Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Friday, November 16, 2018

| November 16, 2018

WDAE, Tampa Names ‘Ron & Ian’ Afternoon Drive Show.  Longtime Tampa Bay and WDAE sports talk personality Steve Duemig focuses on his health as he continues treatment for a brain tumor.  He’ll step aside as the station names Ron Diaz and Ian Beckles hosts of the afternoon drive “Ron & Ian” show, effective Monday, November 26.  This is a return to the station for the duo who exited three years ago in a programming reshuffle.  Producer Jay Recher remains in the afternoon slot as a “key part of the program.”  Diaz says, “The band is back together and it’s about time to rock.  During the year that the show first began, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.  No pressure guys let’s do it again.”  Beckles adds, “I am super excited to reunite with Ron and Jay to create the Ron & Ian show 2.0.  Tampa Bay has been begging for its return, so I hope everyone is ready.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit Personality Mike Valenti to Launch Podcast on RADIO.COM. Motor City sports talk personality Mike Valenti – heard in afternoon drive on Entercom’s sports talker WXYT-FM – is the latest to launch a podcast on the company’s digital platform RADIO.COM.  Titled, “Always Aggravated,” the weekly program “is a chance for fans to go behind the scenes with Valenti and his cast of characters from his daily afternoon drive show.”  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “Mike is an extraordinary talent who is loved by Detroit sports fans.  This podcast will be an extension of his show, giving fans access to an unfiltered Mike Valenti.”  Valenti comments, “This podcast is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. It gives us the chance to go beyond what we are able to discuss in our daily show. Nothing is off limits and I am very excited about the opportunity to appeal to listeners around the country.”

Tennessee Won’t Prosecute Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Talk Host Jeff Styles. The good news for former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning personality Jeff Styles is that the state won’t be prosecuting him on an aggravated assault charge; the bad news is the road rage incident from last June cost him his job at the Cumulus Media talk station. Styles testified that Nick Bullington was driving recklessly toward him and waving a gun before Styles got out of his car at a red light and attacked Bullington’s vehicle with a tomahawk.  Bullington fired his weapon and Styles was hit in the arm.  The case was bound to a grand jury but now the state is electing not to prosecute.  The Chattanoogan reports Styles’ attorney Lee Davis told the court, “Jeff Styles called 911 after he was shot.  He cooperated in the police investigation and testified in court.  Jeff has done everything possible to be fully accountable for his actions.  I appreciate the care and deliberation that District Attorney Neal Pinkston has taken in the review of this case. On behalf of Jeff Styles, I want to express my support and appreciation of the state’s decision after careful review to dismiss this matter.”

iHeartMedia Monthly Operating Report: September Revenue Up 9.6%. As it has been doing while working its way through Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files another monthly operating report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  This report – for the month of September – notes that revenue was $325.9 million, an increase of 9.6% over August’s $299.4 million figure.  Operating income was down 20.6% to $62.4 million and net income was $11.9 million – down a dramatic 140% from August’s net income of $66.9 million. During September, iHeartMedia paid out $15.8 million to outside professionals assisting in the reorganization process.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s been no official communique from Entercom Minneapolis but after seven months with the cluster, operations manager Andy Bloom exits.  He’d been in charge of operations at heritage news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.”  Previously, Bloom had been with CBS RADIO as operations manager for sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT in Philadelphia.  Bloom simply tells the Pioneer Press, “WCCO is a legendary station.  I wish them luck.”…..The Boston Beasley Media Group stations are taking part in the third official “Massachusetts Civility Day” proclaimed by Governor Charlie Baker.  National Civility Foundation executive director Judith Bowman says the purpose of tomorrow’s (11/17) event is “to have every person in every family, every company…consciously perform a random act of kindness.  Day of Civility is timely given our coarse global climate and particularly fitting as we enter the Thanksgiving holiday season.”…..Pictured at left are some of the staff members of Alpha Media Alaska posing with their “Goldie Awards” from the Alaska Broadcasters Association.  The cluster garnered four awards: KFDQ-AM, Anchorage’s “Big Alaska Show” for Best Radio Show; sports talk KHAR for Best Sports Play-By-Play; classic hits KEAG-FM, Anchorage for Best Radio Commercial (:30); and country KBRJ-FM for Best Radio Commercial (over :30).  Pictured here are (from l-r): “Big Alaska Show” host Steve Stripling, KBRJ-FM program director Joe Campbell, Lindsey Dailey, Steven Franklin, and John Miller.

Talkin’ Turkey.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (dressed as a turkey) is pictured here broadcasting from inside a Walmart in Nampa, Idaho where he’s been living to collect turkeys for the Boise Rescue Mission.  This is Miller’s eighth year living at and broadcasting from the Walmart to help the cause.  With him in the photo are KTVB-TV, Boise’s Larry Gebert (left) and Boise Rescue Mission CEO Reverend Bill Roscoe (right).

CNN-White House Suit Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 12-16.  CNN’s suit against the White House for the pulling of reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was Florida election re-counts and the related allegations of voter fraud by President Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the migrant caravan and U.S. illegal immigration policy at #4.   The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

30th Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In New York City last night (11/15), 10 radio broadcasters were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.  A number of talk personalities were enshrined, including longtime New York radio talk host Joan Hamburg, pictured above with actor Alan Alda, who introduced her, stating, “She has the ability to interview anybody with grace and good humor.” Other talk hosts enshrined were: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, SiriusXM personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Jonathon Brandmeier, Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin, WFAN legend Mike Francesa, and sports talker Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a., the Fabulous Sports Babe (who was unable to attend).  Music radio personalities inducted included WAXQ, New York morning host Jim Kerr and Kid Kelly, along with consultant Fred Jacobs.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Jacobs, Levin, Kerr, and Brandmeier.

‘Stuttering’ John Melendez Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Media personality John Melendez, who spent 15 years as an outrageous sidekick and field reporter on Howard Stern’s radio and TV shows, followed by a 10-year stint as announcer and writer on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Melendez, whose “Stuttering John” character rose to fame in the Howard Stern universe for asking unsuspecting celebrities extremely intimate and embarrassing questions, has just published a memoir, Easy for You to Say (Rare Bird Books, 2018).  It discusses his lifelong battle against stuttering going all the way back to his experiences being bullied in school as well as his colorful media career and the major stars with whom he interacted.  Melendez talks to Harrison quite candidly about his relationships with both Stern and Leno as well as his perspective on the industry and life.  According to Harrison, “This guy is extremely interesting.  He’s lived both a charmed life and career which he discusses in candid detail in our conversation.  What a great guest!”  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. Country WQIK, Jacksonville promotes music director John Scott to program director, effective immediately.  Scott will report to iHeartMedia SVP of programming Gary “Geewiz” Christopher, who says, “We are thrilled to have John transition to program director for the number one country station in Jacksonville.  He understands our listeners and brings his passion and extensive knowledge of the market to this role and we know he will continue to contribute to our station’s ongoing success.”  Over the past 28 years, he has served WQIK as morning show host, midday personality, and afternoon drive jock…..Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle is presenting the fourth annual “Live Day.”  This year’s event will feature broadcasts of the station’s morning show “BJ Migs” and afternoon show “The Mens Room” in front of a live audience with no recorded commercials, sound effects or music.  More than 100 performers and producers are involved in creating eight hours of completely live radio.  “Live Day” will emanate from Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom on Tuesday (11/20) and feature a cast of local musicians, Foley artists and comedians, and station on-air talent including “BJ & Migs,” Ryan Castle, Taryn Daly, and talent from The Mens Room.  KISW legacy talent Kathy Faulkner and Spike O’Neill will also be in attendance…..WWPR, New York-based morning show “The Breakfast Club” raised more than $200,000 during its second annual #Change4Change to benefit PROJECT 375, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness of mental health, ending the stigma and raising funds for treatment. The Breakfast Club personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God worked in support of PROJECT 375, a charity co-founded by NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall and his wife Michi. PROJECT 375 offers several free community programs and resources addressing mental health such as Project Prevent, which provides technology-driven mental health first aid training for parents, teachers and anyone working closely with youth; and Mind Over Matter Talks, where members of the organization visit schools to speak with students, principals, community leaders and parents about mental health…..Bobby Bones show co-host Amy Brown is launching an iHeartRadio original podcast called “4 Things with Amy Brown,” focused on featuring “4 Things” listeners can do to promote healthy well-being and to “maintain an attitude of gratitude, while sprinkling joy and giving back in their daily lives.”   Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “Amy is an integral part of some of our most-popular Country radio programs.  We’ve seen firsthand how her loyal following of fans stays connected across any and every platform, so this podcast is a natural next step.”…..Sun Broadcast Group celebrates its 10th anniversary. The national radio network is now headquartered in New York City and Boca Raton and is home to “The Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister,” multiple nationally syndicated shows hosted by “Fitz,” “The Woody & Wilcox Show,” and Sun Latino among many others.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

Laura Ingraham to Transition Radio Show to Podcast in January. Talk media personality Laura Ingraham will end her 17-plus years of hosting a live radio talk show in January and launch an original podcast via PodcastOne.  Ingraham, who joined FOX News Channel’s prime-time lineup last fall, has also been hosting her late morning radio show syndicated via Courtside Entertainment.  She says, “While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible.  Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life.  Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”  She adds, “Without phenomenal producers, a committed sales team, great station managers and program directors — and of course my loyal advertisers – this show wouldn’t have been possible.  Now it’s time for a new adventure.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Due to her HUGE success on the FOX News channel, daily podcasts are a much better fit for Laura’s hectic schedule and provides her listeners in all markets access at any time to the new Laura Ingraham show podcast.  She’s at the top of her game and her new original podcasts will fit perfectly on PodcastOne.”

Cumulus Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.7%. The third quarter financial numbers for Cumulus Media have been released and the company reports Q3 net revenue of $282.3 million – an dip of 1.7% from the same period in 2017.  Net income was $12.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million.  Due to its emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year, the company notes in its report that “for the purposes of the analysis of the results presented herein, the company is presenting the combined results of operations for the period June 4, 2018 to September 30, 2018 of the Successor Company with the period January 1, 2018 to June 3, 2018 of the Predecessor Company.  Although this presentation is not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the company believes presenting and analyzing the combined results allows for a more meaningful comparison of results for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 to the nine months ended September 30, 2017.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In our first full quarter of operations since emerging from Chapter 11, our positive momentum continued and we remain focused on the path ahead.  We delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA growth – approximately 50 basis points on a reported basis and 3.9% when adjusting for the impact of USTN and our exit from WLUP-FM in Chicago.  Additionally, in early October, we completed a $50 million prepayment of our term loan using cash generated from operations, demonstrating both our ability to produce significant free cash flow and our commitment to pay down debt with that cash.  We continue to believe that our key growth initiatives, including our digital businesses at the Cumulus Radio Station Group, our rapidly expanding podcast business and pricing and inventory management improvements across the Company, as well as our substantial free cash flow generation, position the Company well to create value for all our stakeholders.”

iHeartMedia Names Future Board of Directors.  When iHeartMedia emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization, it will have a new board of directors and today the company announces who will sit on the board.  Current board chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and current president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will continue to serve on the board with five new board members.  They are: former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo; Spyglass Entertainment co-founder and former MGM Inc. chairman and CEO Gary Barber; Altimeter Capital founder and CEO Brad Gerstner; private investor and director for both Aptiv plc and Arconic Inc Sean Mahoney; and Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.  Bob Pittman comments, “We are excited about both the depth and range of our new board members.  We know our ability to draw on the experience of this unique combination of leaders in their respective fields will give us an unparalleled competitive advantage as we build our next level of growth.”

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity Hits 600-Affiliate Mark. After a little more than 17 years in national syndication, Premiere Networks talk radio superstar Sean Hannity reaches the milestone of 600 affiliate stations.  Premiere states, “Hannity’s provocative, informed, and passionate commentary on news and politics has amassed a loyal following of more than 18 million listeners monthly.  Broadcasting live on weekdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Marconi Award winner is one of the most prominent and influential talk radio hosts in the country, whose political foresight and focus on the American agenda has made him the second most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S.”  Hannity comments, “I am humbled and appreciative to not only our 600 amazing affiliates, but also to the listeners of this radio show in each and every city. Thank you for this honor!”

Good News for Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link II Users; HotSwap Feature Now Available.  This new HotSwap feataure allows users of Comrex’s IP audio codecs ACCESS and BRIC-Link II to back up dedicated links.  This long-sought reliability feature allows users to back up their studio-to-transmitter link or other dedicated link with a wireless modem.  CrossLock is Comrex’s powerful technology for increasing network reliability and allows codecs to use multiple IP networks at once.  CrossLock lets users bond networks together so that more bandwidth is available.  Alternately, in redundancy mode, users can send identical streams down both networks.  Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to designate one network as primary and a second network to be used only when the primary fails.  HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails.  The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored.  Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.  For ACCESS codecs, any supported modem can be used as a back-up.  For BRIC-Link II, only Comrex Connect Modems are supported.  4G LTE Comrex Connect Modems are available for purchase through any Comrex dealer.  When ordering, ask for the NX model of Connect Modem.  Verizon, AT&T, and International versions are available.  HotSwap is included in firmware version 4.3, which is available now for all ACCESS and BRIC-Link II codecs.  Users can download it for free using Device Manager.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Orlando “Big O Alzugaray exits Entercom’s WQAM, Miami after a four-year stint hosting the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program.  He’d previously served with the station from 1997 through 2010…..The National Radio Hall of Fame announces it is creating a new award called the “One to Watch,” chosen by the NRHoF nominating committee.  It was inspired by radio legend Art Laboe, the active radio performer with the longest continuous period of service on air for 75 years and a 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee.  The inaugural “One to Watch” award will be given to Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro…..At Salem Media Group’s Pittsburgh cluster, Brad Marshall is named general manager.  The station group includes news/talk WPGP “1250 The Answer” and its two Christian-formatted outlets.  During his career, Marshall has served with iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media in Youngstown, Ohio…..In more Salem Media Group news, the company chooses software provider Aptivada to power the company’s contesting, promotions, database management, and newsletters…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio advertising unit cabana adds the investigative podcast “Bear Brook” from New Hampshire Public Radio to its content portfolio.  The podcast, hosted by NHPR reporter Jason Moon, centers around a decades-old mystery involving four unidentified bodies found in two barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in the 1980s. The first six episodes of “Bear Brook” garnered more than 1.1 million downloads…..NuVoodoo Media Services promotes Eric Cohen to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. New York-based Cohen joined NuVoodoo Media Services earlier this year as vice president of finance…..iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston re-ups with the Houston Astros to continue serving as the ballclub’s flagship radio station for play-by-play broadcasts.

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

| November 13, 2018

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS, Orlando; Jim Colbert Show to Fill PM Drive Slot. On-air pro Jim Philips has been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for more than 30 years.  On November 20, he’ll host the final live “Philips Phile” show and on November 21, the station will air a “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute program.  During his time as host of the afternoon show, Jim Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift for Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth, and championing LGBTQ rights.  The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly.  Philips says, “It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life.  I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.”  iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd announces “The Jim Colbert Show” will air in PM drive.  Led by longtime “Monsters of the Morning” cast member “Dirty” Jim Colbert, the Jim Colbert show will include co-host and news director Deborah Roberts, award-winning stand-up comedian Rauce Padgett, and executive producer and 20-year “Real Radio” veteran Jack Bradshaw.  Byrd states, “We are very excited about the Jim Colbert show expanding to five days a week. After 26 years of entertaining morning audiences as part of the ‘Monsters of the Morning’ show on ‘Real Radio,’ Jimmy will now be doing the same in afternoon drive time with his unique comedic take on the world.”  Colbert says, “Before I was in radio I was a longtime listener of Jim Philips and the ‘Philips Phile.’  It is an absolute honor to bring my show to the same time slot on ‘Real Radio 104.1.’”

Longtime KMJ, Fresno Personality Craig Hansen to Retire. Station program director Blake Taylor reports that Craig Hansen – a fixture on the KMJ, Fresno airwaves for 42 years – is retiring from the Cumulus Media news/talk station in December.  Taylor says, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of KMJ’s Craig Hansen at year’s end.  For those who don’t know, Craig is a virtual encyclopedia of KMJ’s long history and import to Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.  Craig’s first day at KMJ was November 24, 1976.  As far as we can tell, Craig’s 42-year tenure is probably the second-longest in KMJ’s 96-year history – second only to Jerry Higgenbotham’s run from 1949 to 1994.  Mr. Hansen has held a number of on-air positions over the decades but is probably best known for his years as our go-to guy on Saturdays hosting news, ‘Autoshop Talk,’ ‘Real Talk,’ and of course ‘Radio Tradio!’  Craig’s final show at KMJ will be Saturday, December 22.  After that, he and his better half will be driving his Corvette out of the mayhem of California and moving out of state to retire in peace.”

Cumulus to Launch Local Ad Guarantee. The company says that it is “doubling down on the industry-leading ROI guarantee of its Westwood One division” and “will launch an innovative program leveraging the proven effectiveness and reach of broadcast radio, combined with the precise targeting capabilities of its digital products.”  Cumulus Media radio station group EVPs Dave Milner and Bob Walker announce the company will support local advertisers’ number one objective: attracting more customers.  Cumulus says it will guarantee participating local advertisers a minimum number of Engaged Potential Customers (EPCs): listeners who have contacted the business as a result of the coordinated program.  Should the program not deliver the guaranteed results, the business will receive free advertising.  Milner says, “Marketers took notice of our commitment to results when we debuted the Westwood One ROI Guarantee and challenged us to deliver something similar to our local advertisers.  After touting the benefits of a combined radio and digital campaign, we’re now putting our money where our mouth is in our local markets with the EPC Guarantee.”  Walker adds, “Using radio’s exceptional 10:1 ROI, and a proven 19% lift when messages are coordinated between media platforms, we are delivering a hyper-efficient brand building and customer generation program all in one.  We’ve known all along that we can be an advertiser’s one-stop shop for results; now we guarantee it.”  The EPC Guarantee will launch in 65 Cumulus markets later this month, in the home and professional services categories, and will be available in all 90 Cumulus markets in 2019.

Entercom Names Sarah Harris VP of Social Impact. This is a new position at Entercom that Sarah Harris will begin on January 2.  She comes to Entercom from Emmis Communications where she was a senior vice president. While there, she founded and led “Incite,” a cause and social marketing division within Emmis.  Previously, Harris served as director of community outreach for Emmis.  She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and recently completed University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Education in Social Impact Strategy.  In her new role with Entercom, Harris will oversee all aspects of the company’s community engagement initiatives, including its recently launched corporate social responsibility platform, Entercom Cares, as well as Entercom’s government business practice.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “Sarah is a pioneer in cause and social impact marketing and wholeheartedly believes in the power of media to create positive impact.  With her significant experience and expertise in creating and managing social impact programs and campaigns, Sarah will be a terrific addition to our team.”

NPR to Be Honored at Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on January 18, NPR will be the recipient of the iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.  NPR is being honored as a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry” and the award “will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”  The press release notes that NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and it officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts.  In less than a year, NPR reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007.  NPR SVP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award.  Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR.  They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas, and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show.  They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”

Adam Clanton Back on the Air in Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton – who had been with iHeartMedia’s KBME until being fired last May – joins Entercom’s crosstown KILT-AM to host a regular Tuesday evening program with co-host (and KPRC-TV sports anchor) Adam Wexler as well as to handle fill-in and weekend air shifts.  Clanton tells Barron, “It’s nice to be out of radio purgatory and with a group of true professionals who have welcomed me (back) with open arms.  610 has been amazing to me, and sometimes life really does come full circle.  I’m excited going forward.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to Insider NJ’s Top 100 Power List.  Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley was again named to Insider NJ’s “Top 100 Power List” – landing at #42 this year.  The publication says of Hurley, “The conservative talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine about what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey politics and is at the top of his game.”

Florida Recounts, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Whitaker Appointment Challenge, Dow Drops 600 Points, California Wildfires, Michelle Obama Book Tour, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Stan Lee Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The partisan fighting over the election recounts in Florida; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; legal questions about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General; the Dow dips 600 points; the deadly California wildfires that have claimed 42 lives; former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for Becoming; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; Marvel comics founder Stan Lee dies at 95; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Another “Breeze” is blowing, this time in Detroit as Entercom flips CHR WDZH to adult contemporary as “987 The Breeze.”  This comes on the heels of two recent flips to adult contemporary “Breezes” from iHeartMedia – KBEB, Sacramento and WISX, Philadelphia. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “We are excited to launch ‘987 The Breeze’ and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene.  We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”…..Beasley Media Group – after cutting ties with morning personality Bigg Boy, moves afternoon personalities Gello and Joanna to AM drive as “The GELLO Show” and adds former AM drive co-host Shay-Shay to middays.  The station is on the search for an afternoon drive personality…..Urban One adds the WNOW, Indianapolis-based “Joe & Alex” show – Joe Piesz and Alex Clark – to the morning drive daypart on its Houston CHR KROI.  KROI program director Charese Fruge comments, “Joe and Alex are the perfect combination of caring and crazy, the comedy and quirkiness they bring to mornings is infections and is sure to be a treat for listeners in Houston.”…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks is offering unparalleled, multi-platform coverage of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” tomorrow (11/14).  In addition to programming leading up to the awards show, The Bobby Bones Show’s Amy Brown will provide iHeartCountry mainstream stations with live updates from the red carpet leading up to show time.  Premiere Networks will also provide a live radio simulcast of the CMA Awards show co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

| November 8, 2018

Craig Carton Found Guilty of Fraud Charges.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton was convicted on three fraud charges – securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud – on the second day of deliberations in his trial by a Manhattan jury.  Federal prosecutors charged that Carton had used almost $7 million from investors in a concert tickets re-sale scheme for personal expenses and to pay off gambling debts.  Prosecutors even called a loan shark named Desmond Finger to the stand testify he gave Carton loans totaling as much as $500,000 that Carton failed to repay.  They called a hedge fund executive who testified he gave Carton more than $5 million to invest in tickets in 2016.  The feds also say Carton doctored emails to make it appear to investors that he had a tickets contract with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum.  Carton’s defense claimed he was a victim of partner Michael Wright, who pleaded guilty, and associate Joseph Meli, who is serving time for bilking investors in his own concert tickets scheme.  The New York Post reports that Carton could get as much as 45 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced on February 27 of next year, though he’s likely to get far less.  Carton’s attorney Robert Gottlieb says they will appeal the verdict.  Carton was half of the highly rated morning show with Boomer Esiason on WFAN before his arrest in September of 2017. Prior to that, he’d been a successful talk show host on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”

Cumulus Names Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. It was just last month – October 5 – that Cumulus Media announced programmer Jack Swanson would return to the Bay Area stations he programmed so successfully for so many years.  But Swanson has had a change of heart and now the company is naming San Francisco cluster operations manager Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO.  Hammer served KGO and KSFO as interim program director in 2015 during which he was also PD for sports talkers KNBR and KTCT.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Lee Hammer did an excellent job while handling the programming for KGO and KSFO.  It’s an easy choice to hand Lee the keys to these two legendary radio stations.”  As for Swanson, he’ll serve the station as a programming consultant.  He states, “I realize my decision to return to the beach is sudden.  I quickly fell in love all over again with these wonderful stations and their talented people, but ultimately, my change of heart comes from my desire to fully enjoy a future of unlimited fun, travel, and adventure.  And making this move complete, through the unbelievable graciousness of Doug Harvill, Lee Hammer, and the entire Cumulus corporate team, I’ll still have the opportunity to contribute my ideas for the future of these amazing radio stations.”

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman and Emmis/Entercom Settle.  There are literally no details in the court filing in United States District Court in Missouri about the settlement and we’ll likely never know what they are, but the legal battle between former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom is over.  The two sides were sent into “alternative dispute resolution” by the court and it worked in as much as a trial was avoided.  Allman was suing Emmis (seller of KFTK-FM) and Entercom (operating it under an LMA) on basically two complaints: that the companies owed him money after firing him for his Tweet about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg, and that his firing was a breach of contract.  Previously, the two sides settled the money issue (privately, of course) and now they’ve settled the termination matter.  Meanwhile, Marc Cox is now the host of the morning show on KFTK-FM and Allman is producing his own daily morning show via the digital Radio Free Allman Network.

RTDNA Demands the White House Restore CNN’s Jim Acosta’s Media Credentials.  One of the nation’s leading organizations supporting radio and TV journalists – the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) – condemns the revoking of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass a few hours after he attempted to ask questions of President Trump at yesterday’s (11/7) post-election press conference. The organization issued the following statement: “The RTDNA and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force condemn this obvious punitive action of the administration and call on it to restore Mr. Acosta’s credentials immediately.  In the statement RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “The leader of the free world has consistently ridiculed journalists who report the truth as purveyors of ‘fake news’ and the ‘[enemies] of the American people.’  To go a nearly unprecedented step further and revoke the credentials of a responsible journalist who was merely attempting to ask a question of the president is unconscionable.”  The statement continues: “Furthermore, the White House attempted to justify its decision to revoke Acosta’s credentials in part by alleging he had essentially assaulted a staffer who attempted to take a microphone from his hands.”  Shelley adds, “Any objective observer of the staffer’s attempt to confiscate the microphone Mr. Acosta was holding would surely conclude that he acted professionally and in a non-aggressive manner. He even said to her, ‘pardon me, ma’am.’”  The RTDNA formed the nonpartisan Voice of the First Amendment Task Force to defend against threats to the First Amendment and news media access and to help the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks about this development with Dan Shelley earlier this morning (11/8).  To listen to that conversation, please click 

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Salem Media Group Q3 Revenue Flat; Broadcast Division Posts Positive Numbers. Although the third quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group, Inc. was basically flat at $65.5 million (up 0.1%), and the broadcast division’s net revenue was up only 0.8% ($48.8 million from $48.4 million a year ago), same station figures were up.  Station Operating Income increased 2.4% to $11.7 million from $11.4 million in Q3 of 2017; Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 1.9% to $47.8 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI increased 2.3% to $12.1 million from $11.8 million.  On another positive note, the company posts a net income of $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to a loss of $46,000 in Q3 of 2017.  Salem’s digital division was consistent at $10.4 million and the publishing division dipped 3.7% to $6.3 million.

iHeartMedia Files Q3 Financial Data with SEC; Revenue Up 1.6%.  There are not a lot of detailed breakdowns in this 8-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission from iHeartMedia.  We do see that revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $873 million – up 1.6% from $859 million a year ago.  iHeartMedia has been releasing monthly financial updates as is makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization but releases this quarterly report today (11/8). It doesn’t contain any same station data valuable for analyzing the radio operations a bit deeper.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on Major League Baseball flagships.  This is the third and final review of MLB flagship outlets this year.  Interestingly, Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston – flagship for the World Champion Red Sox – lost weekly AQH share from October 2017 to October 2018 (5.9 to 5.1).  The Los Angeles Dodgers flagship iHeartMedia’s KLAC was up from a 1.0 share to a 1.7 share during the same period. Milwaukee Brewers flagship then-Scripps’ WTMJ was the big winner here, rising from a 7.3 share to a 10.4 share, year over year.  See the whole story here.

Midterm Election Results, Sessions Resigns AG Post/Future of Mueller Probe, Trump Suspends Acosta Press Credentials, Deadly California Bar Shooting, Antifa Threats Against Media Figures, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). The results of Tuesday’s midterm elections that saw the Democrats take control of the House and Republicans add seats in the Senate; Attorney General Jeff Sessions agrees to resign post and the future of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; President Trump suspends CNN reporter Jake Acosta’s White House press credentials; a gunman kills 11 and himself in a country bar in Los Angeles; reports of conservative media figures getting threats from Antifa groups; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ Wraps ‘Voice Your Vote’ Tour.  Pictured above are WWTN-FM, Nashville personalities at the final stop of the “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” at MAFIAoZA’s in Franklin, Tennessee on Tuesday evening. The “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” launched in March in Franklin and has included stops featuring WTN hosts and voter registration opportunities throughout the year at venues in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Bellevue, and Hendersonville, Tennessee.  From right to left are: Dave Zanotti, Michael DelGiorno, Phil Valentine, Dan Mandis, and Brian Wilson.

Lars Larson Featured in ‘KGW-TV Carpool’ Personality Segment.  Nationally and regionally syndicated, KXL-FM, Portland-based talk host Lars Larson was interviewed by KGW-TV, Portland news anchor Brenda Braxton for the station’s segment, “KGW Carpool.”  In the segment, Braxton interviews Larson as they drive around Portland, but there’s one catch – no talking politics.  Larson is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks and regionally via the Radio Northwest Network.  See the five-minute video here.

AWMF Announces Call for Entries for 2019 Gracie Awards. The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, opens the call for entries for the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala, taking place May 21, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon, taking place June 26, 2019, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.  The AWMF says that each year attention is given to evaluating categories which included adding one for writers in television and creating more avenues for radio hosts/co-hosts, including adding in market size in various categories.  AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Each year, the Gracie Awards Gala and Luncheon celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for and about women.  It is our belief that recognizing expertise, courage and contributions across all segments of media is essential to ensuring continued growth for our industry.  AWM has been shining a spotlight on the individual and collective achievements of the best and brightest women in media for over 40 years.  As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media.”  The 2019 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Early bird rates for entries end on December 13, 2018, at 11:59 pm ET. The deadline for all entries is January 17, 2019, at 11:59 pm ET.  Entry details including pricing and updated categories can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/.  To see more about the 2018 Gracie Awards, including the media release and past video, visit https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/gracies-coverage/.

Great Programming Opportunity at Atlanta’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  The Cox Media Group heritage news/talk outlet is seeking a senior operations and programming manager to assist the director of branding and programming.  The job summary says, “Assists the ‘Director of Branding and Programming’ as 2nd in command for the WSB Radio Brand in executing the WSB Programming Strategy, to include managing and developing Talk Talent, Hosts, Producers, the Operations team, Imaging Producers, as well as coordinating strategic goals and input with the News Director, Manager of Traffic Operations, and Director of Digital/Social. Also, handles assigned administrative duties, personnel management, coordination of schedules, and promotions (sales and marketing). Serves as member of the WSB Radio Strategic Team, and coordinates with CMG Research for Nielsen Ratings Reports, Analysis, and Market research.”  See more about this excellent opportunity here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” announces DC market pro Albie Dee is the new afternoon drive personality on the former hot AC outlet, effective November 12.  Entercom vice president of programming Steve Davis says, “Albie Dee is a radio legend in DC and I am beyond excited to have him return to the market as the first personality on ‘94.7 The Drive.’”…..The changes at iHeartMedia’s CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9” include the departure of afternoon drive personality Julianontheradio from that role and the move of evening jock Gabby Diaz into the drive time slot.  Filling the evening show host position is current JV show cast member Crystal Rosas.  Julianontheradio will continue to serve with the company handling part-time and voice-tracking duties…..iHeartMedia’s “The Breakfast Club” morning drive show hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God is presenting this year’s #Change4Change – an all-day radiothon that will benefit PROJECT 375 – taking place on Thursday, November 15, 2018 during “The Breakfast Club” show across more than 77 syndicated markets. It will continue from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight on flagship WWPR, New York “Power 105.1,” with other participating markets to be announced…..Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis has been recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Association as the Radio Station of the Year. The station received the same honor in 2008 and 2012.  Pictured below at the 2018 Spectrum Awards Luncheon are (from l-r): morning hosts Jim Denny and Kevin Freeman, assistant program director Kash, morning host Deb Honeycut, marketing director Jan Thoman, and VP/market manager Chuck Fredrick.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

| October 23, 2018

Report: WLS-AM, Chicago to Get Lineup Re-Vamp in 2019.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM will get a programming makeover early in the New Year.  Feder writes, “Once among the top-rated stations in Chicago, the 50,000-watt AM giant never recovered after the loss of longtime morning star Don Wade, who died in 2013.”  He reports recent ratings figures reflect more success in middays with Cumulus’ Washington-based Chris Plante and Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, leading one to conclude changes are more likely for drive time where market legend Steve Dahl hosts afternoons and mornings are hosted by Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren wouldn’t comment specifically but said the station will continue with a combination of local and syndicated programming.

NYPost: MSG Goes to War with Entercom and WFAN. A story in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand reveals the bad blood between Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan over WFAN sports talk host Maggie Gray’s rant against him that aired on the station this summer.  Gray didn’t hold back when she called Dolan a “vile piece of trash” while accusing him of hypocrisy after his band – yes, he plays in a band called JD and the Straight Shot – released a song about Harvey Weinstein called, “I Should’ve Known.” Gray alleges Dolan and Weinstein were close and that he did know.  In retribution, MSG banned all Entercom and WFAN staffers from getting special access to players and that players and coaches would not be allowed to appear on any show on WFAN.  Gray did ultimately apologize for her name calling during the rant but not for the thrust of her critique.  At the same time, WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa is being accused of throwing Gray “under the bus” during his comments about the feud.  Although Francesa is probably irked about losing access, he did call out MSG for holding a grudge after Gray apologized.

But Wait!… There’s More Francesa News. Also from the Post’s Andrew Marchand – or more accurately, from Mike Francesa himself – comes the question of whether Francesa’s afternoon drive program on WFAN can co-exist with his “Mike’s On” app. The Post story, based on Francesa’s on-air musings, indicates there are still contractual issues regarding the app between him, Entercom, and CAA that haven’t been settled.  Francesa went so far as to say, “We haven’t really come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and show don’t work together and that’s something we’re going to have to adjust one way or the other.”  He followed that by saying the app is here to stay.  He also reflected on his return to the station after a brief retirement, admitting that it’s been “more uncomfortable” than he thought it would be after bumping Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott from the afternoon drive daypart.

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Help Raise $35,000-plus for Veterans Charity. Pictured above (in scooter) is Korean Conflict veteran Denny Dorman, the oldest recipient of a Puppy Jake Foundation service dog – named Puppy Simon – along with WHO PM drive personality Simon Conway, who adopted the organization as his show’s official charity.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises, and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Conway tells TALKERS that five years ago they held a BBQ fundraiser in the WHO parking lot and raised $4,000.  The next year they brought in $6,000.  Years three and four pulled in $22,000 and $29,000, respectively, and last Friday’s event raised $35,500.  He says, “It is really incredible how my audience, and indeed some of my show’s sponsors, have taken this charity to their hearts.”

Ann Marie Mulholland Named Market Manager for Hubbard Seattle. Emerald City media management pro Ann Marie Mulholland joins Hubbard Radio as vice president and market manager for its Seattle properties, including “Alternative Talk” KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV “Movin 92.5,” country KNUC “The Bull,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9,” and nostalgia KKNW-AM.  Mulholland comes to Hubbard from CRISTA Media.  Prior to that, she served with Entercom and Sandusky in the Seattle market. Hubbard president/COO Drew Horowitz says, “We are looking forward to having Ann Marie, with her exceptional operational credentials, assume the leadership role in Seattle.  She brings strong market experience and will be an excellent fit with our Hubbard Seattle team.”

Midterm Elections, Khashoggi Death Aftermath, Migrant Caravan, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermedia-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air changes take place at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” as the company promotes Tyler Reese from his part-time role with sister classic country WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon” to midday host and assistant program director at WKDF.  Also, Kelley Bradshaw-Brock moves from Entercom’s WUSY, Chattanooga, where she was part of the “Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” morning show to host afternoon drive on WKDF.  Program director John Shomby states, “We are excited for Tyler and Kelley to join ‘NASH FM 103.3.’  These are two very talented stars that are ready to shine in the Music City!…..The vacant program director chair at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise doesn’t last long as Matt Derrick arrives from his most recent gig as director of FM programming at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster to assume the PD role.  Derrick takes over for Rich Summers, who exited the station last week…..Entercom rock WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 Planet Rocks” partners with the local Thomas Creek Brewery to create The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner inspired by the station’s morning show, “The Rise Guys.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We are excited about this partnership and the ability to share the best beer on ‘The Planet’ with our dedicated fans.  The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner is a salute to the P1 army.  This refreshing and crushable beer fits our personalities and those of our listeners.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

| October 17, 2018

E.W. Scripps to Acquire Triton for $150 Million. Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company may not want to operate radio stations anymore (in August it announced a deal to sell its remaining 19 radio stations to SummitMedia for $47 million), but it likes the digital audio space enough to pony up $150 million for digital audio tech and measurement services firm Triton.  Scripps says that the move helps it “advance its strategies for near- and long-term value creation.”  Triton provides measurement in the digital audio space as well as hosting and advertising infrastructure (including dynamic ad insertion).  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson says, “Triton positions Scripps well to expand its role in the fast-growing global digital audio marketplace. Triton’s efficient business model, multiple growing revenue streams, competitive advantages and expanding international footprint made this an attractive opportunity.”  He adds, “The acquisition of additional television stations remains our number one M&A priority, with the goal of enhancing our national scale and in-market depth for our Local Media portfolio.  On the National Media side, acquiring Triton complements our strategy of owning growth businesses that capitalize on the evolving habits of media consumers and furthers our commitment to margin expansion.” Triton powers or measures streaming music and podcasting for media companies including: Pandora, Spotify, NPR, iHeartMedia, Entercom, Cumulus Media, Prisa (Spain), Mediacorp (Singapore) and Karnaval (Turkey).  This is a cash transaction and Scripps notes that Triton’s 2018 revenue is projected to be approximately $40 million, with EBITDA projected in the mid-teen millions. Triton’s 2019 revenue is projected to grow in the low to mid-teens percent range over 2018.  Triton co-founder and CEO Neal Schore and his management team will continue to lead Triton.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Names Kayla Blakeslee New Morning Host. News director Kayla Blakeslee is named as the new morning drive host at Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/W298BJ in Fort Wayne. Longtime station morning personality and market legend Charly Butcher died unexpectedly in August and the station had been searching for his replacement.  Blakeslee returned to WOWO as news director in 2016 after a year away from radio.  She’d been with the station previously from 2011 through 2015.  WOWO afternoon host Pat Miller announced Blakeslee’s appointment on his program yesterday (10/16).

Rosati Named President of Binnie Media. New England media company Binnie Media promotes EVP of New Hampshire and Maine radio Massimo Rosati to president of the company.  Rosati joined Binnie in 2015 as regional sales manager after having previously served with iHeartMedia and Saga Communications.  Binnie Media owner Bill Binnie says, “Massimo joined us five years ago and was responsible for regional sales before taking responsibility for New Hampshire radio sales and eventually all of the radio sales.  I am confident that Mass’ creativity, energy, and passion for the business will be crucial to our success.”

Cristina Mayer to Serve as iHM Washington-Baltimore Marketing Director. Marketing pro Cristina Mayer is named marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Washington DC/Baltimore operations.  She comes to iHeartMedia from Mimi Brown Studio in New York where she was production manager.  In this position, Mayer will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies in order to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and assist with driving in revenue for the region.  Washington/Baltimore RVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Cristina’s extensive experience across many different types of media and entertainment organizations made her the perfect person to oversee marketing & promotions for iHeartMedia Washington DC/Baltimore.”

TALKERS News Notes. At suburban Chicago news/talk WCGO, Evanston, the “Citizen Kelly” show hosted by William J. Kelly moves to the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  At the same time as the show time change is announced, Kelly takes the opportunity to announce the filing of his paperwork to run for mayor of Chicago.  He says, “As the only Republican candidate in this race against 15 Democrats, I can win this race with the 133,000 Trump voters in Chicago alone.  My callers support me 100%.”…..Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio is again presenting its holiday radio show “The Night Before Christmas,” starring Milwaukee media personalities Gene Mueller, Jane MatenaerJeff Wagner, and a cast of WTMJ hosts and local voices.  The annual show will be presented Monday, November 26 at Turner Hall.  It will be recorded in front of a studio audience and replayed on WTMJ and WTMJ.com throughout the Christmas season.  Five dollars from every ticket sold will benefit Kids2Kids Christmas…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that ESPN hires former Chicago Tribune and New York Times sports reporter Malika Andrews to serve as an NBA reporter for ESPN.com and WMVP, Chicago “ESPN1000.”  She’ll cover the Bulls as well as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.  She takes over for Nick Friedell who’s moving to NoCal to cover the Golden State Warriors for the company…..PodcastOne launches the new podcast, “Life Reboot,” hosted by television personality Leah Messer, self-empowerment speaker and teacher Lindsay Rielly, and celebrity journalist Brian Scott.  The podcast will guide listeners in learning to transform and live their best lives through personal stories, guest interviews, and tips from the Live Your Standard life coaching program…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks are debuting a new iHeartRadio original podacast titled, “The End of The World.”  It’s developed and hosted by fan-favorite Josh Clark, co-host of the beloved podcast “Stuff You Should Know”.   This program “tackles the existential risks humankind faces and how today’s technological advancements will contribute to our survival.”  Clark is joined by a number of top experts including, astrobiologists, philosophers, and economists…..There’s a new senior vice president for news at NPR as Nancy Barnes fills the role left vacant by Mike Oreskes last fall after allegations of misconduct from his past arose and forced him to resign.  Her background is in newspapers.  She’s served as executive editor of the Houston Chronicle.

Saudi Journalist Case, Elizabeth Warren Criticism, T.I. ‘Melania’ Video, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Trump-Russia Report, Trump-Stormy Daniels Spat, Canada Legalizes Pot, Hawking ‘No God’ Conclusion, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; rapper T.I.’s video that depicts a Melania Trump look-alike doing a striptease; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the legal and social media spat between President Trump and Stormy Daniels; Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana; Stephen Hawking’s final book concludes there is no God; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio pro Kathy Hart’s guest stint on news/talk WGN-AM over the weekend in which she spoke – to some degree – about her tumultuous end at Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX.  While co-hosting with WGN weekend personality Frank Fontana, Hart disclosed she underwent medical treatment for what ended up being Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome during the time she was off the air leading up to her exit.  But when asked why she ultimately did not return to the very successful “Eric & Kathy” show, she declined to explain…..Southern California sales pro George Herrera joins Meruelo Media as local sales manager for hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and urban contemporary duo KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario. Previously, he served as an account executive at alternative KROQ…..Envision Networks announces the return of the Wink Martindale-hosted program “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” for holiday programming.  This 10-hour show counts down from 100 to 1 the top-selling, highest-charted, and best-loved Christmas songs ever released…..The Radio Music License Committee announces that Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger is elected chairman of the RMLC.   He succeeds Ed Christian and John VerStandig, who had been operating as RMLC co-chairs for the past year.  Atsinger, no stranger to music licensing committees, previously served as chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters Music Licensing Committee for many years.  Ed Christian comments, “Given my vested interest in seeing to it that the RMLC continues to thrive, it’s reassuring that we now pass the baton to an experienced chairman who is perfectly positioned to hit the ground running.”  Atsinger adds, “I am fortunate to be assuming the mantle of chairman of the RMLC at a time when Ed Christian and a talented executive committee have worked so hard to build a solid foundation for the group and to enhance the RMLC’s stature in the industry. That said, it’s no secret that there are multiple challenges facing the industry right now and I am anxious to get to work with a great RMLC team that has already distinguished itself in many ways. We will continue the fight to maintain reasonable license fee levels during difficult economic times.”…..Pictured at right are “Steve Harvey Morning Show” cast members Shirley Strawberry (left) and Carla Ferrell (right) joining the more than 4,000 people who took part in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend organized by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” hip hop WGCI-FM, and Gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390.”…..Sun Broadcast Group appoints of Rich O’Brien vice president of programing & affiliate relations.  O’Brien comes to SBG with more than 25 years of experience in national radio syndication, having served as a VP of radio programs for Superadio Network…..Sad news from the Motor City as former WRIF air personality Mike Clark passed away on Monday (10/15) at age 63.  Clark was one half of the “Drew and Mike” show (with Drew Lane) that aired on the rock station in morning drive for more than two decades.  Lane is quoted in the Detroit News saying, “He had some medical issues the past couple years, but I’m still very surprised because we were texting yesterday and he was in typically good humor.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) during her appearance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show with Robin Roberts (right) to talk about her latest book, One Heart At A Time, (2018, Rosetta Books).  During the book tour, she’s also appearing on “Megyn Kelly TODAY” and is featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine.

Friday, October 12, 2018

| October 12, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  More than half (54%) of the sports talk stations on Kinosian’s panel saw their weekly AQH share go up from the August 2018 survey to the September 2018 survey, led by Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone,” which enjoyed a 1.4 share increase.  Comparing September 2017 to September 2018, some 55% of sports talkers improved.  Interestingly, Cumulus’ KNBR enjoyed a 1.2 share increase year-over-year in the San Jose market but dipped a tenth in the adjacent San Francisco market.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” ranked #1 (6+) in the September PPM survey in the Long Island market – the only sports talker to achieve a #1 ranking.  See the entire report here.

Cumulus Makes Prepayment of Portion of Loan. This $50 million discounted prepayment means Cumulus Media has paid off a portion of its $1.3 billion senior secured term loan facility due May 2022. Cumulus successfully purchases $50.2 million aggregate principal amount of term loans under the facility for $50 million (a discount to par value of 0.40%).  The transaction closed on October 11, 2018 and was funded with cash from operations.  The company notes that it will recognize a one-time, non-operating gain of approximately $0.2 million in its fourth quarter 2018 earnings, and its annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of this transaction.

KVI, Seattle Hosts Listener Appreciation Event. Seattle news/talk station KVI held a listener appreciation party on Tuesday (10/9) at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO Plaza.  The station’s local hosts joined producer Phil Vandervort on stage for a discussion of such topics as the coming midterm elections and their favorite local restaurants.  Pictured (from l-r) are: KVI program director Rick Van Cise, station manager Gary Greenberg, morning host John Carlson, late morning duo Jamie Markley and David van Camp, early afternoon host Lars Larson, afternoon drive personality Kirby Wilbur, and Compass Media Networks VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur.

Doug Stephan Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Continuously Running Independent Syndicated Host.  It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY, Cincinnati 30 years ago this week and has been on the air as a general news/talk weekday show hosted and managed by veteran broadcaster Doug Stephan ever since.  Along the way, it evolved under different names and has been co-hosted by a variety of personalities alongside Stephan in addition to spawning a number of specialty shows under the corporate banner of Stephan Multimedia.  The program is currently titled the “DJV Show” and, in addition to central figure Doug Stephan, is co-hosted by Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan.  In marking the milestone, Stephan tells TALKERS, “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.  If my count is correct, we still have some 24 stations who were on at the beginning or close to the beginning of this fabulous ride, and to all of them, and all of you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I could not remain as the only host/producer of these programs which have nothing but advertiser support… no big company, no big advertiser, no big benefactor – just me and the folks on the team made this happen…wow!”

TALKERS News Notes. Programming pro Michael Cross is named operations manager for Cherry Creek Media’s seven-station cluster in Wenatchee, Washington that includes news/talk KPQ, talk simulcast KKWN-FM/KWNC-AM, and sports talk KYSP in addition to four music-formatted stations. Cross – who starts his new gig on November 5 – was most recently OM with NRG Media’s rock KFMW and classic hits KOKZ duo in Waterloo, Iowa.  Cherry Creek Wenatchee market manager Kevin Andrus says, “Michael has a passion for radio and clearly understands the influence radio has in our listeners lives.  He understands how to win ratings, coach talent, and manage those under his direction.  Cherry Creek Media is excited to have Michael join the team.”…..Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford inks a deal with Division III school University of Saint Joseph to broadcast the team’s home games during the school’s men’s basketball team’s inaugural season.  The partnership will run through the 2018-19 collegiate season.  The school recruited former University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun as its head coach to launch its men’s basketball program.  As part of the partnership, Joe D’Ambrosio, co-host of the station’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program, will handle play-by-play duties for the games…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, weekly show hosted by former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan – winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion – on the Dan Patrick Radio channel.   Titled, “The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour” it will debut on October 15 and air every Monday…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KSOO-AM, Sioux Falls, South Dakota to its roster of stations.

Hurricane Michael Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12.  The destruction in the Florida panhandle from Hurricane Michael was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the release of the UN Climate Change Report and its dire warning about continued global warming. Coming in at #3 was the global stock selloff and the related interest rate hikes, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation aftermath and the related issue of Democrats accused of incivility 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.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The legendary “Cousin” Bruce Morrow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow is one of the most celebrated radio personalities of all time whose remarkable career as a big-time disc jockey goes all the way back to the late 1950s when he broke into New York City radio at WINS and is still going strong today as a featured host on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘60s on 6’ channel. Harrison and Morrow take a deep conversational dive into the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, their shared memories of growing up in Brooklyn, the great top 40 stations, the universals of radio communication, Morrow’s successful years in station ownership and the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio! Harrison says, “It was a thrill for me to be able to spend so much time in conversation with one of the true greats of our industry and culture. Cousin Brucie is full of joy – it pours out of him and that’s what keeps him going at such a remarkable and admirable level. It is deeply gratifying for me as a radio student, historian, and professional broadcaster to present this episode of my podcast to the world.” 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 newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Operations Manager Position Open at Dick Broadcasting’s Eastern NC Cluster. The five-station cluster of Dick Broadcasting in the Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, North Carolina market is seeking an operations manager. The company says the successful candidate will “manage a team of great program directors, air talent, and promotional personnel. We need someone that knows what leadership means! Someone who can inspire a team!” Dick Broadcasting operates sports talk WRNS-AM “The Bull,” CHR WERO-FM “Bob 93.3,” rock WXQR, country WRNS-FM, and adult hits WQSL/WQZL. The company says candidates must have experience as a supervisor, leader, music programmer, strategic thinker, and the ability to coach air talent. On air experienced preferred. The cluster is managed by market manager Tony Denton and vice president of programming Jason Goodman. E-mail all materials to newbernresumes@dbcradio.com. DBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WQYK, Tampa Seeks AM Drive Co-Host. Tampa country outlet WQYK is seeking a morning show co-host. The Beasley Media Group station says the successful candidate must possess strong digital skills. “We’re seeking a great communicator and story teller with a great sense of how to create great content that will be displayed across all of our platforms. The perfect candidate is great on the air, great digitally, is forward thinking and is a true content innovator. This is a very active station, heavily involved in the community and requires someone who is fearless and willing to get out of the studio and meet listeners. If you are ready to work in a building full of incredible talent with a family atmosphere and a must-win attitude, we would love to hear from you.” Qualifications include: At least three years of proven success as a morning show co-host; full understanding of PPM best practice as it applies to an on-air show; proficient with Vox-Pro, WordPress social networking platforms, interviewing, and LIVE broadcasts; and more. Send materials to operations manager Travis Daily at: Travis.daily@bbgi.com. Beasley is an EOE.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix-based, nationally syndicated morning duo “Johnjay & Rich” – Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – were inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.  The program is heard in Phoenix on iHeartMedia-owned flagship CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” and is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  The program debuted in Tucson on KRQ.  It moved to KZZP in 2006.  It’s currently heard in 20 markets across the country…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekly Wolfman Jack show adds new affiliates” WCCW-FM, Traverse City, Michigan; WOWY, State College, Pennsylvania; and KMGZ, Lawton, Oklahoma.  The stations add the classic radio program in time to also air the two-hour special “Wolfman Jack Halloween Party.”  WOWY program director Bob Steele says, “I have been searching for this show for years.  Knowing what a legend he was and how much fun the show was, I knew it was going to be an instant listener favorite!  He is probably the most referenced DJ in history. Everyone has heard of him.  I think it’s his personality that resonates with people.  He makes people laugh and feel good.  He often had a shocking side and I think that may be what keeps people glued to his every word.”…..Country artist Jessie Ritter from Fort Walton Beach, Florida is named the winner of Cumulus Media’s 4th annual “NASH Next” competition.  The final competition event took place last night (10/11) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and featured live performances from the top 10 national finalists, and a special performance by Radio Romance, last year’s “NASH Next” winner whose single “Weekend” rose to the top 40 on the country airplay charts.  Ritter will receive national radio airplay on Cumulus stations and gets a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella…..Country music legend Dolly Parton was on the NASH campus in Nashville yesterday joining “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” in-studio to talk about her latest Netflix project, “Dumplin’,” in which she found herself working with Jennifer Aniston and Sia. Pictured below are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Parton, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

| October 10, 2018

Price: Today’s Radio Handle Is ‘Michael.’ Continuity and crisis management expert Howard Price writes today that Gulf Coast stations should be all about Hurricane Michael.  With the storm expected to make landfall later today, Price is shocked that so many Gulf Coast radio stations were still in regular programming mode with a potential category 4 hurricane headed straight for them.  Hopefully, those stations have prepared for the worst.  Price offers some advice to those stations who have not prepared for an emergency with a simple outline of how to create an emergency plan that all station staffers can understand and execute in a short amount of time. Remember, not all emergencies come with the days of warnings that hurricanes do.  Some weather events come seemingly out of nowhere.  Man-made emergencies such as shootings or other forms of civil unrest also leave little time to plan ahead.  Read Price’s entire piece here.

KKOB-AM Is Voice of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Pictured above is the KKOB-AM, Albuquerque hot air balloon (center) among the dozens of other balloons lifting off at the 47th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  The event opened on October 6 and runs through the 14th.  The Cumulus Media news/talk station is the official radio voice of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The station is broadcasting live every day from the event with traffic, weather, and official updates starting at 4:57 am each day.

JVC Media Expands KC Armstrong’s ‘WMAP Radio’ Show to Orlando. The daily, one-hour radio program “WMAP Radio” starring former, longtime Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is branching out from its home on WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “103.9 LI News.”  JVC Media is syndicating Armstrong’s program and the first affiliate station is the company’s rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “BUD 94.1” in Orlando.  The program’s full title is “World’s Most Amazing People with KC Armstrong,” and the station says, “In this era of bad news, fake news, Internet trolls, and general weary cynicism, KC is making quite a positive impression on Long Island and expansion of his show is the next evolution.  KC, who many people remember as a cast member of Howard Stern’s terrestrial radio show back in the day, comes to this pursuit carrying some damn dramatic baggage.”  KC adds, “My first book comes out on October 27.  It’s called Simply Amazing and it includes my struggle with mental illness and health problems along with 11 of my most inspirational interviews.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to share this with listeners all over the country.” WRCN general manager Bruce Shepard says, “‘LI News Radio’ is proud to have served as the flagship station for KC Armstrong over the past year.  We look forward to the next evolution as his show’s expansion is sure to bring more access to celebrity guests and entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Daily News reports that former WFAN, New York morning show co-host Craig Carton is asking the court not to use the phrase “Ponzi scheme” during his coming trial on fraud charges, arguing that it would prejudice the jury against him.  Carton is facing charges in federal court in New York for allegedly using millions of dollars from investors in his after-market concert ticket business to pay off personal expenses, including large gambling debts.  But prosecutors argue that a search of his cell phone indicates Carton himself executed several online searches for the terms “Ponzi scheme” and “Ponzi” in the months prior to his arrest.  Jury selection for his trial is to begin on October 29…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks in partnership with School of Humans launch a new, true-crime podcast called “Hell and Gone.”  This podcast dives deep into the murder of Rebekah Gould, a 22-year old college student who was mysteriously murdered on her way to a gas station in Ozarks, Arkansas 14 years ago.  It’s hosted by Catherine Townsend…..Entercom all-news WCBS-AM, New York names Anita Bonita to the station’s staff as a weekend news anchor…..Cumulus Media names Scotty Bastable VP and director of sales for its San Francisco cluster that includes news/talk station KGO and KSFO. Bastable was most recently agency and corporate development manager for CBS 360.  He also served in the Bay Area as general manager of Entercom’s adult contemporary KOIT.  He begins his new role with Cumulus on November 15.

Nikki Haley to Step Down, Kavanaugh Confirmation Aftermath, Tracking Hurricane Michael, AMAs/Taylor Swift Speech, U.S.-China Trade War, Sears to Enter Bankruptcy, Missing Saudi Journalist, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9). The announcement that Nikki Haley will leave her Ambassador to the UN position at the end of the year; the aftermath of the contentious nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; the tracking of Hurricane Michael as it heads toward the Florida panhandle; Tuesday night’s American Music Awards and Taylor Swift’s “get out the vote” speech; the trade war between the U.S. and China; a report Sears has hired a firm to begin bankruptcy proceedings; concerns missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudi regime; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pioneer Valley Radio Reaches Special Milestone.  Now in its fourth year of service to Western Massachusetts, hyper-local online radio station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.pioneervalleyradio.com) has reached a milestone that GM/morning host Brad Shepard describes as “extremely gratifying.”  Yesterday (10/9), the station posted its 200th on demand special feature program.  Pioneer Valley Radio’s “special feature” programs include interviews with community leaders and in-depth reports on local people and activities that are presented to its listenership above and beyond its daily fare of a morning show, regularly scheduled specialty hosts, video events, and live, local sports play-by-play.  The outlet was launched in 2014 by Shepard and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as an experiment in digital era “media station” development.  Shepard – a former longtime Springfield, MA morning host on iHeartMedia’s WHYN and Cumulus Media’s WMAS – describes Pioneer Valley Radio’s format as “non-partisan, personality-oriented public affairs covering local politics, business, public safety, health care, and arts & entertainment.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After the recent resignation of long-time program director Ron Valeri, Entercom names Joe Calgaro program director for its active rock WAAF, Boston.  Calgaro leaves his post at Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog” to make the move to Boston…..iHeartMedia announces Marc Anthony is being honored with the third annual iHeartRadio Premio Corazón Latino Award at the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina on November 3 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.  In addition, Marc Anthony, Manuel Turizo and Mau y Ricky are joining the lineup that includes previously announced performers Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, Becky G, and Zion & Lennox…..Friends, family, and co-workers are mourning the death of classic rock WBVX, Lexington, Kentucky air personality Shea Maddox, who committed suicide early Monday morning.  Maddox was the midday host at the LM Communications’ station…..Pictured below is “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) with country star Kane Brown (right) backstage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.  Brown picked up three awards at last night’s ceremonies: Favorite Male Artist – Country; Favorite Album – Country (for his self-titled album), and Favorite Song – Country (for “Heaven”).

Monday, October 8, 2018

| October 8, 2018

KQED Names Blakley Executive Director/Radio Programming. Four-year Minnesota Public Radio program director Jonathan Blakley is appointed executive director of radio programming for Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, San Francisco. The Western Michigan University graduate previously was a senior producer and editor at NPR and launched all-news on WKZO, Kalamazoo. He has also worked for all-news WWJ, Detroit and the Associated Press. In other station news, KQED promotes executive director of news Holly Kernan to chief content officer. She will now oversee news, arts, science, and education for radio and TV programming. Kerman joined the station in 2014 from San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW, where she was news and public affairs director. Meanwhile, managing editor Ethan Lindsey succeeds Kernan as executive director of news. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 report for San Francisco, KQED is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In San Jose, KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. It finished first in that Bay Area market between January and June.

Harrison:  Neither Side is as Bad as Political Opponents ClaimTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, described by TV anchor/moderator/commentator Carol Costello as “the voice of reason” appeared today as a panelist on CNN’s Headline News channel (HLN) to discuss the impact of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation on the coming mid-term elections.  He joined other panelists Republican Scott Jennings and Democrat Nomiki Konst.  Jennings supported the President’s assertion that the Democrats and Liberals have become an unruly mob unfit to govern.  Konst expressed the opposite view that working people have never faced the level of economic inequality that presently exists and that the Kavanaugh addition to the Supreme Court feeds into the “women are doomed” scenario.  When asked by Costello if we as a nation are “going to remain as divided  – men versus women, Democrat versus Republican – as we are now permanently forever more?” Harrison replied by saying “Hopefully not permanently.  Let’s hope it ebbs and flows as it has through history.  Both sides are extremely energized.  The coming mid-term election promises to be as exciting, if not more, than a presidential election.  But we can’t tell which side will feel that way in a few weeks on Election Day when it will be decided by voter turn-out. From a media standpoint, which is the lens through which I view this, even though both sides in ‘biased media’ express righteous indignation – and there is extreme bias on both sides in the media  – both sides are loving this because this is a golden era for media that plays the news for the American public viewing it as a spectator sport.  The demonization of the ‘other side’ is just that – excessive hyperbolic demonization.  Nothing is going to be so terrible no matter how it plays out.  Women are not doomed and the Democrats are not a mob.  And if for some reason Trump loses his majority in Congress, he’ll work that to his advantage as well.  It’ll be his excuse for not fulfilling all his campaign promises to his base.”

One Putt Lands O’Rorke as VP/GM. Ten-year Lotus Broadcasting Fresno market manager Kevin O’Rorke joins cross-town One Putt Broadcasting as vice president and general manager, succeeding Josh Riley. One Putt partner John Ostlund comments, “We are excited to have Kevin on our team. His passion for radio, [as well as his] experience with many of our clients and involvement in non-profit organizations, makes him a great fit.” Another One Putt partner – Chris Pacheco – notes, “I have known and worked with Kevin many times over the years – he brings tremendous experience to our team.” California State University-Fullerton alum O’Rorke adds, “Radio is an exciting industry, but locally-owned radio with the kind of community focus that Chris and John have demonstrated over the years is very unique. I am looking forward to getting started and making a difference.” One Putt’s Fresno cluster includes sports talk KFIG “940 ESPN Radio”; KFRR “New Rock 104.1”; classic rock KJFX “95.7 The Fox”; triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5”; CHR KWDO “99.3 Now FM”; and classic hits-oldies KYNO-AM.

Daniel Joins Fresno’s KVPR and Bakersfield’s KPRX As News Director. News/talk KQED, San Francisco reporter Alice Daniel is appointed news director of similarly-formatted KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield. Valley Public Radio interim president Joe Moore comments, “Alice is a talented reporter and educator, who always finds a way to bring out something special or unexpected in her stories. Six years ago, we didn’t have any local reporters at the station; now, we have three. Our work is increasingly being recognized with awards at the regional and national level.” Daniel remarks, “I am excited by the prospect of working with other reporters to cover this diverse and story-rich region in a way that makes a difference for the community at large. I love the creative process of figuring out the best way to tell a compelling story. There is nothing I love more in journalism than finding that gem of a story that no one else has unearthed.” In addition to contributing to Success Magazine, Daniel – who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University – has taught journalism for 17 years at Fresno State University.

TALKERS News Notes.  In a presentation to be made this coming Saturday (10/13), Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk KSFO morning host (5:00 am – 9:00 am) Brian Sussman will receive the Don Sherwood Award from the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. The listener-voted honor recognizes the Bay Area’s favorite news/talk radio broadcaster for 2018. Sussman replaced Lee Rodgers in morning drive on KSFO in February 2010 ….. Beginning this Thursday (10/11), The New York Times debuts “The Argument,” a weekly opinion podcast hosted by three of the paper’s op-ed columnists – David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat, and Michelle Goldberg ….. As reported by the St. Louis Dispatch, “Real Housewife of Orange County” Meghan King Edmonds will appear with “Meghan’s Must Haves” every week on the Sunday morning edition of Rick & Tracey Ellis’ show on Entercom St. Louis news/talk KFTK “FM Newstalk 97.1.” The segment starts this Sunday (10/14). Edmonds is the wife of former St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels outfielder/current Fox Sports Midwest analyst Jim Edmonds ….. The former six-year general manager of Tri-States Public Radio and an adjunct instructor at Western Illinois UniversityJonathan Ahl, will be a Rolla, Missouri-based reporter for University of Missouri-St. Louis news/talk KWMU. Ahl previously was news director and reporter at Iowa Public Radio ….. KTTC-TV, Austin (Minnesota) multimedia journalist James Bunner has been fired for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Trump’s appearance last Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota. KTTC news director Noel Sederstrom said Bunner was let go for wearing campaign gear while covering the political event – not because of his personal politics. Sederstrom told BuzzFeed News, “[Bunner] violated our policy so he’s no longer with us. We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.” On the day of Trump’s inauguration, Bunner posted a video of himself on Facebook dancing to “Celebration” (Kool & The Gang). KTTC removed Bunner’s online profile from its website last Friday …..  Listeners will be able to use touch and voice to tune into live iHeartRadio radio stations on Portal and Portal+ – Facebook’s home video communications devices. The Portal comes with a variety of features such as AI-powered video cameras, smart sound technology, and crystal-clear audio. Powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice control system, the video chat devices were introduced today (10/8).

Richard Neer Pens Sixth Murder Mystery Book.  Longtime TALKERS columnist Richard Neer, a 30-year sports talk veteran at WFAN, New York and former WNEW-FM, New York radio great, has released his sixth Riley King murder mystery, An American Storm (Amazon Digital Services, 2018). This one has a strong radio sub-plot as King’s cohort Rick Stone deals with a career crisis after moving from making big dollars at a large market station to a small labor-of-love outlet, attempting to create a free form talk and music format. He is frustrated by a dearth of callers and the aging demo. Neer is well-known for his landmark radio non-fiction FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and is developing a large following as a writer of the mystery fiction genre. He can be reached for interviews at novelistcafe@windstream.net. The new book is available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Kavanaugh Confirmation and Ensuing Protests Across the Nation Top the List of Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio Over the Weekend.  The U.S. Senate Confirmation and Swearing-in of controversial Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the protests that took place during and after the vote topped the list of stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend.  These stories were followed by the US-China trade war; November midterm elections and the battle for control of Congress; the new USMCA deal; the disappearance of the head of Interpol after traveling to China; NFL action during week number five and the MLB divisional playoffs which were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Welsh, Porreca Join JAM Media Solutions. East Orange, New Jersey-based JAM Media Solutions names Donovan Welsh executive vice president of sales and Kerry Porreca executive vice president of finance. JAM Media Solutions closed on its media properties last Wednesday (10/3). They take over eight media properties in Outer Banks, North Carolina and Muscatine, Iowa. The Outer Banks properties include WCMS “Water Country”; hot AC WCXL “Beach 104”; WVOD “99.1 The Sound – The Outer Banks’ Alternative”; WZPR “Classic Rock 92.3”; and “The Outer Banks Voice.” The Muscatine properties include classic rock KMCS “Vintage Sound 93.1”; KWPC “The Voice of Muscatine; and “The Voice of Muscatine.” JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. remarks, “In the early years of my career in New York, I worked with Mr. Welsh and am honored that he has decided to join JAM Media to oversee our sales efforts. Mrs. Porreca is a veteran finance executive and has extensive knowledge of the Outer Banks. She is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our goal of giving back to the communities we seek to serve. I am humbled to step into the next phase of our collective journey. Our goal is to deliver a first-rate experience for the communities we serve. We love our radio local and our listeners will come to know that for themselves.” Most recently, Welsh was sales manager of Entercom New York sports talk WFAN. Porreca has spent the majority of her professional career in the manufacturing and advertising areas.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Additions at Entercom Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” find DJ Vice hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix” weekdays from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Krystal Bee joining the station’s weekend lineup. According to Entercom Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Jeff Federman, “DJ Vice and Krystal Bee have been household names in the Southern California radio and music scene for more than 25 years collectively. We look forward to them delivering a fresh listening experience for fans.” DJ Vice remarks, “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family. This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal Bee notes that, “[KAMP] has a vision for radio that is so exciting. I have loved working with the team and I am excited about everything the future holds for me, the station, and our amazing listeners.” In 2011, DJ Vice was named one of “America’s Best DJs” by DJ Times. Prior to joining Entercom, Krystal Bee held on-air roles for cross-town rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” since 2011 ….. Following last week’s departure of brand manager/program director Ron Valeri, Entercom Boston-owned WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” names Joe Galgaro, PD of Saga Communications Milwaukee’s WHQG “102.9 The Hog,” as Valeri’s replacement ….. Most recently doing mid-days for Beasley Media Group Tampa’s WQYK “99.5 New Country Hits,” June Knight joins Entercom Miami’s similarly-formatted WKIS “Country 99.5” as morning drive co-host, where she will pair with assistant program director/music director Tim “TC” Conlon as “TC & June. Knight previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and WODS …  As we reported last week, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for the Cumulus Radio Station Group, continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as PD for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Associated with that move, Cumulus Media vice president/contemporary programming (CHR and hot AC) Cat Thomas departs. Thomas joined Cumulus Media nearly three years ago, after a 27-year career with CBS Radio Las Vegas where he was vice president/programming. For approximately 20 years, he programmed that company’s Las Vegas CHR, KLUC ….. Morning co-host Brian Fowler exits WGAR. He joined “Country 99.5.” in 2011 to team with LeeAnn Sommers, who remains with the iHeartMedia Cleveland outlet ….. Next year’s iHeartRadio “ALTer Ego” officially sold out on the first day on sale. The second annual music event, which will broadcast live (1/19/2019) across over 70 iHeartRadio alternative and rock stations, reportedly sold out in less than a minute of being on sale to the general public. The “ALTer Ego” lineup at Los Angeles’ Fabulous Forum includes The Killers, Weezer, Rise Against, Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists. Chief programming officer for iHeartMedia Tom Poleman notes, “It was remarkable to watch how fast tickets sold out. All tickets immediately went the moment we made them available. It speaks to the power of the lineup and how fast the ALTer Ego brand has grown in just two years.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia president/national sales, marketing & partnerships Tim Castelli comments, “The lineup is incredible and reaches the millennial trend leaders who make up the mega-event’s core audience. Given such an amazing response, we are expecting this to break social chatter records like we have done with our lineup on our other iHeart marquee events” ….. Former WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM,” Peoria (Illinois) program director Jonathan Steele is named to a similar position at Martz Communications Pittsburgh urban contemporary WAMO …..Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and congressional hopeful Jim Cooper have picked up a big-name endorsement – Taylor Swift. The singer usually doesn’t express her political beliefs but notes on Instagram, “Due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.” Bredesen and Cooper are Democrats ….. At the box office, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” remake took in $41.3 million. According to comScore, with $174.5 million in tickets sold at United States and Canadian theaters, it was easily the best October weekend ever…. Starting today (10/8), iHeartMedia Columbus CHR WNCI-originated “Dave (Kaelin) & Jimmy (Jam)” will air (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix” 94.1.” WHBC-FM operations manager Bo Matthews comments, “Dave & Jimmy are Ohio guys [who] celebrate the region with their content. They experience all the pain that comes with being Cleveland sports fans. I am super excited for the show they will be providing us every weekday morning.” According to Jimmy Jam, “Canton is my hometown so I have about 200 relatives [who] will be listening every day.”

Thursday, October 4, 2018

| October 4, 2018

iHeartMedia Enters into $10 Million Ad Deal with High Times. Via the Form 1-U filing with the SEC by Hightimes Holdings Corp, we learn that iHeartMedia has entered into a deal with the marijuana-centric media firm to provide advertising – initially $5 million worth of ad inventory with the option for another $5 million – in exchange for an 8% convertible note due September 26, 2020.  Hightimes Holdings plans to use the inventory to publicize – via radio, digital and outdoor – its pending maximum $50 million Regulation A+ initial public offering.  The 1-U filing explains that “upon completion of the Hightimes Pubic Offering, provided that a minimum of $15,000,000 of gross proceeds are raised and Hightimes Class A voting common stock trades on an ‘Approved Securities Market’ (as defined in the convertible note), all iHeart Ad Inventory purchased and the entire outstanding amount of the BMH [Broader Media Holdings] Note shall automatically convert into shares of Hightimes Class A common stock at a conversion price equal to the volume weighted average closing prices, as traded on such Approved Securities Market for the 10 trading days immediately following completion of the Hightimes Public Offering.”

FOX Sports Radio Adds New Talent to Weekend Programming. The new fall weekend lineup for FOX Sports Radio is announced by Premiere Networks.  Focusing on college and NFL football, the network adds five-year NFL veteran Bucky Brooks, who teams up with FSR personality Mark Willard to host Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET, and sports radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington partners with FSR’s Steve Hartman on Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Washington will also join FSR weekend host and 13-year NFL veteran Ephraim Salaam on Sundays to host “Red Zone Radio” from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro states, “Coupled with the recent additions of RJ Bell, Chris Broussard, and Rob Parker to our weekday lineup, FOX Sports Radio has the best array of talent to provide thoughtful insight and entertaining commentary for all sports fans both on weekdays and weekends.  When sports news breaks or action on the field develops, we are live 24/7 to provide instantaneous reaction with perspective and opinions from the best minds in the game.”

Kicking off the Upfront Season. Executives and talent representing Skyview Networks, CBS Audio and ABC Radio were present on Tuesday night at The Onyx Room in New York kicking off the upfront season at an event positioned as “Experience Beyond,” drawing the largest spenders in network radio. The event focused on new integrations and experiential opportunities for 2019 across Skyview Networks’ sales portfolio.  The night was capped with an exclusive, live acoustic performance from country music star, Cassadee Pope.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Steve Jones, vice president/GM ABC Radio; David Muir, anchor, “World News Tonight”; Sara Haines, co-host, “GMA Day”; Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief health and medical correspondent; Brad Mielke, host of ABC’s “Start Here” podcast; and Aaron Katersky, ABC News correspondent.

Michael Harrison Guests on Journalist Joe Strupp’s New Podcast Series.  Noted journalist Joe Strupp, whose long list of credits includes serving as senior editor/investigative reporter for Media Matters for America and senior editor for Editor & Publisher has launched a new media-focused podcast series titled “Joe’s Media Corner” (that features extensive interviews with leading figures in the news and communications industries).  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is his guest on episode 3.  In this deep-dive interview, Harrison talks extensively about the challenges facing spoken-word radio in the 21st century, the role of news/talk within the talk radio spectrum, why conservative programming has worked more successfully than progressive on commercial news/talk radio, and how the radio industry has arrived in its present financial predicament.  He also shares a historical overview about his role as a pioneer in FM progressive rock radio and the rise of album oriented rock (AOR) radio which later evolved into present-day classic rock radio.  Don’t miss this fascinating, unvarnished conversation.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Bruce Law Named VP/GM for Cumulus Media’s Grand Rapids Cluster. Michigan native Bruce Law returns home to join Cumulus Media as vice president and general manager of the company’s Grand Rapids stations, including news/talk WJRW and sports talk WBBL-FM. Law previously served as president of Saga Communications’ Asheville, North Carolina cluster.  Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker states, “We are thrilled to welcome Bruce back home to Grand Rapids.  His passion for these brands and for Western Michigan is obvious and we are glad to have him on the team.”

TALKERS News Notes. As part of a new deal with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Entercom announces that all regular-season and postseason games for both teams will stream live from Radio.com, the exclusive digital home for all Entercom content.  The broadcasts will be available free via Radio.com’s app and website as well as the NHL, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders mobile apps and website.  In addition, WFAN, New York will promote all live, digital streams and air select head-to-head matchups between the two teams. Entercom SVP Jeff Sottolano says, “We’re excited to expand our partnership with the New Jersey Devils and add the New York Islanders.  As the fastest growing digital audio app in the United States and unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, Radio.com aims to become a daily habit for the millions of users we reach each month, including tri-state hockey fans.”…..iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic and Weather Network inks a deal to provide public radio news/talk WBEZ, Chicago with real-time traffic data and services, including TrafficNet, a 24-7 dashboard covering live breaking traffic information…..For its 21st consecutive season, ESPN Radio is broadcasting every game of the MLB Postseason.  A rotating team of Marc Kestecher, Kevin Winter, John Brickley, and Jim Basquil will host 30-minute pre-game shows during the Division Series and a one-hour show during the Championship Series and World Series broadcasts.

Michael Harrison Podcast Poses Provocative Question:  Does the Human Brain Act as a Kind of Radio/Television Antenna?  Silicon Valley high-tech industry financial expert Mark Gober is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Gober is the author of a provocative new book titled “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life” (Waterside Press, 2018).  In it, he presents the latest scientific research and evidence suggesting that, contrary to popular belief and mainstream science dogma, human consciousness doesn’t originate in the brain but, rather, in a higher universal dimension – perhaps even beyond time and space as we perceive them.  The implications of such a possibility are profound.  Harrison states, “I’ve always been fascinated by the obvious connections between human biology and our technological extensions of it.  In other words, our inventions are enhanced mechanical versions of what nature has already provided us.  Is it not possible that just as the content of radio and TV programs does not originate in the physical appliances that pluck it out of the air for us, our consciousness – thoughts, words and creativity – comes from some other invisible source outside the brain?  Maybe the brain is a biological radio antenna processing signals from elsewhere?  Mark Gober’s book tackles this issue in a direct, credible and understandable way.  He’s a great guest!”  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Kavanaugh Investigation, NYTimes‘ Trump Wealth Story, U.S.-China Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, South Carolina Cop Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; the New York Times story alleging Donald Trump’s family engaged in tax schemes to achieve its wealth; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; November’s midterm elections and speculation about which party will have control of congress; the deadly attack on police attempting to execute a search warrant in South Carolina; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits it is for Entercom’s former hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM.”  The new format and brand – “94.7 The Drive” – launched yesterday afternoon with the station promising “expertly curated classic hits, including rock, pop, and R&B hits from the 1980s, as well as mass appeal titles from the 1970s and 1990s.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Washington D.C. is the only major market without a classic hits radio station.  With Entercom’s track record in the format from New York to L.A., we have the wherewithal to capitalize on this unique opportunity.  It’s no stretch to launch with a high level of confidence when Pat Paxton, Jim Ryan, and Jeff Sottolano are part of the brain trust.”  The station launched with limited commercial inventory and will announce programming updates in the coming months…..On-air pro Amy Reed is appointed morning drive co-host at Entercom’s country WPAW, Greensboro alongside Dale O’Brian on the “Wake Up with the Wolf” program.  She had most recently been with Alpha Media’s CHR WARQ, Columbia, South Carolina as midday host and assistant program director…..Kelly Ford, co-host of the nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” morning drive program is serving as host committee chair of the Play Like a Girl Honors Gala. The black-tie event will benefit the national non-profit organization, Play Like a Girl, and is being held on Monday, November 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Franklin, Tennessee.  Ford joins fellow host committee chair (and WKRN-TV, Nashville chief meteorologist) Danielle Breezy, and honorary chair, Trisha Yearwood for the gala evening that will celebrate the achievements of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire.  The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala will raise funds for programs that inspire leadership through sport and build confidence in girls on and off the field.

September 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. 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 below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – With a May – September topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” carries on in fifth-place for the fourth straight month. KXL was up six-tenths in April and then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. By way of comparison, the January through September trending for iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 1.9 (#18 – #20, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2015). An April improvement of two-tenths interrupted three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Returning two-tenths of August’s +.3 (1.0 – .8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO falls from #24 to #26. “Freedom 970” posted a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row before dropping three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July. After six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” regains 90% of that loss with a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at #22, Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” erases August’s -.2 with September’s +.3 (1.2 – 1.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” recovers from August’s loss of seven-tenths with a +.1 (1.1 – .4 – .5, #29 to #28, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB shifts from first – where it has been each month this calendar year – to second. KOPB was +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May).

Portland Music Formats – Succeeding KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which advances from the runner-up slot. In addition to logging its best 6+-stat (8.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9, “K-103” is an overall +1.6 in three upticks in a row (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8, 6+). KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). By tacking on one-half share to August’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” progresses from fifth to fourth. Prior to August, KINK last reached the five-share level (6+) in February (5.0). In a somewhat similar boat is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish,” which jumps by one-half share in September after posting a +.8 in August (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #16, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a collective -.8 in August and September (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Off by one-half share each are KGON’s adult hits cluster-mate KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything,” which falls out of the top ten (#10 to #11); iHeartMedia-owned KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3, #12 to #13); and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#16 to #17). “Charlie” is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and is below a four-share for the first time since April 2016’s 3.9. “Jam’n” had been a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), while “The Bull” is -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ is without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from #15 to #14.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Backsliding from #14 to #15, Entercom news/talk WBT has a May – September (6+) topline of 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it halted three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Following four straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by a collective one-half share in August and September (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) and is unchanged at #19. “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March. A combined -1.4 in three downward moves in succession (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE drifts from #13 to #17. Up one-half share in June, “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” had a consistent January – May topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). Having tripled its 6+-share as a result of three gains in a row (.2 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is off one-tenth to .5 (6+) but remains at #20.

Charlotte Music Formats – Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March and includes September’s +.8 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#15 to #12) is a combined -.4 in that stretch. Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” is up or flat for the fifth straight month for an overall +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). By posting a gain of six-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #18, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “Classical Public Radio” erases the six-tenths it lost in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight up or flat moves (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and continues in third-place. Before gaining two-tenths in July, “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC – is not only up or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+) – “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” advances from second to first. Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Changing places with WSOC is its urban AC sibling WBAV “V-101.9,” which is -1.0 in August and September (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9, first to second, 6+). WBAV stayed at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods, a highly-unusual occurrence in Charlotte. Prior to the August 2018 sweep, no station in this North Carolina metro had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held by (in chronological order) iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July and August); and WSOC (September). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. After notching five positive spikes in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG slips by one-tenth in September to 4.8 (6+). “Power 98” remains at #8 for the fourth straight month; August 2018’s 4.9 is its best 6+-showing since 5.9 in August 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – An uptick of one-tenth (3.8 – 3.9, 6+) is enough to propel iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” from #11 into the top ten (#9). July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. Repeating at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” returns the three-tenths it gained in August (1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+). KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Unchanged from August in 6+ AQH share (.7), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR moves from #30 to #27. This time last month, “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” wiped away its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3. Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX duplicates August’s +.4 (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), climbing from #14 to #12. A July loss of seven-tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history.

San Antonio Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM the market leader for the ninth successive sweep, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is +2.2 in four straight increases (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+) and reaches the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). Country-formatted stations continue to hold down the #2 and #3 slots, however, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.6 – 6.1, +.5, third to second, 6+) overtakes Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.8 – 6.0, -.8, second to third, 6+). The +2.7 that “KJ-97” racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. September’s -.8 by “Y-100” suspends three straight gains that netted +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, it reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Off one-tenth in May, KCYY curtailed four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). These two country adversaries were locked together in the runner-up slot in June. Three straight decreases by KROM accounted for a -1.7 (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet answers with a +.6 to 5.0 (seventh to fourth, 6+). “Que Buena 92.9” was a combined +.5 in April and May. Improving by six-tenths as well is Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which is an overall +.9 in three consecutive up or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s -.6 with a September increase of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate KTKX  advances from eighth to sixth. Entering the August sweep, “106.7 The Eagle” gained nine-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share as well are Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1,” up a collective six-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+) and Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” (2.7 – 3.2, #17 to #15, 6+). On the heels of August’s +.5, which ended three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT surrenders more than twice that increase with a -1.1 to 3.4 (6+); “98.5 The Beat” plummets from #5 to #12. The wild ride continues for Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG, which was -.9 in three straight March through June downtrends (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); +.7 in July; -.9 in August; and now -.7 in September (4.0 – 3.3, 6+). “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” fades from #9 to #14 with its lowest 6+-share (3.3) in nearly three years (3.1, November 2015). Following four straight gains that accounted for a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -2.1 in five April through September decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” falls from #13 to #16. Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KTFM “Energy 94.1,” which was +.7 via three straight increases (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is off four-tenths in three straight down of flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+). A gain of two-tenths in June halted four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and now -1.1 in September (7.2 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. A model of consistency – iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” (.1 – .2, +.1, flat at #18, 6+) has logged either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 17 ratings periods. Adding six-tenths to August’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA carries on at #13 with its best 6+-showing (3.0) since October 2017’s 3.2. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dials up a +1.1 to 6.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “Kiss” fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.3 – 10.2, +.9, 6+) is #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time this calendar year. WWSW was a combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), but forfeited -1.3 in May. In the runner-up slot for the ninth successive sweep, co-owned rocker WDVE erases nearly half of August’s -.8 with a September gain of three-tenths (8.5 – 7.7 – 8.0, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and -.8 in August. Debuting in August with a .4 (6+), Entercom’s urban contemporary WBZZ-HD3 adds six-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and remains at #17. After recording six straight up or flat trends since February for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB surrenders seven-tenths (3.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). With a 4.2 in August, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” reached the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. A one-half share loss to 3.4 (6+) by Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ suspends three consecutive improvements for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), but “Q-92.9” continues at #12. After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the third straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Once again finishing in third-place, KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is down or flat for the eighth straight report for an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). The iHeartMedia-owned news/talk station was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; first in January 2018; second in February; first in March (tied with KSEG); second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August and September. Meanwhile, the February – September topline trending for co-owned KSTE (moving from a three-way tie at #13 to #14) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+). In January, “Talk 650” notched a 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is up one-tenth (1.1 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+). It is tied with co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which had lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), but adds four-tenths in September to 1.2 (#25 to #21, 6+). Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ tacks on two-tenths to August’s +.6 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). After three straight up or flat trends that produced a net gain of four-tenths (.3 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI drops one-tenth to .5 (#27, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Bragging rights for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here go to Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (3.9 – 5.2, +1.3, ninth to fifth, 6+). The last time “98 Rock” hit the five-share threshold (6+) was in December 2016 (5.1). Not only is co-owned KSEG #1 for the eighth successive sweep, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” adds six-tenths to August’s +.1 (9.0 – 9.1 – 9.7, +.1, 6+). “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; -.9 in July; and now +.6 in September. This marks the eleventh straight monthly report that Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (+.5, #16 to #13) is within 2.2 – 2.9 range: 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 (6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falters by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #18 to #19, 6+). In terms of 6+ AQH share, there is very little movement in the market’s country contest: Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” improves by one-tenth to 2.2 (#17 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (4.4 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (2.3 – 2.1, #13 to #17) are each down by two-tenths. “The Wolf” was off one-half share in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and was flat in August. This time last month, “New Country” forfeited seven-tenths of July’s +.8. KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). An August -1.1 by “The Bull” erased July’s +1.0. Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL drops two-tenths (5.0 – 4.8, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” advances from seventh to sixth. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL, which was #1 in April, was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). Following a May-August (bookend) topline of 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off two-tenths to 3.9 (ninth to tenth, 6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). Broadway Media-owned KALL recaptures half of August’s -.2 with a +.1 to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+). In advance of the August sweep, “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). After four successive sweeps without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER falters by one-half share to 3.0 (#11 to #14, 6+). It previously was an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuts with a .9 (#26, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Simultaneous with independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” busting out a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, #11 to #8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” freefalls by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, third to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), “Z-104” added one-tenth in August. Meanwhile, when “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August, it snapped a string of three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). More than erasing August’s -.6 with a September gain of nine-tenths (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from #15 to #11. “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Carrying on at #13, CHR cluster-mate KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” posts its fifth consecutive increase for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC KJMY progresses from tenth to seventh. A one-tenth decline in August by “MY-99.5” ended at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). A collective +.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” leaps from sixth to fourth. After sharing the #1 slot in August, iHeartMedia’s KODJ regains the three-tenths it squandered in August (6.7, 6+) as “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” takes sole possession of first place. It was #1 this past June and July, as well. Moreover, September’s +.3 brings to a close three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. The station with which it shared August’s penthouse – Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI – loses two-tenths (6.4 – 6.2, 6+) and takes over at #2. “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gained one-half share in August. Immediately prior to August, KSFI was -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” was on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). After trending 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4 (6+), Broadway Media’s KXRK “X-96 – Utah’s Original Alternative” stumbles by eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). By faltering six-tenths to 2.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” (#15 to #19) has its consecutive string of increases that produced a +.7 end at four (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning half of August’s +.2 (1.9 – 1.8, -.1, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT  remains at #20. Before August’s increase, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). The March – September topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#23 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is now +.4 in August and September (.5 – .6 – .9, #27 to #25, 6+). Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is an overall +.9 through four consecutive improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9, #15 to #13, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since March (2.9, as well). A cumulative -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – It’s another game of music chairs atop the leaderboard between Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, first to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” (6.3 – 7.5, +1.2, second to first, 6+). Whereas KKLZ gained eight-tenths in August, “Sunny” spiraled by -1.3. The end result was KKLZ succeeding KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. August marked the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top in May, June, and July, with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. Unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” is a cumulative +1.7 in five consecutive upticks (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Adding one-half share to August’s +.2 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KWNR “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” advances from eighth to sixth. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last six survey periods (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” erodes by nine-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). Forfeiting one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+) and Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #16, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.8 in three straight positive spikes (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW has that bounty slivered exactly in half (9.1, -1.4, 6+). Nonetheless, the Cincinnati Reds flagship is #1 for the fourth month in a row although it shares the honor with Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR (see below). August 2018’s 10.5 is WLW’s highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; -1.2 in May; and now -1.4 in September. Off four-tenths to 3.7 (6+), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” slips from eighth to tenth. It was a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), with July’s increase stopping four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is flat at .9 (6+), but climbs from #20 to #19. Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is unchanged from August in both 6+ AQH share (3.5, its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6) and 6+ market rank (#12).

Cincinnati Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (to 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” all but eliminates its -.9 in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+). Adding six-tenths to August’s one-half share increase (4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” inches up from seventh to sixth. Stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, “Mix” was off eight-tenths in July, with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. Over and above continuing a down/up pattern that surfaced in May (9.6 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” proceeds from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk WLW. After posting a one-half share gain in August to 1.3, its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5, Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and leaves the top twenty (#18 to #22). Between March and July, “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” registered a .8 (6+) four times (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+). Having trended 7.9 – 8.1 – 7.9 (June-July-August, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” slumps by one-half share in September to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+). Off eight-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” shifts from sixth to seventh, while iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in five straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Off one-tenth (4.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” slips from ninth to tenth. Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. Steady at #11, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is +.8 in three consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). As the result of three successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is a collective +.6 (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, #16 to #15, 6+). Unhanged at #18, co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is likewise a collective +.6 via seven successive up or flat trends (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.7 – 1.1, #22 to #20, 6+). Owing to September’s +.5 (to 4.0, steady at #12, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” halts a down/up pattern that began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5.

Orlando Music Formats – Substituting August’s -.5 with September’s +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” jumps from tenth to eighth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.0) in more than two years (5.3, August 2016). Prior to August, “Power” was a collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). As a result of four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX was an overall -1.1, but “Mix 105.1” picks up one-tenth to 5.3 (6+) and climbs from eighth to seventh. An increase of one-half share to 7.7 (steady at #2, 6+) by iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, WXXL was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). While co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is #1 for the ninth month in a row, “Rumba 100” is an overall -3.4 in August and September (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2, 6+), with September’s -1.9 the largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 erosion by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. An overall +2.1 in six straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” surrenders roughly half that increase (5.0, -1.1, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth successive sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, seventh to eighth, 6+), which is -.6 in that stretch. A loss of one-tenth in June interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. Not only is Entercom’s WKRK +1.3 in three upticks in a row (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Cleveland’s “Fan” was a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, steady at #13, 6+) takes Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.6. WCPN was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – In addition to notching four straight improvements for an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Ten recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); and +.6 (September).  When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). Having lost roughly 40% of its 6+ AQH share (-4.1) in five straight down or flat trends since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK notches a +.5 to 6.5 (seventh to fifth, 6+). With a +.9, WZAK reached the top spot in December, but fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. Down two-tenths to 6.6 (yet progressing from fifth to fourth, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” concludes four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +2.4 generated via four successive upticks (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” (6.9, -1.5, 6+) slips from second to third. August’s 8.4 is its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). A collective +1.7 in July and August (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” surrenders nine-tenths to 7.2 (6+), yet actually advances from third to second. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Up seven-tenths in August to curtail five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” drops two-tenths in September to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths as well is co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.4 – 2.2, flat at #19, 6+). “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth in June. Down or flat for the third sweep in a row for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” remains at #23. Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” which was up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 3.1 (#12 to #15, 6+). The Kansas City Royals flagship more than doubled its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+). Three-tenths behind KCSP is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is a collective +.8 in four straight increases (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, #18 to #16, 6+). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in July and August, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR gains three-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Not only is Cumulus Media’s KCFX #1 for the fourth month in a row, “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +1.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). Moreover, this (8.8) is the strongest 6+-performance for KCFX since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Tacking on eight-tenths to August’s +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC repeats in the runner-up slot. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) and then dropped seven-tenths in July. In addition to entering the top ten (#11 to #7) with a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” has its highest 6+-stat (4.6) since 4.7 in March. At the same time that KCKC sibling KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” gains six-tenths to 5.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” regresses by nine-tenths (6.2 – 5.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). “Q-104” was off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). It was up or flat in seven straight December 2017 through June 2018 sweeps for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “Country 94.1” improved by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+). When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a net loss of six-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dipping from eighth to tenth. Flat at #3, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in six successive March through September declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The extremely steady March – September topline of iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN is 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.5 (unchanged at #6, 6+). Earlier this year though, “News Radio 610” was +1.5 in January; -1.0 in February; and -.7 in March. A collective +.6 in August and September (.5 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” progresses from #15 to #14. Following four down or flat sweeps in succession for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is without a loss for the third month in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, flat at #7, 6+). September’s 4.6 is its strongest 6+-stat since 4.7 in August 2017.

Columbus Music Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in succession, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” – which was +1.3 in June and -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+) – gains one-half share to 9.4 (6+). WNCI lost seven-tenths in July, curtailing three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Well ahead of WNCI is co-owned WCOL (15.0, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth consecutive sweep. When “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” eroded by -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). WCOL has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and 1.2 (August). Regressing by six-tenths each are One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (4.1 – 3.5, steady at #8, 6+) and Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” (3.3 – 2.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). Following four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” falters by three-tenths to 6.4 (third to fourth, 6+); 6.7 in August is its highest 6+-share since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017.

Friday, September 28, 2018

| September 28, 2018

Talk Personalities, News/Talk Stations Finish Strong in 2018 Marconi Awards. At the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show last night, the winners of the 2018 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters were announced and talk radio personalities took home four of the five Personality of the Year honors.  Premiere NetworksDan Patrick was honored with Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year; WDBO-FM, Orlando morning host Joe Kelley was named Large Market Personality of the Year; KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa morning host Pat Kerrigan received the Medium Market Personality of the Year award; and WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois morning host Brian Byers was honored with the Small Market Personality of the Year award.  Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was named News/Talk Station of the Year; Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta took home the Major Market Station of the Year; Cox’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando won Large Market Station of the Year; and Amaturo Sonoma Media Group’s KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa was Medium Market Station of the Year.  Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston was the Sports Station of the Year.  See all the winners here.

Alleged Co-Conspirator Fingers Carton in Plea Deal. According to the New York Post’s reportMichael Wright – the man alleged to be former WFAN morning host Craig Carton’s co-conspirator in the alleged concert ticket racket – told a federal judge that Carton directed him to use funds from investors to pay off Carton’s personal expenses, including gambling debts.  Wright has struck a plea deal with prosecutors to testify against Carton at his October 29 fraud trial that alleges Carton and his accomplices used $4.6 million from investors to repay other investors and to pay off debts.  The story says Wright is likely to get a 21- to 27-month sentence instead of the 20 years a conviction could carry.  Carton has maintained his innocence all along and says he expects to show that at his coming trial.

Adams Radio Group Goes with TTWN for ‘24/7 News Source.’ The deal between Total Traffic and Weather Network and Adams Radio Group calls for the former to provide its “24/7 News Source” wire service to Adams’ 24 stations operating in five markets.  The service includes news, sports, show-prep, and audio content. Adams Radio Group president and CEO Ron Stone comments, “Adams Radio Group is live, local, and focused on super-serving our listeners.  TTWN continues to innovate all aspects of its media content solutions.  We’re thrilled to leverage our new partnership with ‘24/7 News Source’ to enhance our on-air and online products.”

Seen & Heard at the Radio Show: Day 3TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay is in Orlando reporting from the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  In today’s report, McKay reveals the hot topics he’s hearing discussed in the hallways of this year’s conference.  He also shares some thoughts from NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton on what he sees for radio over the six to 12 months.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As part of the contract extension with award-winning journalist Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN will expand his role across its platforms, including as host of two new series slated to debut in 2019.  Van Natta will increase his contributions to ESPN’s investigative news show “Outside the Lines,” and he’s developing an interview podcast called, “The Triangle.”  Working with executive producer John Dahl, Van Natta will lead a “three-way discussion featuring provocative pairings that explore topics and shared histories with a level of depth, storytelling and, at times, conflict likely to test the comfort zones of all involved.”…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket” extends its deal with the NHL’s Dallas Stars to continue serving as the club’s exclusive radio broadcast home.  Cumulus Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “We are entering our 10th season as the flagship station of Dallas Stars hockey and we are proud to extend our relationship with the Stars for another five years. Thank you to team CEO Jim Lites for his continued faith in the Ticket to represent his great brand.”…..Pictured below is the cast of the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” performing live in North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek at the 2018 Radio Show.  Host Tom Griswold and the cast, including Chick McGee, Josh Arnold, Kristi LeeDonnie Baker, Allee Breen, Al JacksonGrace Yinger and Jessica Alsman, broadcast live Wednesday through Friday morning.

WOR Morning Co-Host and New York Post Broadway Theater Critic Michael Riedel Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legendary New York Post Broadway theater critic, Michael Riedel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Six months ago, Riedel was named as co-host with sports media veteran Len Berman of the WOR, New York morning show.  Together, these two well-known NYC media figures collegially discuss and dissect the hot issues of the day and interview newsmakers from a friendly left-right perspective (Riedel describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican with a libertarian position on social issues”).  Harrison and Riedel talk about the process of doing news/talk radio in the Trump era and then take a deep dive into the world of Broadway, newspapers, and theater criticism.  Harrison states, “Michael Riedel is a fabulous conversationalist and a walking-talking history book of the fascinating universe that is Broadway and its role in almost 100 years of American popular culture.  This installment of the podcast is one of my personal favorites because it takes an intelligent and revealing look at the confluence of two of my biggest passions – radio and the theater.”  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Talking Content at the Alpha Media Programming PopUp. — Pictured above are Alpha Media programming execs doing a panel discussion at the company’s “Programming PopUp” — a two-day get-together held Wednesday and Thursday at HQ in Portland for some 50 Alpha programmers.  From left to right are: national director of digital content Ernie Martinez, vice president of content Phil Becker, and executive vice president of content Scott Mahalick

Kavanuagh-Ford Hearing Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 24-28.  Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee of testimony from accuser Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s addresses at the United Nations, followed by the president’s accusation that China is trying to interfere in the U.S. elections 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. In Philadelphia, Entercom names radio sales pro Blaise Howard general sales manager for its recent acquisition, hot AC WBEB “101.1 More FM,” effective October 1.  In a press announcement, Entercom notes that Howard led WBEB for 18 years as vice president and general manager under previous management in which he “created a culture of high performing professionals and consistently maintained the status as one of the top rated and top revenue producing stations in the Philadelphia market.”  Howard says, “I can’t wait to start this new chapter with Entercom and be a part of the team led by Dave Scopinich and David Yadgaroff.  I am excited to take a step forward with a company so positive about our industry, and so committed to the growth of radio.”…..iHeartMedia’s Seattle hip hop outlet KUBE launches the new morning program “The Wake Up Show,” effective October 1. The new show will be hosted by Strawberry, Lizette Love, Jenna and DJ Supa Sam.  Station program director Mark Adams says, “In the few months since the re-launch, Seattle listeners have responded passionately to the return of KUBE and we’re creating noise on-air, online, and on the streets. With the addition of these personalities to anchor our mornings, I’m confident ‘The Wake Up Show’ is going to shake things up.”…..Longtime St. Louis on-air personality DC is moving south to Gulf South-owned CHR WKMX, Dothan, Alabama to serve as afternoon host and brand manager.  DC, a.k.a. Christian Chymes, spent 20-plus years as one half of the “Steve & DC” team with Steve Shannon.  DC comments, “My career began in Alabama and I am so excited to be back.  I’m honored to lead the staff at such a legendary station in the market.  I was sold after meeting [station manager] Bryan Holladay and his team, as well as getting a little taste of the winning atmosphere in the building.  And great BBQ is crucial for a good quality of life!”

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

| September 25, 2018

It’s a New Deal for Cumulus Programmer Bill Hess.  Programming pro Bill Hess and Cumulus Media sign a new, multi-year contract extension.  Hess is the company’s vice president of news/talk, program director for WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, and operations manager for the Washington, DC cluster.  During his 41-year career, Hess has programmed WTEM, Washington; WHJJ, Providence; and WHYN-AM/FM, Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as SVP of programming for Air America Media and has programmed music outlets WASH and WBIG in Washington.  Cumulus Media Washington VP/market manager Jake McCann says, “This is an exciting time for news/talk in our nation’s capital and we have the privilege of being led by one of the strongest program directors in the country.  Under Bill Hess’ leadership and hands-on approach, WMAL has consistently grown ratings.  He works daily with on-air staff to guarantee they are delivering a top-level product to their audience.”

Stone Canyon Buys Northern Arizona Station Group. This deal has three broadcast management pros organized as Stone Canyon Radio and Marketing, LLC buying four Northern Arizona signals from Grenax II Broadcasting for an as yet undisclosed sum.  The stations are: news/talk KBTK-FM/K246AA “97.1 The Big Talker,” country KSED “107.5 KOLT Country,” classic rock KWMX “The Wolf-Classic Rock 96.7,” and 80s rock KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1.”  Stone Canyon’s principals are former Cherry Creek Media CEO Joe Schwartz (left), Emmis SVP John Beck (right), and Withers Broadcasting and Dana Communications president Dana Withers (center).  Schwartz states, “This is a wonderful opportunity for three veteran broadcasters to pool our years of broadcast experience to create exceptional programming, on-the-street marketing, top digital assets, and to bring the best advertising services available to the Flagstaff-Prescott area. In addition, I can’t wait to work with current VP & general manager Stan Pierce and his team.”  Schwartz will be relocating to the Flagstaff area to work with the cluster team and Beck and Withers will remain in their current positions in St. Louis and Mt. Vernon, respectively.  The start of an LMA is expected to be announced in the near future.

WMAL’s Mary Walter to Host Fisher House Foundation’s Talk Radio Special. The Fisher House Foundation’s annual talk radio special, “Home Away from Home – The Fisher House Story,” is being hosted this year by WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning co-host Mary Walter.   The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group are producing the program for talk stations around the country to be aired any time from Veterans Day (11/11) through the holidays.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that the Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary, free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  This year’s three-hour radio special will feature stories of our nation’s heroes, families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  Show producer Jeff Wyatt says Mary Walter’s love of the military will add to the quality of the program.  “Her talent, well known support for our military, and broad base of listening across the U.S. makes her a great fit to support our wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families.”  Stations interested in the program can contact Wyatt at: jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com

TALKERS News Notes. Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is celebrating 20 years on talk radio in the Ocean State this month. DePetro says that he was working part-time air shifts on WABC, New York while also serving as national sales manager for WABC and sister WPLJ when he was offered a weekend show on WHJJ, Providence in his home state.  After a few months, he took over the full-time job of mid-morning host on WHJJ in January of 1999.  He currently is heard in Rhode Island on WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.…..iHeartMedia announces the fruit of its partnership with technology platform creators Jelli and Foursquare is a new attribution product for broadcast radio that will offer marketers “a unique combination of iHeartMedia’s massive reach and Jelli’s programmatic buying capabilities, with the attribution and insights tools from location technology company Foursquare.”  iHeartMedia says this is the next step in its effort to make radio easier to buy and measure. It says it “invested in Jelli’s programmatic platform to make the purchase of data driven radio campaigns as easy as digital, and now with the addition of Foursquare, more in-depth campaign measurement and real-world attribution data is now available to advertisers who buy via Jelli’s demand side platform SpotPlan.”  iHM president of revenue and data operations Brian Kaminsky adds, “This initiative with Foursquare and Jelli is the next evolution in the development of our platform, providing retailers and QSRs the same measurement and accountability for broadcast radio as Google is in search and Facebook is in social.”…..Entercom and Telemundo’s KTMD-TV, Houston announce a multi-platform media partnership that includes distribution of content across all partner channels, including KTMD-TV and Entercom’s Houston stations sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650,” plus country KILT-FM, Spanish KLOL, and hot AC KHMX.  Content will also be distributed across each entity’s websites and social media platforms. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “We are excited to partner with Telemundo and further serve our community with enhanced coverage.  We’re looking forward to continue bringing our listeners improved access and coverage of live, local news.”…..Sun & Fun Media announces it has hired Tim Closson to join the company as a senior AE.  He was previously manager of affiliate sales for country & sports at Westwood One.  Sun & Fun Media offers a “suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter.”…..Donna Hardwick is appointed chief marketing officer for PRX, the public media program supplier that recently merged with PRI.  Hardwick was most recently senior director of communications & distribution for ITVS.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations/Cruz Restaurant Protest, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein’s Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Threatens Attacks, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24). The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the related restaurant protest that forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife to leave; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related uncertainty over the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Iran’s threats against Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. after the deadly attacks on its military parade; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 the Charlotte market, Beasley Media Group announces promotions at urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9” and hip hop WPEG “Power 98.”  Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson is upped to program director for both stations.  He was most recently APD for WPEG and previously held the music director, afternoon drive host, and morning drive co-host positions.  At the same time, the company bumps Janine Davis up from traffic correspondent for both stations to midday personality at “V 101.9.”  Nikki “Ya Girl Nikki” Davis rises from evening host to afternoon drive personality on “Power 98.” Finally, John Reynolds is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster.  Reynolds most recently served as the program director and operations manager at CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1” and Adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening comments, “John is an exceptional leader and very committed to the success of all of our Beasley Media Group Charlotte radio stations. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to build our strong brands for many years to come.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Collin Raye’s Rewind Country” adds new affiliate stations WVWF-FM, Waverly, Tennessee and WPAY-FM, Garrison, Kentucky.  “Rewind Country” is a daily, one-minute vignette that “highlights amazing stories behind the greatest country hits, shared by Raye and friends such as Dolly Parton, John Michael Montgomery, and Lorrie Morgan…..ABC Radio, Skyview Networks, and Front and Center Entertainment are introducing radio versions of the PBS programs “The Front and Center Sessions”  — for country stations — and “The Speakeasy Sessions” for rock outlets.  Both series will feature 12, two-hour programs that are being produced exclusively for ABC Radio’s distribution.  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “We are excited to work with today’s greatest performers in country and classic rock music.  We’re taking a wealth of content and weaving it into fast-paced radio programming that features great music and riveting behind-the-scenes stories and never-before-shared anecdotes from some of the biggest country and rock stars.”…..Westwood One is launching a new urban morning show on its 24/7 network starring former WHQT, Miami “Hot 105 FM” personality Rick Party (right) and former WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1” jock Sasha the Diva (left). Comedian Benji Brown is also named as part of the cast.  WWO says it has 20-plus stations initially lined up to carry the program that is targeted to females 35-44.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

| August 29, 2018

Jay Barker to Host New Regional Sports Talk Show. At the end of February, Cumulus Media shuttered “The Opening Drive” morning show on its sports talker WJOX-FM, Birmingham that featured former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, Al Del Greco and Tony Kurre.  Now, via a deal with Audio Visual Excellence, Barker is producing a sports talk show that will air across some 10 signals, including Townsquare Media’s WTID-FM, Marion/W265CG, Tuscaloosa “TIDE 102.9/100.9.”  “The Jay Barker Show with Lars Anderson” airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, and joining Barker and The Athletic writer Anderson is Barker’s former WJOX producer Kerry Adams.  Barker tells AL.com, “This is something Lars and I started talking about probably a year-and-a-half ago or more. We talked about doing a show together.  I had wanted to move to middays for a while as my kids were getting older; that would fit my schedule better.  And I started talking to Lars and Kerry about it and we were able to make it happen.  Once we left JOX, we started putting it together, how we would do a show together.”  In addition to hosting the daily program, Barker will also appear on the “Tide Tailgate Show” prior to Alabama football games this fall.

Jamie Allman’s Complaint Against Emmis Ordered into Mediation.  St. Louis talk radio host Jamie Allman’s complaint against Emmis Communications is being ordered to alternative dispute resolution – read, mediation.  Federal judge Jean C. Hamilton wants the mediation sessions concluded by November 1 of this year.  As you may recall, Allman was fired by Emmis (still owner of KFTK-FM, St. Louis) and Entercom (LMAing the station in advance of acquiring it in a sale from Emmis) after his crude social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg gained traction. He was let go from his commentary gig at Sinclair’s KDNL-TV, St. Louis before KFTK-FM fired him.  Allman is claiming his dismissal violated the terms of his contract.  Emmis/Entercom say that Allman’s action caused sponsors to cancel ad contracts and put the station in a bad light.

LSU Athletics Partners with Skyview Networks for Broadcasts. This new, multi-year deal between LSU Sports Properties (operated by Outfront Media Sports Inc.) and Skyview Networks allows the school to use Skyview’s distribution service, AdView inventory management, and Live Read capture for its radio play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says this deal pairs the AdView system with its distribution to provide detailed tracking and reporting of all radio inventory, including on-air advertiser mentions, to generate instant affidavits for faster client billing.  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “We believe the Tigers will realize ease and efficiency in contract management and tighter turnaround on revenue collection with AdView’s tracking and output capabilities.  We look forward to partnering with the university and continuing our discussions on broadcast solutions.”  LSU Tigers radio voice Chris Blair comments, “We are excited to partner with Skyview Networks.  It’s one of the top distribution companies and, most importantly, they understand what we do in the sports broadcasting space.  Their Adview system will provide our team with many more opportunities to make the LSU Sports Radio Network even better.”  AdView also offers additional modules for clients that would like to manage all forms of their advertising media in one consolidated system.  This includes radio, TV, web, print, signage, and more to give organizations complete reporting of all avenues of sales revenue.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s honored to welcome cable news/talk legend Bill O’Reilly to his eponymous USA Radio and Newsmax TV program.  O’Reilly is appearing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the top of the show…..In the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York market sports talk outlet WCPV is switching affiliations from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio, effective September 4.  Owner Vox AM/FM is also re-branding the station, using the “101.3 The Game” handle.  The local afternoon show “The Huddle” with Rich Haskell, Arnie Spanier and Brady Farkas will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will be joined on the program schedule by Colin CowherdClay Travis, and Dan Patrick…..After recent reports about the changes coming to ABC TV’s “The View” this fall, it is being confirmed that former “FOX & Friends Weekend” host Abby Huntsman (daughter of U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman) will join the cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain when season 22 launches on September 4.

Tuesday’s Primary Races, Trump vs Google, Passing of John McCain, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Mexico Trade Talks, Michael Cohen Guilty Plea, Texas Cop Convicted in Teen Death, Catholic Church Abuse Scandal, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). Tuesday’s primary races in Florida and Arizona; President Trump claims Google searches are biased, promises investigation; the death of Arizona Senator John McCain, his funeral wishes, and the fate of his senate seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign law violations; Texas cop Roy Oliver convicted of murder in shooting of unarmed black teen Jordan Edwards; the controversy surrounding the latest Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal; the NFL’s pre-season; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Ashley Nickels exits her midday jock and APD/MD role with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington “MIX 107.3” after four years with the station…..Tomorrow night (8/30), Cumulus Media alternative WKQX is hosting the neXt2rock local challenge event at the Cubby Bear in Chicago.  Five of Chicago’s top local bands will compete to determine who will be the Chicago neXt2rock winner and have a shot at going to the finals in Los Angeles on October 4.  The winner of the finals will be awarded a record deal on John Varvatos Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella and will receive exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus stations nationwide.  The five bands are: Friday Pilots Club, MIDWAVE, Like Language, The Giving Moon, and TAKE THE REINS.  WKQX program director Troy Hanson is one of the judges and WKQX personality James VanOsdol is emceeing…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting its free, “Endless Summer Show Presented by AllState” on Saturday, October 6 at XFINITY Live.  The event will feature live performances from: Bleachers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Wonder Years, Two Feet, and The Unlikely Candidates.  The New Music Discovery Stage will also feature performances from alternative-rock artists: Mo Lowda & The Humble, Castlecomer, and Cold Fronts, with more to be announced.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; 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.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Monday, August 27, 2018

| August 27, 2018

Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10.  Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC!  Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”

Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago.  Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN.  Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”

Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event.  At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.”  The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.”  Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance.  Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success.  As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.”  The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.

iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL.  iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb.  Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio.  ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”

TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company.  As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry.  Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM.  Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR.  Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network.  The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left).  Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.

Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time.  The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org.  Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat.  The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering.  The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating.  If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent.  We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards.  The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley

John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program.  She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family.  We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.”  She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.”  Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Down 1.8%. The 2018 second quarter financial report from Cumulus Media Inc. comes a bit late – the company had let the SEC know its first post-bankruptcy report would be tardy.  Net revenue for Cumulus (reflecting the combined results of the Successor and Predecessor Companies in connection with the emergence from Chapter 11) for the second quarter was $285.2 million, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago.  For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Cumulus reported net revenue of $548.9 million, down 1.0% from the first six months of 2017.  Cumulus reports in two segments: the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The radio station group reported net revenue of $203 million – down 2.5% from a year ago, and Westwood One’s net revenue was $81.2 million – up 0.1%. President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In the second quarter, we emerged from Chapter 11 with new and supportive ownership, a billion dollars less debt and results that demonstrate our operational and financial momentum, despite industry challenges and the distractions posed by our Chapter 11 proceedings.  Normalizing those results for $4.8 million of write-offs related to United States Traffic Network’s well-publicized financial problems, our Adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter by 5.5%.  Looking forward, we are excited about the potential of our digital products, improved pricing, and inventory management across the entire platform and our young but fast-growing podcasting business to supplement the performance of our core business.  These growth drivers, combined with our continued focus on operating fundamentals, our reduced debt load, our ability to generate significant free cash flow, and our renewed focus on optimization of our portfolio of assets, position us well to build substantial shareholder value in the quarters and years to come.”

Cumulus Signs Traffic Deal with TTWN. On the same day it announces its second quarter financials and references the $4.8 million write-off related to its deal with United States Traffic NetworkCumulus announces its new deal with iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Network to be the exclusive provider of traffic content.  This is an addition to the existing deal for TTWN to provide weather content.  TTWN will provide real-time traffic reports and data to Cumulus’ 441 radio stations nationwide.  Additionally, TTWN’s 24/7 News division will provide news support, including anchored news and reporting services.

Quinn & Rose Back on Pittsburgh Airwaves. The Pittsburgh radio duo “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant – is returning to the air in the Steel City, this time on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH “ESPN Pittsburgh” on September 24.  The two enjoyed a long stint on the company’s former Pittsburgh FM news/talk WPGB (now country music) but exited the station in 2013.  The two have worked separately since then on various platforms.  Their show on WBGG will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am daily.

New Boston Operations Center for iHeartMedia.  The photos above are of the new studios and offices of iHeartMedia in Boston.  At left is a lounge area outside an on-air studio and at right is a portion of the all-news WBZ-AM newsroom.  It’s a 43,000-plus square foot state-of-the-art facility that also includes news/talk WRKO-AM, talk WXKS-AM, and seven music outlets.  iHeartMedia says the “innovative space is designed to invoke collaboration and to embody the iHeartMedia brand.  In addition to cutting-edge design elements, the studios will feature digitally advanced technology and resources for talent and programmers that will help them connect even faster and easier with listeners delivering even more great content to the Boston community.”  The facility was designed by Michael Beneville.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball teams. As the 2018 season unfolds, see how the 6+ weekly AQH shares of flagship stations are affected. Among some of the comparisons presented are flagship stations ratings fluctuations from June 2018 to July 2018 as well as from July 2017 to July 2018.  Based on July 2018 PPM data, flagships with the largest market shares (6+) are: WLW, Cincinnati (Reds); WTMJ, Milwaukee (Brewers); and KMOX, St. Louis (Cardinals). See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio icon Mike North is the subject of a new film being developed by Chicagoans Jeremy Morrison and Adam Rifkin.  The biopic of the hot dog vendor-turned sports talk radio giant is set for production in 2019…..It may seem elementary to industry insiders but the how and why of the appeal of sports talk radio to male consumers is the focus of a recent piece in The New York Times.  Writer Jason Notte speaks with representatives of ESPN Audio and Entercom, as well as marketers who’ve had success advertising on sports talk radio.  That includes a law firm specializing in divorce that’s been a regular advertiser on Portland, Oregon’s three sports talk stations.  Read the piece here…..Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is moving into new studios in Chevy Chase, Maryland in December or January.  According to a piece in Bethesda Magazine, the new location at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. on Wisconsin Circle is just over the Washington, DC line in Maryland.  The Hubbard Radio all-news station has been at its current Idaho Ave. location since 1989.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

| August 15, 2018

Scripps Cashes Out; Sells Remaining 19 Radio Stations to SummitMedia for $47 Million. The 19 stations E.W. Scripps still owns after previously announcing the sale of its Tulsa cluster to Griffin Communications, the Milwaukee duo to Good Karma, and the Boise and Tucson signals to Lotus Communications are going to SummitMedia for $47 million.  Altogether, Scripps will have netted $83.5 million for its radio division. The stations SummitMedia will acquire are in four markets: Wichita; Springfield, Missouri; Omaha; and Knoxville.  The Wichita stations are: KFDI-FM, KICT-FM, KFXJ-FM, KYQQ-FM, and KFTI-AM.  Springfield stations are: KTTS-FM, KSPW-FM, KSGF-AM/FM, and KRVI-FM.  Omaha stations are: KEZO-FM, KSRZ-FM, KQCH-FM, KKCD-FM, and KXSP-AM. The Knoxville signals are WWST-FM, WCYQ-FM, WKHT-FM, and WNOX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “SummitMedia’s focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations.  With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.  With our sale of these 19 stations, Scripps has completed the sale of our entire radio station group.  This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead.”  Birmingham, Alabama-based SummitMedia owns 31 stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia.  This sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Twitter Suspends Alex Jones for a Week.  Stating in a letter to radio personality and InfoWars chief Alex Jones that he’d violated Twitter’s conduct policy, he’ll be blocked from using his Twitter account for seven days.  According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, while Twitter wouldn’t go into detail about the violation, it said Jones’ tweet was “about taking action against web censorship included a link to a video that violated the company’s policy against targeted harassment of someone or inciting others to intimidate or harass someone.”  Jones has been in the news recently after other social media – including AppleFacebook and YouTube – had also banned some of the InfoWars content from their platforms citing violations of policy.

TRN Files Motion to Dismiss Appeal of Suit Against Cumulus/Westwood One and Others. The attorney representing Talk Radio Network in its suits against Cumulus Media, Westwood One and other defendants is claiming they engaged in business practices that violated anti-trust laws.  It was the second such suit and it was initially dismissed because the court ruled the claims were essentially the same as the previous suit.  TRN appealed but Cumulus et al were granted stays due to Cumulus’ bankruptcy reorganization status.  Now, TRN attorney Joseph Alioto moves “to dismiss the appeal in this matter with prejudice, with an order that each party bear its own costs and attorney’s fees.  Defendants-Appellees have authorized us to represent that they consent to this Motion.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga’s Jeff Styles Launches Website to Tell His Side of Road Rage Case. Last week Chattanooga talk show host Jeff Styles was in court for a preliminary hearing on the road rage charges filed against him after an incident that took place in June.  Styles was charged with aggravated assault for attacking a fellow motorist with a tomahawk.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  Styles’ attorney argued there is no probable cause to charge Styles, but the judge ultimately bound the case over to the grand jury. Styles has launched JeffStylesAmerica.com and lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.

New Appointments at Entercom Las Vegas; Massenzi to Director of Sales. At the Las Vegas station group that includes news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST-AM, Entercom appoints Gina Massenzi director of sales.  She was previously general sales manager for the cluster’s FM stations.  In addition to Massenzi’s promotion, Entercom Las Vegas announces three additional promotions: Holmes Pooser succeeds Massenzi as the cluster’s new general sales manager.  He was previously director of integrated marketing, events and experiences. Kyle Helmick is named director of live events and experiences and Katrina Llapitan becomes director of promotions for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  Still feeling the effects of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Cumulus Media notifies the Securities Exchange Commission that it will be late filing its quarterly report and that it will file by Monday (8/20) and has scheduled a conference call for that afternoon at 4:30 pm ET…..PodcastOne is launching a new, true crime show called “First Degree” that presents the stories through the eyes of someone who has just one degree of separation from the tragedy itself.  True crime television producer Alexis Linkletter (“Unmasking A Killer,” “Pink Collar Crimes with Marcia Clark”) and investigative journalist Billy Jensen (“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” LA Weekly) join forces with Jac Vanek, co-host of the “Ladygang” podcast, to delve into murders, serial killings, cults, conspiracies and more.  Guests will include victims, witnesses, neighbors, and anyone else directly connected to the crime. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “We’ve had such a great experience working with Jac on ‘Ladygang’ that when she came to us with this idea, we were more than receptive. Now that I’ve heard the first episode, I’m absolutely convinced that greenlighting ‘The First Degree’ was a no-brainer.”…..Telling fans via Monday’s Twitter Q&A at the social media giant’s New York City offices that “apps are the future,” WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa promised his followers that he’ll be on the “Mike’s On” app that launches next Friday (8/24) so often “I promise you, you’ll get sick of me.”  The New York Post reports Francesa says it’s the reason he came back [on the radio], “It’s going to be me on it all the time.  It eventually will be my broadcast home.  I will be on it, I will be on it all the time, I will be on it at crazy hours, I might be on it at 7 in the morning and I might be on it at 2 a.m. after a big game. So yes, I will be on the app all the time.”…..As reported by Current.org, Public Radio International and PRX are merging, though the two companies will maintain separate identities.  PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman will be the chief of the new company and PRI CEO Alisa Miller will assume the role of executive chair of the board.  WGBH, Boston acquired PRI back in 2012 and its CEO – Jon Abbott – will have a seat on the new organization’s board. The story says WGBH will invest $10 million into the new company and part of that money will go toward enhancing PRI’s “The World” news magazine.

Omarosa Recording/Book Tour, Tuesday’s Primary Elections/Midterms, Trump-Russia Investigation, Turkish Lira Woes, Italian Bridge Collapse, PA Priest Sexual Abuse Scandal, Paul Manafort Trial, Western Wildfires, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/14).  The secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; primary elections in several states and talk about the midterms in November; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; U.S.-Turkey relations as sanctions drag down the value of the lira; the deadly collapse of a major highway bridge in Genoa, Italy; more than 300 priests and Catholic laymen accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania; the trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; the deadly wildfires affecting the U.S. West; NFL pre-season activity; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated radio legend Rick Dees (through his company Dees Entertainment) inks a deal with Benztown for the latter to provide Dees Entertainment with production services for its portfolio of programs including: “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown,” “Countdown Of The 90s,” “Countdown Of The 80s” and “Dees 2K,” plus “The Daily Dees Show.”  Dees says, “Benztown is a perfect production partner for our shows and other entertainment offerings.  Dave ‘Chachi’ Denes is the consummate professional and audio production superstar.  I was impressed in our first meeting when he said, ‘In 15 minutes I can save you 15% or more on your auto insurance.’ ”…..Last week, country star Jason Aldean kicked off CMT Radio’s all-new multiplatform live event series, “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan,” the show that gives fans the opportunity to submit questions and get an inside look at how some of country music’s most influential artists rise to the top.  The inaugural Q&A and performance event welcomed a packed crowd and was webcast live from Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in downtown Nashville on CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan’s Facebook page on August 9.  In addition to chatting about Aldean’s favorite menu items from his new restaurant and how he likes to spend time with his family, the superstar also performed songs from his catalogue of #1 hits including, “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and his latest single, “Drowns the Whiskey.”  Highlights from “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan” will be featured on “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan” on Friday, August 17.

Takeaways from July PPM – Part Three. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM survey.  This third report includes the 12 markets of Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – On top each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”) Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB returns 75% of June’s +.4 (8.4 – 8.1, -.3, #1, 6+). KOPB was +1.4 (September 2017); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” picks up one-tenth (4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and is steady at #5. KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+).  When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” (#19 to #20) logs a 1.6 (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). An April improvement of two-tenths stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” drops three-tenths to .7 (#24 to #27). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” (unchanged at #21) is down or flat for the sixth successive time for a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” has its third straight up or flat trend (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) and ties “The Fan” at #21; and after being locked on .9 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” adds two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Four decreases in succession by iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), but “105.9 The Brew” slices that deficit roughly in half with a gain of eight-tenths (4.7, 6+) and steams back into the top ten (#12 to #6). Prior to posting June’s 3.9, “The Brew” hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) since November 2017 (3.9, as well). Meanwhile, the market’s other classic rocker – Entercom’s KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” (steady at #4) – is a collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). This (5.6) is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by KKCW is followed by a gain of one-half share as “K-103” climbs from third to second. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Neither of the market’s two CHRs is in the top ten: Alpha Media-owned KBFF “Live 95.5” falters by six-tenths (4.3 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its third decrease in a row for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, flat at #15, 6+). There is virtually zero movement from June between Portland’s two country outlets as Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” repeats June’s 4.6 (6+) but slips from sixth to seventh, while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which was stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, drops one-tenth to 3.9 (#10 to #11). “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June with 4.6 its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Without an increase in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “The Bull” wiped out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. Up or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall +.7 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE “WE-96.3” – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station advances from #20 to #17, 1.7 shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” which is flat in both 6+-share (3.6) and 6+-market rank (#14). KWEE has its highest 6+-share (1.9) since November 2017’s 2.0.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering a one-half share increase in June, University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE forfeits 80% of it in July (4.1 – 3.7 -.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WFAE’s very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending was 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Flat at #17, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 (May – June – July, 6+). When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it curtailed three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (unchanged at #19) is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a total loss of -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – It has been quite the May, June, and July whirlwind for WBAV. A quick review shows that “V-101.9” hauled out an impressive +1.4 in May to advance from second to first; it then eroded by -1.2 in June to slip from first to second; but the Beasley Media Group urban AC erases that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a July +1.2 and returns to #1 (6.5 – 7.9 – 6.7 – 7.9, 6+). Despite being bumped from the top spot and segueing to #2, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” has its best 6+-performance (flat at 6.9) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.0. Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), is up two-tenths in July (6.2, fourth, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and -.6 (May). Prior to January 2018, the last time WKKT was #1 was August 2017 – WSOC was #1 the previous month (July 2017). On the topic of Charlotte number ones, not since September 2017/October/November has the same station in this North Carolina metro repeated at #1; iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat back then. In the meantime, it has been a revolving door for the top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); and WBAV (July). Not only does an increase of six-tenths to 4.3 (6+) by Radio One’s WOSF apply the brakes to three straight downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+), “105.5 Old School + R&B” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Three upticks in a row by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (steady at #6) have produced a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” notches a one-tenth gain to 3.3 (#14 to #13, 6+). When Radio One gospel WPZS recorded a +.1 in June, it stalled four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” falters by one-half share in July (3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and slips from #13 to #16. Although it remains in eighth-place, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” registers its fourth positive spike in a row for an overall gain of one-half share (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since January (4.5, as well). Ironically, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WQNC “92.7 The Block” (#16 to #15) is without a loss over that same March 2018 – July 2018 stretch and it nets a +.5 as well (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” in exactly one year (3.4, July 2017).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past three survey periods for a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falters by seven-tenths in July to 2.6 (#14 to #17). Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. As the result of a -.5 (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #12) and has its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). Without a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#21 to #22) is now a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+). Flat at #30, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is off by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths takes Alpha Media adult hits KZJK “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to 4.9, its strongest 6+-performance in nearly two years (5.1, August 2016). Following three downtrends in succession that produced a net loss of nine-tenths, (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” recuperates seven-tenths to 4.9 (6+), zooming from a three-way tie at #7 to #4. Classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” notches a June 2018 – July 2018 gain of seven-tenths as well (7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh successive sweep. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). KONO-FM spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include +.7 (October 2017); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); +.5 (February); and +.7 (July). Still in that Cox Media Group cluster, a  one-half share increase (1.5 – 2.0, #22 to #20, 6+) enables classic country KKYX “Country Legends” to reach the two-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016 (2.1). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (fourth to seventh) is now -1.4 in June and July (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+). Following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” (sixth to tenth) is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7, April – May – June – July, 6+). In June, the combination of iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” regressing by four-tenths (6.1 – 5.7, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” adding four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+) resulted in the two country rivals being locked together in the runner-up slot. The tie is broken in July though as “Y-100” adds two-tenths to 5.9 (its best 6+-stat since October 2017’s 6.0), while “KJ-97” sputters by two-tenths to 5.5 (6+). When “Y-100” slipped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The overall +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Shifting from a three-way tie at #7 to #8, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q101.9” notches a 4.2 (6+) for the fourth month in a row.

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight May-June-July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM is -2.0, completely erasing April’s +2.0 (5.8 – 7.8, 6+) as “93.7 The Fan” slides from fifth to sixth. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 but then -.9 in February. Co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” returns the two-tenths it earned in June (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #9. June’s +.2 pulled the plug on four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Similarly, a +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that eventuated in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). After being up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA drops six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #13. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG has chalked up a .2 (#17, 6+). Immediately preceding this current streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, 6+) elevates Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” from sixth to fifth. Four straight down or flat trends by Steel City Media adult hits WRRK accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.8 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” adds one-tenth in July to 7.1 (6+) and is steady at #3. As the result of five straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7   – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is a collective +1.4 and continues at #11. It trails Entercom’s WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to eighth, 6+) by one full share. The two format rivals each enjoyed one-half share gains in June, with “Y-108 having its best 6+-stat (4.9) since November 2017’s 5.0; July’s 3.7 by “Big 104.7” is its strongest 6+ AQH share since August 2017 (3.7, as well). In addition to WPGB, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” posts a one-half share June 2018 – July 2018 improvement (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) and is unchanged at #11. Meanwhile, the topline January 2018 – July 2018 trending for Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” (eighth to seventh) is 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 (6+). Notwithstanding that it erodes by one full-share to 9.4 – its lowest 6+-stat since January (9.4, as well) –  iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 17th consecutive time. A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), “3WS” forfeited -1.3 in May and lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). Rock sibling WDVE (8.7 – 8.5, -.2, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the seventh successive sweep. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Remaining at #4, co-owned mainstream CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in June and July (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+) with July’s 6.3 its weakest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2015 (6.0). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations disappear from print in July 2018: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), KXJZ surrenders one-half share in July to 4.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). The Capital Public Radio news/talk facility posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down or flat for the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK finishes second for the fourth time in a row. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first in March (tied with KSEG); and back to second in April, May, June, and July. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. The February 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#14 to #16) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 (6+). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Down or flat the past seven sweeps for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9, 6+), Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains four-tenths to 1.3 and returns to the top twenty (#25 to #20), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a combined -.5 in June and July (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), remaining at #22.

Sacramento Music Formats – Within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” breaks out a +.8 in July to 5.1, its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4), to climb from sixth to fourth. “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. An even greater June 2018 – July 2018 increase by a Sacramento country outlet is turned in by iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which adds a +1.0 to June’s +.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 3.4, #14 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country player – Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” – lost one-tenth in May; regained it in June; but is down four-tenths in July to 2.1 (6+) and drifts from #13 to #17. As a result of three successive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but was -.5 in April. In addition to jumping from eighth to fifth, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV records a +.7 to 4.8, the highest 6+-stat for “93.7 The River” in exactly one year (4.8, as well, in July 2017). On the heels of posting a +.9 in June, Entercom-owned/similarly-programmed KSEG returns all of it with a -.9 in July (9.0 – 9.9 – 9.0, 6+). Even so, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (which was +1.0 in May) is #1 for the sixth time in a row. June 2018’s 9.9 is its strongest 6+-showing in two years (10.3, July 2016). A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). A loss of six-tenths takes Capital Public Radio classical KXPR (#20 to #22) to 1.1 (6+), exactly half of where it was in April (2.2, 6+). Not only does a -.6 by Entravision regional Mexican KRCX knock “La Tricolor 99.9” out of the top twenty (1.2, #19 – #21, 6+), it halts four straight increases that netted one-half share (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (4.2 – 3.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” (eighth to tenth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+) are off by one-half share each. In the case of KZZO, “Now” is -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After 14 ratings periods in succession of recording a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 (6+), Entercom’s KRXQ sputters by three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) but stays at #8. In May, “98 Rock” returned the six-tenths it gained the previous sweep.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In April, Bonneville’s KSL posted an 8.1 (6+), but since then, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” is -3.5 in three consecutive declines (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.94.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL (#1 in April) was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+) and a combined -3.2 just before that in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). There is no (6+) month-to-month AQH share change (4.0) or 6+ market rank (#9) for iHeartMedia’s KNRS. A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. An overall -1.3 from three successive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (#15 to #11) follows with three straight positive spikes netting a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Remaining at #20, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) and matches February’s 4.0 (6+). Noteworthy ups and downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was -.5 (March); -.6 (April); +.6 (May); -.9 in June; and now +.4 in July (4.8 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). Classic hits-oldies enjoys a high-profile in the July 2018 report as KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down by one-tenth in June and July (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+) repeats at #1, while Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” gains three-tenths to 6.0 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. KRSP’s April – May – June trending was 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.7 (6+). This is the third positive spike in succession for Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), which is +1.1 in that stretch and progresses from fifth to third. Conversely, format rival – independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – is off a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). With a positive spike of six-tenths to 1.6, its best 6+-stat since January’s 1.7, Broadway Media adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” checks in at #23. It is a mixed bag in July for the market’s CHRs. On the positive side, KYMV cluster-mate, KUDD “Mix 105.1 All The Hits,” picks up three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) to climb from #18 to #17 and Cumulus Media’s KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” (#17 to #13) posts its third increase in a row for a +.9 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+). The combined +.7 generated by “Mix” and “Power,” however, isn’t enough to offset the -.8 from iHeartMedia’s KZHT “97.1 ZHT Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.3 – 5.5, second to fifth, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.8 (1.0 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), KLO Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” returns seven-tenths to 1.1 (#24, 6+). Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI is a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) as “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” slips from second to third with its softest 6+-showing (5.9) since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). Without a loss (and mostly flat) the past three sweeps for a +.6 (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from #11 to #13. This (3.3) is the best 6+-stat for “B-98.7” since September 2017’s 3.5.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it adds two-tenths to June’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from a five-way scrum at #14 to #15. Three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+) were directly followed with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is down or flat for the third straight month for a -.4 (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), yet actually improves from #21 to #20. The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#25 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 (6+). Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, #27 to #29, 6+), while KRLV “Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas” is down two-tenths to .3 (#29 to #30, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss, Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” posts a gain more than twice that size (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+) and advances from #3 to a tie at #2. Prior to June’s -.5, “Mix” was a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.7) is its highest 6+-showing since November 2017 (6.7, as well). KMXB is tied in the runner-up slot with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (5.8 – 6.7, +.9, 6+). Moving forward between July 2017 – July 2018, KKLZ has been #1 in July 2017, August, September, October, November, January 2018, February and April. Nine-tenths ahead of “Mix” and KKLZ – and in its third straight month at #1 – is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). This (7.6) is the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. It is a familiar pattern between the two as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. By posting a +.6 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” applies the brakes to three straight declines that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Progressing from tenth to eighth, Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” is +.6 via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (4.0) since June 2017’s 4.7. Conversely, cross-town competitor – iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” – spirals by -1.3 (5.4 – 4.1, fourth to seventh, 6+). “The Bull” isn’t the only Vegas outlet eroding by -1.3 (June 2018 – July 2018): Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID does so as well (4.4 – 3.1, 6+) and, in the process, departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times but that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of dropping seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” slips from fourth to fifth. Farmworker Educational Radio-owned regional Mexican KYLI “La Network Campesina” is off one-half share (1.6 – 1.1, #24, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – In June and July, WLW is a whopping +2.7 (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4, 6+) as the Cincinnati Reds flagship repeats at #1. The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. July’s 10.4 is its highest 6+-share in just over two years (10.8, June 2016). Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). It proves to a solid sweep for WLW as well as co-owned/similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” (#14 to #11), which hangs out a +.8 to 3.6 (6+). The +.8 interrupts four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). It overtakes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #11 to #13, 6+), which was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” sees its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, #18 to #19, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past four months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2, #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Down in each of the last three sweeps for a collective -2.2 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” responds in July with a one-half share gain to 8.7 (6+). It repeats in the runner-up slot after having spent five straight months at #1. Its -.6 in April curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Locked on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (seventh to eighth) stumbles by eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. On the heels of June’s +.7 to 3.2 – its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4 – WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” relinquishes one-half share to 2.7 (6+, #11 to #14). The Radio One urban AC outlet’s topline January 2018 – May 2018 trending was 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+). Following their official June debut in print, Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) yet actually improves from #16 to #15, while co-owned similarly-programmed WNKR is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of a five-way logjam at #19. All three fluctuation options are covered by the market’s trio of country outlets: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” gains four-tenths (7.7 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is off four-tenths (2.1 – 1.7, #15 to #16, 6+); and for the third straight time, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of that five-way scrum at #19. In June, “B-105.1” was -.9, which halted five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+); WUBE was -1.4 in December.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #10 are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (4.0 – 3.7 -.3, flat at #10, 6+) and Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (3.7, +.4, #13 to #10, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Off four-tenths from June but holding steady at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 (6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Frozen on 1.5 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF slips from #16 to #17. Just prior to gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via five successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and continues at #19, while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Making one-half share improvements from June 2018 are Cox Media Group urban AC and rhythmic CHR siblings WCFB “Star 94.5” (6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WPYO “Power 95.3” (steady at #9, 6+). “Star” applies the brakes to three straight setbacks that accounted for a -.9 (6.4 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), while “Power” is +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Owing to five up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+), country cluster-mate WWKA “K-92.3” is +1.6, but backslides from sixth to seventh. Over and above posting a positive spike in six of the last seven sweeps for a collective +2.7 (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 11.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” sets the pace for the seventh consecutive report. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Although unchanged at #2, co-owned CHR WXXL is a collective -1.1 in June and July (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8, 6+). Between February and May, “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom-owned WQMP “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” (3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #14, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share (3.3) since January’s 3.2.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back reports (June and July), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” is off by one-tenth (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) but continues at #5. June’s -.1 interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). A combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #12. Just prior to this streak, “The Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps (November through March) for a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, Ideastream-owned WCPN posts a 2.6 (steady at #13, 6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight (August 2017 – January 2018) improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) are responsible for a +2.2 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance (8.2) since June 2017’s 8.4. Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Hot AC cluster-mate WQAL “Q-104” (steady in ninth-place) has a consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3 (6+). Flat at #8, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is an overall +1.2 in three straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country.” Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May. In June, “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” was -.6, but that deficit is fully erased and then some by a July +1.0 (6.4 – 7.4, 6+), with WGAR leaping from sixth to third. Co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is up one-tenth (8.4 – 8.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. July’s +.1 draws to a close a rather odd streak in which WMJI made nine dramatic up/down shifts in succession: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” (third to sixth, 6+) and CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.2 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+) each falter by six-tenths. “The Lake” is actually -1.5 in five straight decreases (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #10, co-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” is off one-half share to 4.4, its lowest 6+-share since March (4.2). Unchanged at #4, Radio One urban AC WZAK is -3.3 in four straight down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. An October loss of four-tenths ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Long absent from print – or – appearing for the first time are Radio One news/talk WERE (.4, #18, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); iHeartMedia classic country WGAR-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); and Entercom classic rock WNCX-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+);

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering six successive September through February increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM follows with five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) as “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” returns with a +.1 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. It is tied at #13 with University of Missouri news/talk KCUR (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November through April up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). An overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB reduces that deficit by 20% with a combined +.4 in June and July (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, #18 to #17, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. One-tenth behind WHB is Entercom’s KMBZ-AM, which gains two-tenths to 2.3, yet backslides from #18 to #19. “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. In a repetitive .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+) sequence, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM continues at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+), but “Talk Radio 710” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and remains at #23.

Kansas City Music Formats – When Steel City Media’s KFKF logged a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). Now, in July, “Country 94.1” improves by six-tenths (5.9 – 6.5, 6+) to progress from fifth to fourth. It is seven-tenths ahead of co-owned KBEQ, which hadn’t been without a loss in each sweep since December 2017 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). In July, however, “Q-104 New Hit Country” drops one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) and is flat at #5. Unchanged in eighth-place, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Steady at 7.2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” repeats at #1. Prior to June, “The Fox” – was last on top in February. It was -1.6 via through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Just one-tenth behind “The Fox” is Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” (third to second), which is +1.9 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). “Hot” was off nine-tenths as the result of three January through April downward trends in a row (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), but “98.9 The Rock” relinquishes seven-tenths to 5.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths to 4.9, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.3, Steel City CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” nonetheless remains at #7. On top in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.3 in four successive March through July dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+) and falls from second to third. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight positive spikes that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN (unchanged at #6) is a very steady 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+).“News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is flat from June in both 6+ AQH share (3.9) and 6+ rank (seventh). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), it dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; and surrendered three-tenths in June. WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX was +.3 in April and May, but “105.7 The Zone” drops a collective -.5 in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Apparently, there is simply no stopping iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country,” which not only finishes at #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep but registers its fourth increase in a row for an overall (staggering) +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, WCOL perhaps boasts the largest 6+-stat (16.3) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; +1.0 in April; +1.2 in June; and now +.6 in July. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Wiping away June’s one-half share decrease with a July +.6 (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” continues in eighth-place. A collective +.5 in three straight April through July up or flat trends (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” advances from fourth to third. Meanwhile, inching up from tenth to ninth, co-owned hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9 The Adult Hit Music Station” is a cumulative +.8 in a down/up pattern that commenced in December 2017: 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.3 (6+). Having logged an overall +.6 in four straight February through June sweeps without a loss (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+), “Mix” cluster-mate WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” returns eight-tenths to 6.2 (third to fourth, 6+). Surrendering roughly half of June’s +1.3 (10.0, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI ends at three its successive string of up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the seventh time in a row. June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI – which was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+) – since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is up eight-tenths via three successive April through July upticks (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+).

Monday, August 13, 2018

| August 13, 2018

Changes Coming to KSTP-AM, Minneapolis; Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse to Exit.  Air personalities Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse have been a part of the radio landscape in the Twin Cities for the last couple of decades. They’ve been informed by Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM “1500ESPN” that their shows will end on Friday, September 7.  The changes will also include new roles for late morning hosts Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad, though the station says the new programming is not finalized.  Newspaper reporters Soucheray and Reusse began hosting a weekly sports talk show on KSTP-AM in the early 1980s.  Soucheray’s daily “Garage Logic” show debuted on the station in 1993.  It airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and is followed by “Sports Talk” – an hour co-hosted by Soucheray and Reusse – followed by Reusse’s “Ride with Reusse” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Both the Pioneer Press and the Leader-Telegram report Soucheray saying, “I cannot say I’m completely surprised.  I’m going to feel a loss for the gang and the listeners.  The AM radio format is changing.  More and more young people are not tuning into the AM dial.  The way that content is going to be delivered is changing, with more digital platforms.”  He says he plans to continue “Garage Logic” as a podcast.  Soucheray says he’s appreciative of Hubbard letting them work the final month of their shows.  “It’s a sign that the station has had great respect for the show and it’s more than generous they’re allowing us to end it this way.  The usual way it happens is you are told, ‘Your last show was yesterday.’  They’ve told us we can handle this any way we want.  It’s very rare that someone’s on the same radio station, with the same show, for 25 years. It speaks well to the guys I’ve worked with and the people I’ve worked for.  There’s nothing else to say; I’ve had a wonderful run.”

Dave Tepper to Program KKSE, Denver. Sports talk KKSE, Denver “Altitude AM 950” is owned by Kroenke Sports and Entertainment – a company run by Stan Kroenke and family – that owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.  The station announces that sports radio pro Dave Tepper is named the new program director for the station, effective August 15.  KSE Radio SVP and general manager Brenda Egger comments, “We were fortunate to have many outstanding candidates for this position but Dave’s confidence, winning track record, play-by-play experience, and team relations truly stood out from the others.  Dave brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to KKSE and I am confident that he will be an incredible asset to our team.” Tepper was most recently operations manager at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster.

Brent Johnson Exits Cumulus’ Columbia South Carolina Cluster.  Air personality Brent Johnson was the morning host on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina and hosted a daily sports talk show on sister WNKT “107.5 The Game.”  The State reports that after learning of coming programming changes at the cluster, Johnson chose to leave the company.  He will continue to be part of University of South Carolina football coverage this season on WNKT as the games are produced by rights holder IMG.  Cumulus Columbia VP and market manager Rick Prusator tells The State that Johnson was not fired nor was he forced out.  Johnson announced his exit on social media but offered no reason for his departure.

Indy Sales Pro Brian Harrington Joins iHM’s ‘FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM’ and ‘Real 98.3.’ Indianapolis media sales pro Brian Harrington is appointed general sales manager for iHeartMedia’s sports talk WNDE-AM/W248AW “FOX sports 97.5/1260 AM” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis market president Brett Beshore says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Brian bring his 20-plus years of sales and management experience to our iHeartMedia Indianapolis team.  His experience, knowledge of the community, reputation, and passion for the radio business make him the perfect choice to lead our WZRL and WNDE sales teams.” Harrington was most recently an account executive with Woof Boom Radio.  He’s also served in the market in several capacities with Radio One.

Lotus Spins Off Tucson News/Talk KQTH-FM to Family Life Broadcasting; KTGV-FM Goes to Bustos Media.  In order to comply with FCC station ownership caps relative to its purchase of the Tucson and Boise radio clusters of E.W. Scripps for $8 million, Lotus Communications is agreeing to sell news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to not-for-profit Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM to Bustos Media for as-yet undisclosed sums.  Dr. Randy Carlson’s Family Life Broadcasting operates religious stations and is expected to flip KQTH from news/talk to a religious format.  Currently, Mike Rapp hosts the only local daily program on the station — the “Tucson’s Morning News” show.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker for both deals.

Gallagher and Elder Host Listener Cruise. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (left) and Larry Elder (right) in the theater aboard the cruise ship Pride of America as they guide Salem Radio Network listeners on a tour of the Hawaiian Islands.  In the photo, the two are participating in a discussion of the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa White House Recording, DC White Nationalist Rally, Paul Manafort Trial, Sea-Tac Plane Theft, Keith Ellison Allegations, Trump Trade War, Blackkklansman and The Meg Films, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the controversy over Omarosa Manigault Newman’s release of a recording purported to be her firing by John Kelly; Sunday’s Washington rally of White Nationalists; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges; the theft and crashing of a commercial jet by a ground worker at Sea-Tac airport; the allegations of physical abuse against Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison; the Trump tariffs and concerns about the effects of trade wars; the films Blackkklansman and The Meg; the NFL’s pre-season action; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, Hilary Doneux is promoted to assistant program director at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA-FM “91X.” Doneux is also music director and host of the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show.  She says, “To say I’m excited is an understatement.  ‘91X’ is my radio home and I feel ridiculously lucky that I get to continue to grow with such an incredible team.  I’m so grateful to Garett Michaels for having faith in me and sharing his knowledge (and snacks), and to [VP/GM] Gregg Wolfson, for this opportunity!”…..On-air pro Shawn Quinn exits the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas city “X105.1.”  Quinn had been the morning host at the station until Premiere Network’s “The Woody Show” was added to the program schedule…..Air personality Jahna Michal is named co-host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country 107.3.”  She joins station brand manager and morning drive host Joe Kelly for “The Cat Country Morning Show with Joe and Jahna.”…..Pictured at right is WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show personality Angela Yee standing next to the in-store display promoting her popular book club, Kickin’ It from The Stoop (#KIFTS) at Barnes & Noble’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. Yee hosts the book club along with friends Tasha Hilton and Tony Forte monthly at WOODStack Ivy in Brooklyn.  The gathering is also broadcast on Facebook Live via Yee’s page.

 

 

Takeaways from July PPM – Round One. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM ratings survey.  The first report includes the 12 markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being a combined -2.0 in four consecutive decreases (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS drops from fifth to seventh. On the flipside, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #13, 6+), pulling the plug on three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Their sports talk sibling, WFAN “Sports Radio,” regains the three-tenths it lost in June (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+); 4.7 in May and July is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), WFAN picked up four-tenths in March. Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR – is off for the third straight time for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, #19 to #20, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was +.6 in April. A March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.7 (6+) in May and June, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” falters three-tenths to 1.4 (6+) but remains at #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). The last 15 New York City (6+) trends for Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (flat at #23) are: 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Two-tenths behind it is Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which is without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is a combined -.7 in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .5 (#30 to #29, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Without a loss for the fifth sweep in a row for a +1.0, (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.6 , 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” advances from #20 – #16. This (2.6) is its best 6+-showing since May 2017’s 2.8. Moreover, it overtakes Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” (2.6 – 2.5, -.1, #13 to #17, 6+) for the first time since November 2017 when “X-96.3” held a 2.1 (6+) to 2.0 (6+) advantage over “Amor 93.1.” When WPAT-FM dropped four-tenths in June, it snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a +.3 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Vaulting from #17 to #12, Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” notches its third uptick in a row for a combined +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Conversely, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW logs its third setback in succession that has accounted for an overall -1.6 (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the 12th successive sweep. The last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Entering the June 2018 ratings period, WBLS “#1 for R&B” had posted a 5.7 (6+) in four of the previous six survey periods (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). While the Emmis urban AC improved by four-tenths in June, it sputtered by twice that margin in July, slipping from second to third (6.1 – 5.3, -.8, 6+). After posting four straight (modest) gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is up or flat for the fourth time in succession (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), but backslides from #10 to #11. Unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” which was off a collective eight-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), adds one-tenth to 4.1 (6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+) as “Power 105.1” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW adds three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) as “Fresh 102.7” moves from #16 to a three-way tie at #13. Another streak that ends in July involves Cumulus country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM,” which loses one-tenth to 2.4 (#14 to #18, 6+), thus curtailing three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever consistent, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI records a 4.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1), as “AM 640” continues in sixth-place. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” moves from #12 to a three-way scrum at #11; KNX was off six-tenths in April. Although perhaps not quite as pronounced as the KNX situation, the last five topline (6+) stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” are 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 (#10 to #15, 6+). Up two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” progresses from #29 to #27. Close behind are sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” up by one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, #29 to #30) and iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which nearly triples its 6+-stat (+.7) through six successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, unchanged at #31, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is up one-tenth in June and July (.8 – .9 – 1.0, #33, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .4 and remains at #41 (6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – The top eight July 2018 finishers in the “City of Angels” are either down or flat from June 2018. There has been quite a turn in the market’s alternative battle as Entercom-owned KROQ is a combined +.6 in five straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from #17 to #10. Contrast that to its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), spiraling out of the top ten (#9 to #15). For the fourth time in the last five survey periods and fifth time since March, KYSR hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM” registers a 5.7 (6+) and is #1 for the third straight sweep (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Even though “My-FM” is off one-tenth, it widens the lead over runner-up and adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (5.6 – 5.2, -.4, unchanged at #2, 6+) from two-tenths to one-half share. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-stat in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 35 Los Angeles sweeps dating back to December 2015, KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 15 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; May 2018; June 2018; and July 2018. Flat at 2.1 (6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 18th ratings period in a row; “Zona Mx 101.9” advances from #22 to a three-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV was a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but “94.7 The Wave” is now off a combined half-share in June and July (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (flat at #5) is an overall -.7. Its format rival, Entercom’s KAMP, logs a 2.7 (6+) for the third sweep in a row as “97.1 Amp Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #11. Flat at 2.3 (#20 to #19, 6+), Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 33rd time in succession; March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Hitting a 2.8 (November 2017, 6+) in its final days as classic rock KSWD “The Sound,” the Los Angeles frequency at 100.3 became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ. Following the format change, it immediately slumped to 1.2 (December 2017, 6+). “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” didn’t reach a 1.0-share (6+) in the next seven sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), including June’s .7; KKLQ disappears from print in July 2018.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above logging a combined full-share gain via three consecutive positive spikes (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN vaults back into the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #14). When the Chicago White Sox flagship picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). In the same vein, a March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row Entercom’s WBBM-AM (third to fifth) is without a gain for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The all-news outlet was up by an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), sports talk sibling WSCR “670 The Score” rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), but the Chicago Cubs flagship slips by one-tenth in both June and in July (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), exiting the top ten (#9 to #11). “The Score” was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January. Format competitor, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000,” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, #25 to #26, 6+). Up two-tenths to 1.7 (#24 to #22, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM suspends four consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) that accounted for a one-half share loss. Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is -.6 in three straight (modest) dips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, flat at #20, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Through May 2018, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrendered one-tenth in June. It roars back though with a +.7 in July to 4.9 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. The Cumulus Media-owned facility is tied for the runner-up slot with Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock,” which nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) via seven straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ is on top for the seventh month in a row. The +.1 in June by “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). No higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the last six sweeps, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (4.9 – 4.8, -.1, 6+) slips from second to fourth. After notching three (slight) increases in succession (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” returns the overall gain of four-tenths in its entirety (3.1 – .4, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #13). By gaining four-tenths (3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” progresses from #13 to #9. It is within 3.3 – 3.7 range (6+) for the sixth month in a row (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Seven-tenths behind WRME is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which is up or flat for the third consecutive month for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+). This is the 12th straight time that Entercom-owned WUSN (ninth to seventh) is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (3.5 – 3.9, +.4, 6+). “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” more than doubles the 6+-stat of iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.9 – 1.7, -.2, #23, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down for the fourth time in a row for a collective -2.2 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is on top for the seventh straight month. Finishing first and second, respectively, the past six reports are KQED and Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is locked on 5.5 (6+) in June and July after being frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). October 2017’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Not only does KSFO rack up its fourth successive increase for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, , 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talker enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KGO is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+) but remains at #21. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR climbs from seventh to sixth; “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). In July, however, the key station of the Oakland A’s plummets by -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), drifting from the top twenty (#15 to #24).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia’s KMEL post a gain of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, steady in fourth-place), “106.1 – #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area”) has its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2014 (4.4, as well). Talk about being consistent: Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN records a 6+-share in the two-share range (2.0 – 2.9) for the 40th time in a row (2.4 – 2.9, +.5, #16 to #14, 6+). The last time “107.7 The Bone” reached 2.9 was December 2015. In addition to dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Eight-tenths ahead of “Star” is its format rival, Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which adds two-tenths to June’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). In four successive (modest) declines prior to June’s increase (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), KLLC was off by eight-tenths; the two hot ACs were tied at #8 in May. An overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of four-tenths sends Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM from fourth to eighth; “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” has put up a February 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4. Very steady March 2018 – July 2018 trending for iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 (flat at #10, 6+), while co-owned 1980’s-based KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” gains four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Entering the July sweep, its past six (6+) stats were 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7. Returning to print after a lengthy hiatus are Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #18, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting-owned KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (1.5 – 1.7, +.2, #21, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the third time in a row that Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM slips by one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.3 The Fan” carries on at #19. In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Off one-tenth as well in July is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is -1.3 since May (4.1 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June. KTCK was stymied at 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 but registered a +.5 in January, before dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, January – February – March, 6+). Elsewhere in this Texas market’s sports talk format, the eight most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 (#32 to #33, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is flat at 2.8 (#17 to #15, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a 6+-share in the two-share range for the 36th consecutive sweep. A collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM nonetheless climbs from #20 to #19. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #19 with Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820,” which was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May and is now frozen on 2.1 (6+) in June and July. Finishing at #34 and #5, respectively, are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (flat at .7, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.5, -.1, 6+), which had recorded a .6 (6+) the past three sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Winning ways (that are now historic) continue for Cumulus Media’s KSCS, which is +1.3 in seven successive up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.3 New Country” reaches/crosses the five-share level (5.2, 6+) for the first time in its PPM history to inch up from third to second. It now leads co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” by +1.1 (4.2 – 4.1, -.1, flat at #6, 6+). Following a +1.5 via three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS is a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). While “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is the “Big D” pacesetter for the seventh straight month, its advantage over runner-up KSCS is just three-tenths. When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Advancing from #17 to #15, Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), while classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (fifth to fourth) is up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). Without a decrease for the third successive ratings period as well is Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). In an up/down pattern that commenced in January and includes July’s -1.0, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” is trending 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 1.9 (#23, 6+). Up three-tenths each are KDXX regional Mexican sibling KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.7 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+). A collective +.9 in May and June (1.2 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” returns two-thirds of that increase in July (1.5, -.6, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (four-way tie at #20 to #27). In June, it reached the two-share level (2.1, 6+) for the first time since March 2017’s 2.0.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing a March 2018 – July 2018 down/up pattern (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH elevates from #13 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of that particular gain, KTRH was down or flat the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Regaining half the four-tenths it dropped in June (3.2 – 3.4, +.2, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF moves from #16 to #15. Mirroring KTRH, KUHF was +.6 in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns half of June’s +.2 (1.0 – .9, -.1, #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is flat at .6 (#27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In addition to registering its seventh straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.4 dating back to “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “Houston’s Eagle” marches from third to a second-place tie. Moreover, this (5.7) is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017. As the result of three straight upticks netting eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” leaps from seventh to fourth. Debuting at #29 with a .5 (6+) is University of Houston-owned classical KUHF-HD2. The topline (6+) April – May – June – July trending for KODA is 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 7.3, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility is #1 for the third month in a row. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then answered a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Finishing second in October and November, KODA was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. After improving by two-tenths in May (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ  stumbles by a cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+); “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot, but is tied there with aforementioned KGLK. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; “Majic” and KODA were tied for #1 in April. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ is now -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), with “Country 93-Q” slipping from third to fifth. At the same time, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull” is +1.0 in June and July (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Prior to June’s +.6, “The Bull” had three straight declines for a cumulative -.6 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Six straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), cause KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” (#15 to #16) to erode by a cumulative -1.9. Topline (6+) March 2018 – July 2018 stats for Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (#13 to #14) are 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, while in that same stretch, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KAMA “Latino Mix” (#19 to #17) is equally consistent at 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 (6+). Along the same lines, KAMA Spanish adult hits sibling  KOVE “Amor 106.5” is trending 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 (flat at #17, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth sweep in succession for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE drifts from #11 to #15. Albeit down two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is on top for the 32nd consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths this time last month, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). WSB-AM, which was +1.6 in January, notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Tacking on two-tenths to June’s +.3 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is steady at #18. Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+) following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” picks up three-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and remains at #17. Immediately in advance of a -1.1 in February, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). A setback of two-tenths to 1.8 (6+) by Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” pulls the plug on seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), but the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #19. April 2018 – July 2018 stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – In addition to logging three straight up or flat trends for a cumulative gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” vaults into the top ten (#14 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.1) since February’s 4.3. It now trails Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.0 – 4.2, +.2, ninth to eighth, 6+) by just one-tenth. At the same time that Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a collective +1.4 (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is without an increase in the same timeframe for a loss of three-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Improving by one-tenth each are iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.9 – 4.0, steady at #10, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” which has its best 6+-showing (3.9) since August 2017 (3.9, as well), yet backslides from #11 to #12. A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was -.7 in June. The market’s two urban contemporary outlets are off a combined one-half share. Specifically, Entercom’s WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” falters by four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+) but stays at #2, while Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9,” which had been up six-tenths in three straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 4.6, staying at #7 (6+). Before losing one-tenth in June, WVEE logged four sweeps in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+); May’s 7.1 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). It is a somewhat similar situation with urban AC here (the format is a combined -.8 compared to June), as Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” sputters by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” drops three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+). After three negative trends in succession for an overall -.9 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Kiss” wiped away seven-tenths of the loss in June. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted in June and July.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following gains of one-tenth in May and June, Entercom’s WPHT breaks out a one-half share increase in July (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) to progress from #20 to #17. “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. While flat at #7, co-owned sports talk WIP is a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); and -.5 (June). Dropping from #18 to #19, its format foe, Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, is without a gain for the third time in succession for an overall decline of eight-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom all-news KYW (flat at #8) is -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave KYW its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Public news/talk WHYY posts its third successive negative move for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). It was up one full-share in January, but off six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #21, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” falters by two-tenths (1.6 – 1.4, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – It is truly a benchmark sweep for Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which records its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era (8.2); is #1 for the first time since August 2017; and registers its sixth straight gain for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). At #1, it displaces a station about to be its cluster-mate, adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which was on top the past four months. Regressing by seven-tenths to 7.8, its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (7.8, as well), WBEB segues to the runner-up slot. As a result of five straight increases before January’s -8.7, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Before officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of WBEB from Jerry Lee Radio, Entercom took over operation of the station last Thursday (9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). Wiping away June’s one-half share loss with a July gain of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM advances from fifth to fourth. Immediately prior to June’s -.6, “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since January’s 6.6. Without a loss for the seventh straight month for an overall +2.2 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), WXTU advances from sixth to fifth. Previous to the May sweep, the last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). After three straight flat or up trends that yielded six-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” surrenders the entire gain and one-tenth more (5.4, -.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Down one full-share in 16 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station” actually improves from #26 to #24.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a rollercoaster ride lately for Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio,” which was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and now the New York Yankees’ flagship is +.7 in July (4.2 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Meanwhile, the key station of the New York Mets iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – is -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) and moves from #21 to #22. In advance of surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Simply by remaining flat at 2.5 (6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM advances from #16 to #14, where it catches co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. This marks the third straight time WINS shows a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths: +.3 (May); -.3 (June) and -.3 (July). After five consecutive upticks for a +1.2, which more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off one-half share in June and July (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and departs the top twenty. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 (February 2018 – July 2018, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #25; meanwhile, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #26) is without an increase for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, , 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It is an extremely tight race at the top, as the first five Nassau-Suffolk July 2018 finishers are separated by just two-tenths of a share. Included in that pack is the market’s new number one (up from second-place in June), Cox Media Group CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits,” a collective +1.4 through four straight improvements (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). This (5.1) is its strongest 6+-performance  since September 2017’s 5.2. Format rival, iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100,” is flat or down (slightly) for the third straight time and slides from second to fourth (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). Displaced from the top spot after nine straight months there and taking WBLI’s place at #2 is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5,” which posts its seventh successive sweep without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+) for an overall -7.6. “Real Variety” was a cumulative +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off one-half share, owing to three straight minor dips (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” answers with a +.6 to 2.4 (6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #17). The format gains another three-tenths in July as Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which was tied with WNEW-FM in June, improves 1.8 – 2.1 (#19, 6+). Having been up or flat the past three months for a +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) but stays at #12. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 45th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#13 to #14) drops three-tenths (2.8 – 2.5, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -1.2 (eighth to ninth). More than a dozen stations that appeared in the June 2018 report have vanished from print in this sweep. With their (6+) June 2018 Long Island stat in parentheses, these are six notable examples that had at least a .6 (6+) in June 2018 but are now unlisted: Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ (1.3); co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT (1.0); Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV (.9); Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY (.8); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.7); and Fordham University alternative WFUV (.6).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in the last two monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR progresses from #13 to #11. In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding its very steady Inland Empire November 2017 – July 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” slips from #17 to #18. Debuting at #22 with a .2 (6+) is iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE.” Part of May’s four-way logjam at #20 with a .3 (6+), co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June, but resurfaces in July with a .2 (#22, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) and similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of being a collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” elevates from fourth to third. Quadrupling its 6+-share (.2 – .8, 6+) Lazer Broadcasting’s KCAL-AM La Mexicana 1410 vaults from #20 to #14. Regional Mexican sibling KXRS “Radio Lazer” (#20 to #17) is in a repetitive cycle of .2 – .5 – .2 – .5 ( 6+), while co-owned/similarly formatted KXSB (also using the “Radio Lazer” handle) is without a gain for the third straight month (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, #16 to #18, 6+). Not only does Entravision’s KLYY repeat at #1, “Jose” is +2.3 in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Replaced by “Jose” in June after a five-month run at #1 – Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA – improves by three-tenths to 6.6 (6+) and duplicates its second-place finish. The +.3 ends four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Similarly, January’s +1.8 applied the brakes to three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Four negative moves in a row by Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” (ninth to tenth) account for a collective -1.8 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). Off by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom country outlet KFRG, which carries on in third-place (5.5 – 4.9, 6+). When “K-Frog” lost four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). While steady at #5, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts its third straight Riverside decrease for an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). For the third time in the last four sweeps, All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (#15 – #16) logs a .6 (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – For the past six San Jose sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM have finished first and second, respectively. That changes in July 2018, however, as KQED (7.5 – 6.5, -1.0, 6+) drops to second and KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) shifts to third. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 6.1 for KQED, which rebounded from a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) with a June increase of six-tenths. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A setback of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Meanwhile, KCBS-AM’s -.8 pulls the plug on four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). In the Cumulus Media cluster, sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader is a cumulative -1.0 via three decreases in succession (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) and segues from eighth to tenth, with its lowest 6+-stat (3.6) since 3.0 in March. The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Without a loss the past five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KSFO drops two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), slipping from #19 to #20. A different streak concludes for sibling KGO, which adds two-tenths (1.9, flat at #22) to pause four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Over and above hauling out a robust +1.5 (5.2 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” jumps from fourth to first. By way of perspective, its July 2018 6.7  more than doubles October 2017’s 6+-share (3.2). Format rival – Cumulus Media’s KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is off three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+). Four straight negative trends by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” rebounds with a gain of seven-tenths to 4.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Following June’s massive -1.2, (4.2 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regains one-tenth to 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #12. Good news continues for Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY, which records its fourth gain in a row for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+) as “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” progresses from seventh to sixth. With exactly the same (6+) share it had when it began its down/up pattern in December 2017 (2.2 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” cracks the top twenty (#22 to #18). In three straight positive spikes, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG was an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), but “Amor 100.3” surrenders roughly 20% of that increase (5.2, -.4, 6+), slipping from third to fifth.  bit analogous to what is highlighted in Long Island (see above), seven stations with at least a 1.2 (6+) in the June 2018 ratings period have disappeared from print in this report. With their (6+) June 2018 San Jose stat in parentheses, the seven outlets falling in that category are: Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ (1.9); University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.7); Entercom alternative KITS (1.6); public contemporary Christian KLVS (1.5); Entercom sports talk KGMZ (1.4); Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2); and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ (1.2).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of four-tenths for the second straight time (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) propels WKXW from the runner-up slot to #1. The Townsquare Media news/talker was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. “New Jersey 101.5” was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Steady at #5, Entercom sports talk WFAN slips by one-tenth in both June and July (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but immediately prior to that, the New York Yankees flagship was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). The eight most recent topline 6+ stats for sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (flat at #21) are: 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.9. In five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM has lost nearly 50% of its 6+ share (-1.6) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and New York Mets flagship WOR makes up half the loss with a +.3 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty at #20. Locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, Entercom all-news WINS records a 1.7 (#23, 6+) for the third straight time. It is one-tenth ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#24, 6+), whose January 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6.

Middlesex Music Formats – On a roll in this New Jersey market, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” practically triples its 6+-share (+2.6) via seven up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 4.0, 6+) and catapults from #16 all the way to #7. Within three-share range (6+) in each of the past 13 sweeps, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” gains one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) to jump from #13 to #10. An overall +1.2 in three consecutive up or flat reports (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (5.7, – 1.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. The station it supplanted at #1 in June, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, collapses by -1.3 (6.3 – 5.0, 6+) but manages to stay in third-place. When “106.7 Lite FM” gained one-tenth in June, it applied the brakes to five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -5.3 (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to recording its fourth decrease in a row for a -1.8 (5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Continuing the theme set in Long Island and San Jose (see above), seven stations that registered at least a one-half share (6+) in June 2018 are unlisted in July 2018. With their (6+) June 2018 Middlesex-Somerset-Union stat in parentheses, these seven outlets are: Entercom news WCBS-AM (1.5); Press Communications country WKMK (1.2); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.9); Press Communications rock WWZY (.7); Univision Radio Spanish news/talk WADO (.7); Townsquare Media hot AC WJLK (.5); and Newark Public Radio jazz WBGO (.5).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging