Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

| July 16, 2019

APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY:  CBS News Radio Correspondent Peter King is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing (7/20) and the stellar 45-year career of a CBS News Radio reporter who has been covering the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the past two decades, Peter King is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison (a passionate space enthusiast) and King discuss a wide variety of topics including NASA, US space exploration, memories of the Apollo 11 mission, their love of radio, and the state of journalism in America.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Esiason Gets The Call to NY State Broadcaster’s Association HOF. Twelve-year Entercom New York City sports talk WFAN morning show co-host, Boomer Esiason, has been selected to the New York State Broadcaster’s Association’s Hall of Fame. The legendary former NFL quarterback will be inducted at the Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame luncheon during the NAB New York Show in October. Entercom New York regional president/market manager Susan Larkin remarks, “Boomer has been a cornerstone of this station since his arrival. This distinguished recognition represents his invaluable contributions to our station and industry overall.” In thanking the NY State Broadcaster’s Association “for this incredible honor,” Esiason comments, “It is extremely humbling to be recognized alongside hardworking, accomplished individuals in our industry.” He and Gregg Giannotti form “Boomer and Gio” weekday mornings on WFAN, which is the flagship of the Yankees, Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and New Jersey Devils. After his 14-year NFL career, Esiason debuted as a commentator on ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football.” For nearly two decades, he has called games for Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports and served as a studio analyst for “The NFL Today” on CBS-TV and Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Address by Salem Radio Network Host Sebastian Gorka.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/16) post presents a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network.  Yesterday’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Preliminary iHM Q2 Results, NASDAQ Listing. Under the Global Select Market ticker symbol “IHRT,” NASDAQ approves the listing of iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock, par valued at $0.001 per share. Class A shares are expected to begin trading on NASDAQ this Thursday (7/18). Meanwhile, preliminary SEC-filed second-quarter financial show year-to-year revenue rose 2.4% to $913 million. Operating income (OI) was off $1 million to $180, while Adjusted EBITDA grew 3.1% ($255 million to $263 million). Preliminary results have not been audited or reviewed by the company’s independent accountants, and remain subject to review by iHeartMedia’s management and audit committee. Results may differ from actual results, which remain subject to completion of management’s and the audit committee’s final review, as well as the interim review by its independent accountants.

Study: Podcast Ads Least Likely To Be Skipped. Monthly podcast listeners skip digital ad formats the most – online pop-up ads, online banner ads, e-mail advertising, direct mail, and online video. That’s among the nuggets Westwood One uncovered when it teamed with Canadian media research consultancy Audience Insights in a study focused on podcast consumers and their listening habits. Fielded this past March, the report examines podcast consumption habits of 1,407 monthly podcast listeners. It addresses four distinct segments based on when people began listening to podcasts: 313 “Podcast Pioneers” who started listening four or more years ago; 415 who began listening two to three years ago; 327 who began listening in the past seven to 12 months; and 352 “Podcast Newcomers” who began listening within the last six months. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “The finding that emerging podcast listeners are using a diverse number of platforms signals a turning point for the podcast industry. When compared to the ‘Podcast Pioneers,’ who use Apple Podcasts almost exclusively, ‘Podcast Newcomers’ are open to using multiple platforms to access podcasts.” Audience Insights president Jeff Vidler notes, “This podcast download report expands on much of what we have seen as we put our microscope on Canadian podcast listeners. Podcasting is uniquely engaging, on trend with on-demand content platforms like Netflix or paid music streaming services, but the only one accessible to advertisers.” Other study highlights include: Roughly three of ten (31%) “Podcast Newcomers” typically discover podcasts by hearing about them on terrestrial radio. While the average monthly podcast listener accesses 2.7 podcast platforms, “Podcast Newcomers” use 3.5 platforms. Two of three “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast hosts on social media. Podcast listeners equally use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to follow their favorite hosts. Approximately two of five (42%) “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast host on Twitter, compared to 22% of U.S. adults who ever use Twitter. Spotify and Google Podcasts are attracting consumers who recently began listening to podcasts. Among those listening to podcasts over four years, Apple is the leading destination.

SBG President: “Case Is Far From Over.” As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 7/15), a Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. Sun Broadcast Group president Jason Bailey, however, stresses, “This case is far from over. We were shocked and saddened by the verdict in Pacific West Radio Sports, LLC (d/b/a Sports USA) v. Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. Despite establishing wrongdoing by Sports USA from even before the inception of the agreement between the parties, the jury granted judgment in favor of Sports USA. The jury reached that verdict without the benefit of being able to consider key evidence of Sports USA’s wrongdoing. Sun was barred from introducing that evidence at trial on hearsay grounds. We remain determined to see that justice is done, and plan to pursue every available avenue to overturn this result so that Sports USA’s improper business practices are exposed and no other company falls victim. This verdict involves the old Sun, which has not traded since late 2018. It does not involve the current SBG-owned and operated by Gen Media Partners.” Bailey further notes, “This will be the only statement I will make on the matter while we work through the appeal process.”

Three Moody Radio AM Stations Are On The Block. With plans to exit the AM radio business, Moody Radio is set to spin off its three AM facilities. Chicago-based operator Moody Bible Institute will focus on FM network expansion. Senior vice president of media Greg Thornton writes, “Moody Radio seeks to transform the world for Jesus Christ, one listener at a time, by producing and delivering quality, creative, biblical content, which helps people take the next step in their journey with Jesus. In looking to the future, Moody Radio is committed to double [our] overall impact by  2030. Our strategic roadmap to achieving this bold vision includes audience growth through market expansion/realignment, and content development strategies.” Thornton recognizes “the limitations of AM broadcasting today, including [that] many AM stations only broadcast in the daytime.” Thus, Moody Radio will be selling Spanish religion WMBI W268AY “Moody Radio – AM 1110,” Chicago; Spanish religion WDLM “Moody Radio – AM 960,” East Moline/Quad Cities, Illinois; and Spanish religion WGNR “Moody Radio – AM 1470,” Anderson, Indiana. According to Thornton, “Listeners in these cities will still hear Moody Radio 24 hours a day on our strong FM signals. Proceeds from the sale of these three AM licenses will be used to further the expansion of Moody Radio through the addition of digital/online content, new apps in both English and Spanish, and the acquisition of select FM broadcast licenses.”

TALKERS News Notes.  As part of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing investigating charges of bias against conservatives, Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager will testify at 2:30 pm (ET) today (Tuesday, 7/16). Prager’s opening statement has already been submitted and, in part, he states, “I have been communicating this appreciation of America for 35 years as a radio talk show host, the last 20 in national syndication with the Salem Radio Network, an organization that is a blessing in American life.” According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, videos from Prager’s “online Prager University have been blocked as ‘controversial’ by Google and other search engines. Google officials deny any political bias or filtering of conservative viewpoints.” Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz is the chair of today’s hearing ….. In two weeks (7/30 & 7/31), Westwood One News’ coverage of the Democratic National Committee-sanctioned/CNN-produced Democratic Presidential Debates will air from Detroit. Westwood One News correspondent Evan Haning will anchor, starting at 7:59 pm (ET) both nights, while Bob Costantini handles on-scene reporting and will be available for live Q&A from the Motor City. The network will offer stations an unanchored feed and one-minute special reports each night at the top and bottom of the hour (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Set to rejoin WTEM “980 The Team” in three weeks (8/5) is Kevin Sheehan, who wasn’t retained when Radio One acquired the Washington (DC) sports talk outlet late last year. Sheehan co-hosted mornings with Chris Cooley and will return for 7:00 am – 10:00 am duty. Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson comments, “I’m elated to have Kevin Sheehan back home on ‘The Team.’ His unique approach to the sports landscape, combined with his overwhelming passion, provides an entertainment destination for listeners throughout the Nation’s Capital.” Prior to departing last year, Sheehan had been with WTEM 14 years and states, “I’m looking forward to coming home – it’s great to be back.” ….. The first three Jim Rutt Show podcasts went live yesterday (Monday, July 15) on JimRuttShow.com. The series will examine “cutting-edge thinking” in science and technology, and the future of our economic, political and social systems and institutions. The past chair of The Santa Fe Institute; former chief executive officer of Network Solutions; and first CTO of Thomson-Reuters, Rutt was called “the internet’s bad boy” by The New York Times for his reputation for creative mischief. A complete collection of Rutt’s podcasts, including show transcripts, episode highlights, guest biographies, and links are available on the aforementioned website.

Line Drives. This past weekend, NBC Sports Radio produced seven radio shows from the driving range at Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Lake Tahoe (Nevada), site of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. Flanking MLB Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz (center) are Tim Murray and Michael Jenkins, hosts of NBC Sports Radio’s “The Daily Line.” Launched this past January in conjunction with Westwood One, “The Daily Line” is a weekday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm sports talk show, focusing on sports betting.

Trump’s Controversial Tweets; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; and US-China Trade War Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color; conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; and the US-China trade war’s impact on the Chinese economy were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

CRB Elects 2019 – 2020 Board of Directors. Returning as board president of the Country Radio Broadcasters is Townsquare Media’s Kurt Johnson; Cumulus Media’s John Shomby is elected vice president; and SummitMedia’s Beverlee Brannigan returns as secretary. Johnson remarks, “This is one of the strongest boards CRB has ever had. [I am] so proud to work with this group of radio and Music Row leaders to present country with the best CRS ever – February 19 – 21, 2020.” This year’s board of directors are: Chuck Aly (Country Aircheck); Beverlee Brannigan (SummitMedia); Becky Brenner (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Consulting); Johnny Chiang (KKBQ-FM, Houston); George Couri (Triple 8 Management); Andy Denemark (United Stations); Ryan Dokke (Curb); Mike Dungan (UMG); John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville); Dan Halyburton (Falls Media); Debra Herman (Apple); Steve Hodges (Sony Nashville); Clay Hunnicutt, Dave Kelly (Big Machine Label Group); Jon Loba (BBR/BMG); Mike McVay (McVay Media); Charlie Morgan (Emmis Communications); Rod Phillips (iHeartCountry); Tim Roberts (WYCD, Detroit); Royce Risser (UMG); Bob Richards (Emmis Communications/WLHK, Indianapolis); Brittany Schaffer (Spotify); John Shomby (Cumulus Media); Lesly Simon (Pearl Records); Matt Sunshine (CFSS); Joel Raab (Joel Raab Country Radio/Media); Ryan Redington (Amazon Music); Kristen Williams (Warner); and Charlie Monk continues as a lifetime director emeritus.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Many stations are noting the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first-ever “moon walk” (July 20, 1969) with Apollo lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Without question, one of the cleverest promotions is being done by the program director of Cumulus Media Salt Lake City country-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93” … Travis Moon. As part of the “Travis Moon Walk,” which began today (Tuesday, 7/16) at 7:00 am and is expected to end Saturday (7/20) coinciding with that history-making mission, Moon plans to “walk” more than 80 miles to raise money for Salt Lake City-based Shriner’s Hospitals For Children. Hoping to travel approximately 16 miles a day, Moon admits it will be a “long, tough walk. The exciting part is the unknown – if I can actually do this physically. I guess we will all find out.” While on foot from (Utah cities) Provo to Ogden, Moon will discuss the hospital’s purpose and invite listeners to make donations ….. “California Live,” a 30-minute lifestyle/entertainment show, which airs on Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV (as well as KNTV-TV, San Jose and KNSD-TV, San Diego) has added “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” co-host Sisanie as a correspondent. In her latest segment, Sisanie visits Los Angeles’ first cat cafe experience, where customers can drink coffee while cuddling rescue cats that are up for adoption ….. Starting next Monday (7/22), Sytonnia “Toni” Moore joins Cox Media Group Atlanta urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” as co-host/news anchor on the (5:00 am – 9:00 am) “Morning Groove” with Art Terrell and Corey “Zooman” Miller. The station’s director/branding and programming, Terri Avery, declares, “Toni Moore is the real deal. Her experience and passion for radio is beyond compare and will take ‘Kiss 104.1’ to new levels.” Moore remarks, “This is an incredible opportunity: I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the powerhouse that is Cox Media Group and ‘Kiss 104.1.’ It’s a dream I’ve had for a few years. It’s beyond exciting to see it come to fruition.” Moore previously was an on-air personality for cross-town Entercom urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WVEE “V-103” and WZGC “92.9 The Game,” as well as a sports reporter for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons ….. Continuing his role as afternoon-drive host, Andy Chanley adds music director duties at California State University – Northridge’s KCSN & Saddleback College’s KSBR, Mission Viejo (both California, simulcast on 88.5). General manager Patrick Osborn proclaims, “Andy has done it all in this market – mornings, middays, afternoon drive – and has vast experience in all the rock format genres. I’m happy to say we are operating at full strength with great, experienced broadcasters in every position.” Program director Marc “Mookie” Kaczor notes, “Andy is such an asset for us. He’s an incredible personality and he’s been a great sounding-board for me. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.” Chanley adds, “There’s no station in the world like 88.5 FM. It’s a special blend of music and people — on both sides of the transmitter — that makes radio fun again. I’m really proud to be on this team, and beyond excited at the opportunity to help steer the rudder even more.” KCSN and KSBR began simulcasting just over two years ago …. Three-year WUSN “US-99” nighttime talent Kimmie Caruba departs the Entercom country outlet. Caruba was previously heard in the same day-part in Phoenix on co-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” and she did mid-days in that Arizona market on cluster-mate KALV “Live 101.5.” ….. A six-episode podcast on Milwaukee’s hip-hop history, “Backspin,” debuted yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on Radio Milwaukee triple A WYMS “88Nine.” Hosted by hip-hop expert Tyrone Miller (“DJ Bizzon”) and “88Nine” music director Justin Barney, “Backspin” provides an insightful view into black America in the late-1970s and early-1980s, through the lens of hip-hop. Miller comments, “The series is about so much more than who recorded Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song. It’s about the journey of getting to that song. Hip-hop is more than a genre: It’s connected everywhere – radio, movies, TV, and fashion. It’s in every piece of culture.” ….. After departing two months ago from Townsquare Media, “Taste of Country Nights” host Sam Alex surfaced yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on the eponymous “Sam Alex Show.” Affiliate licensing and sales for the syndicated program are being handled by Sun Broadcast Group. Alex notes (in Forbes Magazine) that he’s “so excited about this new chapter. The world of radio,” he opines, “has changed so much in the past decade, with continued consolidations, new technology, and increased competition to discover new music. This change positions me to have full creative control and reach listeners in new ways.” ….. KDVV “V-100 Topeka’s Rock Leader” 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent Randy Raley adds PD duties at the Cumulus Media rocker and classic hits cluster-mate KWIC “99.3 The Eagle.” Cumulus Topeka operations manager Amber Lee notes, “Randy brings significant on-air experience and format knowledge to these stations and to our programming team.” According to Raley, “I’ve been a radio geek since an early age – I’m happy to be taking the programming reins at the legendary ‘V-100.’ Amber Lee has put together an incredible staff and we’re going to do great things together.” St. Louis Classic Rock Hall of Famer Raley did afternoon drive on St. Louis’ KSHE  for 13 years and has worked in Kansas City at KYYS “KY-102,” and KCFX “101 The Fox.” ….. Among the latest affiliates for Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is Metro Radio Berkeley Springs, West Virginia classic hits-oldies WXDC. The show airs Saturday nights starting at 7:00 pm on “Cool 92.9 – Good Times/Great Oldies.”

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Monday, July 15, 2019

| July 15, 2019

Sports USA Awarded $2 Million in Breach of Contract Suit. A Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. According to Sports USA chief executive officer Larry Kahn, “[Sun CEO] Jason Bailey thought he could breach the contract by filing claims against us which had no factual or legal basis, but under no circumstance would we back down and drop our valid claims. The jury’s decision completely affirms what we have said since day one: Sun breached the agreement and had no valid justification for doing so.” Senior Manatt, Phelps & Phillips litigation partner Robert Platt asserts, “Sports USA is absolutely thrilled with [this] outcome. Despite numerous, non-meritorious countersuits and claims, our client would not be deterred in seeking the recovery of amounts that it was rightfully owed. After fighting tirelessly on behalf of Sports USA for two years, we are happy that the jury arrived at this just conclusion.” Sports USA and Sun signed an advertising rep deal in September 2015, in which Sun agreed to serve as Sports USA’s exclusive sales representative for the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons. In January, 2017, when Sun could not fulfill its financial obligations to Sports USA under the contract, Sun attempted to terminate the agreement and Sports USA filed suit.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Panel Discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.”  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Denver’s “Freedom 93.7” Debuts. In addition to positioning itself as “Freedom 93.7,” the iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast of K229BS and KDFD (760 AM, formerly sports talk KDSP ) is using “Real News – Real Talk” as its secondary slogan. President of iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, Tim Hager, comments, “With massive FM coverage, a 50,000 watt AM signal [on 760], and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that ‘Freedom 93.7’ will quickly become a favorite destination for Colorado talk radio listeners.” The weekday lineup for “Freedom 93.7” includes: “Ground Zero” with Clyde Lewis (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “This Morning” with Gordon Deal (5:00 am – 7:00 am); Glenn Beck (7:00 am – 10:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Sean Hannity (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Buck Sexton (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Dave Ramsey (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); Ken Coleman (10:00 pm – 11:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (11:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). According to Premiere Networks senior vice president of affiliate sales, talk, and morning shows, Peter Tripi, “The launch of ‘Freedom 93.7’ is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the most-listened-to national talk radio stars, live in a single lineup, on this far-reaching simulcast. This is a win for Denver area talk radio fans.” Weekend programming, includes “The Jesus Christ Show”; “The Weekend with Joe Pags”; “Coast-to-Coast AM – Somewhere in Time”; “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk”; and “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham.” Limbaugh will continue airing on iHeartMedia Denver news/talk KOA through August; Hannity, and Beck will continue on news/talk sibling KHOW through August as well. New live and local programming line-ups for KOA and KHOW will be announced in the coming weeks.

Howie Carr Radio Network Expands With “Dirty Rats” Podcasts. A series of true-crime “Dirty Rats” podcasts will launch on the Howie Carr Radio Network two weeks from Thursday (8/1). According to Carr, the “Dirty Rats” podcast series “will educate and entertain a whole new generation about the vast scope of crime and corruption in recent decades in Boston – murder and mayhem on unprecedented scales.” HCRN president Kathy Carr notes, “This new project allows our sponsors to grow and reach new customers well beyond our current base. With the growth and success of our advertisers, we all continue to prosper.” More than 25 New England stations carry the 3:00 – 7:00 pm “Howie Carr Show.” Newsmax TV airs it weekdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. In addition to placing #16 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred,” Carr is a New York Times best-selling author of true-crime books “Brothers Bulger,” and “Hitman,” as well as other fiction and non-fiction works.

Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo about this time of the year when programmers can take advantage of people’s atypical routines.  He says, “As every station’s listeners’ routines are altered, they’re exposed to days and dayparts they might not habitually use.  When they discover you, will they instantly ‘get it?’  Is your elevator speech high-profile?”  Get more summertime tips here.

NPR Boosts Nelson to VP/Technology Operations. Overseeing the audio engineering and news flex teams at NPR the past three years, Chris Nelson is promoted to vice president of technology operations. President of operations Loren Mayor remarks, “Chris brings innovative technology leadership to his role. [He drives] collaboration between editorial, production, and technical staff, and promotes a culture of operational excellence and public service. He has focused considerable energy on building talented teams to design, deploy, engineer, and support the complex technology solutions and infrastructure at the operational heart of NPR’s editorial vision and signature sound.” Nelson notes, “I’ve seen this organization and our systems grow over the years – that would not have happened without the dedicated efforts of this team. Our technologists are innovators and leaders in their fields; they deserve recognition for the work they do to support nearly every facet of NPR’s operations. I’m proud to serve them all in this role.” The 1999 Middle Tennessee State University graduate joined NPR as an audio engineer in 2000 and has held roles that include technical director for live and recorded music broadcasts, and oversight of technical operations for multiple seasons of elections coverage. Nelson has produced documentaries for public radio and the National Hockey League, as well as serving as a Tanzania-based audio specialist for the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Media Institute To Honor Beasley. As part of its October 7 “Free Speech America” gala in Washington, DC, the Media Institute will honor Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley and The Washington Post publisher/chief executive officer Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Beasley will be bestowed the American Horizon Award, which recognizes an individual for visionary leadership in the communications industry, while Ryan will receive the Freedom of Speech Award, recognizing an individual who has worked to advance free speech and the First Amendment. Beasley has served in her current capacity since January 2017 and has held a number of other posts at the company including executive vice president; chief financial officer; treasurer; and secretary. She most recently served as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. Former FCC chair Richard E. Wiley will be the master of ceremonies at the October 7 event, which will be keynoted by FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks. The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.

Thomson Elevated to Emmis’ Senior VP/Human Resources. During her nearly 15 years at Emmis Communications, Traci Thomson has been vice president of human resources and director of employee services. She is now boosted to senior vice president of human resources. In a staff memo, Emmis chair/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan writes, “Traci is an integral member of the Emmis senior leadership team and has played a critical role in all actions we’ve taken the past several years to reinvent Emmis. [This] promotion also sets the stage for the important role Traci will play in the months ahead with the formation of Mediaco Holding and the next steps on our path to invest in the future of Emmis.” Before joining Emmis, Thomson spent nine years at the First Indiana Bank.

Radio One Cleveland Gets Rude. The operations manager of Radio One Detroit, Yonni Rude, transfers to Cleveland where he will have similar duties. Rude replaces Bill Black, who left this past spring. Radio One regional vice president Eddie Harrell, Jr. comments, “We are thrilled to have Yonni join our team in Cleveland. His track record and programming acumen make this a perfect fit. We look forward to Yonni furthering our standing as the dominant force with respect to serving African-Americans in Northeast Ohio.” Rude notes, “I’m excited for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with the amazing Radio One Cleveland all-star team.” The company’s Cleveland facilities include news/talk WERE “News Talk 1490”; urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9”; urban AC WZAK; and gospel WJMO “Praise 94.5.” Its Detroit operation consists of urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” and WDMK-HD2 “Praise” and it operates urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” under an LMA. Rude previously was the three-year operations manager for Radio One Richmond.

TALKERS News Notes. Nine-year KSL mid-day (12:30 pm – 3:00 pm) talent Jay Mcfarland is departing the Bonneville Salt Lake City news/talk outlet. After being off the air for two weeks, he made the announcement last Friday (7/12) on an appearance with afternoon anchor Jeff Caplan. It has been speculated – but unconfirmed – that Mcfarland will run as a Republican in Utah’s 4th congressional district for the seat currently held by Democrat Ben McAdams. Before going to KSL, Mcfarland worked at Dallas news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM ….. Since joining the Portland Trail Blazers as the NBA team’s radio voice in 1998, Brian Wheeler called 1,823 Blazers’ games, but he will not return next season. Owing to illness, Wheeler missed significant stretches of the last two years on iHeartMedia flagship KPOJ “AM 620” and Portland’s 21-station radio network. The team’s president/chief executive officer Chris McGowan states, “Brian Wheeler has been an integral part of the broadcast team and Trail Blazers family since 1998. His voice is synonymous with all the many great play-by-play calls over that 21-year span. We thank Brian for his contributions to the franchise and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” Wheeler expresses gratitude to the team “for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play the past 21 years. I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons; fortunately,  I’ve accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime.” When Wheeler was unavailable, games were called by Travis Demers and Michael Holton.

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – News/talk KXL’s March/April -1.0 is officially obliterated by a May/June +1.1 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as Alpha Media-owned “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” jumps from tenth to sixth. Down three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” bounces back with an improvement of two-tenths (2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). In this calendar year’s six survey periods (January 2019 through June 2019), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) three times and a .9 (6+) the other three times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (#26 to #24, 6+).

Tied at #22 are KUFO’s sports talk sibling KXTG “The Game” (1.4, -.3, #21 to #22, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.5 – 1.4, -.1, #23 to #22, 6+). “The Game” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while May’s 1.5 by “The Fan” was its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7. After more than tripling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits the entire increase in June and is back at .5 (-1.2, #21 to #28, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in May/June (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), after an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB continues in third-place. KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May).

Portland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 tacked onto May’s four-tenths’ increase (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.7, 6+) enables Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to leap from sixth to fourth. The last time KUPL reached the five-share level (6+) was in April 2017 (5.5). Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Conversely, Entercom-owned KWJJ has May’s eight-tenths’ gain erased with a June decrease of nine-tenths; “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #12). KWJJ continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 3.7, 6+), with May’s 4.6 its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). Logging gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, steady at #2, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling KXJM “Jam’n 107.5,” an overall +1.5 via four successive positive or neutral moves  (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.9, #15 to #10, 6+). This (7.8) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 when KKCW was #1. KXJM has its strongest 6+-showing since March 2016 (3.9, as well). A combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH not only picks up one-tenth to 7.9 (6+), “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 the fifth month in a row. When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) in May 2011 (8.1, as well). A dip of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) sends Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” from eighth to tenth and below a four-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018 (3.9, as well). Down one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom alternative KNRK tumbles from #11 to #15. All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.4 in five consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). Immediately prior to losing seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – By hanging out a robust June +1.2 to 4.4 (#13 to #12, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT completely evaporates the overall -1.2 it lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). May’s 3.2 was its lowest 6+-showing since September 2018 (2.9).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

The last three shifts for University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE were -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 (May). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off an additional two-tenths in June to 2.1 (6+) but climbs from #16 to #15. Having logged a .3 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC gains one-tenth to .4 (6+) and is unchanged at #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – Vaulting from ninth to fourth as a result of a +.9 (4.8 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” records its strongest 6+-stat (5.7) since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Notching increases of one-half share each are its urban contemporary sibling WPEG “Power 98” (4.6, #11 to #10, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.6, #18 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to their respective increases, “Power” was an overall -1.9 in three slips in succession (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+), while “K-Love” was a combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the June 2019 sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” was -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Simply by remaining flat at 7.1 (6+) though, “The Lake” rises from second to first. In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Speaking of WSOC, it had been #1 the past four months, but “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, 6+) segues to second. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Before gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.1 in four straight positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+) and continues in third-place. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). A combined +1.9 in April/May (1.2 – 2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” sees all but two-tenths of that bounty disappear with a -1.7 to 1.4 (#14 to #18, 6+). In four straight December 2018 through March 2019 down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), WDAV lost a collective half-share. Down six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” is below a three-share (6+) for the first time since February 2017 (2.8, as well). Via four straight gains, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS accrued a +2.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), but “Kiss 95.1” forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The positive streak immediately followed four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps (May and June), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI coughs up one-half share (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+), virtually erasing its +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+). April’s 5.3 marked the first time “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #21 to #22, 6+). That deficit this time last month halted three successive up or flat trends which netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Tied at #32 are KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .3, #31 to #32, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.2 – .3, +.1, unchanged at #32, 6+).

Off one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falls from #13 to #16.

San Antonio Music Formats – It’s another month of musical chairs regarding Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Worship Now” and co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” First, the backdrop. In May, KZAR posted a +1.0, pulling the plug on three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+), while KZLV eroded by -1.0, immediately after April’s half-share increase (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The June update finds KZLV roaring back with a +1.5 (2.4 – 3.9, 6+) taking “K-Love” into the top ten (#17 to #10), whereas KZAR plummets by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) as “Air 1” departs the top twenty (#14 to #21). By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” halts at four its consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” dials up a gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 3.2, 6+) and elevates from #17 to #13. “Latino Mix” had been within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 19 sweeps and finds the three-share threshold (3.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.0. Up a collective nine-tenths via three straight positive or neutral trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has its best 6+-showing (3.2) since November 2018 (3.3). Locked on 4.7 (6+) in April and May, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” busts out a one-half share increase to 5.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Leading the pack the fourth month in a row, co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” follows May’s +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, with a loss of three-tenths (8.5 – 8.2, 6+). KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Faltering by one-half share each are Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” (4.3 – 3.8, 6+), which departs the top ten (#8 to #11), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). The last time “Jack” slipped below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Showing decreases of two-tenths each are Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (7.2 – 6.9, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Remaining separated by nine-tenths, KCYY (+.6 in May) and KAJA (+.4 in May) carry on at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK picked up one-tenth in May, it halted three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” plunges nine-tenths in June to 5.2 (6+), sliding from second to fifth; KFBK was tied for first (with classic rock KSEG) in January. Flat at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and has remained within 2.3 – 2.7 range: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+).

Up three-tenths via three straight gains of one-tenth each (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” forfeits the entire three-tenths and is back to .7 (#22 to #24, 6+). In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, #25 to #26, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to May’s +1.0 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), KXJZ progresses from ninth to seventh. Prior to May, five decreases in succession by the Capital Public Radio news/talk station accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 (#27 to #24, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by four consecutive upticks accounting for a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” marches from fifth to second. Ahead of it is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which despite being off six-tenths (8.9 – 8.3, 6+), is #1 the fifth month in a row. That accomplishment includes January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK. “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Six of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); and -.6 (June). Wiping away April/May’s combined loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+) with an equal magnitude June bump (4.8 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” leaps from seventh to fourth. For the 16th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.0 – 2.1, +.1, 5+) and is anchored at #16. Co-owned Spanish adult hits KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” (#17 to #15, 6+) posts a half-share increase to 2.3, its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 2.4. Also in that Entravision Communications cluster, rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8, #15 to #17, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KRXQ slips from second to sixth. The last time “98 Rock” was under a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2018 (4.3). Immediately following April’s nine-tenths’ gain, alternative sibling KKDO “Alt 94.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate KUDL “106.5 The End,” which was an overall +1.9 through four straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), relinquishes three-tenths to 5.7 (6+) yet advances from fourth to third. Staying flat from May and thus remaining separated by one-half share from each other are the market’s two AC players – Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6, eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.1, #11 to #10, 6+). “Mix” is without a gain the third straight time for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+); this (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Entercom’s KDKA-AM -1.8 as a result of five straight February through June drops (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), “News Radio 1020” exits the top ten (#10 to #11); KDKA-AM was +1.1 in January.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), regains two-tenths to 6.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+). The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Returning in its entirety May’s gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 3.6, -.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” slips from ninth to tenth.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Repeating in the runner-up slot, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +2.3 in four straight positive spikes (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) and reaches the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. This streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). A positive spike of eight-tenths takes iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW to 8.5 (steady at #3), its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. Replicating May’s increase of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9 – 9.5, 6+), co-owned rocker WDVE, which lost nine-tenths in April, is #1 the fifth successive month. WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+) and spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. In each of the last 50 ratings periods, Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP has registered a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9, but in June, “91.3 Where The Music Matters” posts a +.6 to 2.3 (unchanged at #14, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot WLTJ “Q-92.9” improves by six-tenths and cracks the top ten (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” falters by the same margin (5.0 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Consequently, the +1.9 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in May is down to seven-tenths. “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), while a March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately after Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” records a +1.4, “Wish 99.7” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). May’s gigantic increase suspended four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of WSHH’s 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX is an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) as “105.9 The X” slips from #11 to #12.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – After spiraling by -1.3 this time last month, Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” levels off in June by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.9) and market rank (eighth). Prior to May, KSL had never fallen below a four-share (6+) in the PPM-era. Two-tenths behind KSL is iHeartMedia’s KNRS, which is up three-tenths to 3.7 (flat at #10), halting three straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). The January 2019 through June 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 (unchanged at #21, 6+).

In four straight sweeps without an increase, University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in April and May, Cumulus Media alternative KHTB “Alt 101.9” records a half-share improvement to 2.4 (#16 to #15, 6+), its best 6+-showing since January’s 2.7. Albeit down three-tenths after May’s increase of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” repeats at #1. Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the other hand, in five consecutive negative moves, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.5 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, second to third, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). “The Arrow” is overtaken by its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” – which is flat at 7.4 (6+) but advances from third to second. “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. An increase of seven-tenths this time last month took Cumulus Media CHR KENZ to 3.0, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music,” however, regresses by one-half share in June to 2.5 (#11 to #14, 6+). The market’s two major hot ACs are separated by just two-tenths as Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” is off three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, steady at #4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, “Now 97.9” had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “My 99.5” is in an alternating down/up pattern that started in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.3 (6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” continues a similar down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). May’s 5.4 was its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). Flat at #11, iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” is +1.0 in three straight improvements (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT, which was off six-tenths in May, returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). The 2.4 “News Talk Radio 840” logged in February, March, and April was its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. Flat at #23, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+).

Following five upticks in a row that nearly doubled (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR forfeits six-tenths to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE was a whopping -8.0 (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+). “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” rebounds in June though with a +1.2 to 6.0 (6+) and jumps from fifth to second. Prior to May, the last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE is now just one-tenth behind Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More,” which is -1.5 in May/June (7.6 – 7.1 – 6.1, 6+) but on top the fifth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. There’s considerable shifting in the market’s hot AC battle as KKLZ cluster-mate KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” erupts with a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, #13 to #9, 6+) at the same time that Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” falters by -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). “Star” returned 60% of April’s +1.0 with a -.6 in May. Moreover, this is the best 6+-stat (3.9) for “Star” since it flipped from adult hits “Bob” in January 2015. The loss by “Mix,” meanwhile curtails three consecutive increases that netted +1.0 (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), with May’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.7. Down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #13, 6+). An increase of six-tenths enables Lotus Communications-owned Spanish adult hits KWID “La Buena 101.9” to reach the five-share level (4.5 – 5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+), while a boost of one-half share by KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+) gives the Entercom CHR its best 6+-showing (4.6) since September 2018’s 4.8. Its rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KXQQ was a cumulative +1.1 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-100.5” craters by -1.4 to 3.6 (fourth to tenth, 6+). In May, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well). In addition to erasing May’s half-share gain with June’s loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.4, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More” departs the top twenty (#17 to #22). This is the fourth straight decline for Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7,” which is -1.0 since February (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+). As a result of five successive setbacks, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” is -1.6 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after posting a May +.7 (4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM surrenders eight-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to tenth, 6+). “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and -1.0 in March/April. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” drops four-tenths in June to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is in 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) for the ninth time in a row. News/talk cluster-mate WFLF has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and repeats at #14.

Cox Media Group’s sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” more than doubles May’s .3 (.7, +.4, 6+) and jumps from #23 to #19, while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.8 – .7 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+).

Off seven-tenths in three straight slips (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” moves from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – On the heels of May’s eight-tenths’ increase, iHeartMedia-owned WJRR piles on a +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5, 6+) as “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018’s 4.8. Entering the May sweep, WJRR was off nine-tenths through four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 8.7 (unchanged at #2), Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that led to a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018; in 2019, it was #1 in January, February, and April. Having surrendered one-half share in May to 4.2 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” follows with a June increase of six-tenths (4.8, tenth to eighth, 6+). Jumping by one-half share from May are iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.5, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (6.0 – 6.5, fifth to fourth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), “XL-106.7” was a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in May, “Mix” was a combined +.9 in March/April 5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+). Via four straight sweeps without a loss, alternative sibling WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” is up eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well). Over and above adding four-tenths to May’s +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” repeats at #1. An April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 each are Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” (fourth to sixth) and rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WPYO “Power 95.3” (#7 to #11). “Star” is an overall -2.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+) and below a six-share (5.2, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.5, June 2018). Meanwhile, “Power” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – While iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One,” which had a January-only stay on top, is off an overall one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+), the flagship of the Reds continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC, whose November 2018 through May 2019 topline was 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+), spirals by eight-tenths to 2.7 (#11 to #13, 6+). It was exactly one year ago when “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” was below a three-share (2.8, June 2018).

In five straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has its 6+-stat carved in half (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6, flat at #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has a similar 50% erosion (-.3) in three successive down or flat ratings periods (.6 – .4 – .3 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).

A collective -1.2 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, flat at #14, 6+) Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has wiped away the +1.1 it achieved through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – When Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE accrued two-tenths in May, it pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+). In June, “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” adds a whopping +1.3 (7.5 – 8.8, 6+) and continues in third-place with its best 6+-stat (8.8) since January’s 9.4. Advancing from #15 to #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ was -1.0, but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” picks up two-tenths in June to 5.7 (sixth to fifth, 6+). A May loss of four-tenths by Radio One urban contemporary WIZF curtailed four consecutive positive or neutral reports that yielded seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), but “101.1 The Wiz” bounces back with a June increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). There’s good and bad news for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR. On the positive side, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the fifth sweep in succession; however, its -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+) represents the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 decrease by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. Entering the June ratings period, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock,” which gained a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.3. Immediately after posting a May improvement of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” relinquishes eight-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #11, 6+); May’s 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). The six 2019 fluctuations by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); +.7 (May); and -.6 in June (7.5 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+); May’s 7.5 was its highest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6. Locked on 4.8 (6+) in April and May, Hubbard Broadcasting rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” sputters by one-half share to 4.3 (6+) but remains in seventh-place.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” has logged a -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 in June (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+). Flat at #19, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” which resurfaced in print in April, has a redundant April – May – June topline of .5 – .5 – .5 (6+).

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK is a collective -2.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14).

Even though WCPN is down one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of positive or neutral sweeps that netted a +1.6 (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), the Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet progresses from #12 to #10.

Cleveland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 (7.3 – 8.4, 6+) enables Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” to zoom from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since August 2018 (8.4, as well). WNCX is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country,” which substitutes May’s one-half share loss with a June gain of seven-tenths (7.4 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+). Its May decrease halted four consecutive gains that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Even though WZAK gains three-tenths to 7.8 (6+), pulling the plug on five successive sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), the Radio One urban AC backslides from second to fourth. May’s 7.5 was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). Trending 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.4 (February through May, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” hangs out a +.6 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. A combined +1.0 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” continues in seventh-place. In May, it reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Notwithstanding that it returns May’s gain of four-tenths (9.8 – 10.2 – 9.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI is #1 the seventh straight sweep. Five  recent fluctuations for “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Entercom adult contemporary WDOK craters by -1.5 to its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well), as “Cleveland’s Star 102” skids from second to sixth. By losing roughly half its 6+ AQH share (1.1 – .6, -.5, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio 103.3” drops from #16 to #18.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly erasing completely March/April’s -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+) with a May/June +.7 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” elevates from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; lost two-tenths in May; and regains that two-tenths in June (2.1 to 2.3, #20 to #19, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM,” which was off two-tenths through three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and continues at #22.

A combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). One-tenth behind the Royals flagship is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up two-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus halting four straight negative or flat trends that led to a -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), KCUR netted a +1.9, but the University of Missouri news/talk outlet forfeits eight-tenths in June to 4.1 (6+) and drops from sixth to ninth.

Kansas City Music Formats – A stunning +3.8 as a result of five consecutive positive or neutral reports (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. After a two-month stay in the lead, it was dislodged in May. Five recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); and +1.3 (June). Turnabout is fair play as KCMO-FM succeeds the station that ousted it in May – co-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” (8.4 – 8.6, +.2, first to second, 6+). This (8.6) is the highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1 for KCFX, which is +1.3 in three bumps in succession (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6, 6+). April’s four-tenths’ increase halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). By piling on nine-tenths to May’s +.6 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT leaps from tenth to fifth as “99.7 The Point” crosses the four-share threshold (4.8) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.3. Owing to five positive or neutral moves in a row, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” is an overall +2.0 (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) and climbs from #14 to #12 with its strongest (6+) performance since January 2018 (3.5, as well). Following March/April’s +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” is a combined -1.7 in May/June (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). On one hand, April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well), while June’s 4.2 its weakest since December 2018’s 3.7. Remaining flat in June are country challengers co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” 4.8 (but jumping from seventh to fifth, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.5, but advancing from #13 to #12, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is up one-tenth (2.6, flat at #18), ending four successive declines that accounted for a collective -2.0 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). That directly followed five consecutive positive or flat moves resulting in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3,” however, is -1.2 in three drops in succession (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0 – 2.8, #14 to #16, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” hasn’t had an increase in each of the last five sweeps and is an overall -2.3 in that January through June stretch (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is 4.7 (April); 4.6 (May); and now off seven-tenths to 3.9 in June (seventh to ninth, 6+).

The January through June topline for Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is: 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND yield eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+) as “Rewind” jumps from #13 to #11 and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. A combined -1.4 in April/May (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+), co-owned WLVQ is up three-tenths to 7.6 (third to second, 6+). “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” previously amassed a +1.9 in three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 increases, (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). This is the 19th sweep in a row that iHeartMedia-owned WCOL is #1 and “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017 (11. 7 – 11.1, 6+). Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); and now -.6 (June). Immediately following May’s +1.4, co-owned CHR WNCI surrenders all but two-tenths of that gain (8.6 – 7.4, -1.2, second to third, 6+). Prior to May, “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). May’s 8.6 was its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. As a result of nine consecutive positive or neutral moves, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2, #18 to #17, 6+).

On the heels of notching a May gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One gospel WJYD, which was +1.0 in nine successive July 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), is off six-tenths in June to 1.4 (#15 to #16, 6+); “Joy 107.1” was 1.7 (6+) in April and 2.0 (6+) in May. Three consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC netted +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus” returns half that increase in June (4.6, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+); May’s 5.1 was its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018.

Pay Inequality Prompts Young To Exit WPXY. “Walking away from a stable paycheck is risky at best and stupid at worst, but for me, it was necessary.” That candid Twitter assessment is how Whitney Young described the decision to leave her role as morning co-host on Entercom Rochester CHR WPXY “98-PXY.” She had been teamed there with Corey James. Exiting wasn’t over often-stated “philosophical differences” or an offer from another station, but for something that’s become prominent in recent headlines – equal pay for equal work. Further quoting her tweet, Young writes, “My male co-host’s salary was nearly double my own, and I was unable to negotiate a raise that would reduce the pay disparity. This inequality is in conflict with my most deeply held beliefs.” Young doesn’t seem to have any animosity whatsoever for James, noting he is “a good friend, a talented showman, a dependable colleague, and fully deserving of his salary.” She promises though to “continue speaking about the things that matter to me – mental health awareness being of utmost importance.” While Young has “no idea” about her next move, she states, “it won’t be on [WPXY] but I’ll talk to you soon.” Young initially worked at WPXY as a social media producer. She exited but rejoined for mid-day duty two years ago and became part of the morning show last year. No Nielsen Audio ratings numbers are available to quote for Entercom’s WPXY, as the market’s only subscribers to the winter 2019 book are seven iHeartMedia stations.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. A special “Meet & Greet” reunion of many of Detroit’s most famous radio personalities will be held September 14 from 1:00 – 6:00 pm at Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, is hosting the open to the public, fan-based event that will honor 94-year-old Robin Seymour, whose “Motor City” on-air radio credits include WKNR “Keener 13,” CKLW “The Big 8,” and WKMH. His recently-published book, “The DJ Who Launched 1,000 Hits,” will be available ….. The program director of Cumulus Media Houston mainstream CHR KRBE, Leslie Whittle, adds corporate duties as Cumulus Medias vice president/hot AC formats. Cumulus Media executive vice president/content and audience Brian Philips comments, “With great strategy and spirit, Leslie has built a CHR powerhouse in Houston. She understands all nuances of contemporary music radio. We are fortunate to enlist her as VP of our hot AC formats. Her name has hit every list of the ‘Best PDs in America,’ and we are glad to spread Leslie’s brainpower and influence through our important hot AC stations.” Whittle notes, “I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with these amazing programmers and their teams, along with the talented people at Westwood One. A big ‘high-five’ to our team here at KRBE, led by Alex Cadelago and Dan Bennett as we continue to do great things in Houston.” After starting her radio career at Austin CHR KHFI, where she ultimately became program director, Whittle joined KRBE in 2000 and became PD in 2006 …..  Former Entercom Los Angeles all-news KNX anchor/reporter Karen “Cha Cha” Harlow joins Tegna San Diego adult hits KFMB-FM, where she’ll do a Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm) shift and swing work. It is a return to San Diego for Harlow, who has worked at KHTS, XHTZ, and XPRS. Director of FM programming Mike V. Vasquez notes, “I’ve been a fan of [Harlow’s] since first hearing her when I arrived in San Diego in 1998, so I’m thrilled to finally work with her. Her energetic, positive, vibe – combined with her extensive connections in San Diego – make her an ideal fit for us.” Harlow comments, “It is a thrill to join the family at the legendary KFMB-FM. I’m ready to shake the sand out of my beach towel and get back to playing awesome music on the radio – let’s have some fun.” ….. Having spent 31 years with Entercom San Diego, one-year senior director of promotions Chris Turner will be leaving the five-station cluster this Friday (7/19). Turner joined KSON as a part-time member of the country station’s street team in November 1988 and was eventually promoted to assistant promotions director. He later became director of promotions for co-owned alternative KBZT, before having the same title at KSON ….. In two weeks (7/29), Dena Fletcher will join Griffin Communications’ KVOO “98.8 Tulsa Country” as program director. Griffin director of radio operations & programming Steve Hunter comments that, “Dena will be a great addition to our team and a great fit for our culture.” As part of her 20-year resume, Fletcher has programmed cross-town Cox Media Group hot AC KRAV “Mix 96” and hosted afternoon drive on that cluster’s classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” ….. In an October 17 ceremony at New York City’s Javits Center, Cumulus Media Syracuse mainstream CHR WNTQ “93-Q” morning team (5:30 am -10:00 am) Ted Long and Amy Robbins will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Syracuse vice president/market manager Beth Coughlin comments, “When two amazing people create and produce a dynamic, platinum- standard product, and fine-tune it for many years on air, it can’t be duplicated. Ted and Amy’s influence as part of not only the ‘93-Q’ family, but also within the central New York community, has set them apart. We congratulate them, and thank the New York State Broadcasters Association for this Hall of Fame recognition.” Long & Robbins have been together for 30 years.

St. Jude’s Cites iHM Boston and Portsmouth “Bull” Siblings. During an event last week at St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, iHeartMedia Boston country outlet WBWL “101.7 The Bull” and co-owned/similarly-formatted WTBU “95.3 The Bull,” Portsmouth (New Hampshire) were recognized with the Country Cares Radio Stations Of The Year Award. ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regional development director Jenn Potter states, “St. Jude partners with over 350 radio stations throughout the year and is proud to honor ‘The Bull.’ They are the true definition of incredible partners and are always trying to do more for the kids of St. Jude.” Vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Boston region, Dylan Sprague, comments, “Receiving this award is a credit to our great teams in Boston and Portsmouth. The funds raised are a true testament to the dedicated listeners and our on-air team who make the St. Jude mission so relevant to the Boston and Portsmouth communities.” Shown (above, left to right) are: New England Region St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital managing director Kim Chisholm; WTBU “95.3 The Bull” program director Tim Moore; Jenn Potter; WBWL “101.7 The Bull” sales manager Ally Klein; WBWL program director Ginny Brophy; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Program director/radio development Scott Hinshelwood; and WBWL and WTBU on-air personality Colton Bradford.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

| July 2, 2019

Mapleton Communications Sells 37 Stations in Seven Markets to Stephens Media Group. This is an exit from the radio business for California-based, Jim Shea-led Mapleton Communications.  The price for the 37 stations in Medford, Oregon; Merced, Monterey, and Redding, California; Spokane, Washington; and Alexandria and Monroe, Louisiana was not revealed in the press release.  But, with Mapleton previously agreeing to sell KSFN-AM, San Francisco and its Chico, California stations to Bustos Media, it will have divested of all of its radio assets.  The buyer in this transaction is Oklahoma-based Stephens Media Group, led by David Stephens.  Stephens begins operating the stations immediately under an LMA.  Stephens Media owns stations in Tulsa and Ardmore, Oklahoma; Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena, and Rochester, New York; and Yakima and the Tri-Cities in Washington.  Several news/talk and sports talk stations are involved, including KYOS-AM, Merced; KQMS-FM and KNRO-AM in Redding; KCMX-AM in Medford; and KGA-AM in Spokane. You can see Mapleton’s stations here. KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

KMOX Promotes Amy Marxkors to Daily On-Air Role. Effective immediately, Amy Marxkors begins a regular on-air role with Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis joining station institution Charlie Brennan as a co-host of the “Total Information AM Overdrive” Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 am to 9:00 am and will stay on the air for “The Charlie Brennan Show” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Marxkors joined the station in 2018 as a sports reporter and host.  Prior to joining Entercom, she served as co-host of the St. Louis Blues weekly hockey show “Chili’s Week in Hockey” in 2016, that aired on KMOX.  She joined the Blues radio broadcast in 2017 and became the first woman to host the pre- and post-game of a radio broadcast for any St. Louis professional sports team in February 2019.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “Amy is a rising star in radio and has shown tremendous growth on air while covering everything from the Blues Stanley Cup run to discussing local and national issues during our long-form talk shows.  She has a very bright future and I’m looking forward to the impact she can make on KMOX.”  In addition to her role on the morning show, Marxkors will continue to cover the St. Louis Blues and the National Hockey League by hosting a weekly hockey podcast.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with Lee Habeeb of “Our American Stories” Delivering Official Welcoming Address.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s post presents the convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories.” The first two videos already posted today are of RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

News and News/Talk Radio Analysis. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an assessment of “the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.”  Formats involved in this report are news/talk, all-news (including business or financial news), and public radio news/talk.  As this report is based on Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys, the rating metric is weekly, 6+ AQH share from subscribing stations.  Looking at the May PPM survey, the #1 market for news and news/talk is Washington, DC.  On the strength of Hubbard’s all-news WTOP-FM, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, and American University’s public radio news/talk WAMU-FM, the format garnered a 22.7 share in May.  Rounding out the top three markets are Milwaukee and San Francisco.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Sources in Philadelphia tell TALKERS magazine that news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart has exited Entercom.  We’ve reached out to Entercom Philadelphia for confirmation but have not yet heard back…..In addition to his work as a nationally syndicated talk show host for the Salem Radio Network, Hugh Hewitt also serves as president of the Richard Nixon Foundation.  In that capacity, he announces two coming events being held at the library in Yorba Linda, California centered around the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969.  On July 20, the “Earth to Moon: The Longest Distance Phone Call in History” celebration will commemorate Nixon’s call to the Apollo 11 astronauts on the surface of the moon.  Nixon White House officials Dwight Chapin, Larry Higby, and John Price – who were with Nixon the night he made the historic call will be in attendance.  Then, on July 23, the library will present the “Splashdown Celebration” with Dr. Buzz Aldrin to honor the legendary Apollo moonwalker…..ESPN’s annual ESPYS Auction benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research is again teaming up with eBay for Charity for its 15th year.  Bidding for the 80-plus VIP packages and experiences is now available on eBay and will remain open through July 10.  Senior vice president of ESPN Audio Traug Keller says, “Everyone at ESPN Radio is beyond proud to have played a role in raising funds for cancer research with the ESPYS Auction the last 15 years.  Seeing the support from fans bidding on experiences or directly donating to the V Foundation is truly something unique and special.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program reports the addition of new affiliate station WSLW-AM/FM in Lewisburg, West Virginia and the expansion of carriage of the show on existing affiliate KINN-AM/FM in Alamogordo, New Mexico…..The Houston Chronicle reports that longtime market radio news pro Charles L. “Chuck” Scott died on June 28 after complications from a fall and previously diagnosed lung cancer.  Scott most recently served with Houston Public Media’s KUHF-FM.  During his long career he worked in the news department KIKK-AM, KNUZ-AM, and KQUE-FM.  He also worked for a number of years in the late 1960s and early 1970s at WLS-AM, Chicago.

Simmons Takes Over for Ryan at Salem Boston. At Salem Media Group’s three-station Boston cluster, Pat Ryan retires as general manager and general sales manager Carole Howley Simmons is promoted to the GM position. Salem operates three Christian stations in the market – WROL-AM, WEZE-AM, and WWDJ-AM.  Salem regional VP Jeff Reisman says,  “Throughout Carole’s tenure she has proven herself to be a creative and compassionate leader, skills that will serve her well as GM.  Carole brings a wealth of local-market knowledge and tenacity that will be instrumental in growing the Salem Boston radio stations/digital services to their full potential.”

Trump’s Meeting with Kim Jong Un, U.S. Tariffs Strategy, U.S.-China Trade Talks, 2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform-Detention Facilities, and Iran Nukes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The meeting in the DMZ between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the U.S.’s tariffs strategy, including proposed tariffs on European Union goods; President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping enter into trade talks; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and controversial reports of conditions at border detention centers; and Iran’s violation of the nuclear deal 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. Classic call letters are returning to California’s Central Coast as Cumulus Media announces the launch of classic hits KRUZ. At the same time, the company announces that classic hip hop KVYB at 103.3 FM signs off in the Santa Barbara market and moves to the 106.3 FM frequency in the Oxnard market.  Cumulus Oxnard/Ventura RVP and market manager Sommer Frisk says, “Everything good takes time.  And, after more than a decade, it’s time we bring KRUZ 103.3 FM back to the Central Coast!  It’s also the right time to move ‘106.3 The Vibe’ to Oxnard to give the fans what they’ve been begging for.  With the combination of KRUZ 103.3’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister brand ‘106.3 The Vibe,’ we will provide new and exciting ways for our listeners and marketing partners to engage with the fans up and down the Central Coast.”…..Entercom names Brian Shannon morning show co-host for classic rock KGON.  Shannon joins Terry Boyd on “Terry Boyd’s World,” effective July 8.  Shannon says, “I am incredibly excited to be going home to radio and to be working alongside one of Portland’s best, Terry Boyd. Radio is my happy place and I’m planning to be a part of this station and this city for a long time.”  Prior to joining Entercom, Shannon was an editor and anchor for KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”…..iHeartMedia re-brands country WCKY-FM, Toledo as “Buckeye Country, 103.7 ‘CKY.”  Market president Shosh Abromovich says, “We’re so excited to once again be playing some of country music’s greatest songs from the 80s and 90s through today.  You may even hear some older classic country from time-to-time.”  The Bobby Bones show remains in morning drive.  Bob Delmont and Bob Pickett will split middays.  Meaghan Mick continues in afternoon drive.  Tom Travis handles evenings and “CMT with Cody Allen” airs in the overnights…..Speaking of Bobby Bones, his Premiere Networks-syndicated “Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones” program is now airing on the Chris Stevens-owned “Chris Country” format heard in numerous markets in the UK.  Also joining “Chris Country” is “Women of iHeartCountry,” an hour-long weekend program hosted by Bones and Amy Brown.  Each week on the show, they spotlight music from both established female country music artists and promising up-and-comers…..Last weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah welcomed more than 100 guests to her home outside Seattle for the fifth-annual “Farm to Table” fundraiser for her non-profit foundation Point Hope.  2019 marks Delilah’s 15-year commitment to Point Hope, an organization she established as a voice for forgotten children everywhere. The immediate focus of the Foundation is supporting children in the U.S. foster care system, as well as refugee children in Ghana.  Pictured below is Delilah (left) and four-time Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Daughtry, who performed for the dinner guests.

Friday, June 28, 2019

| June 28, 2019

Cumulus Chief Memos Employees in Wake of WABC Sale. In tandem with yesterday’s surprise news that John Catsimatidis-led Red Apple Media is acquiring legendary New York station WABC for $12.5 million, Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner issued a memo to employees that explains the company’s policy on sales. Specifically, Berner says the company has no plan to exit large markets.  After the sale of WPLJ and now WABC, Cumulus has one station – urban music outlet WNBM – in the New York market, and she says the company will sell that station, as well.  But staffers should not interpret the New York move as one destined for all large market holdings.  She says the company will sell when it’s advantageous and buy when it’s a fit.  “In New York’s case, we’ll be exiting a market that has been tough for us, and through these deals we will be able to realize significant value for the company – over and above what we could have generated from continued operations.  And for anyone who is still listening to rumors out there, I will say again that there is absolutely no grand plan to exit our big markets.”  She concludes, “Always remember that any actions we take to strengthen our company help to assure a brighter future for FORCE CUMULUS.  So, let’s keep building on our strong momentum and being relentlessly HABU in all of our efforts and with every one of our assets.  I am incredibly proud of our progress and look forward to continuing to deliver on our strategic goals.”

iHeartMedia Shares to Trade on NASDAQ Global Select Market. The Class A common stock in iHeartMedia has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. It will trade under the ticker “IHRT.” The company says in a press release, “As previously announced, iHeart had been evaluating all paths to achieve a listing of its Class A common stock on a recognized U.S. stock exchange following emergence from its restructuring process.  iHeartMedia has determined that a listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market is the optimal strategy for iHeartMedia and all of the company’s stakeholders.  As a result, the Company has requested the withdrawal of its previously filed registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. iHeartMedia’s management team will be meeting with investors the week of July 15 in advance of a listing date of July 18, 2019.”  Company chairman and CEO Bob Pittman adds, “This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia.  Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future.”

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of June 24-28 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (June 24-28) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia‘s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM in the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Three Ring Circus!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Michael Savage of Westwood OneSean Hannity of Fox News Channel/Premiere Networks; and Charles Freedman of KSCO, Santa Cruz; political strategist and pundit Ethan Bearman; social/political observer Victoria Jones of the DC Radio Company and John Catsimatidis, CEO, Gristedes Foods/Red Apple Group. The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.   According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, the program is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this show as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeartMedia picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and a number of stations have inquired about its availability.  We are in the process of figuring out where we want to go with it… whether we will put it into syndication or just make it available to a handful of stations.”   For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

Kantar Media: Radio to See 6.6% of $6 Billion Political Ad Spending. Media research and consulting firm Kantar Media has issued its projection for the ad spending during the 2019-2020 political cycle and believes $6 billion will be spread across cable TV, broadcast TV, digital, and radio.  Radio’s share of the pie is predicted to be $400,000,000 – 6.6% of the total.  Who gets the most?  Broadcast television is predicted to get $3.2 billion of that.  Cable TV and digital platforms are each to get $1.2 billion, according to Kantar’s estimates.  See more here.

Beebe Promoted to Regional SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia. Sales pro Kristy Beebe is named regional SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana region, effective August 1.  Beebe has been serving as general sales manager for the company’s Louisville cluster for the past two years.  She will remain based in Louisville.  She says, “I am so thankful to the iHeartMedia team for the confidence that they have shown in me.  My decades in radio have prepared me to contribute to the growth and success that has been building in these markets.  Our legendary radio brands combined with our ever expanding digital and event offerings create an unmatched marketing portfolio!  I can’t wait to dig in with our sales teams and use these amazing tools to drive success for our partners.”

Manetta Named Promotions Manager for Cumulus Des Moines. Moving from the company’s Topeka operations to its Des Moines cluster is Cassidy Manetta, who takes on the promotions manager position for the group that includes sports talk KBGG-AM “1700 The Champ” and four music-formatted stations.  Cumulus Des Moines vice president and market manager Jack Taddeo says, “Cassidy impressed me with her creativity, experience, and enthusiasm for all the things radio needs to be doing in an increasingly competitive world.  My thanks to Topeka VP/market manager Nic Merenda for graciously supporting this internal promotion to the benefit of Cumulus Des Moines.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Howie Carr Radio Network announces that Grace Curley is promoted from associate producer to executive producer of “The Howie Carr Show.”  Curley – who, like Carr, is also a columnist at the Boston Herald – has been with the network since its 2014 launch.  Howie Carr tells TALKERS, “Grace brings tremendous intelligence and communication skills to both our program and the Boston Herald and she does it with a fresh ‘millennial sensibility.’”  HCRN president Kathy Carr says, “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is discovering new talent and seeing them grow.  I’m very proud of Grace.”…..A new iHeartMedia Original Podcast launched yesterday (6/27) in partnership with Tenderfoot, titled “Monster Presents: Insomniac.”  It looks at the story of true-crime researcher Scott Benjamin, the show’s host and protagonist, and his retelling of serial killings and how it started to affect his everyday life – from tormenting him and consuming him to eventually turning him into an insomniac…..Podcaster Jessica Cordova Kramer and best-selling author Stephanie Wittels Wachs join forces to form a new podcast network, Lemonada Media, in partnership with Westwood One.  The network, launching in September, will “share an unfiltered version of the human experience, offering content that is raw and real, sorting through the ugliness, weirdness, awkwardness and darkness life can bring.”  Westwood One will distribute, sell, and market the shows to build audiences across the Lemonada network…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive live coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 from the opening day of play on Monday, July 1, through the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14.  The broadcasts will air courtesy of ESPN Audio, which is the exclusive live broadcaster of Wimbledon in the U.S., and The All England Lawn Tennis Club…..Pictured below is Westwood One News White House correspondent Bob Costantini in front of Air Force 1 in Osaka, Japan.  Costantini is there covering President Trump’s participation in the G20 Summit.

Michael Savage Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most famous, successful, and controversial talk radio stars of the modern era, Westwood One syndicated personality Michael Savage, is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne presentation, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Savage candidly discuss the recent story about him that ran in The New York Times by Jeremy Peters (6/18) – a piece that displeased Savage, including a specific quote attributed to Harrison with which he took particular issue.  Harrison and Savage also take an unabashedly critical dive into the inner-workings and politics of talk radio that professional practitioners of the medium and listeners alike will find fascinating.  Do not miss this podcast!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Immigration Reform/Southern Border Crisis Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 24-28. The Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race and this week’s Democratic Party debates.  Coming in at #3 was the G20 Summit and the various trade wars, followed by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s July 17 testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As had been rumored, Rickey Smiley is named the successor to legendary radio host Tom Joyner on the Reach Media nationally syndicated urban AC program.  Joyner himself made the announcement on his “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  Joyner is retiring at the end of the year and Smiley will assume morning host duties in January of 2020 from the Dallas studios.  Joyner says that Smiley has established himself as a trusted leader on-air and in the community with his current show, captivating audiences with his authentic humor but also his unique perspective on topics important to his audience.  Smiley also announced that Eva Marcille and Gary Wit Da Tea would be among the on-air cast members joining Smiley next year…..Beasley Media Group makes changes at classic hits WROR, Boston as former WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” morning host Bob Bronson takes over for Loren Owens, who has been hosting the “Loren & Wally” morning solo since the retirement of Wally Brine.  Bronson starts Monday (7/1).  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I’ve known Bob for over a decade and am excited for the ROR audience to get to know him as well.  He’s a battle-tested, hard-working winner who is a relatable storyteller and all-around wonderful person to be leading our talented morning team!”…..Across town at iHeartMedia Boston, the company re-brands urban AC WKAF-FM as “The New 97.7 The Beat of Boston.”  The station says it will broadcast pop and rhythmic hits from the 80s, 90s and 2000s, including songs from artists like Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, MadonnaPrince, TLC, and The Notorious B.I.G.  It plans to add new personalities to the station.  Sister CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” afternoon personality Romeo is also hosting middays on WKAF.  KJ will host the afternoon show…..iHeartMedia announces Ashley Wilson is named director of country programming for the Kentucky-Indiana region, effective July 22. She was most recently program director for the company’s WNOE-FM, New Orleans.  In this role, she’ll oversee the country programming for the region’s five country stations, including WAMZ-FM, Louisville and WBUL-FM, Lexington “98.1 The Bull.”  Regional SVP of programming Michael Jordan says, “Ashley is becoming a leader in her field and we are fortunate to bring her to our region.  She brings a lot to the table and will be a valuable asset to our team.”…..Meruelo Media announces that Cece Valencia is joining KDAY-FM/KDEY-FM, Los Angeles to co-host the “Cece and Romeo” morning show. She says, “KDAY is more than a home to me, it’s a dream come true.  I’m so lucky to be able to play the music that I love on such an iconic station.  Romeo is so talented and funny.  Waking L.A. up every morning with Romeo is gonna be fun.”…..Air personality Emily Wild and Entercom part ways as Wild exits the morning show at alternative WLKK, Buffalo after a three-plus year relationship…..Albany radio pro Kevin Rush is leaving his home of almost 18 years – iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River” next month to re-locate to Florida with his family.  Rush’s co-host Tracy Villaume is expected to remain in mornings.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

| June 27, 2019

Cumulus to Sell WABC, New York to Red Apple Media for $12.5 Million. As TALKERS magazine tipped earlier today, Cumulus Media Inc. is agreeing to sell New York City heritage AM WABC to John Catsimatidis-controlled Red Apple Media, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Red Apple Group, for $12.5 million in cash.  Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner says, “Today’s agreement with Red Apple is yet another step in the execution of our portfolio optimization priority to drive Cumulus’s long-term success.  Consistent with our financial goals, we intend to use the sale’s net cash proceeds to pay down debt and invest in the company to better serve our 250 million listeners and the advertisers who want to reach them.  We are also pleased that WABC’s excellent team will work with Red Apple following the transaction’s close to continue building this iconic station’s legacy.”  Under the terms of the agreement, Red Apple will take responsibility for programming WABC immediately following the close of the sale, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2019. Catsimatidis says, “I am very pleased that Red Apple Media Inc. has agreed to acquire 77 WABC Radio.  The station is a real New York legend with a rich history in broadcasting.  I started a radio show five years ago which is now available in 14 states and on the internet.  It has gained a large and loyal audience.  Our purchase of 77 WABC Radio is the next step in building a new broadcasting business, and we look forward to considering the acquisition of more broadcasting assets.  We plan to retain the excellent staff and talent working at the station now and look forward to working with them.”  Catsimatidis is the owner, president, chairman and CEO of Gristedes Foods, a large Manhattan-based grocery chain and the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company with about $2 billion in holdings in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.  He is also the chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group subsidiary, United Refining Company.  He hosts a Sunday morning talk radio show on a number of stations along the East Coast out of his flagship, Salem Media’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Catsimatidis was the runner-up for the Republican nomination for Mayor of New York in 2013.

Exclusive! TALKERS Publisher Michael Harrison Speaks with John Catsimatidis.  Listen to Michael Harrison‘s conversation about his company’s acquisition of WABC, New York here.

Cox Enterprises Announces Sale of Cox Media Group Radio Assets to Apollo Global Management. This sale of the Cox Media Group radio station portfolio to private equity fund manager Apollo Global Management – the price not disclosed in the press release – will be less disruptive to the operations than a typical transfer of ownership of this size as it appears the new company will keep management in place. The deal calls for Cox Media Group’s radio station portfolio as well as its CoxReps and Gamut national advertising businesses to become part of a newly expanded media company called Cox Media Group, based in Atlanta, that acquired Cox’s broadcast television group and the company’s radio, newspaper, and television properties in Ohio back in February.  Cox Enterprises is maintaining a minority stake in the new company.  This deal affects some 52 radio brands in 10 markets – including heritage news/talk stations WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa.  The new Cox Media Group will operate more than 60 radio stations across 11 markets.  The presser states that “the buyer plans to maintain the successful operating structure of Cox Media Group’s television, radio, CoxReps and Gamut businesses and leverage these assets to continue building a national media company with station properties in key markets across the country.”  However, the sale means Cox loses the grandfathered ownership status in Tampa and Orlando and will divest WPYO-FM, Orlando and WSUN-FM, Tampa in order to comply with FCC ownership caps.  Cox Enterprises CEO Alex Taylor says, “We are happy our Cox Radio and national ad platforms will continue to be operated with our television group.  Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company.  We have spent many years fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation across these businesses and are pleased to see that work will continue.”  Apollo senior partner David Sambur adds, “We are thrilled to acquire the Cox Radio station portfolio, CoxReps and Gamut and combine them with the Cox Television business to form a new media company focused on quality local broadcasting.  Cox has deep roots in the media industry and has stood for the highest quality in local journalism for the past 120 years.  As we shepherd these businesses into the future, we are committed to investing in high-quality programming and fostering innovation in local media.”

‘Coach’ John Kentera Moves to Middays at ‘97.3 The Fan’ in San Diego. Market sports talk pro “Coach” John Kentera will take over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Entercom’s sports talk KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan,” effective July 1.  Kentera will continue to host 97.3 The Fan’s pre- and post-game shows for Padres baseball games, “The Fan’s High School Football Show,” on Thursday nights in the fall, and serve as the color commentator on “The Fan’s Friday Night High School Football Game of the Week” broadcast.  Kentera served with former sports talker XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” from 2003 through 2015.  His show replaces FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “We’re thrilled to add Coach Kentera to 97.3 The Fan’s weekday lineup.  Coach has a rich history in San Diego and is truly beloved by the community, sports fans, and advertising partners alike.”

WGMN-AM, Roanoke Flips to News/TalkThe Roanoke Times reports that 3 Daughters Media has flipped WGMN-AM/W270CU, Roanoke from sports talk to news/talk.  The station dropped its 21-year affiliation with ESPN Radio and is airing FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show, Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and van Camp” show, and the syndicated Tom Sullivan program.   3 Daughters owner Gary Burns tells the paper that more competitors in sports talk radio in the market have “watered it down.”  He also says of the flip, “I just think there’s a larger available audience in Roanoke for talk radio…than there is for sports radio.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Thom Hartmann Show” is now heard on Genesis Communications’ “News/Talk Florida” – the duo of WIXC, Titusville and WWBA, Tampa — airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..Radio personality Susie Wargin – midday jock at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KRFX, Denver “103.5 The Fox” – is joining the radio broadcast team for Denver Broncos games this fall.  Wargin will serve as a sideline reporter alongside play-by-play voice Dave Logan and color commentator Rick Lewis. Games air on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA and KRFX-FM…..cabana announces it has published its 2019 Guide to Buying Podcasts.  The report includes new features, such as white-labeled case studies, “Ask an Ad Ops Expert” section, and insights into dynamic ad insertion.  cabana VP of digital sales Ilwira Marciszek says, “We’re seeing bigger brands with different goals entering podcast advertising, so we wanted to speak to their concerns directly.  Podcast advertising has worked for direct response, and it can work for all kinds of campaigns when used smartly.”  You can download the Buying Guide here…..Coastal Broadcasting’s sports talk KLRZ-FM, New Orleans “ESPN 100.3” is the new flagship for New Orleans Pelicans basketball beginning with the 2019-20 season.  Last season, games aired on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO-FM.  Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha says, “We could not be more excited to begin this new era of Pelicans basketball with our new flagship radio partner and its devoted listening audience.  ‘ESPN New Orleans’ offers a tremendous daily sports lineup with a significant focus on the Pelicans, along with all of the local professional, collegiate, and high school teams.  This is an outstanding and natural alliance for our city and region.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM weekend talk host David Plier is taking over the interim chairman position with the Museum of Broadcast Communications.   Plier has been and will continue to be a member of the museum’s board of directors.  He assumes the role from Larry Wert, who has been interim chairman since 2016.

44thAnnual Gracie Awards Luncheon Held in New York City. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon yesterday (6/26) at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.  Sheinelle Jones, co-host of “3rd Hour of TODAY” and co-anchor of NBC News’ “Weekend TODAY,” led the program alongside presenters Angela Yee from Premiere Networks’ syndicated “The Breakfast Club”; supermodel, TV personality and podcast host Emme; Roula Christie of “The Roula and Ryan Show” on KRBE, Houston; and Duarte Geraldino from Al Jazeera Digital and “PBS NewsHour.”  Winners in the Radio Local category included: Julie DiCaro and Maggie Hendricks, hosts of “The Julie and Maggie Show” on Entercom sports talker WSCR, Chicago; “The Jason & Alex Show” on Hubbard Radio’s KTMY, Minneapolis’; Jillian Barberie, morning personality on Cumulus Media’s  KABC-AM, Los Angeles; and Tara Granahan, talk show on Cumulus’ news/talk WPRO-AM, Providence.  See all the winners here.  The National Gracie Award honorees were recognized at the Gracies Gala on May 21 at The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Democratic Debate/2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities/Wayfair Protest, G20 Summit, Mueller to Testify, Iran Tensions, and Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  Wednesday night’s debate featuring half of the Democrats seeking their party’s nomination; the Trump administration’s Southern border policies, the conditions at U.S. detention centers, and Wayfair employees’ protests over contracts to supply furniture to child detention centers; the G20 Summit in Osaka and President Trump’s plans to meet with Vladimir Putin; former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee; the diplomatic break between Tehran and Washington; and the deaths and illnesses affecting travelers to the Dominican Republic 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 Kenny Smoov is promoted to vice president, urban formats for Cumulus Media, a role in which he will serve as a corporate programming resource for the company’s 37 urban outlets.  Smoov has been with Cumulus since 2003 and is program director and morning host for urban contemporary WQQK, Nashville “92Q,” role in which he will continue…..Also at Cumulus MediaPatrick Scott is upped to program director for CHR WLTO-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “Hot 102.5.”  For the past three years, he’s been promotions and marketing director for Cumulus’ five Lexington stations…..Adams Radio of Delmarva names Angela Caswell senior account manager for the five-station music radio cluster that includes rock WZBH, Millsboro, Delaware “The Beach”; CHR WOCQ, Berlin, Maryland “OC 104”; classic rock WGBG, Fruitland, Maryland “BIG 107.7”; country WUSX, Seaford, Delaware; and WOQC-HD2 “KOOL Oldies.”  Caswell most recently served in the sales department at Delmarva Broadcasting, which recently sold its radio properties to Forever Media.

Monday, June 24, 2019

| June 24, 2019

Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately.  He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!”  Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games).  For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.”  Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks.  It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.

Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio.  At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio.  Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today.  Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.”  Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976.  During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville.  In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011.  Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”

Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons.  See what those reasons are here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station.  The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending.  He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting.  The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others.  The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk RadioTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share.  Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver.  See the whole report here.

The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success.  The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years.  Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.

Partying with Howie Carr.  The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21).  Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.

Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years.  There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin.  He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever.  Welcome home, Steve.”

Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”

Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home 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. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities.  Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM.  She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager.  With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’  His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none.  It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market.  Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo.  Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice.  We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market.  Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.”  Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute.  MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”

Thursday, June 13, 2019

| June 13, 2019

Cumulus Prices $500 Million Senior Notes Offering.  This press release from Cumulus Media Inc. comes just a few days after the initial news that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Cumulus Media New Holdings Inc. was pricing $300 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.750% senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Now, that figure is increased to $500 million.  The sale of the Notes is expected to close on June 26, 2019. Cumulus says it intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.  These notes are available only to qualified institutional buyers in a private offering.

Pat Frisch Exits KKOB-AM, Albuquerque.  Program director and midday talk show host Pat Frisch exits Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM, Albuquerque after 20 years with the station.  He says, “It was a hell of a run.  During the 20-years we had a run of nearly 14 years at #1.  Three Marconi’s, including talk station of the year and legendary station.  I was twice voted as one of the top programmers by Radio Ink. The station was also chosen as one of the best talk stations by Radio Ink and was voted best talk station by the former Radio and Records.  The last few years have been a struggle but I’m leaving with the station back at #1 12+ and my midday show goes out on top #1 adult 25-54 and #3 adults 18-49.”  Frisch says he plans to take a few weeks off before searching for his next opportunity. He can be reached at patfrisch46@yahoo.com.

RTDNA 2019 Newsroom Diversity Report; Radio Workforce of Color Highest in 20 Years. The 2019 Newsroom Diversity Report conducted by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University indicates that the percentage of women and people of color in local TV newsrooms reached record highs for the second year in a row and the local workforce of color is the highest it has been in more than 20 years – the third highest level ever.  The study also found that the percentage of radio news directors of color is at the highest level in five years.  RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “This research is both a cause for celebration and a call to action for our industry to do even better in its efforts to ensure newsroom staffs represent the diversity of the communities they serve. It’s gratifying to see improvement in the radio news sector, but clearly there is more to be done to ensure radio newsrooms contain a diverse workforce.”  The report shows women make up 44.4% of the workforce compared to last year’s 34.3%.  Furthermore, local radio management is the most diverse in the last five years, with the percentage of women in management positions up significantly.  See more here.

Westwood One Announces Partnership with Subnation for Esports Audio Content. In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of esports, Westwood One and multi-platform media brand Subnation enter into a strategic alliance designed to bring esports audio content to millions of fans across the country.  The first collaboration between the two companies is a weekly feature on the Westwood One-syndicated “Zach Sang Show.”  The partnership begins with Zach Sang being on site with Subnation at this week’s 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) talking with celebrities, artists, insiders, and fans at Subnation’s “ESPORTS ZONE.”  These interviews will air on the nightly radio show. The first guest is gaming legend Paul “Redeye” Chaloner (pictured here at right with Sang).  WWO says heavy esports watchers are more likely to be heavy AM/FM radio listeners, according to a recent MARU/Matchbox National Community study fielded in February 2019.  The study also found that heavy esports watchers and heavy video game players frequently listen to sports, rock, and top 40.  Cumulus Media EVP/marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Given our decades of leadership in iconic sports audio entertainment, Westwood One is uniquely positioned to capture the passion, scale and momentum of esports, bringing the new voices, commentary and perspectives of esports to the audio platform.  Subnation is the perfect partner to collaborate on authentic, high quality esports content that will resonate with our massive audience.”

WGTK, Greenville’s Joey Hudson Featured on HLN Program. Morning drive talk radio personality Joey Hudson – heard daily on Salem Media Group’s WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94.5FM The Answer” – is featured on the CNN Headline News documentary “Chained By a Serial Killer” that will air on HLN on June 15. Hudson is a longtime board member of Crime Stoppers and offers perspective on the case of Upstate South Carolina realtor Todd Kohlhepp, who is currently serving seven life sentences, and his double life as both a respected citizen and a serial killer. Hudson says, “I got to know parents of one of the victims, and helped raise awareness of these horrible crimes which, thankfully helped lead to Kohlhepp’s 2016 arrest and conviction before others fell victim to his evil.”

Round Three of May PPMs Released.  The third round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets tomorrow (6/14).

Comedian and SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Wins $4.1 Million Judgement from Neo-Nazi. Yesterday (6/12), a judge ordered Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin to pay $4.1 million to comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah. The judgement was for damages after Anglin was found guilty of defamation for publishing a story that falsely connected Obeidallah to an ISIS attack.  The Daily Beast reports that Anglin has been on the run for more than a year and did not testify at the trial.  Obeidallah may never see a penny of the judgment but says that if he does, it will be donated to “organizations that fight hate and bigotry.”

2020 Presidential Election/Trump’s Foreign Intel Controversy, Democrats’ Impeachment Talk, Middle East Oil Tanker Attacks, Hong Kong Protests, Memphis Violence, and Blues Win Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the president’s statement that he would want to hear about dirt on an opponent even if it came from a foreign source; the Democrats’ intensifying chatter about impeaching President Trump; the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman; the violent protests in Hong Kong over China’s new extradition law; the protests in Memphis after the fatal police shooting of a suspect; and the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins to win their first Stanley Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Mainstay Harry Hurley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who has been waking up South Jersey listeners from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on heritage talk station WPG-AM/W238CZ, Atlantic City for more than a quarter century, Harry Hurley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hurley is about to be honored with the very first New Jersey Broadcaster of the Year Award at the forthcoming New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention this week on Thursday (6/13) at Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel.  Hurley, who also serves as the lead FOX News Radio substitute host, is a past recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award for his remarkable philanthropic work in raising more than $800,000 over the past dozen years via his Hurley in the Morning Charity and distributing it to hundreds of worthy causes and organizations in Atlantic City and across the Garden State. Harrison and Hurley – who is positioned this year at number 51 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – discuss the state of politics, media, journalism, and popular culture in a fascinating conversation that dives deep into the workings and thought-processes attendant to executing today’s talk show.  Don’t miss it!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Kelly Mac is named program director for Cumulus Media’s urban adult contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.”  She says, “It’s an honor to rejoin forces with the Cumulus family and I look forward to expanding the KTCX team and brand.  As a big fan of Cumulus’ new programming initiatives, I look forward to exercising my creativity and programming experience in this exciting new role.”  During her almost 20-year career, she won a Marconi Award from the NAB for “Personality of the Year” while with WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina…..At non-profit triple A WYMS-FM “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” membership manager Maggie Corry is promoted to development director. Station executive director Glenn Kleiman says, “We’re so excited to be promoting Maggie to this position. She is so smart and skilled, and fun to work with. Her education, experience elsewhere and impressive performance at ‘Radio Milwaukee’ made this decision relatively easy.  Can’t wait to see how she helps us grow.”…..iHeartMedia’s Philadelphia hip hop outlet WUSL “Power 99” is launching the first of three of its annual “Peace on the Street Jams” – a series of anti-violence live events and activities designed to promote peace and provide communities with the necessary resources to prevent violence.  The event will include live music, spoken-word performances, and resource tables from community-based organizations.  Power 99’s first “Peace on the Street” event will take place at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on Thursday, June 13 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will feature Calboy, LightskinKeisha, and DJ Diamond Kuts and Friends. iHM Philadelphia director of news and community affairs Loraine Ballard Morrill says, “Philadelphia is experiencing a sharp spike in gun related deaths.  There’s never been a better time to promote the message of Peace on our Streets than now.  ‘Power 99’ helps give voice to those who are working hard to end the cycle of violence impacting our communities.  ‘Power 99’ is working closely with community based organizations to help make our neighborhoods safer.”

Takeaways from Round Two of Nielsen Audio’s May PPM Survey. May 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight improvements by WMAL resulted in a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). That streak culminated with March’s 6.8 – the Cumulus Media news/talker’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. In April/May, however, WMAL has surrendered 64% (-1.6) of that increase (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2, 6+) but stays in fifth-place. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the tenth sweep in succession.

A combined +.9 in March/April (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” relinquishes eight-tenths in May as the Nationals flagship fades from the top ten (#9 to #16). Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is up a combined three-tenths in March/April/May (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8, 6+), climbing from #23 to #22.

Notwithstanding it is without an increase the fourth month in a row for an overall -1.7 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP is #1 for the fifth straight time; it shared the lead in April. January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Entercom business news WDCH returns the one-tenth it added in April (.4 – .5 – .4, 6+) and is flat at #25.

With a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 8.6 – 8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 (6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU moves from a first-place tie with WTOP to the runner-up slot. Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – As noted in yesterday’s “Takeaways” column (Wednesday, 6/12), Cumulus Media sold New York City hot AC WPLJ and Atlanta news/talk WYAY to Educational Media Foundation, which has converted those two stations to contemporary Christian. The same scenario exists in the Nation’s Capital regarding hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” (now WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love”). In its final sweep before the hot AC-to-contemporary Christian transition, “Mix” adds six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) and goes out as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline is 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). In addition to being up six-tenths via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Progressing from #14 to #11, iHeartMedia-owned WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” gains seven-tenths through three consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Ever since surfacing in print in January, Maryland-licensed Manning Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WWEG “106.9 The Eagle” has notched four straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, #20 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are Radio One urban contemporary WKYS (4.0 – 3.4, #8 to #12, 6+) and gospel cluster-mate WPRS “Praise 104.1 – DC’s Station for Inspiration” (2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). Prior to April 2019’s 4.0 (6+), the last time WKYS wasn’t in 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) was May 2017 (2.9). Regarding “Praise,” its decrease curtails four consecutive up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). Another positive streak concludes as Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS, an overall +1.8 via four positive spikes in a row (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), is off one-tenth to 5.2 (6+). Nonetheless, “91.9 Christian Music Radio” moves from sixth to a fifth-place tie. WGTS wiped away four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines that resulted in a -1.4 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). Six successive increases by WMMJ yielded a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), but “Majic” is off by one-half share in April/May (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Even so, the Radio One urban AC is anchored at #3 for the sixth time in a row. After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR regains that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths to 6.5 and repeats in fourth-place. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – With an overall gain of six-tenths in five successive up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” elevates from #14 to #12. November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). Co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200,” however, is down or flat the fourth straight time (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4, 6+) and continues at #27.

Three straight down or flat trends by Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM resulted in an overall -1.0 (7.2 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+) but “98.5 The Sports Hub” roars back with a May uptick of eight-tenths (7.0, 6+) and is anchored in third-place. Seven recent fluctuations for the key station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins (as well as the Celtics and Super Bowl champion New England Patriots) include +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); and +.8 (May). Meanwhile, WEEI-FM, the flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, has gained a combined eight-tenths in April/May (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and advances from tenth to eighth. The Entercom-owned sports talk outlet has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); and +.6 (April).

For the third month in succession, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM logs a 5.0 (6+) and carries on in sixth-place. “News Radio 1030” was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).

In three slips in a row, WBUR eroded by -2.4 (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Boston University news/talk operation picks up two-tenths in May to 3.5 (flat at #11, 6+). Off seven-tenths in March/April (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH erases roughly half that shortfall (2.4, +.4, 6+) and progresses from #19 to #15.

Boston Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM post a one-half share increase (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” marches from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie. Moreover, this (7.6) is its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. In two-share range for the 19th time in a row, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is down or flat the fourth straight time for a net loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, #16 to #19, 6+). “Kiss,” meanwhile, shares the lead with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More,” which drops two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: WXKS-FM (January, 7.3, 6+); WXKS-FM (February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March, 7.8, 6+); WROR (April, 7.8, 6+); and WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+). Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9,” which was a combined +1.1 in March/April (3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), surrenders seven-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to tenth, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in four straight bumps (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” forfeits four-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but continues in seventh-place. By gaining one-tenth in January, WKLB pulled the plug on seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). While the positive streak for “Country 102.5” concludes, iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” hasn’t had a loss in each of the last six sweeps for a net gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), climbing from #16 to #15. This (2.4) is the highest 6+-share for “The Bull” since July 2018’s 2.5. Extending into “Beantown” from Worcester (40 miles to the west), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO “104.5 XLO” is up seven-tenths in five successive positive or flat trends (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+) and logs its best 6+-stat since November 2014 (2.0, as well). After registering a 14.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” has a January 2019 through May 2019 topline of 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.2 (steady at #4, 6+). Dropping from #16 to #18, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” falters by a collective nine-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – While flat at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” slips one-tenth to 2.6 (6+), suspending four consecutive sweeps without a loss that yielded a one-half share gain (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

In six straight positive or flat sweeps, Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” nets three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .9, 6+) and remains at #25. The January 2019 through May 2019 topline for co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is .6 – .5 – .7 – .5 – .6 (steady at #29, 6+). An increase of two-tenths in March ended three consecutive down or flat sweeps that led to a loss of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Backsliding from a tie at #19 to #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is up two-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Entering the May sweep with a fairly constant December 2018 through April 2019 topline of 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by one-half share to 3.0 (#18 to #15, 6+). When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” repeats April 2019’s 6+ share (3.5) and market rank (tenth). “Hits 97.3” responded to March’s one-tenth loss with an April increase of six-tenths. Prior to slipping to 2.9 (6+, March 2019), WFLC had been within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 15 survey periods. WFLC and WHYI are separated by one-half share (6+) in May, compared to one full-share in April, and three-tenths in March. By gaining four-tenths to 5.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” suspends four successive down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Albeit a combined -.6 in April/May (7.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February). Its March increase of eight-tenths completely wiped away February’s decline of that magnitude (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. For the third month in a row, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF is in third-place; however, “101.5 Lite FM” has lost an overall one-half share in March/April/May (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). “Lite FM” notched its best 6+-stat (7.3, “Holiday” 2018) since January 2018’s 7.4. Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Consequently, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+) for the 13th straight ratings period. After notching a +1.0 in four straight bumps (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” forfeits four-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9” sputters by -1.0 in three straight drops (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+) with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since August 2018’s 3.9. Even though Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ is off eight-tenths in March/April/May (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), “El Zol 106.7” advances from #9 to a three-way tie at #7. Spanish contemporary sibling WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” is off six-tenths in March/April/May (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) but remains at #16. Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” is a collective -1.1 through four straight declines (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) yet manages to climb from eighth to a three-way logjam at seventh. Its format challenger, iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” drops three-tenths in April/May (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its February 2019 posting of 5.9 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM has a March through May topline of 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 (fourth to fifth, 6+). KIRO-FM was a combined +1.0 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+). As a result of three straight down or flat trends, co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” has lost roughly 43% (-.9) of its 6+-stat (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). It continues at #23 where it is again tied with Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which falters by four-tenths in March/April/May (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

In March/April, Bonneville’s KIRO-AM more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-stat (2.1 – 2.9 – 4.3, 6+), but “ESPN 710” surrenders nine-tenths in May as the Mariners’ flagship drifts from the top ten (#6 to #13).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” slips from #22 to #23.

Even though KOMO is off four-tenths in April/May (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+) the Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news operation improves from #18 to a tie at #17.

One-tenth of a share separates May 2019’s top three Seattle finishers. Heading up that trio is Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW, which bounces back from March/April’s massive combined -2.3 with a gain of four-tenths to 6.1 (6+), progressing from second to first. KUOW was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+) and shifted to #2 in April after three months in a row at #1.

Seattle Music Formats – As a result of six straight positive spikes (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” amasses a +2.3, advancing from third to a second-place tie. Immediately prior to this run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). It’s a strong sweep for the market’s two main country players as Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” posts a +.9 (4.1 – 5.0, eighth to fourth) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull” improves by one-half share propelling it into the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). “The Bull” records its sixth successive up or flat sweep and has nearly doubled (+1.9) its 6+ AQH share in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+). Ever since it surfaced in print in February, Hubbard Broadcasting adult standards KIXI “AM 880” has almost doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat (.7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3, 6+) and checks in at #22. It’s good news/bad news for Entercom-owned KISW “Rock 99.9,” which gains one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7), but displays an identical magnitude loss for its internet stream (.7 – .2, #31, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which segues from first to second, and Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” (#15 to #19). “MOViN’” is a collective -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). April marked the first time it reached #1 since November 2018. The four most recent shifts for KING are +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +.7 (April) and now -.6 in May (3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+). Departing the top ten (#8 to #12) is Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End,” which is a collective -1.1 via four straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” is a collective -2.2 in five straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Separated by one-tenth are Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” (4.1 – 4.5, +.4, a three-way tie at #8 to #7, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” (4.8 – 4.4, -.4, fourth to ninth, 6+). “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) before eroding by -1.1 in April. Prior to the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight months without an increase, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” has lost six-tenths (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Anchored in sixth-place, Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” repeats April’s 5.4 (6+); the Tigers flagship was locked on 5.0 (6+) in February and March.

Even though co-owned WWJ advances by one-tenth May to 6.2 (6+), “News Radio 950” backslides from a three-way tie at #2 to #4. WWJ plummeted by eight-tenths in both March and April (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+) and had a March-only stay in first-place.

Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM drops one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, 6+) but remains at #20. May’s -.1 ends four consecutive fluctuations of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+). Down a collective four-tenths in three straight (slight) declines (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET slips from #21 to #22.

Detroit Music Formats – Over and above being +1.4 through three successive bumps (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” marches from a three-way tie at #2 to #1. There’s good news as well for Radio One-owned format foe WDMK, which is +1.0 in four straight improvements (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); “105.9 Kiss-FM” jumps from #16 to #13. Furthermore, “Kiss” has its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (3.7, as well). The station “Mix” succeeds at #1, Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” is without an increase the third month in succession for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+) and segues from first to third. In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Its March/April decline of -1.5 followed back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). “Detroit’s Classic Rock” spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September 2018. Skidding from #13 to #15, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” falters by eight-tenths in April/May (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). In early-November (2018), Entercom flipped CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” to adult contemporary “98.7 The Breeze.” Despite the fact it is an overall +1.8 in seven successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), “The Breeze” backslides from #11 to #12. After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) the past four sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” answers with a May increase of four-tenths to 6.5 (6+) and remains at #2. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is by far the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). Not only is Cumulus Media country outlet WDRQ a collective +1.0 through three consecutive positive spikes (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #17, 6+), “93.1 Nash FM” posts its best 6+-topline (2.6, 6+) since June 2018’s 2.8; WDRQ was down six-tenths in February. It is chasing Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music,” which regains the two-tenths it squandered in April (5.1 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+) and continues in eighth-place. As was the case with “Nash FM,” WYCD regressed by six-tenths in February. Unchanged at #9, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit” sputters by -1.5 in four successive down or flat sweeps (6.0 – 5.9 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – With a March 2019 through May 2019 topline of 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM slips from eighth to tenth. After posting a 2.6 (6+) in consecutive reports (March and April), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” notches a one-half share gain to 3.1 (#17 to #14, 6+).

Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” enjoys its third straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+) as the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship leaps from #20 to #14 with its strongest 6+showing since September 2018 (3.1, as well).

This is the third sweep in succession that KJZZ has a fluctuation of one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). The Maricopa County Community College news/talk outlet, a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), remains at #12.

Phoenix Music Formats – April’s loss of six-tenths by Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV curtailed three successive up or flat sweeps that accounted for a gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+). In the May sweep, however, “Live 101.5” roars back with an increase twice the magnitude of that April setback and rockets back into the top ten (3.3 – 4.5, +1.2, #13 to #7, 6+). A combined +1.0 in April/May (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” advances from ninth to fifth. Up one-half share (2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” moves from #16 to #13. An April +1.2 by  Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX fully expunged its January – February – March -1.2 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 6+). Even though “Classic Rock 100.7” regresses by four-tenths in May (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), it proceeds from second to first. Ousted from the top spot and tumbling to third is iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” whose five latest shifts are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April) and -1.2 in May (6.6 – 5.4, 6+). “The Mountain” had been at #1 the past three ratings periods. Logging decreases of one-half share each are Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 La Campesina” (2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #19, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KDKB “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.5 – 3.0, #11 to #16, 6+). When “La Campesina” dropped eight-tenths in April, it halted three successive improvements that yielded a collective nine-tenths (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Heading into the March 2019 survey period, iHeartMedia’s KNIX notched a collective gain of one-half share via five consecutive survey periods without a loss (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), but “102.5 Today’s Best Country” is now off nine tenths in three straight decreases (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, seventh to eighth, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on four-tenths to April’s robust +1.5 (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom-owned Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” repeats at #8. A combined +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” follows with three straight decreases for a net loss of seven-tenths (3.4  – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). In four straight down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4, #16 to #17, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” has lost nine-tenths.

Answering April’s dip of nine-tenths with a May increase of two-tenths (4.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” remains at #12. After logging four successive up or flat reports for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” returns one-tenth (.7, flat at #24, 6+).

A combined -.4 in April/May (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

Minneapolis Music Formats – After roughly 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share evaporated through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL not only busts out a +1.0 to 6.8 (6+), “Kool 108” zooms from fifth to a first-place tie. Co-occupying the penthouse is Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock,” which is +1.3 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.8, second to a first-place tie 6+). Prior to April’s 6.7, KQRS had been within five-share range (6+) in each of the previous 13 sweeps. This (6.8) is the best 6+-stat for “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” since December 2016’s 6.9. Unchanged at #7, Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” improves by seven-tenths (5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Up six-tenths, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 6.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+). The Twin Cities’ (6+) hot AC share escalated by +3.1 (January); deflated by -1.3 (February); improved by +.8 (March); was +1.0 in April; and tumbles by -1.0 in May. The brunt of the decline is absorbed by Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which not only falters by eight-tenths (7.5 – 6.7, 6+), it shifts from first to third. This calendar year, “KS-95” has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.8 (May). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed KTCZ “Cities 97.1” surrenders two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+). Shifts this calendar year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); and -.2 (May). Following three straight positive spikes that led to a collective +1.9 (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 6.5, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM forfeits four-tenths to 6.1 (third to fifth, 6+). In April, “Twin Cities Christian Radio – Always Uplifting” reached the six-share threshold (6.5, 6+) for the first time since January 2016’s 6.4. Albeit flat at #13, Entercom’s country-formatted KMNB is without an increase the fourth time in a row with “102.9 The Wolf” losing eight-tenths in that timeframe (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight increases by iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO account for a +1.0 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) as “News Radio 600” jumps from eighth to sixth; KOGO was down four-tenths in February. Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which was an overall +.9 via four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), has that streak snapped with a loss of two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) yet improves from #18 to #17. The (ultra-consistent) December 2018 through May 2019 San Diego topline for iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 -1.0 – 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+).

The flagship of the Padres – Entercom-owned KWFN– triples (+1.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight bumps (.7 – .9 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+) as “97.3 The Fan” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #19). At the same time, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” nets six-tenths via three consecutive improvements (.4 – .5 – .8 – 1.0, #25 to #24, 6+).

On the heels of April’s mammoth -1.7 (7.7 – 6.0, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS erases roughly half the deficit with a May gain of nine-tenths to 6.9 (6+) and sets the pace for the fifth month in a row. Prior to April’s loss, KPBS notched three straight gains resulting in a +2.6 (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Repeating in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.3 in three successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Posting increases of six-tenths each are Local Media San Diego-programmed CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (tenth to eighth) and Entercom-owned KBZT “Alt 94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative” (#14 to #11). “Z-90.3” continues an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.7, 6+), while “Alt 94.9” nets +1.1 in three upticks in succession (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+). By notching a one-half share increase (2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” jumps from #20 to #16. A March positive spike of eight-tenths stymied three down or flat moves in a row that accounted for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+). Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in March and April, Entercom’s KSON “103.7 San Diego’s New Country” coughs up eight-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and drops from third to sixth. In the iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined +1.2 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, fourth to third, 6+), directly after a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” is -1.5 in three drops in a row (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+), following three consecutive improvements that yielded a +2.2 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+). While it stays within two-share range (6+) for the 11th consecutive ratings period, Imagen Informativa Spanish Contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” forfeits six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #15 to #17, 6+). A combined +.7 in March/April (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Local Media San Diego-programmed alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” returns one-half share to 2.1 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Three successive upticks by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA accounted for a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), but “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” plummets -1.5 in April/May (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0, #13 to #14, 6+). Frozen on 2.9 (6+) in January and February, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” added two-tenths in March, but is off eight-tenths in April/May (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.3, #17 to #16, 6+).

An April bump of nine-tenths (1.7 – 2.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is followed by a May decrease of four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) as the Rays’ flagship slips from #16 to #17.

In three straight declines, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF loses six-tenths (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5, #19 – #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Three consecutive improvements yielding a collective +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+) propel iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” into the top ten (#14 to #9). Albeit +1.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WBTP “95.7 The Beat” backslides from a (conventional) tie at #8 to a three-way scrum at #9. The market’s two mainstream CHRs combine for a +.7 (6+), nearly equally divided between Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 – Tampa Bay’s New Hit Music” (+.4 in May), which is +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+), and iHeartMedia’s WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” up three-tenths (4.0 – 4.3, #11 to #12, 6+). Frozen on 1.6 (6+) in March and April, Beasley Media Group classic rocker WPBB “98.7 The Shark” posts a one-half share increase to 2.1 (#20 to #18, 6+), its highest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.6. Improving by one-half share as well is The Diocese of St. Petersburg-owned contemporary Christian WBVM “90.5 Spirit FM – Tampa Bay’s Hit Christian Music” which more than doubles (+.7) its 6+ AQH share in four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.2, #21, 6+). Owing to a May gain of three-tenths to 9.3 (6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV applies the brakes to four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+); “Lite Favorites” is #1 for the 81st straight time. April’s 9.0 is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018’s 8.9 and halted its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) at five. WDUV’s January decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+) and that 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Co-owned/similarly-formatted AC WWRM “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music,” a combined +.9 in March/April (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths in May to 5.4 (6+) but stays in third-place (as part of a three-way logjam). Also included in that scrum at #3 (up from #4) is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105,” which was +1.4 via three straight sweeps without a loss (4.7 – 4.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+) but hands over half that bounty with a -.7 to 5.4 (6+). Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” – repeats April’s 6+-share (6.6) and market rank (#2). “The Eagle” was +2.1 in April but then -.9 in April. Prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Following April’s half-share increase, the flagship of the Colorado Rockies,  iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station,” returns 60% of that increase (5.2 – 4.9, -.3, fifth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has a “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 (#24 to #23, 6+).

A collective -1.5 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” ends the slide with a +.4 to 3.0 (#17 to #16, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” has nearly tripled (+.5) February’s 6+ stat in three consecutive bumps (.3 – .4 – .6 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+).

Even though Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR returns one-third of April’s +.9 with a May decrease of three-tenths (6.5 – 6.2, 6+), it repeats at #1. A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KCFR was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Returning to the top twenty (#21 to #19), Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC logs a 1.5 (6+) for the third time in the last four ratings periods (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Off seven-tenths as a result of three straight down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country KWBL “106.7 The Bull” storms back with a +1.1 to 3.1 (#18 to #15, 6+), its highest 6+-share since November 2018’s 3.5. Powered by a +.7, alternative cluster-mate KTCL “Channel 93.3 Denver’s Modern Rock” vaults from eighth to second and has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 5.4 (6+). Climbing from ninth to eighth, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS is a collective +1.7 in five straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI are -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -1.3 (April); and +.6 in May (4.0 – 4.6, 6+) as “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). An overall +7.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+), KOSI was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+), but was a combined -8.2 in January/February (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Another station in the “Mile High City” with major month-to-month shifts is KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” which has been +1.2 (January); -.6 (February); +1.2 (March); -.9 (April); and -.8 in May (5.4 – 4.6, third to eighth, 6+). “Kool” had a March-only stay at #1. Sputtering by seven-tenths each are Bonneville’s country KYGO (second to fifth) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.6, #14 to #18, 6+). KYGO suspends four straight up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), while KLDV erases its +.7 in four successive up or flat moves (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.4 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” relinquishes one-half share to 4.9 (third to sixth, 6+). Even though Entravision’s KJMN pulls the plug on three consecutive loss that led to an overall -1.2 (4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) by adding one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), “La Suavecita 92.7” backslides from #13 to #14.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – The remarkably consistent January 2019 through May 2019 topline for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is: 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 (#12 to #11, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in succession for a collective -1.2 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2, 6+), independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” slips from #11 to #13. In four straight up or flat sweeps (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL doubled (+.3) its 6+ Baltimore stat, but in April/May, WMAL has its 6+ AQH share sliced in half (.6 – .5 – .3 (unchanged at #28, 6+).

Despite adding one-tenth to April’s half-share gain (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” backslides from eighth to ninth.

Co-owned business news WDCH answers March’s loss of four-tenths with an April/May +1.0 (.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, #16 to #15, 6+).

Off by one-half share in back-to-back reports (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” regains two-tenths to 2.6 (#13 to #12). American University-owned news/talk WAMU, which picked up one-tenth in March, is a combined -.4 in April/May (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.0 (4.4 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM” leaps from eighth to fifth and reaches the five-share level (5.4, 6+) for the first time since December 2018’s 5.3. Advancing from seventh to fifth, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (+.7 in May) continues a down/up pattern it started in December 2018 (4.3 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 5.4, 6+). While it is the (6+) market leader the fourth straight time, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” sputters by -1.0 to 8.8 (6+), immediately after posting a +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), reaching the nine-share level (9.8, 6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 9.2. Its January +1.0 halted three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). After posting a 15.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF-FM is trending 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.8 (fourth to third, 6+). Unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” loses one-half share in three straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), while co-owned CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” is off four-tenths in three sweeps in a row without an increase (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, flat at #10, 6+). At the same time, Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” regresses by nine-tenths as a result of three consecutive setbacks (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+). This is the ninth sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting roughly one-third of April’s gigantic +2.2 with a May decrease of seven-tenths (7.3 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” has an April-only stay at #1 and drops to #3. Prior to April, the last time the St. Louis Cardinals flagship occupied the top spot was October 2018 (8.4, 6+). Off four-tenths in March/April (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” erases half that shortfall with a +.2 to 2.3 (flat at #18, 6+).

After back-to-back losses of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” is a combined +.3 in April/May (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+).

A combined -1.3 in March/April (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU adds one-tenth in May to 3.3 (6+) yet backslides from #15 to #16.

St. Louis Music Formats – In addition to cracking the top ten (#11 to #9), Entercom CHR WNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” extends its consecutive string of positive spikes to five and has more than doubled (+2.6) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Simultaneous with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” improving by eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, sixth to third, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” regresses by seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). WIL was up seven-tenths in March, but dropped three-tenths in April. In February, “New Country” faltered by six-tenths to 5.4, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well). The four most recent fluctuations for “The Bull” are +.5 (February); -.5 (March); +.9 (April); and -.7 (May). An increase of six-tenths (6.0 – 6.6, 6+) enables Hubbard Broadcasting’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” to progress from fifth to third. In five straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted KLLT “Alt 104.9” nets two-tenths (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). As a result of three straight upticks, Entercom hot AC KYKY is a +1.0 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) as “Y-98” inches up from eighth to seventh. Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” was tied for February’s top spot with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU and then took sole possession of first-place in March. In April, KSHE again had to share the lead – on that occasion with Entercom news/talk KMOX (see above). Up one-tenth in May (7.3 – 7.4, 6+), KSHE now claims sole possession of the top spot. Six recent shifts for KSHE include +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); and -1.6 (April). March’s 8.9 is its highest 6+-share since November 2016 (8.6). A combined -.7 in April/May (4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” falls from #12 to #13. Despite a half-share dip, Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which is trending 7.3 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 6.7 (6+), advances from third to second. Flashing a +1.6 in January, the aforementioned KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” has followed with four straight setbacks for a cumulative -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+).

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

| June 11, 2019

Cumulus Media Announces Offer of $300 Million in Senior Secured First-Lien Notes. This Issue of notes is a private offering made only to “persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.”  The new offering is $300 million in Cumulus Media New Holdings, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media, in aggregate principal amount of senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Cumulus reports that it expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

Keith Memloy Appointed PD for WDBO-FM and ‘ESPN 580.’ Rising from assistant program director at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando to PD for that and sister sports talker WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” is Keith Memoly.  CMG Orlando director of programming operations Steve Stewart says, “Keith brings a diverse amount of experience and passion to his role.  I look forward to seeing him and the WDBO team help shape the future of Orlando’s iconic radio brand.”  Memoly started his career with CMG in 2010 as the marketing director for WPYO, WCFB, and WMMO in Orlando.  In 2017, he was promoted to assistant program director at WDBO.  He says, “I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to lead an amazing, award-winning team of talent that is the fabric of the ‘News 96.5’ and ‘ESPN 580’ brands.  WDBO is a legendary brand in the industry and I would like to thank Jason Meder, Steve Stewart and Tim Clarke for believing and entrusting in me and my leadership.”

Round One of May PPMs Released.  The first round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is being released, starting with 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this round of ratings beginning tomorrow (6/12).

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host David Bellavia to Receive Medal of Honor. Buffalo talk radio host and decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia is being presented with the Medal of Honor by President Trump in a ceremony to take place on June 25 at the White House.  Bellavia co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Tom Bauerle on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo.  He’s being presented with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.”  You can read the account of what happened in Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2004 and Bellavia’s actions at the White House site here. In a story on the WBEN website, Bellavia is quoted saying, “There’s so much love on the battlefield, and you really do care.  You care for your hometown, you care for your country, you care for your friends, but that’s something that separates us from all the other enemies we fight…we love what we do and we love who we are protecting.”

Michael Castner Out at Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Talk and news radio pro Michael Castner has exited his role as morning drive host at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas.  Castner’s previous experience includes service at iHeartMedia’s WRNO-FM, New Orleans and KEX-AM, Portland, as well as a stint with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  Castner says he’s happy to re-locate and is also available for fill-in work.  He can be reached at michael@michaelcastner.com.

TEGNA Doubles Radio Holdings with Dispatch Broadcast Group Acquisition. The television-centric company TEGNA Inc. owns adult hits KFMB-FM and news/talk KFMB-AM in San Diego in addition to its 49 television stations.  TEGNA has just entered into a definitive agreement with the Dispatch Broadcast Group to acquire two television stations – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis and WBNS-TV, Columbus for $535 million in cash.  That deal also includes Dispatch’s two sports talk radio stations in Columbus – WBNS-FM and WBNS-AM – and that would give TEGNA four radio properties.  In a press release announcing the agreement, TEGNA says of the sports talk duo, “WBNS Radio is Ohio’s sports destination.  97.1 is the flagship home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and teams across the state and features popular shows and podcasts including ‘Bishop and Laurinaitis,’ ‘Carpenter & Rothman,’ ‘Common Man & T-Bone,’ and ‘The Buckeye Show.’  1460 AM is the flagship station of Ohio State (OSBI) athletics and the home of ESPN Radio in Columbus.”

ABC Radio Ups Stacia Philips Deshishku to VP/GM. The “interim” is removed from Stacia Philips Deshishku’s title as she becomes vice president and general manager of ABC Radio in which she’ll oversee the company’s audio businesses – from traditional terrestrial radio serving more than 1,650 stations nationwide to podcasts and digital audio.  She had been serving as deputy bureau chief for Washington prior to being asked to be interim leader two months ago.  ABC News president James Goldston says, “Stacia is a terrific mentor, providing wise and candid counsel to all, including me.  She helped successfully transform the Washington bureau and was instrumental in ensuring it maintained its competitive edge and high standards in this non-stop news cycle.”

Chris Moreau Named Market Manager for Cumulus Green Bay. Radio sales and management pro Chris Moreau is promoted from his director of sales post with Cumulus Media Appleton/Oshkosh to vice president and market manager for the company’s Green Bay station group that includes: sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, country WPCK-FM, hot AC WQLH-FM, classic rock WKRU-FM, and classic hits WOGB-FM.  He’s previously served as business development/account manager for Journal Broadcast Group/E.W. Scripps, vice president/general manager for Bliss Communications in Racine, Wisconsin, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” adds new affiliate stations KSEV-AM, Houston and WLOB, Portland to its roster.  “The Joe Pags Show” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News in Washington, D.C. and PodcastOne have partnered to produce a new, true-crime podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” that details the horrific events that led to a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper being held hostage, tortured and brutally murdered inside their own home in May of 2015.  Daron Wint was found guilty of the crimes – known as the DC Mansion Murders – in 2018…..FOX Sports is presenting multiplatform coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship.  FOX Sports Radio has on-site coverage from Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday and Friday (6/13-14) via “The Doug Gottlieb Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm while FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer reports live from the course…..CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is serving as the keynote speaker of KYW Newsradio’s “Women’s Achievement Awards 2019,” being held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel on June 27.  This is the 10th annual edition of the awards from the Entercom all-news station that serve to celebrate women making a positive impact on the Philadelphia region.  This year’s event will honor the accomplishments of five exceptional women, all under the age of 40, who were nominated by KYW Newsradio listeners. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are thrilled to have a journalist as insightful and respected as Margaret on KYW Newsradio every week and honored to have her share her experience and perspective at our event. She embodies what the ‘Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for and I look forward to her sharing a special evening with our deserving honorees.”

Sterling Swoons Over Swag Bag.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One personality Walter M. Sterling was so impressed with the quality of items in the Talkers 2019 convention “goodie bag” that he devoted a segment of this past weekend’s “Sterling on Sunday” show to talking about it.  Check it out here.

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Impeachment Talk, Southern Border Issues/Mexico Tariffs Threat, U.S.-China Trade War, and Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports; the U.S.-China trade war and the looming G20 summit in Japan; retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic 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. Motor City urban contemporary WDMK-FM is being sold by Urban One to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $13.5 million in a deal that Beasley expects “to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the Company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley currently operates three stations in the Detroit market: rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and rhythmic oldies WMGC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit.  Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity.  We entered the Detroit market in late 2016 and have consistently improved the operating results of the three stations we acquired, and we believe the proposed transaction is a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders.  The addition of WDMK-FM will mark further progress toward our goal of capturing 30% revenue share in each of our markets while delivering valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement.”…..Entercom names Kevin Callahan program director for country simulcast KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He says, “I’m honored to be afforded the opportunity to expand my role with Entercom in the Riverside market.  I’ve been fortunate to oversee programming efforts for KSON and I look forward to taking ‘K-FROG’ to new heights in the next chapter of my career.”  Callahan now oversees programming efforts for all Entercom Southern California country stations.  He continues in his role as program operations manager for sister stations KSON, sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan,” alternative KBZT-FM “ALT 949,” adult contemporary KYXY-FM, and classic hits KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” in San Diego…..Westwood One announces that Nashville-based personality Elaina Smith is re-branding her original podcast, “Breaking Thru With Elaina.”  It was previously titled, “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith.”  The program returned with new stories from female artists breaking through the music industry on June 9 on The Empow(h)er Podcast Network on Westwood One. Smith won a 2019 Gracie Award for the first season of the show.  She says, “I’ve been itching to get season two going all year long.  I’m so thankful to everyone for being so patient as I worked on launching my new radio show, ‘With Elaina.’  Now that it is off the ground, it’s time to keep this conversation going, and with a new name!”

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

| June 5, 2019

Cumulus Makes $115 Million Term Loan Prepayment.  In a statement, Cumulus Media announces that it has made a $115 million on its first lien senior secured term loan.  It adds that in the year since emerging from bankruptcy, it has reduced its total outstanding debt by $200 million and bringing net leverage down from approximately 5.8x at emergence to approximately 4.8x with this payment. Cumulus made the debt prepayment with proceeds from sale of six radio stations to Educational Media Foundation that brought in $103.5 million in cash.  Cumulus is also agreeing to sell KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million and plans to use those net proceeds to pay down more debt. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “In our ongoing efforts to strengthen the business, Cumulus has been relentlessly focused on executing our key strategic priorities and meeting our financial objectives.  The milestone we achieved today — $200 million of debt reduction in the first year since we emerged from Chapter 11 — resulted from those efforts and is another example of the progress we continue to make in implementing our business plan.  I would like to thank the entire Cumulus team for the hard work and dedication which have produced such a tremendous record of achievement over the past year, and I have every confidence that, together, we will be able to further improve our financial position and continue to deliver on the goals we have laid out for the business.”

PPM Analysis: Internet Streams. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the internet stream ratings from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey.  In this report, Kinosian ranks stations based on streaming listening – iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles ties with Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle at the top with a 0.7 (weekly, 6+ AQH share).  He also breaks down streaming listening by format (sports talk comes out on top in the PPM markets) and by market.  See him entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WLS-AM, Chicago personality Garry Meierwill be doing some sub work on the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  Meier was on WLS-AM with then-partner Steve Dahl during the early 1980s and again with former partner Roe Conn from 1995 to 2004. He’ll sit in with current WLS-AM morning host Mancow Muller on June 21 and them fill in for him during the week of June 24…..In Houston, sports talk media personality Paul Gallant announces via social media that he’s exited Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” where he was most recently co-host of the “Mad Radio” morning show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne.  Gallant had been working without a contract since the beginning of the year.  He continues to co-host the weekly, Friday night “Just Sayin” television program with Patti Smith and John Granato on KUBE-TV…..New York sports talk radio host Tony Paige – overnight personality on Entercom’s WFAN – announced to his listeners that he’ll retire from the station on September 14.  He’s been with WFAN for the past 16 years.  He told his listeners that his health is fine, he just thinks it’s time…..KGO, San Francisco afternoon drive host Chip Franklin riled up FOX News Channel host Leland Vittert during a recent appearance on the cable news channel.  Franklin held up a photo (pictured at right) of John McCain, causing Vittert to ask him why he was doing it. Franklin told him, “In the off-chance the president’s watching.  Real heroes out there, Pete Buttigieg, others that have served this country, just a thought.”

TALKERS Convention Set for This Friday in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – is set for this Friday, June 7 in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.

Trump in England, Trade Wars with China and Mexico, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, Parkland Deputy Charged, Red Meat/White Meat Controversy, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Ends Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the tariffs the U.S. is placing on Chinese exports and threatening to put on Mexican exports; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Democrats increasing talk of impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; former Parkland, Florida deputy Scot Peterson is charged with failing to protect the students at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School; the new report equating white meat and red meat in high cholesterol potential; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run ends were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Iconic LA Jock Humble Harve Dies at 84.  Legendary radio personality and Boss Radio jock Humble Harve, a.k.a. Harvey Miller, died at his home in Camarillo, California yesterday (6/4) at the age of 84. The Philadelphia native arrived in Southern California in the mid-1960s as PD and air personality at KBLA.  He worked at KHJ-FM, Los Angele from 1967 to 1971. Read more at Don Barrett’s LARadio.com here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Raleigh-Durham market, Curtis Media Group drops the classic country on WQDR-HD3/W225DF and launches a new hot AC format branded as “STAR 92.9.”  The station will feature the Charlotte-based “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive. Curtis general manager Terry Ratliff says, “Our success with our top 40 station, ‘Pulse FM 96.9/102.5,’ led us to launch the new ‘STAR 92.9.’  It gives us the opportunity to go beyond today’s hits to play a deeper library of superstars.  We are also very excited to welcome Bob and Sheri to the Triangle.  They have a proven track record in other North Carolina markets, and we look forward to introducing them to the Triangle on ‘STAR 92.9.’”…..Jason “Budman” Paige is the new co-host and executive morning show producer for the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch Show” Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB-FM, Cape Coral, Florida (Ft. Myers/Naples market). Beasley SWFL operations manager Adam Star says, “‘Budman’ is a game changer.  He has so many different unique skillsets to bring to the table.  We are ecstatic to have him on the ‘Big Mama and the Wild Bunch’ team.”…..Adams Radio names Lisa Layne vice president and market manager for its Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland group that includes rock WZBH “The Beach,” CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7,” country WUSX, and classic hits WOCQ-HD2/W282AW “KOOL FM.”  She says, “I am so excited for this next chapter of my radio career. I’m confident that as the new leader for Adams Radio Delmarva we will grow our brands and get even better results for our clients.  I look forward to serving the community and building a legacy we all at Adams Radio can be proud of.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

| June 4, 2019

Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024.  As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract).  Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.”  Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”

Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb.  Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018.  Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.”  He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”

The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip BlissSouthern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville.  Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947.  Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations.  The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information.  Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year.  Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.

New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers.  iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019.  Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.”  The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.

Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.”  Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast.  The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories.  Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year.  Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK.  He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10.  Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country.  His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager.  He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands.  Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now.  We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program,  “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right).  Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.”  The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C.  The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action.  Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center.  She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts.  My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”

Monday, June 3, 2019

| June 3, 2019

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published Today.  The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published.  This is the 25thedition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERSmagazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important.  That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.”  See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

Cumulus Makes PD Changes in New York; Craig Schwalb Exits WABC. TALKERS magazine hears from several sources that program director Craig Schwalb has exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC.  The change was made on Friday and our sources tell us that programmer Dave LaBrozzi – until Friday the program director for hot AC WPLJ – will program WABC and sister urban contemporary WNBM.  Cumulus also let WNBM PD and VP/urban programming Ken Johnson go on Friday.  Prior to joining WABC, Schwalb served as program director with Cumulus at Providence news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM.

FAIR Announces Dates for 2019 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces today that the 13th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25-26 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. DC.  As in years past, this event brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  FAIR says the event has evolved greatly since the first one in 2006.  “F2F now hosts 70 stations and has become the largest annual radio row and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media.  Unfortunately, several things have not changed – a stagnant status quo of lax enforcement and open borders, obstructionist Democratic positions, hostile courts and a complicit mainstream media.  So, in September, radio hosts are back at it discussing, debating, sorting truth from fiction, hearing first-hand accounts and considering reasonable solutions.  At a minimum, barriers have to be built, asylum loopholes closed, more resources brought to bear, and the rule of law enforced.  Most importantly, Americans – not special interests – will be heard from.”  Talk hosts and programmers wishing to take part should know that reservations are required, and hosts/producers should call FAIR now to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Contact Matthew Tragesser, event manager, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org.

Monday Memo: Camera Tips for Radio.  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke presents the first in a three-part series of tips from digital professionals.  With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which they share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), HC begins with advice from photo pros for taking and presenting quality pictures. Read the column here.

WGDJ, Albany Suspends Host After Controversial Social Media Post. “Talk 1300” general manager Paul Vandenburgh announced on the website of news/talk WGDJ, Albany that afternoon drive talk host Kevin McCashion is suspended from his program after issuing a social media post that some are calling insensitive.  McCashion’s tweet attacked the Albany Times Union for its coverage of the Memorial Day death of a former local female high school basketball star. Twenty-one-year-old Ayanna Hunter died after being shot at a cookout.  McCashion’s tweet showed two images, one of Hunter posing with a stack of money, with the text, “another.@timesunion W H I T E W A S H just an innocent basketball player ha ha.”  Vandenburgh stated, “Ayanna Hunter was shot and killed in Niskayuna and Kevin posted an untimely, unwanted and unnecessary Twitter comment and rightfully so, many people were upset.”  He says he’ll address the situation with McCashion today (6/3).  See the Times-Union story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch adds new affiliate stations.  Syndicator Radio America announces: KXRA-AM Alexandria, Minnesota, KONA-AM, Tri-Cities, Washington, KGYN-AM, Guymon, Oklahoma; KMPT-AM/FM, East Missoula, Montana; WMJD-FM Grundy, Virginia; WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, New Haven; WSNG-AM, Torrington, Connecticut; WJML-AM, Petoskey, Michigan; WJNL-AM, Kingsley, Michigan; WHAK-AM, Rogers City, Michigan; WWMN-FM, Thompsonville, Michigan; and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan all add “The Dana Show” to their program lineups…..The Westwood One-syndicated “Mark Levin Show” joins the program schedule at Entercom’s news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD.”  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Mark Levin is a seasoned radio host and has one of the biggest shows in talk radio.  His program is topical and drives passion. This addition delivers on our commitment to continuously provide the best and most relevant content to our listeners.”…..Former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane – who recently cut a deal with Entercom to get out of his contract with the company – is joining Barstool Sports.  The sports media personality said during a Periscope video that he’ll be doing a daily podcast “live to tape” starting June 15…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-distributed program is adding WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana to its roster of affiliate stations…..iHeartMedia Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and its multimedia rightsholder, Gopher Sports Properties, announce an extension of the broadcast agreement for KFXN “KFAN-FM 100.3,” KTLK-AM/K278BP, and “KFAN Plus 96.7 FM” (K244FE) to continue to serve as the Gophers’ flagship radio stations through the 2022-2023 athletic season…..Shep Rose, star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Southern Charm,” launches a new podcast on PodcastOne titled, “Enough About Me.”  The program will also feature interviews with athletes, teachers, soldiers, stunt men, and even himself in this “weird, wild, funny and dramatic,” weekly show.

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Mueller News Conference/Impeachment Talk, Trump Visits UK, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, Middle East Peace Plan, and Rocketman Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center that took the lives of 12; the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference and Democrats’ talk of impeachment; President Trump embarks on an official visit to the UK; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the tariff wars and the tense relations between the U.S. and China; Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calling it “unexecutable”; and the Elton John biopic, Rocketman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Health Media Personality Asa to Executive Produce and Co-Host Discovery Life TV Show. Radio host, author, television personality and medical doctor Asa Andrew will serve as executive producer and co-host for the second season of the Discovery Life series, “Reversed.”  Co-hosting the show with Asa will be celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The first season of the show was designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  This new season will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of individuals living with cancer as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  Asa says, “This season is personal.  Cancer took my father’s life at age 68, now I’m on a mission to help others before it’s too late.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with cancer. Asa and Mattocks are producing the show via their company, WellTent Media Group LLC.

13thAnnual Kellar Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 13th annual Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina begins today.  Twenty-four students from three universities have been accepted into this year’s 10-day institute during which more than 40 broadcast pros from Beasley Media Group, Entercom, iHeartMediaRadio One, Capitol Broadcasting, Dick Broadcasting, along with Doug Rice, president and voice of Performance Racing NetworkMick Mixon, play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, Don Anthony from Talk Show and Morning Show Bootcamp, Warren Kurtzman president of Coleman Research, and others, will lead sessions for the students.  This summer, National Radio Talent System Institutes are taking place across the country. They include the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; GAB Radio Talent Institute, University of Georgia; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP for the Virginia-Carolina region Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “DZL’s unique insight on the market, coupled with his talent, creativity and innovative style of thinking will ensure that the station continues to do great things in Charlotte.  Because of his vision and passion, I’m thrilled to have DZL lead our team at ‘96.9 The Kat.’”…..On-air pro Shelby Sos is named evening personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”  She comes to Baltimore from the company’s WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” where she was an assistant producer for “The Kane Show.”   iHM Baltimore SVP of programming Mike Preston says, “Shelby brings so much experience from ‘The Kane Show’ to her new position at ‘Z104.3.’  Shelby is immensely talented and really knows how to engage an audience.  We can’t wait to have her on the air in her hometown to shake things up!”…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated “Woody & Wilcox Show” adds new affiliate stations.  Now airing the show are: WCYY, Portland; WQRR, Tuscaloosa; and WVWB, Clarksville, Tennessee…..Programming pro Brian Thomas joins Townsquare Media where he’ll serve as operations manager for the company’s Grand Rapids stations as well as the company’s 17 classic hits-formatted stations.  Thomas was most recently with Cumulus Media Atlanta as PD for country WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”

Friday, May 24, 2019

| May 24, 2019

Legendary DJ “Cousin” Bruce Morrow to Receive TALKERS 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.  Legendary radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow– an icon from the golden era of hit radio on WABC, New York and current star of SiriusXM’s 60s on Six channel – has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.  Morrow’s impressive career includes not only his work as a radio personality on some of America’s biggest stations but radio station ownership and television work, as well.  TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Bruce Morrow is a symbol of the great disc jockeys of the golden era who paved the way for radio to connect to people’s hearts and minds and that set the stage for modern talk radio to be the bastion of personality that keeps this medium so vital. The fact that ‘Cousin Brucie’ takes calls and does such wonderful interviews is a tribute to this man’s talent, pertinence, and longevity.”  Morrow says, “I am honored to receive this award from TALKERS, especially since so much of my show and work at SiriusXM now consists of talking to callers and artists on the air about their lives and careers and what the music and culture has meant and continues to mean to them.  This is tremendously gratifying.”  The “Lifetime Achievement” award will be presented to “Cousin” Bruce Morrow at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is just a day away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

Report: WMVP, Chicago Not Happy with Nielsen Ratings Error.  Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has the story.  Yesterday, TALKERS alerted you to Feder’s initial report about Nielsen Audio admitting it failed to include the online listening for sports talk WMVP “ESPN Chicago” in the April PPM survey and it issued new numbers for the station yesterday.  While the ESPN-owned station went up from a 1.2 to a 1.3 share with Persons 6+, vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says in the key demo – Men 25-54 – certain shows were affected by as much as 50%.  Moreover, Pastor tells Feder, “The real story here is that it’s remarkable Nielsen’s PPM device captured any digital listening at all.  By their own admission, PPM technology is inadequate at best when it comes to measuring digital.”  Read Feder’s account here.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is today (5/24) at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

ESPN Radio Changes Roles for Jason Fitz and Sarah Spain. Next week, ESPN personalities Jason Fitz and Sarah Spain expand their roles at the sports media giant. Fitz becomes a regular part of ESPN Radio’s weekday morning lineup as a regular contributor on the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show that features Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr.  Fitz will continue to contribute to ESPN’s live, on-site digital presence at major events.  Spain begins hosting a new weeknight radio show, “Spain and Company,” that will air nightly from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Co-hosts on the show will include ESPN Radio’s Jason Goff and ESPN college basketball analyst Jordan Cornette.  Fitz says, “Working with Sarah has been incredible and it has – frankly – made me better being partnered with her every day.  Looking ahead, I’m beyond excited to bring my energy and voice to the fans in the morning with the amazing ‘Golic and Wingo’ team and before that, provide an hour of my perspective on ‘First and Last.’”  Spain comments, “I’ve really enjoyed working with Jason, creating a fun and unique show based on our shared sensibilities and interests.  Going forward, it’s a thrill for me to lead the way on ‘Spain and Company’ with a great cast of co-hosts.”

Sterling: Women in Talk – Is This an Issue? Nationally syndicated talk radio host Walter M. Sterling bristles at the question, “Is this the year of the woman? (in talk radio)” He says the better question is, “Is this the moment when men will get out of the freakin’ way and let the proven success of women in talk radio flourish again?”  The two women in the photo at right were superstars of New York City talk radio in 1955.  Find out who they were and read the rest of Sterling’s piece here.

Five Appointed to NAB Radio Board of Directors. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that, in accordance with its by-laws, Radio Board chairman Randy Gravley makes five appointments to the NAB Radio Board of Directors, effective at the beginning of the June Board meeting, to be held June 10-12.  Reappointed for another two-year term as Designated Representatives are: Amador Bustos, president, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; David Field, chairman, president, and CEO, Entercom Communications Corp.; and Bill McElveen, regional president, Alpha Media LLC.  Appointed for a new two-year term as Designated Representatives are: Mary Berner, president and CEO, Cumulus Media and Kevin Perry, vice president/general manager, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Company.

TALKERS News Notes. Progressive talk radio personality Thom Hartmann is credited as writer/consultant on the new film, Ice on Fire, that addresses the melting of the polar ice cap and global warming.  The film features actor Leonardo DiCaprio as narrator and will air on HBO on June 11.  Hartmann, DiCaprio, and director Leila Connors also worked together on the 2011 film The 11th Hour.  See The Hollywood Reporter’s review here…..Chicago public radio news/talk outlet WBEZ-FM announces a new local program to air in middays.  Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that the Chicago Public Media radio station is debuting a local talk show starring Jenn White to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  White moves from “The Morning Shift,” a position she’s been in since January.  CPM CEO Goli Sheikholeslami says, “Midday listening is becoming increasingly important as people check in on what’s happening in the world, particularly with the rise in streaming audio.  We’re meeting this need by investing in new, indispensable programming that will drive the daily Chicago conversation during the key midday listening hours.”

Premiere Networks Celebrates Gracie Winners. Pictured above celebrating their Gracie Awards victories are “The Sean Hannity Show” producer Lynda McLaughlin and “The Breakfast Club” host Angela Yee.  They were honored along with all the other winners at the 44th annual Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.  McLaughlin won the National Talk Radio Producer honor and Yee won in the National Radio Host/Personality category.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Premiere Networks EVP and director of personality sales Dan Metter, McLaughlin, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, and Yee.

Trump’s Stonewalling Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 20-24.  The president’s refusal to answer to subpoenas as the Democrats continue to try to investigate him was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the effort by the state of New York to provide the president’s state tax returns to congress. Coming in at #3 was the Democrats’ increased momentum to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, followed by the 2020 presidential race at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Progressive Talk Host and Pundit Bill Press Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the major players on the struggling liberal side of commercial talk radio, Bill Press, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Press is a pioneer in the “progressive” genre on both radio and cable TV.  He was the liberal voice in the historic CNN debate show “Crossfire” from 1996 to 2002.  Today, he is a regularly featured talking head on MSNBC as well as CNN and is an opinion contributor to the DC-based political publication, The Hill.  He is also a prolific author and critic of conservative talk radio who writes about the virtues of the Democrats and the dangers of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.  Press announced last week that he is about to conclude a 14-year run hosting a daily morning radio talk program that been heard on a variety of terrestrial and online platforms and has attracted a respectable critical mass of loyal listeners.  In its place, he will be devoting his energies to podcasting and has every intention of continuing to be an active voice in the national conversation as we approach the 2020 election. Harrison and Press talk about the difficulties that have faced the liberal brand of commercial news/talk radio, the emerging field of podcasting and the growing field of candidates looking to make Donald Trump a one-term president.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Gone is Cumulus Media’s CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “Energy 93.9” and in is classic rock “93-9X, Indy’s Rock Station.”  Cumulus picked up fellow CHR WZPL back in February in a swap with Entercom.  WZPL has consistently outperformed WYRG over the years so the format change is not a surprise.  Cumulus corporate PD Troy Hanson says, “We are excited to expand the successful ‘93X’ brand to Indianapolis with the new ‘93-9X.’ Shout out to [KXXR/MSP program director] Derek Madden, our brainchild on this project, as we fill a hole in the marketplace with a much-needed rock station.  The partnership opportunities this brand adds to our Indy cluster portfolio and rock platform are limitless.”…..San Antonio hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3” welcomes Tony Cortez to its airstaff as evening personality.  Cortez joins the Cox Media Group from his most recent position with Alpha Media’s crosstown CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1.”  Cox San Antonio director of operations Jeff Garrison says, “Tony’s style, experience, and love for our great city make him the perfect addition to our Magic team. He’s sure to bring a new level of fun and energy to our evening listeners.”…..Country radio pro Jessica Tyler – most recently with Cumulus Media’s WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1” – is joining Townsquare Media’s New Hampshire country duo WOKQ, Portsmouth and WPKQ North Conway to serve as assistant brand manager for both stations and midday personality on WOKQ.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the classic hits format.  From March to April, weekly 6+ AQH share movement was split fairly even, with about half the stations on the panel going up and the other half going down. Gainers were led by Cumulus Media’s WJJK-FM, Indianapolis (+1.7) and iHeartMedia’s WWBB, Providence “B101” (+1.6).  Year over year, about 70% of the stations on our panel enjoyed a ratings increase, with WJJK showing an impressive 3.2 share increase and iHeartMedia’s KLTH, Portland and Bonneville’s KRSP, Salt Lake City both notching 2.5 share gains. Meanwhile, 10 classic hits stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the April survey.  Find out which stations they are by reading the whole report here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

| May 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York City

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

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

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

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

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

Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

San Francisco

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

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

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

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

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

Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

Houston

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

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

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

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

Atlanta

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia

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

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

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

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

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

Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

Riverside

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

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

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

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

San Jose

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

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

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

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

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

Middlesex

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

| May 14, 2019

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio have been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian will present his “Twelve Takeaways” from this first round of ratings information in tomorrow’s edition of TALKERS magazine online.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

| May 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mueller Report/Barr Contempt Vote, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Nuclear Deal, NYTimes Trump Losses Story, 2020 Presidential Politics, Colorado School Shooting, and North Korea Missile Test Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7). The ongoing reactions to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ option to consider Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress for his refusal to turn over the complete report; the financial markets react to President Trump’s reigniting the tariff war with China; Iran backs out of the nuclear deal it entered into with six other nations; The New York Times’ story about Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Tuesday’s shooting at a Colorado high school that left one dead and several injured; and North Korea’s latest missile test were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The “Todd & Jayde” morning show announced that May 31 will be the last broadcast on WPLJ-FM, New York as a hot AC outlet.  Owner Cumulus Media is selling the iconic FM to Educational Media Foundation and that company will flip the station to a Christian music format…..The Daily Chronicle reports that Bustos Media is acquiring the Centralia, Washington FM KFNY from the Ocean Station II Trust, operated by iHeartMedia.  The station has been airing a smooth jazz format for the past couple of years as it awaited acquisition by another broadcaster.  Bustos owns KDDS-FM in the market that currently airs a regional Mexican format.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

| May 3, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

| April 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

| April 16, 2019

Round One of Nielsen’s March PPM Survey Released.  The first round of (6+) data from Nielsen Audio’s March PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the March survey will appear at Talkers.com beginning tomorrow (4/17).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hannity, O’ Reilly and Rome Set to Keynote Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. The agenda continues to grow as the 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention takes shape for Friday, June 7 in New York City. Heading up a roster of more than 55 speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, Key Networks radio commentator, best-selling author and former FNC personality Bill O’Reilly, and CBS Sports Radio giant Jim Rome. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019. Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio. A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group; Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOne; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator,