.  Now, Cumulus announces the Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of its secured lenders, among others, holding, in the aggregate, approximately 69% of the company’s term loan to reduce the company’s debt by more than $1 billion.”  In its press release about this maneuver, the company says it “expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout this restructuring process.  The company has ample cash on hand, combined with funds generated from ongoing operations, to support the business during the financial restructuring process, and as a result, it does not intend to seek debtor-in-possession financing.”  Mary Berner states, “Over the last two years, we have focused on implementing a business turnaround to reverse the company’s multi-year ratings, revenue and EBITDA declines, create a culture that fosters motivated and engaged employees, and build an operational foundation to support the kind of performance we believe Cumulus is capable of delivering.  As we have demonstrated in many measurable ways – including increased ratings, revenue market share gains, improved employee satisfaction, reduced employee turnover and, over the last several quarters, our return to year-over-year EBITDA and revenue growth – that turnaround has not only been successful but is continuing.  However, as we have noted consistently, the debt overhang left by previous years of underperformance remains a significant financial challenge that we must overcome for our operational turnaround to proceed.  The actions we are taking today to address our balance sheet are a critical step forward for Cumulus.  We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth.  We have ample cash to support our operations and service our advertisers, vendors and affiliates during this period, and we look forward to becoming an even stronger partner to all of them when we complete this important phase of our turnaround strategy.  We appreciate the tremendous efforts of the Cumulus team throughout the business turnaround and thank our employees for continuing to be the true force driving our success.”

Garrison Keillor Latest to Fall Under Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  The longtime host of public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” is being taken off the radio by Minnesota Public Radio, which had been distributing Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and re-broadcasts of the Keillor-hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” (the current program hosted by Chris Thile will continue under a new, yet-to-be-announced name).  MPR president Jon McTaggert stated in a press release, “Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances.  While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”

Weisman: The Law Behind the Matt Lauer FiringTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the legal aspects of the firing of “Today” show host Matt Lauer.  Weisman states that Lauer, like most everyone working in media who is under contract, has a morals clause in his contract that allows employers to fire those who violate that clause, without having to pay out their contract.  Many contracts also provide for mandatory arbitration of disputes.  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next month, Rob Sussman – nephew of KSFO, San Francisco morning personality Brian Sussman – joins Delmarva’s WXDE, Lewes, Delaware “Delaware 105.9” to host a daily talk show.  For the past couple of years, Rob Sussman has been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director…..As reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, Cumulus Media signs a new 10-year lease to continue broadcasting from the historic Fisher Building in Detroit’s New City area.  News/talk WJR and sister stations country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and hot AC WDVD broadcast from the office tower.  Crain’s notes that WJR moved into the building in 1928…..Debtor-in-Possession Mississippi Valley Broadcasters, LLC and White Eagle Broadcasting, Inc. have retained Kalil & Co. to explore the sale of news/talk WLFN, LaCrosse, Wisconsin and sister stations country WQCC, classic rock WKBH, classic hits KQEG, and adult contemporary WLXR.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, NBC Fires Matt Lauer/MPR Cuts Ties with Keillor, Conyers/Franken Sexual Impropriety Allegations, Trump Anti-Muslim Re-Tweet, North Korea ICBM Test, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29).  The progress Republicans are making in bringing their tax reform plan to a vote; NBC fires longtime ‘Today’ show host Matt Lauer after allegations of sexual impropriety and the related firing of Garrison Keillor by Minnesota Public Radio; the effects of recent allegations of sexual impropriety involving Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; President Trump’s re-tweet of anti-Muslim videos; North Korea’s testing of a long-range ICBM and U.S. officials’ threats of war; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SRN’s Larry Elder Talks Anthem Protests on FOX Business.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder on FOX Business Network with Stuart Varney discussing the national anthem protests and the state of the ratings for NFL games.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Distributed More Than $1 Million in 2017.  By the end of this year, the Broadcasters Foundation of America will have hit a milestone distributing grants for more than $1 million in aid to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says this is a record-setting figure.  At the same time, it announces the launch of its year-end appeal for personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “What’s even more striking is that there are still broadcasters across our industry who need our help.  It is incumbent on everyone in our industry to help ensure that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to provide this much-needed financial assistance to our colleagues.”  Grants from the Broadcasters Foundation have risen from $61,000 in 2000 to this year’s unprecedented level.  Included in the 2017 figure is more than $200,000 in emergency aid that was distributed to broadcasters whose lives were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the California wildfires, or other disasters.  BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “Requests for aid have multiplied over the past several years, and we have been able to help every qualifying broadcaster who sought assistance from us.  As we enter the season of giving, I ask every broadcaster to review any good fortune that our business has bestowed upon them and consider donating to help our colleagues in need.”

Pioneer Valley Radio Continues to Brighten Western Massachusetts with Hyper-Local Coverage and Community Involvement.  Now in its third year of service to its region, hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio continues to gain traction as an online radio outlet and “media station” in Western Massachusetts.  Pictured at the recent opening ceremonies of the annual Springfield “Bright Nights” holiday lights spectacular in the city’s Forest Park are (l-r) local keyboard favorite Richard Mitnick, Pioneer Valley Radio GM and program host Brad Shepard, and Spirit of Springfield president Judy Matt.  Brad Shepard entertained the crowd singing a two-hour medley of Christmas and holiday favorites.  Shepard is a legendary local personality and “man about town” who is a favorite among area radio listeners in Greater Springfield where he has been heard for more than two decades as morning host on WMAS, WHYN, and now Pioneer Valley Radio. He is also a significant figure in local theater, stand-up comedy and serves as emcee of major community events.   (Photo courtesy of The Republican.)

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Orlando and Daytona Beach markets, Entercom flips another former CBS RADIO CHR to alternative rock.  This time it’s WQMP “AMP 101.9.”  The station is licensed to Daytona Beach but is a 90 kw class C FM that covers the Orlando market as well.  The new station is branded “ALT 101.9 FM, Orlando’s New Alternative.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city with a rapidly evolving demographic, we are thrilled to fill this void in radio in Orlando.  ‘ALT 101.9 FM’ caters to the tech-savvy, engaged and active Orlando audience and will provide an exciting and unique experience for listeners who are currently underserved with today’s radio choices in Orlando.”

Envision Networks Offers Holiday Programming. A full lineup of holiday programming is being offered by Envision Networks.  The company says there are “new and returning favorites to the Envision Networks lineup covering traditional offerings, contemporary shows, production assistance and holiday fun stuff.”  The shows include: “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time with Wink Martindale,” from a list of songs compiled through data collected from Billboard Magazine and listings of the Christmas tracks most played on radio over the past decade; “The Jim Brickman Show: A Joyful Christmas,” a program with no network commercials in a modular track format with or without music; “The Live Ride,” a holiday edition of this show with Nashville insider and host Johnny Stone; “Annual Chop Shop Christmas Special with Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” in which host Steve Black was recorded at the Council Bluffs, Iowa rehearsal for TSO’s 20th anniversary winter tour; plus more, including holiday imaging packages.

Elvis Duran Group’s 3rd Annual Carney Awards to Air on National TV on Saturday. Nationally syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran (center) is pictured with executive producer Jim Katz (left) and Elvis Duran Group CEO/executive producer David Katz (right) on the red carpet at taping of “The Elvis Duran Group’s 2017 Carney Awards” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California.  The awards honor Hollywood’s leading character actors for their outstanding achievements.  This year’s awards ceremony with be broadcast on NBC Universal’s COZI TV this Saturday (12/2) at 9:00 pm ET.  This year William H. Macy, Wendie Malick, William Fichtner, Richard Kind and Xander Berkeley were honored while Allison Janney, Jeff Garlin, Clark Gregg, Dan Lauria and Titus Welliver presented.  ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was host.

Round One of November PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s November 2017 PPM survey is 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 November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The top two “Big Apple” finishers both post gains of four-tenths, with iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW tacking onto October’s one-half share surge (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the third straight time and has its best 6+-share since February’s 7.1. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). A one-tenth increase in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does CBS Radio all-news WINS, a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+), repeat in the runner-up slot, it crosses the six-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. When it notched a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Co-owned and similarly formatted WCBS-AM, which had notched a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 2.6 (6+), but is unchanged at #13. Sports talk sibling WFAN-FM is without a loss for the fifth straight month for a collective +1.7 since June (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. The 5.2 (in October and November) represents its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” registered a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. In the market’s rhythmic CHR contest, Emmis’ WQHT picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+), ending three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3), as “Hot 97” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In the process, it overtakes iHeartMedia’s WKTU, off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), slipping from #10 to #11. Having registered back-to-back gains of four-tenths in September and October (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” relinquishes all but one-tenth of that collective +.8 (4.6, -.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM repeats at #4. “New York’s Greatest Hits” exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Even though iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a combined loss of eight-tenths (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” actually improves from a seventh-place tie to sixth.

2) Los Angeles – Last year marked the end of an eye-popping 67 consecutive years that Vin Scully served as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The National League West team made it to the World Series this year for the first time since 1988 and its 1.7 (6+) in November 2017 matches the audience draw for KLAC in Vin’s swan song (1.7, 6+, November 2016) as the iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship trots out a +.7 (1.7, 6+). “AM 570 Sports” leaps from #31 in October to #25 in November. Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the fifth time in a row and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 since January (6+). In what represents its farewell ratings period, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” hauls out a gain of six-tenths (2.2 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from a three-way tie at #19 to #12. Just over a week after the November sweep concluded, Educational Media Foundation officially closed on “The Sound” and flipped it to contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The last song played by “The Sound” in an emotional November 16 finale that drew considerable social media and local television coverage was The Beatles’ “The End.” Despite being up or flat for the seventh ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – backslides from #28 to #30. With a gain of two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM pulls the plug on eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” advances from #17 to #13. After nine up or flat monthlies in a row for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), its format foe – CBS Radio’s KROQ – stumbles by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4), sliding from #14 to #18. September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Having been down or flat the past five monthlies for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), University of Southern California’s classical KUSC wipes out that deficit with a +.4 to 1.6 (#28 to #26, 6+). The #1/#2/#3 finish for iHeartMedia includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which – despite a loss of one-half share (6.4 – 5.9, 6+) – is on top for the tenth straight ratings period. In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths it squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, “My-FM” posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). In a three-way tie for second in October, mainstream CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” has sole possession of the runner-up slot in November. “Kiss-FM” gains three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at four a consecutive string of down or flat sweeps that produced a collective loss of one-half share (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Part of October’s three-way runner-up logjam as well was adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST, which drops one-tenth (4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and segues to third-place. When “Coast 103” picked up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In September, co-owned urban contemporary KRRL reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since January, but “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” falters by nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.5, 6+), drifting out of the top ten (#9 to #15). This marks the fifth successive sweep without an increase for CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which is off seven-tenths in that stretch (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), dropping from a second-place tie to third (with KOST). Following six straight sweeps in second-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in three successive declines (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+) and repeats at #5.

3) Chicago – Having fallen off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, #21, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” rebounds with an increase of six-tenths to 2.8, catapulting all the way into a four-way scrum at #12. Over and above repeating at #1, its format rival – Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” – registers its sixth straight improvement for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+). The last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). WTMX had finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Co-owned classic rocker WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” however forfeits seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, 6+), tumbling from fifth to tenth with its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.1. Along with WLIT, another player in that four-way logjam at #12 is Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN, which gains three-tenths to 2.8 (6+, up from #17 in October). In doing so, WGN applies the brakes to eight straight ratings periods without an increase for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, WGN posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). It is a mixed bag for the market’s two main sports talk outlets. On the plus side, WMVP picks up one-half share and is a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, #22, 6+); “ESPN Chicago 1000” reaches the two-share mark for the first time since March (2.1). At the same time, after posting a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” (fourth to sixth, 6+) surrenders -1.3 to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since March’s 2.2. Tied at #7 are iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” and CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96.” “Kiss” is off for the third straight sweep for an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+) yet is actually up from eighth in October, while “B-96” improves by one-tenth, (3.4, up from ninth in October 6+), ending five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+).

4) San Francisco – For the 11th successive time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM and CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM rank first and second, respectively. At this time last month, KQED-FM had a rather slim, one-half share lead over KCBS-AM. That advantage nearly quadruples, however, as KQED-FM rolls out a massive +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+), while KCBS-AM (up eight-tenths in October) drops one-tenth (6.8 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.8 by KCBS-AM is its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KQED-FM relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). 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+). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Doubling its 6+ stat since August via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO progresses from tenth to seventh. Co-owned KNBR picks up three-tenths to 3.1 (6+), halting six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) and “The Sports Leader” returns to the top ten (#13 to #9). Posting a one-half share increase and leaping from #18 to #12 is University of Southern California classical KDFC, a collective +.9 as the result of its sixth straight sweep without a loss (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each and both, as a result, departing the top ten are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, #7 to #12, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.3 – 2.6, #8 to #14, 6+). “Wild” had been in three-share territory (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. Varying only seven-tenths from October 2016 through November 2017, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (flat at #14) is nonetheless down one-tenth for the fourth straight time (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). This is the eighth month in a row that KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Albeit steady at #14, CBS Radio-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of nine straight up or flat trends, (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, #18 to #14, 6+). In 12 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#22 to #21) has been within a high of 2.4 (November 2017) 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, 6+). Off a collective six-tenths via six straight down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” is up four-tenths to 3.2, climbing from #15 to #13. Dating back to April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #9) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+). Eight-tenths of a share separates the top seven stations. At the top of the leader board is a tie between Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” (5.3 – 5.0, -.3, 6+), which is #1 for the 11th successive time and iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5 (4.8 – 5.0, +.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Owing to a +.3 in October, however, “Lone Star 92.5” progressed from sixth to third. Behind “The Wolf” and “Lone Star” at #3 (up from fifth in October) is iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” which gains three-tenths to 4.7 (6+); “Kiss” had been down in each of the past four monthlies for a combined -1.4 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). Trending 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 (6+) since July for a modest gain of two-tenths, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). A loss of one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to seventh, 6+) takes CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” to its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In addition to plummeting from the top ten as the result of a -.4 to 3.0 (#9 to #15, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” snaps at eight its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+).

6) Houston – When the Houston Astros won the team’s first-ever World Series, it proved to be a ratings bonanza for its flagship, iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which cracks the top twenty with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, #20, 6+). By way of comparison, “Sports Talk 790” logged a .7 (6+, #25) in November 2016. Improving by eight-tenths as well (to 3.8 6+) is CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL which hadn’t had an increase in the last three sweeps for a collective -.6 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Mega 101 FM” vaults from #17 to a three-way tie at #10 with its best 6+-stat since April’s 4.2. Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” (4.8, eighth to fifth, 6+) erases the six-tenths it lost through three straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Yet another Houston outlet putting an end to three consecutive down or flat moves is Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which picks up one-half share (4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). KRBE was a cumulative -.7 since July (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Conversely, Radio One urban AC KMJQ is off three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+), thus ending three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+), but “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” is #1 for the third time in succession. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January – February – March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; and now surrenders eight-tenths in November (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Displaced from the top in September and falling to third, “Sunny” repeats in the runner-up slot. 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+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). Up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” fades by eight-tenths as well (3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Having lost eight-tenths in October, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” regresses by another seven-tenths in November (5.9 – 5.2, flat at #4, 6+). Up or flat for a collective +1.2 February through July (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” stumbled in August with a -1.1, but responded in September with a +1.3 to 6.7, the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. On the heels of October’s stunning +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN returns one-half share (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+) and carries on in third-place. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; and +.7 in August. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. Declining by one-half share as well is Liberman regional Mexican KEYH (.8 – .3, #32, 6+). Owing to seven straight up or flat trends, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KQBU more than quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .9, 6+), but “Que Buena 93.3” slips three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #28, 6+). Having improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times through eight consecutive sweeps without a decrease (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+) CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns four-tenths to 1.6 (#21 to #23, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In what proves to be a solid ratings period for urban ACs in “The ATL,” Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” advances by seven-tenths (5.8, 6+), while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” improves by six-tenths (4.9, eighth to sixth, 6+). The +.7 not only pushes “Kiss” from fifth to second, it applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that eventuated in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Meanwhile, “Magic” rebounds from a combined one-half share loss in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Regarding the market’s CHR contest, Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by that same margin (4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). “Q-100” was locked on 4.7 (6+) in September and October. Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Power” gained one-tenth in October. Those group owners are involved in another close skirmish between two of the market’s country properties, with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.0 – 4.1, +.1, three-way tie at #10 to #11, 6+) holding a four-tenths advantage over Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” (3.4 – 3.7, +.3, #15 to #13, 6+). At the same time, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, #30, 6+). A gain of two-tenths by Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY (1.7, #20 to #19, 6+) applies the brakes to four straight negative or flat trends that resulted in an overall loss of six-tenths (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). After registering three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM relinquishes two-tenths to 10.0 (6+), but is #1 for the 23rd successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. In addition to dropping from second to fourth (5.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” has its string of successive flat or progressive trends that netted a +1.8 end at four (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Frozen on 3.7 (6+) in June and July and then on 4.0 (6+) in September and October, Radio One gospel WPZE stumbles by one-half share to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.4, with “Praise 102.5” spiraling from the top ten (#10 to #15).

8) Philadelphia – Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #14, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX is a collective +1.5 via five consecutive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Philly’s Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. A combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk outlet/Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP establishes two milestones: It is #1 for the first time in the PPM-era and records its best-ever 6+-stat. Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. At 10 – 1, the Eagles have the NFL’s highest winning percentage; at this time last year, WIP was #7 (4.9, 6+, November 2016). The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its fifth straight up or flat trend for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+) as the key station of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers climbs from #18 to #15. Even though it adds two-tenths (7.6 – 7.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is dislodged from #1 and segues to #2. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. In addition to posting its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.5, CBS Radio-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fourth straight month for an overall -1.9 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6, fourth to fifth, 6+). Showing losses of one-half share each are Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.0 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99 – Philadelphia’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (4.1 – 3.6, #7 to #13, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.3, #19 to #21, 6+). When WMMR gained four-tenths in October, it halted five straight down or flat trends that resulted in a combined -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). This marks the first time “Power 99” is below a four-share (6+) since May 2016’s 3.7. WKVP was locked on 1.8 (6+) in September and October.

9) Long Island – Tied with KQED-FM (see San Francisco above) for largest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” shakes off October’s -.9 with a +1.3 (6.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to advance from second to first, which is where it was between June and September. After three consecutive surges 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; and surrendered six-tenths in September. A full-share decrease in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. It is a short one-month stay at #1 for iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is down three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, 6+) and shifts to third. “Z-100” had a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Sandwiched between WALK-FM and WHTZ is CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” (third to second), logging its fourth straight increase for an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (5.0 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), which has its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance; iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-formatted WAXQ “Q-104.3” (3.4 – 3.9, tenth to seventh, 6+); and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+). An October dip of three-tenths by “Q-104.3 halted at nine its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that WBLS has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” gains three-tenths (2.4 – 2.7, 6+) and inches up from #16 to #14. It is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 36th consecutive ratings period. As it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” adds two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase for a -1.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). After being up or flat for seven straight months for a cumulative +1.6 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.1 and departs the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths as well and also exiting the top ten is CBS Radio all-news WCBS-AM (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #12, 6+), which has a three-share showing (6+) in Long Island for the 13th consecutive sweep. This is the fourth time in succession that Cox Media Group CHR WBLI (flat at #6) records a negative trend (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) and it is an overall -1.9 since July.

10) Riverside – By doubling its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.4, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” jumps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Owing to its third straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” (seventh to fourth) has its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. This marks the fourth consecutive up or flat trend for LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, unchanged at #6, 6+), which is +.6 since July. Steady at #9, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +.5 in four straight ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Despite gaining one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), halting three straight dips for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI backslides from fifth to seventh. While it is on top for the 25th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” falters by eight-tenths (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Jose” 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+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. In October, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA was just two-tenths behind “Jose,” but KOLA fades by -1.5 to 6.0, nine-tenths off the pace, but is still in second-place. In back-to-back sweeps (September and October), KOLA gained a combined +2.4 (5.1 – 6.5 – 7.5, 6+). KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016 and was back at #2 between January and July (2017). A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. Slipping from third to fourth, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” is an overall -1.2 in its third straight decline (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times in three straight increases (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), but “Recuerdo” slips by three-tenths in November to 1.2 (#11 to #14, 6+).

11) San Jose – Within 3.0 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the past ten (10) survey periods, CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” breaks out a +1.0 (3.2 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to sixth. Improving by a cumulative +1.8 via four successive progressive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from fourth to third. Two Bay Area sports talk outlets improve by one-half share each: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#28, 6+). Regaining the one-half share it lost in October, KNBR was without an increase in San Jose the past six months for an overall -1.5 since April (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). In four straight upticks, “The Game” has nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+), which had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Setting the pace in San Jose for the fourth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM is an overall +1.3 in three consecutive gains (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. This represents its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Slipping from ninth to tenth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” is off one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), thus curtailing at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+); October’s 3.9 is its best 6+-share in San Jose since December’s 4.1. After being a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from fourth to eighth. September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report, whereas 3.7 is its weakest since July’s 3.7. Off by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (5.4 – 4.8, third to fourth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.2, flat at #6, 6+), which was locked on 4.8 (6+) in September and October. In addition to falling from a three-way tie at #19 to #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), ending three straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+).

12) Middlesex – A pair of adult contemporary outlets combine for a +1.6. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLTW “Lite-FM” hangs out a full-share improvement to advance from sixth to third, while Beasley Media Group-owned WMGQ “Magic 98.3” increases by six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to seventh, 6+). This is the fourth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for “Lite-FM” for an overall +1.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9, 6+) and its best 6+-showing here since February (5.9, as well). Unchanged at #5, CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” registers its third straight increase for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). For the eighth time in the last ten sweeps (and fourth straight), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU registers a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and stays at #15. Not only does it post a positive spike of nine-tenths (7.3 – 8.2, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the 11th consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to its third straight increase (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR is a collective +1.1, with “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” cracking the top ten (#13 to #10). Eroding by one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” drops from third to sixth with its lowest 6+-showing in Middlesex since February (4.3, as well). Having trended 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 (June through September, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improved by six-tenths in October to 4.4, its best 6+-stat in Middlesex-Somerset-Union since 4.5 in March. In November, however, “Z-100” surrenders nine-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Dropping by eight-tenths each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (6.8 – 6.0, repeating at #2, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (3.2 – 2.4, #11 to #16, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-share via eleven (11) straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” drops two-tenths to .8 (#25 to #26, 6+).

Monday, November 27, 2017

| November 27, 2017

Peter Casey Exits WBZ-AM, Boston After 24 Years. Longtime director of news and programming Peter Casey exits all-news WBZ-AM, Boston.  The Boston Globe reports that Casey has been let go by iHeartMedia, which is operating the station under an LMA until it closes on the station.  WBZ-AM is joining iHeartMedia as part of a swap of assets with Entercom for the latter to comply with station ownership limits.  Casey tells the paper he has nothing bad to say about iHeartMedia and calls the people he’s been dealing with “respectful and impressive.”  Casey, who’s been director of news and programming for the past 21 years, wrote in a memo to staffers, “I will cherish the memories of this place, of all of you and those that came before you.  I will keep those memories with me.  I will keep them a part of me even as I walk out the door today on my very last day at WBZ NewsRadio 1030.”  Assistant program director Bill Flaherty is serving as interim director of news and programming.

Lance Zierlein Returns to Houston Airwaves.  Houston sports talk personality Lance Zierlein is back on the radio today at Gow Broadcasting’s KFNC-FM, co-hosting the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show with John Granato.  The two will be joined by Raheel Ramzanali for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour that is being simulcast on KFNC-FM and KFNC-HD2.  As part of his new gig, Zierlein will also write for the Gow-owned CultureMap and SportsMap digital publications.  He exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talk KBME back in July.  During his tenure on Houston sports talk radio he also served with the former CBS RADIO station KILT-AM, where he worked with Granato for 10 years (1997-2007).

Westwood One Announces New Leadership Structure.  National radio network Westwood One reveals strategic changes to the leadership and structure of its national sales team, effective immediately.  The Cumulus Media-owned company says, “These organizational changes are designed to capitalize on Westwood One’s strong sales momentum, as well as to propel the organization to new heights in 2018 and beyond.”  Bryan Forbes replaces the retiring Steve Shaw as president, sales at Westwood One.  He’s responsible for leading the network and national spot sales organizations and reporting to Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  Forbes was most recently with Katz Radio Group as SVP and general manager of Westwood One national sales.  Current EVP strategic partnerships Mark Wildman is charged with launching the Audio Active Group – a newly established, dedicated business development team responsible for “creating integrated, brand-focused solutions that leverage the vast portfolio of assets across the company’s 446 radio stations and network platforms.”  Pierre Bouvard continues in his role as chief insights officer at Cumulus/Westwood One.  And Ari Molovinsky joins Westwood One as VP strategic planning & analysis, responsible for “supporting the leadership team with revenue-focused and general management initiatives.”  Molovinsky was most recently with SiriusXM.  Grimes states, “Westwood One has a top-notch sales organization in place, as demonstrated by our performance this year, and I am thrilled to welcome both Bryan and Ari to the team.  With these new hires, as well as the exciting launch of the Audio Active Group and expansion of our actionable data and thought-leadership platform, Westwood One is poised to deliver significant growth as we continue to champion radio as the #1 mass reach medium that delivers exceptional results.”

Media Equality Project to Stage Event at National Press Club.  The Media Equality Project is led by talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney.  Joining them for Wednesday’s event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC is fellow talk radio pro Blanquita Cullum.  A press release says the goal of the event is to pressure Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Joe Barton (R-TX) to resign.  Organizers say, “…We’re taking the Media Equality Project straight to Washington.  Dozens of women and other victims of sexual harassment are joining together this Wednesday with this message:  #ShowUsTheList of representatives or staffers who received taxpayer funded pay-outs totaling $17 million dollars.  The Media Equality Project is bringing Bill Clinton’s victims, other luminaries, including Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Martin Luther King, and others to Washington to confront Franken, Conyers, and Barton.  We believe that this effort should be in a spirit of bi-partisanship in order to end sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and across the country…joining us at the podium at the National Press Club are Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, [and former Fort Smith, Arkansas TV reporter] Leslie Millwee.”  The event takes place at 10:00 am in the National Press Club’s First Amendment Room.

Mike Golic Breaks Silence on ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup; New ‘Golic & Wingo’ Show.  Speaking to the Coloradoan, Mike Golic tells the paper that he was blindsided by the decision to end the show because now-ex-partner Mike Greenberg was taking on a new role on the TV side of ESPN.  “When I went into see the bosses, I thought it was to talk about the next deal since our contracts were ending.  We had talked the previous year about moving the show to New York and I thought maybe it was about that.  Instead, they told me the show was going to end and that Greenie was going to do a show in New York and I was going to do a show with my son.”  As regular industry watchers know, ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” morning drive show went on for about six months with the two knowing the show would wrap before the end of the year.  Today (11/27), the new “Golic & Wingo” show launched (pictured above with NBA commissioner Adam Silver as their first guest) with Trey Wingo as co-host.  Read the Coloradoan piece here.

DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, Roy Moore Case, Thanksgiving Holiday, Mueller Investigation-Flynn Cooperation, Meredith-Time Inc. Purchase, CFPB Appointment, College Football Playoff Scenarios, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Holiday Weekend.  The sexual impropriety allegations lodged against Al Franken and John Conyers; the sexual predation charges leveled at Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the Thanksgiving holiday; special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and reports of cooperation between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the investigation; Iowa-based media company Meredith to buy Time Inc.; controversy over Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; the weekend’s college football games and speculation about which teams will make the four-team tournament; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KYW-AM, Philadelphia Awards Computers to Local Elementary School.  This promotion was a partnership with Comcast which, along with Entercom’s all-news KYW-AM, Philadelphia, presented 10 new Dell Latitude Education Series laptops to General Philip Kearny Elementary School in Philadelphia.  KYW director of news and programming Steve Butler states, “As the nation’s unrivaled leader in news, Entercom is committed to enriching the lives of local residents.  KYW Newsradio’s partnership with Comcast, allows us to support local community organizations like General Philip Kearny Elementary School in their commitment to education.”  Pictured above are KYW and Comcast representatives with students and teachers at the school.

TALKERS News Notes.  National radio news service Westwood One News is reporting affiliate renewals for major market stations including: WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ-AM, Boston; and WWJ, Detroit.  The news network also announces its expanding reach as more than 70 new stations join the network, including: KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City…..SiriusXM announces former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and former Phoenix Suns front office exec Amin Elhassan are joining the roster of NBA experts on its SiriusXM NBA Radio channel.  Griffin makes his debut tomorrow (11/28) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET alongside host Joel Meyers and can be heard multiple times every week.  Elhassan joins the roster on Sunday, December 10 and will be on regularly with host Jason Jackson.

Small Business Guru Jim Blasingame Joins Michael Harrison on This Week’s Installment of “Up Close and Far Out.”  Noted small business expert and talk show host Jim Blasingame is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Blasingame is the tremendously successful independently-syndicated host of the long-running radio show, “The Small Business Advocate.”  The program is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the air.  He and Harrison discuss various aspects of entrepreneurism as we accelerate from the analog era of the 20th century deeper into the digital age of the 21st century focusing on the increasing disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street in our economy and society.  Harrison says, “Blasingame is a unique player in the talk industry and a fascinating, bright man.  He proves on every level that independent media and business can still be viable in this brave new world.”  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. Classic rock WBIG and alternative WWDC, Washington program director James Howard is promoted to vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s DC station group that also includes CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH-FM, and country WMZQ.  Howard will continue to program WBIG and WWDC.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi states, “James has been a rock star for years.  Now he gets to be an AC star, a country star and a top 40 star.  This is a well-deserved promotion for one of the most creative programmers I’ve had the opportunity to work with.”…..Cox Media Group announces on-air changes at urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1”  The new morning show is called “Morning Groove” with Art Terrell and Roy Wood Jr. with news and information from Condace Pressley.  CMG Atlanta VP of programming Tony Kidd says the show will include commentary, opinions and humor from voices like Clark Howard, Corey “Zooman” Miller, and Aaron Paxton Arnold.  “The changes we’re making represent a new day dawning in Atlanta R&B music.  This new programming lineup reflects what Atlanta’s African-American listeners want most from their favorite R&B station.”  Also, Sasha the Diva takes over the afternoon drive daypart.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

| November 22, 2017

Cumulus Stock Moves from Nasdaq to OTC.  That stands for “over-the-counter” and means that the stock is traded, instead of via a centralized exchange such as Nasdaq, by a dealer network.  Cumulus Media was notified by Nasdaq of its de-listing due to the stock’s inability to remain above $1 for 30 consecutive trading days – something the company fully expected.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, Cumulus states, “The Company has been approved to have its Class A common stock quoted on the OTC Markets’ OTCQX market tier, an electronic quotation service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. for eligible securities traded over-the-counter, and expects that trading of the Company’s Class A common stock will commence on the OTCQX at the open of business on November 22, 2017 under its current trading symbol CMLS.  The transition to the quotation of the Company’s Class A common stock on the OTCQX will have no effect on the Company’s business or operations. The Company will continue to file periodic and other required reports with the SEC under applicable federal securities laws that will be available on the SEC’s website, www.SEC.gov.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Cleveland sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is getting a beer named after him.  Cleveland.com reports that the WARF “FOX Sports 1350” personality –also heard on WNIO, Youngstown and WNCO, Ashland-Mansfield – has been pining for a local brewery to make a craft cream ale and now the Goldhorn Brewery is stepping up to the plate.  Cleveland.com writer Mark Bona – who appears on Bishop’s program every Friday for a segment called “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” – writes that the beer is almost ready and soon the brewery will have a name for the cream ale…..Entercom president and CEO David Field made the announcement on the company’s newly acquired sports talker WIP, Philadelphia yesterday morning that the station and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have renewed their broadcast rights deal for another seven years.  The renewed deal means Merrill Reese and Mike Quick will call the games for the foreseeable future…..The nationally syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show hosted by Walter Sterling announces new affiliates, including: KXNT, Las Vegas; WWLZ-AM, Elmira, New York; WQHL-AM/WJZS-FM, Live Oak, Florida; KBAR-AM, Burley, Idaho; and KZNU-AM/KAZZ-AM, St. George, Utah.  Sterling says, “We are adding new affiliates every week and new advertisers.  It is a successful roll out. December 10th marks a special show featuring radio legends telling their stories.  Plus, December 10th will present a major announcement.”

Trump Defends Moore, Sexual Impropriety Allegations/Rose Fired, GOP Tax Plan/Individual Mandate Issues, North Korea Named to Terror List, Net Neutrality Rollback, AT&T-Time Warner Merger Challenged, Mladic Convicted of Genocide, David Cassidy Dies, Trump-Ball Feud, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21). Embattled Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore receives support from President Trump; the plethora of sexual impropriety allegations against public figures and the related firing of Charlie Rose by CBS; the Republican tax reform plan and the proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate; President Trump puts North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism; the FCC’s proposal to roll back the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations; the DOJ challenges the merger of AT&T and Time Warner; former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is sentenced to life after genocide conviction; 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy dies at 67; the war of words between President Trump and hoops patriarch LaVar Ball over UCLA players shoplifting case; and the week’s 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. Returning to Boston to serve as program director for iHeartMedia’s newly acquired classic rock WZLX is Chris Tyler.  He was most recently programming the company’s rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “KISS FM” in Cleveland.  He’s previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “KISS 108” and hip hop WJMN “JAM’N.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “I am excited to bring Chris back to Boston to program WZLX.  His knowledge and experience in the format, exceptional leadership and vision and, maybe most importantly, his knowledge of Boston and its legendary radio brands, uniquely qualify him to lead this heritage station and its iconic personalities.”…..In Baltimore, Francesca Presti joins the “Laurie DeYoung Morning Show” as a co-host on iHeartMedia’s country WPOC.  She’ll work alongside Laurie DeYoung and Jeff St. Pierre.  DeYoung says, “Francesca Presti is a force.  Fierce Francesca is what comes to mind when I think of her enthusiasm and unique take on life.  Baltimore will never be the same.” Presti was most recently with hot AC WBMX, Boston on the “Karson & Kennedy Morning Show” as a traffic reporter and associate producer…..Radio pro Ty Bailey is named assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington.  She returns to Washington from the company’s rock WXTB, Tampa where she was program director and morning show host…..Cox Media Group announces new executive position appointments in seven markets, but only three of those markets have radio stations: Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville. In Orlando, Jason Meder is promoted to general manager of CMG Orlando, where he’ll report to market VP Paul Curran.  Meder comes to Orlando from CMG Tampa where he was most recently director of sales for the radio group.  In Miami, RVP Rob Babin promotes Ralph Renzi to general manager of CMG Miami Radio.  He was most recently director of sales for the Miami radio stations.  And in Jacksonville, market VP Dan Lawrie promotes Bob Longo to general manager of the operations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio pro Brooke Hunter has signed up with Hubbard Radio to host weekend programs on adult contemporary WSHE.  Hunter was most recently on the air in Chicago on iHeartMedia’s AC WLIT…..Alpha Media’s Portland triple A outlet KINK is announcing that it is now “carbon neutral.”  The station says that through a series of eco initiatives and completing an audit from sustainable consulting firm YR&G, it has become the first radio station in the United States to be named “carbon neutral.”  Program director Sean Demery states, “Individuals doing small actions can pay large eco dividends when realized as a large group.  KINK is the loudspeaker, but it’s our community that has the power to make a difference.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

| November 20, 2017

Air Talent Changes at KCMO-AM, Kansas CityTALKERS magazine hears that Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City has let both Greg Knapp and Tom Becka go.  Becka had been hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show since May of 2016.  That daypart is now listed on the station’s website as part of the “KCMO Morning Show” from 6:00 am to 11:00 am.  Knapp had been hosting the 6:00 am to 9:00 am morning show since rejoining the station in January of this year.  He had hosted the afternoon drive show on KCMO until exiting in late April of 2016.  Chicago talk radio pro Bruce Wolf is hosting mornings today through Wednesday (11/20-22).

Salem Moves DC’s ‘The Answer’ to WSPZ, Bethesda.  The conservative news/talk station is already re-branded “AM 570 The Answer,” reflecting its moves to WSPZ.  However, as of today (11/20) it’s still heard on WWRC, Washington at 1260 AM, but it’s probable that Salem Media Group will install a Christian talk or music format on the 1260 AM signal.  Salem bought WSPZ from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra earlier this year.

Sapienza to Lead Entercom Baltimore’s Sports Programming.  Former longtime Red Zebra programmer Chuck Sapienza joins Entercom to serve as director of sports programming for WJZ-FM, Baltimore and executive producer for Baltimore Orioles and University of Maryland Radio Networks.  He worked for Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington in numerous capacities for 10 years, including serving as program director.  After leaving WTEM, he was executive producer at the Naval Academy Football Radio Network.

Markiewicz Replaces Van Stone at RadiOhio’s Sports Radio Operations in Columbus.  After a 40-year career in broadcasting, David Van Stone is retiring from his position as president and general manager of RadiOhio’s sports talk stations WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” and WBNS-AM “1460 ESPN,” plus The Ohio News Network.  The company announces it is promoting station manager and director of sales Todd Markiewicz to vice president and general manager in charge of the radio operations.  The changes take effect in January.  Markiewicz says, “The opportunity to become the steward of these heritage Columbus radio and digital properties is just a thrill for me.  Dave Van Stone’s leadership over the past 19 years has resulted in our company operating at an elevated level toward our goal of super-serving our listeners, our community and our employees.  My job now is to make sure RadiOhio matches that excellence for years to come and I can’t imagine a better group of radio professionals to accept that challenge with than those already working within these walls.”  Van Stone comments, “These last 19 years working for RadiOhio have been tremendous.  I want to thank the Wolfe family and [RadiOhio chairman and CEO] Michael Fiorile for their confidence and support.  Thanks as well to the outstanding, dedicated RadiOhio staff for their commitment to excellence and for ‘making great radio.’”

Beasley Names VP of Digital Sales.  This is a newly created position at Beasley Media Group and the company welcomes Dan Frisbie to the vice president of digital sales position.  His radio experience includes an eight-year stint as VP of sales for iHeartMedia.  Most, recently he was leading his Frisbie Consulting LLC in which he assisted clients with media, digital, mobile, and video sales strategies and operations.  Beasley EVP of digital Steve Meyers comments, “We are thrilled to bring Dan on board to lead digital revenue growth at Beasley Media Group.  Dan’s experience, enthusiasm and passion for digital, especially as it relates to the radio space, is a perfect complement for our goals to aggressively grow our digital presence and capabilities for our brands and our clients.”

ESPN Radio Announces 2018 Network Schedule; New Podcasts.  In addition to the new morning drive show, “Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio is unveiling its new lineup for the network, effective January 2, 2018.  The WEPN, New York-based Stephen A. Smith radio show joins the network for national distribution in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart.  Ryen Russillo – currently hosting the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show – moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot with new co-host Will Cain.  That bumps “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” off the schedule (Jones continues with the company on the TV side).  “Spain and Fitz” is the new early evening show featuring espnW voice Sarah Spain with SEC Network commentator Jason Fitz.  In a time shift, the “Freddie & Fitzsimmons” show with Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons moves from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am to the new 9:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The company also announces new podcasts from Bomani Jones (new episodes 2-3 times per week), Jalen Rose and David Jacoby (whose Jalen & Jacoby podcast will be produced 4-5 times per week), and Katie Nolan (a weekly show).

Entercom Unveils New Analytics Tool for Advertisers.  With Friday’s close of the EntercomCBS RADIO merger, the new Entercom hit the road running with a few high-profile format flips and a statement about its new business practices.  It also announced the new Entercom Audience Analytics tool for radio advertisers.  The company says it offers “advertisers unique data and analytic insights designed to optimize their advertising campaigns and improve return on investment. The enhanced analytics capability is powered by an exclusive partnership in Entercom markets with AnalyticOwl, a broadcast analytics platform used to measure effectiveness and audience response of radio advertising.”  Entercom chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Entercom Audience Analytics will enable us to develop a more consultative relationship with our advertising partners and more effectively measure and validate the important role of radio in the consumers’ path to purchase.  This is a tremendous step toward improving campaign effectiveness and ROI for our advertisers.”

GOP Tax Plan, Celebrity Sexual Assault Allegations/Franken Case, Roy Moore Sexual Predation Accusations, Nuclear Launch Debate, FOX News Channel Supports Hannity, Charles Manson Dies, David Cassidy Hospitalized, Justice League Film, American Music Awards, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Analysis of the effects of the Republican tax reform plan; the slew of sexual assault allegations involving celebrities and the case involving Senator Al Franken; the allegations of sexual predation against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the debate over the machinations of a nuclear weapons launch after Air Force General John Hyten said he would ignore an illegal request from the president; FOX News Channel issues a statement in support of Sean Hannity after advertiser boycott effort; Charles Manson dies at age 83; 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy hospitalized in critical condition; the opening weekend of the Justice League film; Sunday’s “American Music Awards”; Saturday’s games with College Football Playoff implications; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Science Guru and Rising YouTube Star, Isaac Arthur, Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. He is a high school drop-out from Ohio with a trademark speech impediment and a true geek’s love of science fact and fiction who, after earning his GED diploma, went on to graduate with a B.S. in Physics from Kent State University at the age of 20. He attended graduate school but preferred self-teaching and dropped out to serve in the army in Germany and Iraq. Upon returning home, he became involved in local politics and was appointed a member of the Ashtabula County, Ohio Board of Elections. (He tells Michael Harrison, “We take our elections very seriously here in Ohio.”) But there is a whole other talk media side to Isaac Arthur that caught the attention of Harrison and makes him an ideal guest for the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far out with Michael Harrison,” as well as being a person of significant interest to the commercial media industry. It began as a hobby and has now grown into something remarkable. He is the producer and host of a rapidly growing YouTube channel titled, “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur.” He writes, produces and narrates stunning video podcasts that run between ½ hour and an hour that curate, explore and explain the provocative leading edge of popular science. In three years, his channel has attracted more than 161,000 devoted subscribers and more than 12 million visits. Harrison, a passionate layman enthusiast of science and astrophysics says, “Isaac Arthur is a quintessential example of the pioneers who are out there laboring on the outskirts of the mainstream commercial radio/TV industries on the exciting frontier of talk media – where audio intersects with video, graphics, education and entertainment. Everyone in the radio business with an eye on podcasting and cross-platform brand expansion can learn from him. Having a personal love for the subject matter he covers, I am his fan!” 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.

 

 

Mars Dominates AMAs. In the Tracee Ellis Ross-hosted American Music Awards ceremony held last night (11/19) in Los Angeles, Bruno Mars took home six trophies, including “Artist of the Year,” “Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock,” and “Video of the Year” for “That’s What I Like.” Ross’ mother – Diana Ross – was honored for her “Lifetime Achievement.” Among the other highlights from the ABC-TV telecast were Lady Gaga cited as “Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock,” Niall Horan named “New Artist of the Year,” and Coldplay recognized as “Tour of the Year.” Elsewhere in the “Pop/Rock” category, Imagine Dragons won “Favorite Duo or Group”; Mars’ “24K Magic” was “Favorite Album,” while Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieberhad the “Favorite Song” (“Despacito”). Winners in the country format were Keith Urban (“Favorite Male Artist,” “Favorite Song” for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” and “Favorite Album” for “Ripcord”); Carrie Underwood (“Favorite Female Artist”); and Little Big Town “Favorite Duo or Group.” Honored as “Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary” and “Favorite Artist – Alternative Rock” were Shawn Mendes and Linkin Park, respectively. Meanwhile, Mars scored victories in the “Soul/R&B” genre as “Favorite Male Artist,” “Favorite Album” (“24K Magic”); and “Favorite Song (“That’s What I Like”); Beyonce was recognized as “Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Alt rock personality and programmer Tamo Sein joins iHeartMedia’s WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End” to host the midday show and serve as APD and music director.  In this role, she’ll assist in the day-to-day operations of the station’s music programming and scheduling of music logs as well as be responsible for all the station’s imaging and branding.  Sein will report to WEND program director Chuck “DZL” Thompson.  She comes to Charlotte from iHeartMedia’s Richmond cluster where she was music director and afternoon drive host…..On-air pro Jeff Pope is named morning show host at All Pro Broadcasting-owned hot AC duo KHTI-FM “Hot 103.9” and KATY-FM “101.3 The Mix” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market.  Pope has most recently been morning host at Alpha Media’s hot AC KEZR San Jose but he’d worked in the Inland Empire for 13 years prior to that hosting morning drive at iHeartMedia’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KGGI…..SiriusXM is presenting a special invitation-only performance by Duran Duran at the Faena Theater in Miami on December 9.  The exclusive performance will feature Duran Duran playing signature music from throughout their career, including songs from their most recent, top-10 charting studio album, Paper Gods…..Rowdy Yates, host of “Original Country Gold with Rowdy Yates,” is offering a half-hour, “Mel Tillis Tribute Special” for immediate radio airplay on a non-market-exclusive basis.  The tribute features music from Mel, songs that he wrote for others (like “Ruby” for Kenny Rogers and “Detroit City” for Bobby Bare), music from his daughter Pam Tillis and some great stories about his rise to fame along with the hardships that he overcame.  This Compass Media presentation is available to stations in a commercial free format.  The download link is here.  Please email Doug Ingold at dingold@compassmedianetworks.com with call letters, intended air dates and times.  Call Doug with questions at 310-242-8746.

Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs.  This past weekend, Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs took place at the Microsoft Theater Event Deck in Los Angeles from Thursday (11/16) through Saturday (11/18) that included three days of branded programming and artist interviews.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cat Collins, EVP/In2une Music; Mike McVay, EVP programming & content, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; John Kilgo, SVP, talent relations, Cumulus Media; in2une recording artist Taylor Grey; and Suzanne Grimes, EVP corporate marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One.

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate 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.

 

 

New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”

 

 

John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; 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.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

| November 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

| October 30, 2017

Beasley’s Q3 Pro Forma Net Revenue Flat.  Pro forma net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was flat at $58.7 million, a comparison to the same period in 2016.  Actual third quarter numbers for Beasley Media Group show net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at $58.9 million versus $27.7 million during the same period in 2016.  As the company points out, “On November 1, 2016, Beasley acquired 18 radio stations (net of divestitures) (‘the Greater Media stations’). The actual results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the acquired Greater Media stations. On January 6, 2017 the Company completed the sale of WFNZ-AM and three Greater Media stations in Charlotte.  On May 1, 2017 the Company completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville. The pro-forma results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the aforementioned Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, as if the transaction had been completed on January 1, 2016.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The operating and financial benefits of the Greater Media transaction are becoming more visible as we continue making progress on our synergy realization and integration initiatives, which are focused on driving SOI margin expansion. Pro forma net revenues were flat compared to the prior year period, despite the non-recurrence of $0.6 million in political revenue, while we reduced pro forma station operating expenses by 5.2% or $2.3 million…Throughout the third quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations.  We remain focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership.  Revenue at Beasley’s combined clusters rose 0.1% in the third quarter, outperforming the overall markets, which declined 0.8% according to Miller Kaplan. Of particular note, our Detroit cluster generated double-digit revenue increases and our Philadelphia cluster rebounded from a transition-related revenue decline earlier this year to an increase of 1% in the third quarter.  These increases were offset by declines in our Tampa, Charlotte and Las Vegas clusters.”

John DePetro Leaves WADK, Remains on WNRI in Rhode Island.  Longtime Providence, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro announces some changes to where his show can be heard in the Ocean State.  Since the beginning of the year – after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM – DePetro has been heard on WADK, Newport.  Shortly thereafter, DePetro began airing his show on WNRI, Woonsocket.  Now, DePetro announces that he’s leaving WADK and expanding his program on WNRI.  He says his show will now air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  “The time change will allow me to pursue other projects I am working on. WNRI is 95.1 FM and AM 1380.  My sponsors are all happy and the listeners are excited.”

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to Receive IBJ Award.  The annual Mike Carroll Award is bestowed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in honor of a community member who has demonstrated the qualities of determination, humility and devotion to the central Indiana community as exhibited by former Indy deputy mayor and civic leader Mike Carroll.   This year Emmis Communications founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will receive the award at the IBJ’s upcoming “Engage Indiana” event on Friday, December 8.  IBJ publisher and president Greg Morris says, “Jeff Smulyan’s contributions to central Indiana extend far beyond what he has achieved at Emmis Communications.  He cares deeply about the community and as a result is always happy to help out organizations large and small.”

Hollins Named Research Director at Jacobs Media. Media research pro Jason Hollins is joining Jacobs Media as research director.  The company says that Hollins will work closely with Fred and Paul Jacobs to lead its expanding research initiatives in radio, digital media and beyond.  Hollins has spent his entire career with Edison Research, including 12 years as vice president.  Fred Jacobs states, “We are proud and excited to bring someone of Jason’s talent and experience to the Jacobs Media team.  He’s spent nearly two decades working in radio and media research, both broadcast and digital, and has been integral in helping a vast array of companies better understand their current consumers, as well as helping them stay ahead of the curve on emerging media.”

Mueller Investigation Charges/Clinton-DNC Funding of Russia Dossier; GOP Tax Reform Bill; North Korea Nuclear Threats; Spain-Catalan Independence Battle; Dodgers-Astros World Series; NCAA Football; and NFL Anthem Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Special counsel investigator Robert Mueller announces filing of first charges in investigation into Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election and last week’s news that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Republican tax reform bill; North Korea’s threats of nuclear attacks on the U.S.; Catalan’s declaration of independence from Spain; the Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series; Saturday’s college football action; and Sunday’s NFL anthem protests and the game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

An Oral History of Sex on Talk Radio.  This week’s edition of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is an information-packed sizzler.  Joining the TALKERS founder is notable spoken-word radio newcomer (and “romantic boutique” owner) Beth Liebling who hosts a truly groundbreaking, weekend sex talk show, “Love and Laughter with Beth” on, of all things, a sports station – ESPN 97.5 FM, Houston (KFNC owned by Gow Communications).  Actually, the podcast is built around a conversation between the two that took place on Liebling’s show where Harrison appeared as her guest this past weekend.  Harrison and Liebling talk with remarkable candor about the changing role of sex talk down through the decades on licensed broadcast media subject to FCC regulations.  They talk about changing community standards, taboo words, and the evolving societal attitude about sex as reflected on what has commonly been referred to as the “public airwaves.”  The conversation includes discussion of such names as Lenny BruceGeorge CarlinHoward SternLeslie GoldBill BalanceDr. Laura SchlessingerDr. Joy BrowneDr. Ruth WestheimerDr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and more.  Reflecting upon the podcast, Harrison says, “What Beth Liebling is doing on her little weekend show is indeed groundbreaking and, if nothing else, the radio industry should know about her.  We had a heck of a conversation!” 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.

Investigative Reporter and Former Talk Show Host Mark Shaw Weighs in on Released JFK Files.  Investigative reporter, author, and former radio talker Mark Shaw, author of the best-selling book about the untimely death of ‘50s/’60s media icon Dorothy KilgallenThe Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016), tells TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (10/30) that he is disappointed at the limited information being made available by this first round of released government files containing information about the JFK assassination as it pertains to the widespread suspected connection to Kilgallen’s death.  In an audio conversation with Harrison, he discusses his findings, suspicions, and expectations.  According to Harrison, “Mark Shaw has done a fantastic job of digging into the story of one of the most important-but-largely-forgotten multi-media figures of 20th century talk radio and newspaper journalism – Dorothy Kilgallen. If there is the possibility of a cover up pertaining to the murder of JFK, you can be sure she had gotten to the bottom of it.”  To listen to the conversation between Harrison and Shaw, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Retired Topeka, Kansas radio personality Marlena Adkinson was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Adkinson spent all 41 years of her career at Alpha Media’s country KTPK-FM. She has served in traffic, news, production, promotions, and programming.  At the time of her retirement in March, she was the production director and midday personality…..CBS RADIO is presenting an electric roster of New Year’s Eve weekend shows at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  Beginning Friday, December 29 and lasting into the early morning hours of 2018, the company will present four shows headlined by Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, and Zac Brown Band, with a special performance by Sir Rosevelt…..Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte stations – country WSOC, CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” hip hop WPEG “Power 98,” urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9,” classic hits WXRC/W234BY “94.7 SMOKE,” adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” – are partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to host a massive food backpack collection on Saturday (11/4).  The event benefits local children in need of weekend meals.  Employees from the six Beasley Media Charlotte stations and Hendricks Automotive Group will come together to fill more than 1,000 backpacks with nutritious, easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items for children who do not have regular access to food outside of school…..SiriusXM is preparing to launch eight commercial-free holiday music channels on Wednesday (11/1).  The channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music and Latin seasonal music.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

| October 18, 2017

Tax Reform Radio Row with the Trump Administration.  Pictured above is WMAL, Washington and Westwood One talk show host Chris Plante (left) interviewing President Trump (right) during yesterday’s radio row, organized by the Trump Administration to promote its tax reform policies, at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.  As TALKERS reported yesterday, talk hosts taking part in the daylong event that made not only the president and vice president available to talk hosts but numerous administration officials and tax reform experts included: Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher; Plante, WMAL’s Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese; WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall; and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz.  Pictured below (l-r) are WMAL “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese, Vice President Mike Pence, and morning show executive producer Heather Hunter.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Makes Lineup Changes.  Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio moves 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host Steve Scaffidi to the late morning slot and brings Jeff Wagner back to the early afternoon daypart where he’d been for more than 10 years.  When longtime station personality Charlie Sykes left the station, Wagner moved from late mornings to the early afternoon show and former Oak Creek, Wisconsin Mayor Steve Scaffidi joined the station to host late mornings.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks comments, “Steve has grown tremendously since joining the station in early 2017.  He has capitalized on his unique perspective as a former politician and community leader.  His show is quickly growing and we are excited to put him in the daypart where our audience has come to expect political and issue-driven talk.  Meanwhile, Jeff Wagner will resume his early afternoon program where he consistently beat his competitors in Milwaukee – especially Rush Limbaugh and other shows piped in from out of town.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Tulsa operations of E.W. Scripps has a new general sales manager.  Dan Smith, most recently with Enid, Oklahoma-based Williams Broadcasting, is familiar with the market, having served with Cox Media Group’s crosstown cluster for 11 years.  Now, he’ll head the sales efforts for news/talk KFAQ plus sister country KVOO, CHR KHTT, classic country KXBL, and classic hits KBEZ. Scripps Radio Tulsa vice president and general manager David Abel comments, “Dan brings with him a tremendous track record of results and a deep understanding of the Tulsa market.  He’s a proven leader who has a long history of talent and business development, which make him a perfect fit to lead our veteran sales team.”…..At iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida cluster, Seth Harp is promoted to his new position as program director for sports talk WFXJ-AM “Sportsradio 930.”…..Sirius XM announces a new, one-hour weekly show starring Rickey Gervais set to launch on October 24 at 11:00 am ET on its Comedy Greats channel.  The show is called “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius,” and SiriusXM says the show will present Gervais “tackling more ‘sirius’ topics with some of the most respected experts in their fields.  Whether it’s a conversation with scientist and author Richard Dawkins about religion and the afterlife, or rocker Noel Gallagher on hijinks with his bandmates and his musical influences, Gervais will have thought-provoking discussions about the topics he feels the most passionate about, namely music, science, art, and ethics.”  Gervais states, “I started out in radio, and SiriusXM made me an offer to return that I couldn’t refuse.  With 32 million subscribers, editorial control, my own playlist and absolute freedom of speech, it’s the perfect platform for me, and hopefully the listener too.”…..Hearst-owned news/talk WBAL, Baltimore is adding an FM translator to its transmission after the company agreed to buy W268BA, Church Hill, Maryland from Hope Christian Church of Marlton for $650,000.  The FM 101.5 signal’s transmitter is located due east of Baltimore, across Chesapeake Bay.

Walter Sterling Featuring Talk Hosts ‘Who Should Be Working.’  On his Sunday night, WPHT, Philadelphia-based and Westwood One-syndicated talk show, Walter Sterling is unveiling a new feature in which he invites talented talk show hosts who are out of work – and who he says should be working – to appear and showcase their skills.  Sterling says that the guest star selects what they feel is the hot story, gives their opinion and why they should be hired.  He adds, “It’s ridiculous how many ratings-growing hosts are out of work and I want them to be heard — and to work.  Ed Tyll was the first to appear on the show and Casey Bartholomew is next.  Tyll got immediate response from the industry.  I welcome these amazing story tellers.”  You can reach Walter at: waltermsterling@gmail.com.

Trump Tax Reform Plan, Fallen Soldiers Controversy, North Korea War Threats, Puerto Rico Devastation, Marino Drug Czar Withdrawl, Iran Nuclear Deal, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Campaign, Mandalay Security Guard Case, Travel Ban Halted, MLB Playoffs, NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The Trump Administration’s tax reform plans and yesterday’s White House radio row; President Trump’s comments about former presidents not meeting with families of fallen soldiers; North Korea’s missile program and its threats of war; the state of post-Maria Puerto Rico and the problems delivering aid; U.S. Rep. Tom Marino withdraws name from drug czar consideration after reports of his close ties to big pharma; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s threat not to certify Iran’s compliance; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the subsequent #MeToo campaign; the “missing” security guard from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay hotel appears on “Ellen” to talk about the deadly mass shooting; a Hawaii judge halts the latest version of the Trump travel ban; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Tampa Launches Support Effort for Regional Businesses. Tampa Bay was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, but many local businesses were greatly impacted by the storm that left them without power, with lost inventory, or even needing to close their doors for days.  Because of this, Cox Media Group is launching its philanthropic initiative, Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay.  The company says that “with the generous support of sponsors, The Miggs and Swigg Radio Show, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Distributing Company and Great Bay Distributors, Cox Cares will help small businesses recover after Irma through marketing and promotional outreach.”  Each Saturday between October 21 and Small Business Saturday – November 25 – local companies will be featured on Cox Media Group radio stations. The businesses will receive free on-air, online and social media promotion throughout the week. The supporting station will also be on-site at each business location that Saturday.  Cox Cares will provide assistance to more than 40 small businesses in the Tampa Bay area with approximately $250,000 in promotional support.  CMG Tampa VP and general manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG understands local businesses are an important part of our communities.  The disruption from Hurricane Irma has greatly impacted these businesses.  We are proud to help support them at a time when they need it most.  With the help of our local sponsors, we are promoting Tampa Bay area businesses across all six of our CMG radio stations.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Promoted at iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida station group is programmer G Wiz.  He rises to SVP of programming in addition to his roles programming hip hop WJBT “93.3 The Beat” and urban AC WSOL “V101.5.”  At the same time, country WQIK program director Cindy Spicer takes on the new title senior program director and Skip Kelly assumes the programming role at CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” in addition to his incumbent role as PD of adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River.” …..Making the switch from mornings at Townsquare Media’s CHR KSAS, Boise “103.5 Kiss FM” to afternoons at sister country KAWO “WOW 104.3” is Chris Cruise.  KAWO PD Rich Summers had been hosting the afternoon show but is giving it up to focus on programming.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

| October 17, 2017

Big Executive Changes at Townsquare Media.  The biggest surprise about the news released by Townsquare Media late yesterday (10/16) is that company founder and CEO Steven Price is leaving the CEO role and will now be the executive chairman of the board, a move that takes him out of the day-to-day operation of the radio and live events company.  It was seven years ago that Price – with backing from Oaktree Capital Management – founded the company.  Oaktree managing director and Townsquare board member David Quick announces that Bill Wilson and Dhruv Prasad are being promoted to the positions of co-chief executive officers who will report to the board of directors.  At the same time, the company announces that radio management pro Erik Hellum is promoted to chief operating officer, local media.  Townsquare reports that it “owns 318 radio stations and more than 325 local websites in 67 U.S. markets, a digital marketing solutions company serving approximately 11,750 small-to-medium sized businesses, approximately 550 live events with nearly 18 million attendees each year in the U.S. and Canada, and one of the largest digital advertising networks focused on music and entertainment reaching more than 50 million unique visitors each month.”  In 2015, Townsquare acquired mobile amusement company North American Midway Entertainment.  It also operates music and entertainment websites including: hip hop-focused XXLmag.com, TasteofCountry.com, hard-rock-oriented Loudwire.com and New York music site BrooklynVegan.com.

Entertainment Journalist Craig Marks Joins Townsquare.  Speaking of those genre-specific digital publications that Townsquare Media operates, the company says that it has hired “veteran editor and journalist” Craig Marks to serve as editorial director in which he’ll “oversee editorial content across web, social and video for eight of Townsquare’s music and entertainment brands including: TasteofCountry, Loudwire, PopCrush, ScreenCrush, UltimateClassicRock, TheBoot, Diffuser, and TheBoombox.”  He will work alongside Vanessa Satten, longtime editor in chief of XXLmag.com.  During his career, Marks has served as executive editor at Billboard, and as editor-in-chief at Blender magazine, Spin and Popdust. He comments, “I am thrilled to be joining such an innovative, multi-platform company as Townsquare.  I look forward to participating in the continued growth of the company and its industry-leading music and pop-culture brands.”

Story Questions Trump’s Absence from Talk Radio.  In a piece by Oliver Darcy published at CNN.com, the author wonders why President Trump has, except for one or two campaign-oriented appearances, not taken his message to conservative talk radio.  Noting that conservative talk radio hosts are, by and large, supporters of the president, reports that the administration says the president has “a great relationship with talk radio” but choses to use Twitter “to speak directly with his base.”  Some talk hosts offer their thoughts.  Former WTMJ, Milwaukee talk host Charlie Sykes is quoted saying, “The only thing that I can think of is that Donald Trump doesn’t listen to the radio.  He watches television.  He reads The New York Times. So he reacts to what’s in his world.”  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman says she thinks he knows he’s vulnerable in the long-form interview with hosts who might pressure him on issues like immigration reform.  Read the whole story here.

Tax Reform Radio Row Today at White House.  The story above notwithstanding, talk radio has a presence in Washington today as the administration hosts a radio row at the Old Executive Office Building to promote its tax reform plans.  Talk show hosts taking part in the radio row include Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher, Cumulus Media hosts Chris Plante, Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese, as well as WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz. Guests available to speak to talk radio hosts will include President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway and others. Pictured above is Salem’s Mike Gallagher (right) shaking hands with President Trump (left).  Pictured below is WPHT’s Chris Stigall (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence.

Salem Moves News/Talker in St. Louis to Make Room for Gospel Outlet.  As of yesterday (10/16), Salem Media Group moved its St. Louis news/talk format “The Answer” from WDSZ-AM/K236CS to KXFN-AM/K287BY and will install “Praise 95.1” on WDSZ and its translator.  In a statement about the move, Salem Media St. Louis general manager Greg Lhamon says that there’s an untapped market.  “Based on conversations with many in the St. Louis area, the community has been waiting to enjoy gospel on the FM dial.”

CBS Sports to Simulcast Jim Rome ShowVariety is reporting that CBS Sports is going to start simulcasting the Jim Rome radio show on cable’s CBS Sports Network, effective January 2.  The piece reports that the company is building a new studio to “reflect the new visual elements of his program.”  EVP of programming at CBS Sports Dan Weinberg says, “Jim is an engaging and dynamic host with an incredibly loyal and passionate fan base.  We are excited to provide one of sports talk radio’s most enduring programs a new national platform on television.”  Rome has been with CBS Sports Radio since 2012 after a long career syndicated by Premiere Networks.

North Korea Nuclear Program, McCain ‘Liberty Medal’ Speech, Weinstein Scandal, Puerto Rico Recovery Troubles, Kaepernick Lawsuit, Las Vegas Shooting Investigation, ISIS Driven Out of Raqqa, U. Florida-Richard Spencer Event, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  North Korea’s statement of no negotiations until it has ICBMs that can hit the U.S. East Coast; John McCain decries ‘half-baked’ nationalism during medal acceptance speech; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and criticism of Hollywood’s history of ‘looking the other way’; the hampered recovery efforts in Puerto Rico; former NFLer Colin Kaepernick sues the league owners for collusion; the investigation into the motive behind the deadly Las Vegas shooting and the now-missing Mandalay security guard; U.S.-backed forces push ISIS out of Raqqa; Florida Governor Rick Scott’s concerns about public safety during white nationalist Richard Spencer’s pending University of Florida appearance; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Thursday (10/19), Beasley Media Group will present “Vegas Strong: A Night of Healing” at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  The concert will honor all victims, survivors and first responders from the October 1 tragedy and feature country superstars Big & Rich and Cam, plus a surprise performance from one of country’s most renowned acts.  Beasley says 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Steve Sisolak Las Vegas Victims’ Fund that has, to date, raised nearly $11 million.  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Tom Humm states, “Due to the kindness and support of the Beasley family, Mega Country Recording Artists, the country community and The Orleans Arena/Boyd Gaming we have the opportunity to present ‘A Night of Healing’ for affected families and also give special thanks to our first responders.  It is our privilege and honor to help in any small way we can as proud members of this community.  Vegas Strong!”…..The new contract between urban morning radio star Tom Joyner and Reach Media is also signaling the end of Joyner’s radio show after December 31, 2019.  The two announced the new deal last week and now report that as Joyner celebrates his 25th year in national syndication, he “plans to launch a two-year-long celebration campaign, sharing events and experiences with his listeners highlighting the past, present and future of the Tom Joyner brand.  Joyner reportedly will reveal more as his show moves forward with events and activities as a lead-up to the conclusion of his iconic morning show.”…..A new talent search TV show is coming next year and iHeartMedia is collaborating with Fox Broadcasting Company, show creator Armoza Formats, and producer ITV Entertainment.  The show is titled, “THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM,” and iHeartMedia will use its radio station listenership to support auditions, assist in the search for talent, and boost the careers of artists throughout the run of the competition.  As part of the grand prize, the winner of the show will also be part of iHeartMedia’s “On the Verge” artist development program, which will support the winning talent with airplay across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide.  “THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM” begins with four super-talented singers, chosen from auditions by the show, defending their coveted spots on the stage as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them.  If the existing four outperform their challengers, they survive to sing another week, until the end of the season, when the final four face off against each other.  Only one will claim the ultimate prize for an aspiring artist: a team of elite star-makers – the series’ panel of judges – all committed to launching and guiding the winner’s music career…..iHeartMedia is launching a new festival, this one aimed at the alternative rock audience, called “iHeartRadio ALTer EGO” and taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  Artists scheduled to perform so far include: Mumford & Sons, Cage The Elephant, Beck, Spoon, WALK THE MOON, The National and Dashboard Confessional, with more to be announced later.  Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia president John Sykes says, “Alternative rock is experiencing an incredible renaissance.  Young bands in their 20s are making music with the same energy and power of the bands like U2, Depeche Mode and REM, that helped to create the format.”…..Alpha Media San Jose inks nationally syndicated morning duo “Brooke & Jubal” to handle the morning drive daypart at its hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”…..Michael Tedesco shifts from director of business development with Educational Media Foundation to sales manager at Christian contemporary WAWZ, Zarepath, New Jersey “Star 99.1.”  He takes over for the retiring Lorraine Shaw.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Monday, October 2, 2017

| October 2, 2017

Las Vegas Concert Massacre Dominating Radio Discussions.  The day after an apparently lone gunman fired a semi-automatic gun at the crowd attending the “Route 91 Harvest Festival” concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas killing at least 50 people and wounding many more, the story is the primary topic of discussion on not just news/talk radio, but most other radio formats.  Beasley Media Group reports that country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” morning personality Mike West was at the event and shot the video you can see here (the photo of the Mandalay Hotel at left is a still from the video).Thankfully, the quality of the video prevents viewers from seeing the carnage as it happened, but the sound of the gun steadily firing is haunting, to say the least.  Beasley says that news/talk KDWN news director John Shaffer and the KCYE team have been broadcasting continuous updates as well as encouraging people to donate blood through United Blood Service.  In addition, there is a “family” update/info phone number (1-866-535-5654) and a Facebook page for people to check-in called, The Violent Incident In Las Vegas, where individuals can check in as “safe” and others can check to see if family and friends are safe.  Beasley suspended its National Cash Contest today across the entire company and will instead donate the money to an official victim’s fund.  Tomorrow, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher will originate his nationally syndicated talk show from Las Vegas with “second-day leads” from police officials, first responders, and others involved.   Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “Mike Gallagher broke major news from his past broadcasts from shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and he’s second-to-none in delivering live broadcasts that unravel senseless shootings like Sunday’s Mandalay Bay tragedy.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The non-stop barrage of monumentally consequential stories being processed by news/talk hosts in this compelling era is unprecedented in my memory.  Now, this Las Vegas tale of horror ratchets it up to yet a higher level of intensity, if such a thing is even possible.”

Report: Cumulus in Talks with Creditors Over Debt Load.  According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Cumulus Media has entered into talks with two groups of creditors.  The story by Soma Biswas says that those familiar with the talks say it could lead to a bankruptcy filing by Cumulus.  The bulk of Cumulus’ debt comes due in 2019 – not very far away in the business world.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner has reported slight improvement in the company’s overall station ratings and says the culture of the company – along with the employee turnover rate – has improved dramatically.  Read the WSJ piece here.

Jim Hayes Returns to KFNS, St. Louis.  This from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporting on Friday (9/29) that Jim “The Cat” Hayes is returning to “The Morning After” program on Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS, St. Louis.  Dan Caesar’s story notes that last week it was announced Hayes would be leaving the show he co-hosted with Tim McKernan and Doug Vaughn, ostensibly because the early wake-up, combined with his other duties for FOX Sports Midwest, were too much, although Caesar reports other sources say money was a factor.  Regardless, McKernan and Hayes had been in constant contact hoping to get Hayes back on the program and that led to Markel and Hayes working out a new deal.  Read the whole story here.

Ken Carson New Ops Manager at News/Talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois; Programming Changes Announced.  Programming pro Ken Carson is appointed to the operations manager position at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois news/talker WMAY “970-AM & 94.7-FM.”  The company says Carson, who begins his duties tomorrow (10/3) will initially be responsible for all programming and promotional functions for WMAY.  Carson has most recently been operating his own production and voice-over firm.  During his career, he’s worked for Cox Media Group, Citadel Broadcasting, and Saga Communications.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield general manager Harvey Wells comments, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and, right from the start, Ken’s qualifications rose to the top. After several conversations and a trip to the Land of Lincoln, it was an easy decision to bring Ken aboard.  At the same time, the station announces it’s bringing former morning host Greg Bishop back to the station to co-host the program with Ray Lytle.  Lytle says, “Greg and I know each other very well.  I’m totally psyched to be working with him again.”  The morning show is followed by Mike Wennmacher and Johnny Molson’s “Mike and Molson” program.  That’s being shortened to one hour as the two will take over creative production and voice duties for all four Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield radio stations.  Market pro and current sister country WUSW morning personality (as well as CMA Award winner!) Brian Pierce is launching a talk show on WMAY from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’ll continue his WUSW morning show duties.

Thom Hartmann Retires from Hosting RT America’s ‘The Big Picture’ Program – Holland Cooke Steps in as Replacement.   After seven years hosting the RT America television show “The Big Picture,” progressive talk media mainstay Thom Hartmann has announced he will be leaving the nightly program to devote more time to his mega-successful daily, three-hour radio program (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET).  His final installment was aired this past Friday (9/29).  The DC-based commentator also tells TALKERS he and his wife (and executive producer) Louise Hartmann want to be able to spend more time in Portland, Oregon closer to their children.  Hartmann’s cross-platform radio program has been on the air since 2003 and is ranked by TALKERS as the leading progressive news/talk show in the radio industry.  He tells TALKERS, “Having complete editorial control over a TV show syndicated internationally into more than 700 million homes was a great (and rare) opportunity.  We worked hard not to do ‘sports’ or ‘soap opera’ when covering politics, and instead focus on issues; we believe we accomplished a lot in that regard. We’re grateful to RT for the opportunity, and for fully honoring our contractual independence at all times.”  Replacing Hartmann as host of RT America’s “The Big Picture” brand is noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist and correspondent Holland Cooke.  Cooke is a former radio programmer and talent who came to national prominence during his tenure as PD of all-news WTOP, Washington, DC.  In recent years, he emerged as a significant presence on cable news/talk TV as a regular guest of host Ed Schultz when he was on MSNBC and came along with Schultz when he moved to RT America.  Cooke says, “Woody Allen was right: ‘80% of life is showing up.’ I showed up 20 years ago in Fargo, North Dakota to consult KFGO, where I met Ed Schultz. You’ll recall a TALKERS profile I wrote about him back then. I figured he was goin’ places. Eventually, those places included MSNBC and RT America, where Ed often used me as a ‘talking head.’  On the MSNBC ‘Ed Show,’ I was Mr. Friday, available on Friday nights when true big shots were out having a life. Ed introduced me to his boss at RT, who invited me aboard.”  Hartmann introduced Cooke to the audience during the last segment of his final show.  (To view it, click here).  Although Hartmann’s program was weeknights, the new iteration hosted by Cooke will debut on October 6 as a ½ hour weekend show to start, airing Fridays at 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm with several replays over the weekend.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is booked as a guest on the first program.  According to Cooke, “We will continue to produce ‘The Big Picture’ at RT America headquarters in Washington DC, where I’ll work on Thursdays and Fridays.  On the front half of the week, I will continue to be based out of Block Island, Rhode Island consulting a select roster of radio stations, shows, and hosts, and contributing to TALKERS and publishing my monthly newsletter.”  In addition to Schultz, RT America also features programs hosted by Larry KingJesse Ventura and others.  It is part of the larger RT Network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia.  It is a non-profit organization with studios and bureaus in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, in addition to Washington, DC.  Holland Cooke will be TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s guest on the next installment of the media-oriented PodcastOne podcast “Up Close and Far Out” scheduled to be posted tomorrow (10/3).

New Hampshire Jury Awards $274.5 Million to Plaintiffs Defamed by Talk Host.  Mortgage broker Michael Gill brokered a talk radio show on Lakes Media’s news/talk WTPL, Concord and used some of that airtime – as well as a billboard campaign – to defame three area businessmen, a jury recently decided.  Last week, the jury awarded Andy Crews, Dick Anagnost, and William Greiner $274.5 million that Gill must pay the three.  Gill used the billboards and his radio show to relentlessly accuse the three of operating a heroin distribution ring in New Hampshire, though he never indicated there was any evidence that was the case.  Read the New Hampshire Union Leader story here.

TALKERS News Notes.  News radio pro Pat Carroll is joining Bloomberg Radio to serve as the lead anchor on the company’s new Boston financial news station WRCA/W291CZ “106.1FM/1330AM.”  She will also join her new colleagues (Tom Moroney, Peter Barnes, Anne Mostue and Dan Pierce) on the “Bloomberg Bay State Business” program slated for expansion next month.  Carroll was a longtime staffer at WCBS-AM, New York where she served as morning drive anchor, co-host of the “Opening Bell Report,” and a staff reporter.  She’ll be based in NYC…..Townsquare Media closes on its purchase of Western Massachusetts radio stations from Gamma Broadcasting and Berkshire Broadcasting.  Those stations are: news/talk WBEC-AM, hot AC WBEC-FM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Kalil & Co., Inc. represented Gamma and Berkshire…..Last Saturday (9/30), 600 local children in need received brand-new beds through the 2017 “Beds for Kids” project – a joint effort of Seattle Police and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.  KIRO-FM afternoon personalities Ron & Don have been dedicated and passionate advocates for this project since its inception in 2014.  It was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after responding to a 911 call where they discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets. More than 1,100 beds will have been donated to children through Beds for Kids from 2014-2017.

NFL Anthem Protests, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketch, Puerto Rico Devastation-Trump vs San Juan Mayor, North Korea Tensions, O.J. Simpson Freed, Catalan Independence Vote, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The actions of NFL players during the national anthem at yesterday’s games; “Saturday Night Live” begins its new season with a Donald Trump sketch; the devastation of Puerto Rico and President Trump’s verbal war with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement that the U.S. and North Korea have open channels to talks; O.J. Simpson leaves prison; the weekend’s referendum for Catalonia to secede from Spain; the Major League Baseball playoff scenario; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Robby Bridges re-signs with Cumulus Media to continue serving as director of FM programming for the company’s Detroit cluster that includes: hot AC WDVD, country WDRQ, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Bridges is also on Cumulus’ hot AC and country format SWAT teams and anchors PM drive on WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit OM Mike Wheeler says, “Robby is an ideal programming partner.  He lives and breathes these radio stations and that love shows in what comes out of the speakers and in the quality of the team he’s built.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois, adult contemporary WNNS program director Chris Murphy is officially named the program director for sister country outlet WUSW, removing the “interim” from his title…..Today, urban contemporary WDAS “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is honoring local personality Tony Brown on the occasion of his 45th anniversary in radio.  The tribute will take place at 8:00 pm this evening (10/2) at Relish.  Brown says, “I never imagined my radio career would span 45 years, but then again, I love it so much that I never thought of doing anything else.”  Brown currently hosts WDAS’ evening show, “The Quiet Storm.”

 

 

Round One of September PPM Ratings Data Released.  The first of four rounds of ratings Information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 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 September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13.  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 – A gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, 6+) enables Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” to vault from #20 to a three-way tie at #15. Even though it is without a decrease for the eighth successive sweep and is up seven-tenths in that stretch (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” backslides from eighth to ninth. Progressing by one-half share each are CBS Radio all-news and sports talk siblings WINS (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to third, 6+) and WFAN-FM “The Fan” (ninth to seventh, 6+). By notching a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Not only is this the third straight gain for “The Fan” (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), which is a collective +1.1 since June, 4.6 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. On two prior occasions, New York Yankees flagship “The Fan” registered a 4.5 (6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits,” however, is a combined -1.1 in August and September (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+) and exits the #1 spot after just a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that netted a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. In back-to-back months, 6.1 (6+) is what is required to set the pace in New York City – only this time – it is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW hitting that mark (6.0 – 6.1, +.1, 6+), with “106.7 Lite FM” again taking over at #1. Its loss of seven-tenths in August (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Dropping from #13 to #14, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), ending at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Format rival – CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – is flat at 3.0 and remains at #12 (6+). The two hot AC competitors were tied at 2.6 in July, but “Fresh” had held the advantage over WPLJ in each of the previous seven ratings periods. Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had an increase in the last eight ratings periods (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has lost just two-tenths in that timeframe and slips from #21 to #22. Two streaks come to an end for the market’s major CHRs. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WHTZ “Z-100” drops four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to eighth, 6+), ending three up or flat months for a +.3 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), while CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 but stays at #19 (6+); “Amp” was down or flat the past four sweeps for a collective loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – Not only does iHeartMedia urban contemporary KRRL haul out an impressive +.9 (2.6 – 3.5, 6+), “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” rockets from #15 all the way to part of a three-way logjam at #6. Moreover, “Real” has its best 6+-stat since flipping from urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3” in February 2015. Without a decrease for a ninth consecutive monthly for an overall gain of one full-share in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), CBS Radio-owned alternative KROQ has its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9, yet drops from a three-way tie at #12 to #15. Similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is down or flat for the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+) and skids from #15 to #18. Off by nine-tenths in three straight declines (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” recaptures seven tenths to 2.9 (6+) and catapults from #20 to a three-way tie at #12. Its Spanish contemporary sibling KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” however, falters by seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and carries on at #6. An August gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) elevated Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC to its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.1, but “89.3 The Voice of Southern California” drops two-tenths to 1.7, sliding from #22 to #24 (6+). The “stream” though of the American Public Media Group-operated facility debuts with a one-half share to check in at #40 (.5, 6+). Even though only advancing by two-tenths, KSPN “ESPN LA 710” hasn’t had a decrease in the past five ratings periods (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Owing to an increase of three-tenths to 1.9 (#22, 6+), 93.9 Holdings regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” halts at five a skein of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Following four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” surrenders half that gain to 6.0 (-.4, 6+), but is #1 for the eighth straight ratings period. When KBIG dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends, which netted a combined full-share gain (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1.  This marks the third straight time that its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) and KOST “Coast 103” (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+) are without increases, but they remain at #4 and #5, respectively. The January through September trending for news/talk sibling KFI is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned, similarly-formatted KEIB’s March through September line is 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 (#35, 6+). While it maintains its #2 ranking for the sixth straight sweep, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” forfeits the six-tenths it gained in August and one-tenth more (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+). Between March and July, “The Wave” trended a very consistent 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps, classic hits-oldies sibling KRTH “K-Earth 101” registers a 4.8 and is unchanged at #3, (4.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). A combined -.7 via three consecutive declines, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” dips from #18 to #20 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 6+). At #28, University of Southern California’s classical KUSC is down or flat for the fourth consecutive time (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

3) Chicago – Rebounding from an August loss of seven-tenths with a September gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the eighth successive month. The -.7 in August halted four consecutive up or flat trends for a +1.1 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Finishing in the runner-up slot as it did in July and August, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” is without a loss for the fourth straight time for a collective gain of six-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” is trending 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+) and falls from a four-way logjam at #17 to #19. Three straight modest increases have netted Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM four-tenths (2.8 -3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), with “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” carrying on at #11, while CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” remains at #17 (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, 6+). Trending 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish urban WVIV “Latino Mix 93.5” loses roughly half of its 6+-stat (.7, -.5, #27, 6+), with .5 its lowest (6+ AQH) performance in the PPM-era. After recording five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.6 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WUSN surrenders four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from fourth to fifth; 4.2 in August was the best 6+-showing for “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” since October 2014’s 4.4. Steady at #21, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” – regains one-tenth of the six-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight ratings period for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WGN fades from #15 to #19. Immediately prior to this particular streak, the Tribune Media Company news/talk outlet posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Finishing at #25, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WLS-AM has lost a collective one-half share in five successive down or flat trends (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.9 (#17 to #14, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ breaks its 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+) pattern. Albeit that it is flat at 3.9 (6+), CBS Radio-owned sports talk/Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” jumps from seventh to fourth, while ESPN Radio’s WMVP adds two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), ending at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). While unchanged at #8, WSCR cluster-mate WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops three-tenths (4.1 – 3.8, 6+) and remains in fifth-place. Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, April – May – June (6+), Window to the World classical WFMT is unlisted for the third consecutive month.

4) San Francisco – Down a collective six-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” regains all but one-tenth to climb from fifth to a fourth-place tie (4.2, +.5, 6+). As a result of a +.4 to 3.6 (6+), CBS Radio-owned/similarly-formatted KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (eighth to seventh) pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for the loss of one-full-share (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM relinquishes 60% of that increase (7.3, -.3, 6+), but is on top in San Francisco for the ninth successive time. 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+). In each of the nine sweeps that KQED-FM has finished first, the runner-up is CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM, which adds two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), thus curtailing four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). As they did in August, adult contemporary stations finish third and fourth, but the order changes. Specifically, Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” – off for the fifth consecutive time for an overall loss of -1.2 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+) – nonetheless advances from fourth to third, while iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” squanders 75% of August’s +.4 (4.5 – 4.2, -.3, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Slumping from eighth to tenth, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a cumulative -1.2 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). At the same time, the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#25 to #26) – has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share since June in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+); May’s +.3 put an end to a 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. Regressing by six-tenths each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which plummets from #10 to #16 (2.4, 6+), and Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-programmed KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” (2.0, #16 to #19, 6+). “Que Buena” was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), while “La Raza” halts a string of four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). The three stations tied at #13 in August with a 2.7 (6+) – Entercom urban AC “102.9 The Bay’s R&B”; iHeartMedia 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7”; and Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone” – all drop one-tenth to 2.6 and are now linked at #12. A collective +.8 in June and July (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), KBLX surrendered 75% of that gain in August (-.6, 6+). Prior to July, the last time KBLX reached the three-share level was in April 2016 with a 3.0 (6+). This concludes eight straight sweeps without a loss for KSAN which was up six-tenths in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); KOSF had registered a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods. The significantly consistent October 2016 through September 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#12 to #11) is 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8. As the result of five straight (minor) decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” is down six-tenths and slides from #19 to #20. For the sixth straight month, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – In three straight down or flat trends, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO faltered by a collective nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but “Que Buena 94.1” recoups all of it – and then some – with a +1.3 to 4.9, zooming from eighth to second (6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “Que Buena” since 5.3 last November. Notching its seventh consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.4 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KDXX “Latino Mix” is steady at #11. All three of the market’s sports properties are involved in various ratings streaks. In the case of Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket,” a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#16 to #13, 6+) pulls the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -.7 (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), whereas in seven straight up or flat trends, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (#19 to #18) has nearly doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). Meanwhile, a gain of two tenths to 1.3 (#31, 6+) helps KESN “ESPN Dallas 103.3” apply the brakes to four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). Trending 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.7 (July – August – September, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” is #1 for the ninth successive time. July’s 5.6 was the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Not only is co-owned KSCS up in back-to-back months to inch up from fifth to fourth (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), “New Country 96.3” registers the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Slipping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8, second to third, 6+) and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which returns its one-half share gain in August (4.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, third to fifth, 6+). Following four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (fourth to sixth, 6+) is without an increase for the fourth successive time for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). From the first of the year through September 2017, the 6+-line for Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#17 to a three-way tie at #15) is 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, while iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #10) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+) since April. Another model of consistency (February through September) is Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, #11 to #13, 6+). Although flat at 2.2 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). It is one-tenth ahead of CBS Radio’s somewhat similarly-formatted KRLD-AM (flat at #22), whose ten (10) trends since “Holiday” 2016 have been within a high of 2.3 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, 6+).

6) Houston – Hurricane Harvey began making its presence felt in southern Texas on August 25, approximately one week after the start of the September 2017 survey period. There are no significant (6+) spikes though among the market’s news/talk outlets as iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 Houston’s News, Weather, & Traffic Station” is up a modest two-tenths (3.7 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+) and co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” gains one-tenth (.2 – .3, 6+) and can be found in a six-way logjam at #30 with Dan Patrick’s KSEV “AM 700 – The Voice of Texas,” which is actually down one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+). Meanwhile in the public news/talk arena, University of Houston-owned KUHF adds one-tenth to August’s one-half share gain (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.3, #15 to #14). Without a decrease between February and July for a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK stumbled in August with a -1.1. Over and above responding in September with a +1.3 (5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to progress from third to second, “The Eagle” records the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. An improvement of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) lifts Liberman regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (#20 to #17) to its highest 6+-share since April 2016 (2.9, as well). Co-owned and similarly-programmed KEYH “La Ranchera” is up one-half share (.2 – .7, 6+) and checks in at #27, where it is tied with another station in the format – Univision Radio’s KQBU “Que Buena 93.3” – which has more than tripled its 6+-share in six straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a decrease, CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” has more than doubled its 6+-share (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, #22, 6+). While the main FM signal of iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” shows a seven-tenths increase to 4.3 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#14 to #9), its regional Mexican HD2 channel, which debuted in August at #20 with a 1.1, erodes by seven-tenths to .4 and freefalls to #29 (6+). “The Buzz” curtails at four a string of consecutive losses that produced a -.8 (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the fifth consecutive increase for Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” (#23) for a collective gain of one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+). Up one-tenth in both August and September (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. Its previous three trends were +1.4 (May); -.6 (June); and -.7 (July). Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. Displaced from the top and falling to third is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which relinquishes in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained this time last month (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). The rollercoaster ride continues for CBS Radio hot AC KHMX, as “Houston’s Mix 96-5,” was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; +.6 in August; and now -.5 in September (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Mix” lost four-tenths in May. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July and then slipping two-tenths to 4.9 (6+) in August, adult hits sibling KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is (like “Mix”) off by one-half share (4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In addition to hanging out a lofty increase of one full-share (8.9 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talker WSB-AM is #1 for the 21st straight ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). Even though runner-up, CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station,” adds one-tenth to 6.0 (6+), ending three straight down or flat trends (6.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), it trails WSB-AM by nearly four shares. January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. WSB-AM isn’t the only Atlanta station posting an August 2017 – September 2017 +1.0 though as Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” does so as well (4.3 – 5.3, 6+), propelling “The Fish” from ninth to third. When WFSH picked up four-tenths in August, it halted four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) that resulted in a combined -1.5. Trending 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+) since April, CBS Radio sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” logs a +.7 to 3.2, its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.4, and moves from #17 to #16. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range (6+) the past 12 survey periods, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” improves by one-half share and rockets into the top ten (4.2 – 4.7, #12 to #6, 6+); iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight time (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), but advances from #13 to #12. Declining by one-half share each are Radio One gospel WPZE “Praise 102.5 – Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (4.5 – 4.0, #8 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (4.3 – 3.8, #9 to #13, 6+); and Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” (3.4, #13 to #15, 6+). A +.8 in August by “Praise” pulled the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 as the result of seven successive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August. July’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in July 2016. Meanwhile, the September loss curtails five consecutive positive trends by “Star” that netted a +.9 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). In the market’s competitive urban AC battle, Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is off three-tenths for the third consecutive ratings period (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) but remains at #3, while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh (4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Segueing from fourth to fifth, Cox Media Group’s WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” is a collective -1.8 as the result of its fourth straight downward trend (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). A loss of one-tenth in June concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that generated a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps – including the last three – Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY logs a 1.8 and remains at #18 (6+).

8) Philadelphia – Just as two Atlanta stations improved month-to-month by +1.0 (see above), a pair of Philadelphia outlets are +1.1 from August. Specifically, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is 6.0 – 7.1, jumping from fourth to second (6+), while CBS Radio sports outlet WIP is 5.3 – 6.4 and remains at #5. Regarding WDAS-FM, the +1.1 applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -1.0 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its third straight up or flat trend (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0, #19 to #18, 6+). One-tenth ahead of “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-half share to advance from #3 to #1 (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). It is the first time at the top spot for “More FM” since February when it ended a seven-straight month run there and its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9. Format rival – CBS Radio-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – surrenders six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+) to slip from #16 to #17. Knocked off the top is its classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL, which sputters by eight tenths to 6.6 (6+) and drops to fourth. The 6+-shares for WOGL in its three straight months at #1 were 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.4 (6+). It returned to the top spot in June after transitioning from first to third in May. As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” is -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern (3.0 – 3.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off by six-tenths in September and dips from #18 to #19. Consistently trending between 4.1 and 4.4 (6+) in each of the past seven sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ is off three-tenths to 3.8 (6+). “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops from ninth to tenth, where it is tied with co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock,” which registers a 3.8 (6+) for the third consecutive time. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” is a collective +.9 via its third consecutive gain (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, #17 to #15, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in May and June and then on 3.7 (6+) in July and August, Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” dips three-tenths to 3.5 (#11 to #13, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 4.0 – 4.5 (6+) range since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+), leaping from fifth to second. In addition, “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” crosses the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. After being down one full-share as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” recoups half that loss with a +.1 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty (#23 to #20, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well and climbing from #14 to #12 is its hot AC sibling WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which is up or flat for the sixth straight time for a cumulative +1.0 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+); 3.2 is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since July 2016 (3.2, as well). While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” extends to nine its successive string of up or flat trends that has netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). After three consecutive gains that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrenders six-tenths in September (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Even so, “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. Down or flat for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.1 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from fifth to tenth. Off seven-tenths as well is New York City’s WABC, which has seen its 6+-share in the Long Island report cut by more than 50% in six straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+); the Cumulus Media news/talker exits the top twenty (#19 to #23). At the same time, similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned New York Mets flagship WOR regresses by one-half share (2.9 – 2.4, 6+), skidding from #12 to #16. Following six straight months of logging a 2.0 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WWPR “Power 105.1” dips to 1.9 but stays at #21 (6+). Dropping from a third-place tie to fifth, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” has a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is off one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3, 6+) and drops from #16 to #17.

10) Riverside – Honors for largest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 improvement for any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here go to the Inland Empire’s KOLA, which doubles August’s -.7 with a gain twice that margin (5.1 – 6.5, +1.4, 6+). The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet moves from #3 back to the runner-up slot it held between January and July; KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. It now trails Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (7.0 – 7.7, +.7, 6+), which is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period, by 1.2 shares (6+). When “Jose” 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+); “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. Improving by one-half share each are Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” (2.1, steady at #10, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” (.7 – 1.2, #14 to #13, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 (6+) and it reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Contrasted to KOLA, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” posts the highest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 decrease in any of these 12 PPM-markets (2.6, -1.6, fifth to eighth, 6+). Moreover, it curtails at three its consecutive skein of increases that netted a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). Steady at #4, CBS Radio country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” sputters by eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Unchanged at #12, All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” is off a collective eight-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

11) San Jose – On the heels of August’s +1.1 (3.7 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” goes one-tenth better with a +1.2 to 6.0, its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. In addition, “Bay FM” cruises from fifth to third. Three straight down or flat trends caused Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM to lose exactly half of its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.5, 6+); however, “Radio Lazer 93.7” responds with a +.7 to 2.2, vaulting from #26 to a three-way tie at #18. Increasing by seven-tenths as well – but flat at #12 – is Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (2.5 – 3.2, 6+), which has its best 6+-stat since January’s 3.3. Improving by one-half share in both August and September (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from ninth to seventh. This represents the most potent 6+-stat for “Star” in San Jose in over five years (4.7, August 2012, 6+). Registering a gain of one-half share as well are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which had been trending 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.9 (6+), but is now 2.4 (#19 to #16, 6+); and CBS Radio-owned KITS, which was 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 and goes to 2.1, the first time “Live 105 – The Bay Area’s Alternative” (#21) crosses the two-share level (6+) since last October’s 2.0. Recapturing the four-tenths it lost in August, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (7.3 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is #1 for the third straight time, breaking August’s tie with CBS Radio all-news outlet KCBS-AM, which is off two-tenths (6.9 – 6.7, 6+) and takes over at #2. Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. When KCBS-AM added three-tenths in May, it ended a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after adding one full-share in August, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” forfeits all of it plus another one-tenth (3.8 – 4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from fifth to ninth, with its lowest 6+-share in San Jose since last November’s 2.9. August’s +1.0 ended at four its consecutive streak of negative or flat trends that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). It is a slightly similar situation for Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music,” which more than wipes out August’s +.6 with a -.9 in September (6.0 – 5.1, 6+) to fall from third to fourth; 6.0 in August was its highest 6+-share since March 2015 (6.0, as well). Having picked up one-half share in July, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ has followed with a -.7 in August and now a -.6 in September (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), with “98.1 The Breeze” spiraling from #10 to #15.

12) Middlesex – Without a decrease in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” inches up from fifth to fourth with its highest 6+-share since reaching 5.1 in February 2016. Progressing by one-half share in August and September (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” continues at #3 and has its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market in exactly one year (6.0, September 2016, 6+). It regressed by six-tenths in July to curtail at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). Wiping away August’s one-half share loss with September’s one-half share gain is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), which climbs from #20 to #17. A gain of one-half share enables CBS Radio sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+) to register its highest 6+-share since January 2016’s 4.5. As the result of ten (10) straight up or flat trends, Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” (#25) has more than doubled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Despite turning over two-thirds of August’s gain of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the ninth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Carrying on at #2, Emmis urban AC WBLS drops one-tenth to 6.6 (6+), thus ending three consecutive gains that netted a +1.5 – all but two-tenths coming as a result of August’s +1.3 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+). Up by a combined one-half share in July and August (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” falters by eight-tenths to 3.6, falling from sixth to tenth (6+). Picking up one half share in back-to-back ratings periods (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, June – July – August, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” returns 60% of that full-share gain (4.9, -.6, third to fifth, 6+). This marks the sixth time in the last eight sweeps that iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (#13 to #14) records a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #14 (down from #13 in August) with Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which is down or flat for the sixth successive month for a collective -.7 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Monday, September 25, 2017

| September 25, 2017

Steele Returns to ‘FOX News 92.5’ in Naples-Ft. Myers; Radel to Drive Time.  Effective today (9/25), Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Naples-Fort Myers “FOX News 92.5” makes changes to its drive time programming, bringing Drew Steele back to the station for morning drive duties and moving Trey Radel to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  About the changes, program director Casey Bartholomew tells the Naples Daily News, “We wanted to better serve the market and what better way than with two live, local shows.  And Trey was more than happy to not have to get up (in the early morning).”  Steele was host of the morning show on WFSX from 2012 through 2016.  He comes back to Sun Broadcasting from Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City.  Radel replaced Steele in mornings when he left for Salt Lake City.  Read the Daily News piece here.

Bowen Out at Cumulus Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio executive Peter Bowen exits the Cumulus Media cluster there after three years as vice president and market manager.  As Feder points out, Bowen was responsible for bringing White Sox baseball and Chicago Bulls hoops to WLS-AM.  The company told Feder, “Peter Bowen has left the company and we wish him well in his future endeavors.  The open market manager role in Chicago is a priority for us and we are working to find the right leader for this important market as soon as possible.” See Feder’s column here.

Steve Dahl Re-Ups with WLS-AM.  Also, as reported by Robert Feder, Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl re-ups with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his afternoon show on news/talk WLS-AM for another three years.  Dahl hosts the program with cast mates Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.   Dahl tells Feder, “I’m proud of the work Dag, Brendan and I are doing every afternoon for WLS AM 890, and gratified that they like it, too.  The show is funny, informative and apolitical.  We could still use a little marketing, however, so I am currently in negotiations to buy the ‘Kathy’ half of the Eric and Kathy billboards.”  Read Feder’s report here.

TRN Files to Appeal Dismissal of Suit Against Industry Syndicators.  A year ago, the anti-trust lawsuit brought by Talk Radio Network against several industry syndicators including Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, and others was dismissed with prejudice and that dismissal affirmed.  TRN is filing to appeal that dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appellate court will decide if it will hear the case.

TALKERS News Notes. Launching this fall on CRN Digital Talk Radio is a new program titled, “HEAR IT NOW – A Radio Document of Our World,” hosted by Thomas Ross Bond II.  Bond calls the show “a program that focuses on the human-side of individuals who made an imprint on our world and the sounds of the times, in hope that another dimension is given to our understanding of our world and the human condition.  Unlike other programs concentrating on controversy, we strive to focus on the life of our ‘guest,’ the human side, to find out about ‘them,’ where they grew up, what influenced their life, why they made the choices they did.”…..The Rhode Island political talk radio show, “The Coalition – Talk Radio for Independent Minds,” moves from Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence to the digital platform of GoLocalProv.com.  The weekly, Friday evening show is hosted by Pat Ford, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the Presidents Cup golf tournament September 28 through October 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Trump Calls Out Athlete Protesters, North Korea Nuclear Threats/Sanctions, Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, Merkel Re-Election, Maria-Devastated Puerto Rico, Kingsman Film, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The issue of athletes protesting during the national anthem after President Trump’s criticism; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and new sanctions put upon the hermit kingdom; the push by Republicans to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act; Angela Merkel wins fourth term as Chancellor of Germany; the devastation of Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria; the new Kingsman film tops It at the box office; the weekend’s MLB games with playoff implications; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KXL and Compass Media Talker Lars Larson Co-Starring Regular TV Segment.  Pictured here during the “Left Hook, Right Jab” segment on KGW-TV, Portland is news/talk KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks syndicated talk show host Lars Larson (right).  Going against Larson in the debate-style segment is former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick (left).  Larson tells TALKERS magazine he’s been doing the TV segment for a few months now.  “They wanted a standard ‘he said, he said’ format but I suggested a chess clock format. Each of us gets 90 seconds.  Here’s the difference: we take turns leading off on a different question.  You can weigh in for, say 20-30 seconds (or shorter or longer), hit the bell and the other person has to respond.  He can go as long or short as he likes and then it switches back. Back and forth until both run out of time.  It moves fast.  It forces each to get right to the point (like Twitter).”

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS DIALOGUE: Terminated and Embattled KXNT, Las Vegas Talk Show Host Heidi Harris Speaks with Michael Harrison about the Events Leading Up to and Following CBS Choosing Not to Renew Her Contract as Morning Host.  In an exclusive TALKERS interview conducted Thursday evening (9/21), TALKERS founder Michael Harrison talks to former KXNT, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris about CBS RADIO’s decision not to renew her contract that was about to expire in a few weeks in the wake of a controversial social media comment about gay adoption posted by the broadcaster.  Although CBS has not cited the controversy as its reason for choosing not to renew Harris’ contract, the widespread speculation in the press and across the radio industry is that the host was let go because of negative blowback from organized activists in the gay community.  Discussing the interview, Harrison states, “I entered this conversation hoping to give Heidi the chance to present her side of the story, but, perhaps, wishfully to see if there was any chance to smoothen out the situation and set the stage for CBS to reconsider its decision if she clarified her position short of actually apologizing. Apologizing is not something I would expect or encourage her to do.  But it would be unfortunate if she left the station because of a misunderstanding of terms and today’s tendency for black and white thinking to rule the narrative.”  To listen to the interview, please click here.

Yappy Tour Rolls into NewsmaxTV.  Pictured above being interviewed by NewsmaxTV‘s John Bachman is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).   Former producer Duncan chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the remainder of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 85 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Milwaukee’s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” brings Brew City radio personality Karen Dalessandro aboard to host the afternoon drive daypart.  Dalessandro is a Country Music Hall of Famer and a two-time CMA Personality of the Year who previously was a morning personality on iHeartMedia’s crosstown WMIL “FM 106” until “retiring” from the station back in March.  About this new gig, Dalessandro says, “I made the switch to ‘94.5 KTI Country’ to join a staff that is excited about country music, committed to winning and actually living in Milwaukee.  It’s refreshing to see this kind of radio still exists.  [Scripps Milwaukee ] GM Tom Langmyer and PD Ryan Wild deserve much credit for believing that real people doing real radio is important to the community they serve.  I spent 19 years hosting Milwaukee morning radio so to continue my career as music director/afternoons at WKTI is more than I could have imagined!”…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for its Charlotte market operations and the rest of the Carolinas.  She was most recently promotions director at iHeartMedia’s Richmond station group…..In Nashville, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” announces that Wells Adams begins hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show (starting tonight).  The 10-year market pro was most recently on the company’s sister classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” hosting afternoons.  Adams was also a recent contestant on ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette.”  WRVW program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Wells is already a well-known and talented radio personality here in Music City, a reality show star, social influencer, and all-around great guy.  It just made sense to marry his pedigree with Nashville’s most-listened to station and we’re excited to launch this new chapter in Nashville radio.”…..CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago is presenting its third annual “Stars and Strings” show in honor of America’s veterans and their families on Wednesday, November 15 at The Chicago Theatre. The all-star lineup features: Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt with a special appearance by Lindsay Ell. WUSN morning duo “Stylz & Roman” announced the concert on their program this morning.

iHeartRadio Music Festival Wraps Two Days in Las Vegas.  Pictured here are iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman (second from left) and iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes (right) with singer Demi Lovato (second from right) and an unidentified guest (left) backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Some of the artists that played on Friday and Saturday night included: Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Chris Stapleton, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Miley Cyrus, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles, Kesha and more, plus this year’s ‘Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Sta’ winner, James Maslow.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

| September 21, 2017

Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner Talks Culture Change in Chief Executive.  Two years into Mary Berner’s role as chief executive officer of Cumulus Media, Berner writes a piece for Chief Executive magazine about her work to change the culture of the company.  Calling it her “Culture Fix Playbook,” Berner says that in 2015, Cumulus “was in a free fall: four straight years of declines in radio listenership, four straight years of revenue declines, three straight years of EBITDA declines, and underperforming acquisitions which had saddled the company with an untenable debt load. We also had lousy systems, crumbling infrastructure, and unhappy employees who told us in surveys that the ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘toxic,’ and ‘lousy’ culture was the primary reason for the company’s poor performance.”  In the piece, she outlines her strategy for turning around the culture of Cumulus.  Read it here.

Monroe Named Production Director at WTMJ/WKTI Milwaukee.  The Milwaukee radio operations of E.W. Scripps announces that Frank Monroe is named production director.  In this role, he’ll be guiding the commercial production department for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  He was most recently with Matrix Broadcasting’s Crystal Lake, Illinois radio group where he also was midday personality on hot AC WZSR.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee vice president Tom Langmyer says, “Frank is an experienced, creative leader who will drive results for our local advertisers.  His customer service, professionalism, voice work and commercial copywriting stand out.”

PodcastOne Debuts ‘Music Connection Podcast’ with Randy Thomas and Arnie Wohl. This new program from PodcastOne “brings to life Music Connection Magazine, a well-known industry publication led by publisher Eric Bettelli for 40 years.”  It presents exclusive interviews with music business legends including: Sting, Daryl Hall, Jimmy Page, and the hottest rising stars, such as Haim, Mondo Cozmo and Anderson Paak.  It’s co-hosted by voice-over star Randy Thomas (Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and more) and music biz manager and promoter Arnie Wohl (Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Coldplay).   Thomas says, “A giant ‘thank you’ to Norm Pattiz and the entire PodcastOne team for helping us bring the ‘Music Connection Podcast’ to life.  We are jazzed to be able to access the incredible resources at PodcastOne, as well as Music Connection’s network of musicians, producers, and executives from 40 years of incredible interviews about the music industry – which is why we call this a podcast from the people who make music, for the people who love music!”

RAB Study: Radio Ads Drive Search Results.  The press release says that this study, commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau, was conducted by Sequent Partners, Media Monitors, and In4mation Insights in June and July of this year in the top 31 markets.  Based upon its analysis of over 2,100 local radio ads across six different categories, the study concludes that these campaigns realized a “29% incremental lift in search results.”  Media Monitors president and CEO Philippe Generali says, “The study proves that radio significantly impacts digital behaviors and activities – and is even more relevant in a digital and e-commerce world.”  Sequent Partners’ Alice K. Sylvester adds, “Radio continues to be undervalued and we are uncovering incremental benefit that radio consistently provides to advertisers.  It was also clear that there is an opportunity to increase this benefit with smart, measurement-informed, placements and creative approaches.”  RAB makes the full study available to members.  It also offers the video presentation from the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show session on its website.

TALKERS News Notes. Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is making daily appearances on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte in the form of commentaries.  The former governor also served as mayor of Charlotte during his political career.  During his first appearance on the WBT morning program, he criticized the Charlotte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Roberts for not having a prayer session prior to the meeting.  The tradition of a pre-meeting prayer is controversial in light of a recent court case ruling the Rowan County Commission’s pre-meeting prayer method was illegal…..ABC News is launching a new news series and podcast it calls a “multiplatform docu-series,” titled “A Murder on Orchard Street,” that investigates the cold case murder of Burke O’Brien in New York in 2003.  ABC News producer and reporter Christina Kiely, who covered the O’Brien case moment-to-moment in 2003, joins ex-NYC detective Kenny Silvia in a renewed effort to solve the crime and bring the murderer(s) to justice…..This afternoon WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” host Kevin McCullough is broadcasting live from Lower Manhattan restaurant Giardino D’Oro.  Show segments today will include: a debate of Italian food questions; should Christopher Columbus’ statue be taken down?; a debate among NYC mayoral candidates; plus a live, fried calamari eating contest.

A “Talk” Down Memory Lane: The Great Kiddie TV Shows and Hosts of the Past.  In somewhat of a change of pace, the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” explores the lost art and genre of the television “kiddie show” that was a mainstay of popular culture from the late ‘40s to the early ‘70s.  Harrison is joined by veteran broadcaster Brad Shepard, an entertainment industry historian and GM/morning host of Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Harrison and Shepard discuss such shows as “Howdy Doody,” with Buffalo Bob Smith; “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” with Fran Allison; Shari Lewis; “Andy’s Gang” with Andy Devine (and the infamous “Froggy the Gremlin” pictured at left), “Winky Dink” with Jack Barry; “Ding Dong School” with Miss Frances; Soupy Sales, “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox, Chuck McCann; “The Merry Mailman” with Ray Heatherton and so much more.  To listen to this fun and entertaining romp through fascinating media history, 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.

Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump at UN, Maria Ravages Puerto Rico, Deadly Mexican Earthquake, Climate Change Debate, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action/TV Ratings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/20).  The Cassidy-Graham health care bill with which Republicans hope to replace ObamaCare; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into former Trump operative Paul Manafort and Russian agents; President Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly and his meeting with African leaders; Hurricane Maria decimates Puerto Rico; rescue efforts after Mexico City’s deadly earthquake; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; controversy over California’s vote to make it a “sanctuary state”; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the week’s NFL action and talk of sinking television ratings for NFL games 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. New York hot AC WNEW-FM, “Fresh 102.7” announces a lineup shift as Mike Adam is promoted from his fill-in role to the afternoon drive slot.  That move bumps Cane from PMs to the evening show.   Adam previously worked part time at sister CHR WBMP “92.3 AMP Radio.”  WNEW program director Jim Ryan says, “Mike’s experience in CHR in Philly and on our sister station, ‘92.3 AMP,’ will help WNEW grow with an active audience.”  The station also announces that Matt Sneed is taking over the Saturday and Sunday midday shows…..Hubbard Radio moves Josh “JT” Holleman from evenings to middays at country WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3.”  Program director Scott Roddy says, “JT’s work ethic, positivity, willingness to take direction and follow strategy – in concert with his amazingly fun and interactive sound – make him perfectly appealing to our young female demo!”  The change means APD and music director Danny Montana now handles the evening shift…..Programming pro David Dean is named the PD at iHeartMedia’s country KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  Dean was most recently program director at the company’s country WNOE, New Orleans…..The new morning show at CBS RADIO’s CHR KEGY, San Diego “ENERGY 103.7” is Tonya Gonzalez and Sean “Sonic” Leckie.  The program launched back on September 12.  KEGY program director Chris Patyk comments, “There’s no mistaking the drive and passion Tonya and Sonic have for winning.  Their chemistry together is undeniable and they know this city and the ‘ENERGY’ listeners.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

| September 13, 2017

WFAN’s Craig Carton Professes Innocence in Ponzi Scheme Allegations.  Making his first public statement since being arrested and charged with fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton said he is innocent of the charges against him.  His statement read, “I want to thank my family, friends and fans and especially Boomer [Esiason] for the outpouring of public and private support I’ve received over the past few days.  As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges.  My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.  Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes as I continue on with one of the greatest battles of my life.”  Esiason spoke on WBZ-FM, Boston’s Toucher & Rich morning program saying he is “lost and heartbroken” over the matter.  He said he spoke with Carton on Saturday and he is being supportive of Carton during this difficult time.  Carton’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, issued a statement saying Carton is a “victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.”

Francesa Won’t Turn His Back on WFAN.  Afternoon drive star Mike Francesa tells the New York Post that if WFAN is facing real programming trouble from the Craig Carton legal matter combined with his own pre-planned departure from the station in December he would not “turn my back on the company if I thought it was in trouble.  That’s something that had to play out in the weeks and months ahead.  And I don’t really know if it is [in trouble], so I don’t know if that’s going to mean anything.”  Some industry watchers have speculated that Francesa’s exit combined with Carton’s absence from the morning show could affect the most lucrative dayparts, putting CBS RADIO’s New York sports talker in a difficult situation.  Read the Post story here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey with today’s focus on sports talk radio.  The MLB playoff push and the ramp-up to the NFL season appear to have been good for sports talk stations with “roughly two of three stations (65%) on this sports talk panel up (6+)” from the July survey to the August survey.  But, a year-over-year comparison shows a different trend.  Kinosian notes that “more than half of these eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (53%) while 34% improve; the remaining 13% are steady.  No sports talk station ranked first in its market during the August survey – only CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit came close, finishing #2.  See the whole report here.

Larry Glover Moves to Middays at WVLK, Lexington.  Talk show host Larry Glover moves from the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Cumulus Media’s WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky.  At the same time, the Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante show moves to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  The daypart opened up after Lee Cruse — who also works at WLEX-TV — resigned his position with WVLK due to time constraints.  He hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Glover was the radio voice for the minor league baseball Lexington Legends for seven seasons.   In 2008, he was honored as the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier comments, “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK.  I’ve always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics.  He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

FCC Report Indicates 50 U.S. Mainland Radio Signals Still Off the Air.  Due to the loss of power and flooding from Hurricane Irma, there are still a slew of radio stations off the air, mostly in Florida.  The signals – including translators – are: In Florida — WMFM, WAXY, WDOZ, W227CP, W250BH, W274BB, W298BO, W300CL, WAQV, WFLJ, WJFH, W251BM, WROK, WAOA- FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WZTA, WSVU, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYGC, W240CI, W295BJ, W233AP, WMKO, WEAT, WMFL, WWFR, WJFR, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, W294AN, WNWF, WEJZ, WGNE-FM, and WJGO.  Georgia stations off the air are: WLFH, WHFX, WBGA, WGIG, WEKL and WGCO.  This report was as of yesterday at 11:00 am ET.  Some of these stations may have returned to air by the time you read this.

WEEI Presents $4.2 Million Check to Jimmy Fund.  This year’s 16th annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised $4.2 million for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above presenting the ceremonial check at Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox game are (from l-r): Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; WEEI, Boston program director Joe Zarbano; NESN general manager Sean McGrail; NESN coordinating director Rose Marakian; Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation president Beverly Tangvik; and Jimmy Fund chairman Larry Lucchino.

Hofstra University’s Dr. Evan W. Cornog is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  For the second time in the past three years, Long Island-based Hofstra University’s WRHU (FM and .org) was presented the NAB Marconi Award for “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station” in the nation – a remarkable achievement.  Dr. Evan W. Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, which oversees the institution’s radio department, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Cornog, a highly respected scholar with stellar credentials in both academia and professional journalism, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the conversation.  Prior to joining Hofstra in 2010, Cornog served as an associate dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism for more than a decade during which time he was publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.  He was also press secretary to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch and a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Boston Globe.  Cornog also served as special assistant to the president of the New School in Manhattan.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Columbia.  Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Cornog discuss the rapidly evolving state of media and its impact on society, as well as the future of journalism.  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.

Andre Fernandez Named to FCC Committee.  Selected to serve on the new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) is CBS RADIO president and CEO Andre Fernandez.  Fernandez was selected by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the committee that will “provide recommendations to the FCC on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”  Leading the committee as chair is NetCommunications president Julia JohnsonShootingStar Broadcasting president and CEO Diane Sutter is vice chair.

Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Sanders’ Single Payer Bill, SCOTUS Rules on Refugee Ban, Hillary Clinton Book, Cruz Porn Video ‘Like,’ Apple Unveils iPhone X, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Florida and Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders announces his bill to create a single payer system for health care in the U.S.; the Supreme Court upholds the ban on travel for certain refugees for the time being; Hillary Clinton’s book about her loss to Donald Trump; Ted Cruz says “staffing issue” responsible for his Twitter “like” of a porn video; Apple unveils new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and NFL 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. This change was anticipated and now it happens as Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX, Chicago formally changes the name of “The Eric & Kathy Show” to “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.  Eric Ferguson leads the morning show with castmates Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch.  Obviously, this comes on the heels of the official departure of Kathy Hart from the show.  She’d been off the air since late April in what appears to have been a contract dispute.  The station let her go last week.….Cumulus Media names Britt Rose afternoon drive personality on classic hits WJTQ, Pensacola “Jet 100.7” She was most recently with the company in Oklahoma City on classic hits KQOB and rock KATT.  WJTQ program director Chuck Whitaker says, “I am very excited to have Britt here as the new afternoon goddess in the ‘Jet 100.7’ cockpit.  It’s so good to see one of our own at Cumulus get the opportunity to advance in their career.  We look forward to Britt taking ‘Jet 100.7’ to new heights!”…..Lakes Media LLC flips WMPW, Danville, Virginia from its “MOREfm” adult contemporary format to classic country as “Country Legends.”  The company says that the online audience for the “Country Legends” stream has more than tripled in the last year.  That combined with the existence of sister AC WHLF already on the air, the decision was made to bring “Country Legends” to the FM airwaves on WMPW…..Sinclair Communications’ CHR KSXY, Forestville/Santa Rosa, California flips to alternative as “The 101 Modern Alternative.”  Program director Dray Lopez and air staffers Ashlee Sleek, Natalie, and Will Styles remain with the station…..Cumulus Media’s WGNI, Wilmington, North Carolina adds the nationally syndicated “Intelligence for Your Life” program starring John Tesh to its evening program schedule…..Premiere Networks radio personality Nikki Sixx is launching a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program.  It’s called “My Favorite Riff” and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.”  It launches tomorrow (9/14) with guest Joe Bonamassa.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

| September 12, 2017

Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show.  According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show.  The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet.  But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET.  The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday.  FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement.  Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.

WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8).  WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance.  Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games.  In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.

Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM.  The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station.  Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL.  Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL.  He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community.  We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”

Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports.  With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve.  The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma.  Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”

Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape.  Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.”  Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air.  The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning.  Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.

iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief.  The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun.  It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit